Columnists

   When I was a kid, I hated writing thank-you notes.     Christmases and birthdays would come along with presents in the mail (always welcome) from my Alabama grandmother, my poet aunt and composer uncle in Pittsburgh,...
   This is the season in which the parents of grade-school children put entirely too many miles on their vehicles. There are year-end dance recitals, music and theater performances, sports league playoffs, and the like to ferry the...
   There is a quite young magnolia which I planted last year near the south side of the winter house, which is, for the first time, in bloom and going on and on now for well over a month with buds as dark as hushing fingers to the lips...
   Perhaps more disturbing than the hazing death itself — on Nov. 19, of a 26-year-old Florida A&M University student who was a drum major in its marching band — is the knowledge that brutality is ingrained in the culture...
   Michael Heller, who walk­ed away with pretty much every photography prize at the recent state press association contest, said in walking up to me at Herrick Park the other day that he’d seen only one other rugby game and...
   I often wonder when people pass away if they can still hover a few days and get a closer look at what’s happening down below on earth. Like our creator, can they see all? My mom passed away in April, and if she can see that I...
   Readers of this column may remember that a few weeks back I wrote about our family’s ongoing scuffle over whether or not to buy an expensive pet pig. The battle lines had this columnist on the “no” side, Mom and one...
   So many things were so comically awful at the restaurant we chose for Saturday night dinner in Pittsburgh last weekend that the consensus among our foursome was to give it the award for the worst restaurant we had ever been in...
   Having snapped when I should have buttoned my lip, I thought the next day of ways I could make amends, how I could patch things up, as it were.     I would begin by fixing the liquor cabinet door that’s remained...