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,...
   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...
   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...
   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...
   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...
   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...
   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...
   I had meant to close off the kitchen exhaust vent so the wrens could not get inside.     About a month ago, while sitting in the living room at home, I was startled by a metallic thumping from somewhere within the...
   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...
   I couldn’t sing, but that didn’t stop me from being a lead singer.  
    The Clearwater Beach Property Owners Association is a formidable organization. Unlike many homeowners groups, which tend to evaporate after their first few years, the Clearwater association spread its wings, taking under them...
    One of the benefits of the very, very mild winter just past is that outdoor chores that would be still hanging over my head are more or less done.     A couple of weekends ago, in fact, I pruned the grapes and...
    When Georgie wrote on her twin sister’s wedding poster last weekend that “a life without love is a life half-lived,” I asked who had said that, figuring the reply would be Ovid, or Dante, or Calvin Coolidge,...