Author archives: ronroel

If Only It Were True

IF ONLY IT WERE TRUE Ken Taub ONCE UPON A TIME, a very famous, and beloved, TV bigot suggested that to stop all airplane hijackings we simply arm all the passengers. That line, uttered in 1972 by "All in the Family’s" Archie Bunker, got the big laugh that an absurd solution to [...]

Fighting Like Dats and Cogs

HOW DO WE BEAT THE DRIVE TO DIVIDE? Ron Roel GROWING UP, I ALWAYS THOUGHT OF MYSELF AS A "DOG PERSON." Early on, my mother turned down many pleas to get a family dog–quite understandable, since she was already raising four sons. Eventually, however, my brothers and I prevailed. We persuaded h[...]

Life's a Ditch

UNCOVERING A DEEP-SEATED AMBITION WHILE DIGGING A TRENCH.WELL, SORT OF. Curtis Seltzer When my mother gave 14-year-old me my daily dose of advice that would help me in the future, she said: "I don’t care if you end up as a ditch-digger, just be a good one." Clearly, she was tr[...]

Small Talk in a Time of Terror

Over the past year, I’ve been taking a train into New York City a couple of times a week–not an unpleasant trip, for the most part, provided there aren’t any equipment problems or extreme weather conditions. In which case, well...keep calm and carry on. You have no choice. I usually see the same [...]

Crossing the Borderline

THE LONG ROAD FROM A HARD CHILDHOOD TO A SOFT LANDING Dawn Elisabeth I have a story to tell. Lots of other people have the same story -- imaginary people like Cinderella and Batman, and lots of real people too -- the kind of story that starts off sad and ends happy. The purpose of the story isn’[...]

Online Dating? Not for Me.

I’M NOT HEADIN’ INTO THE WOODS WITH ANY OF THESE FELLAS Terri Connett I haven’t been on a date in two years. Maybe three. I do miss the good bits of being in a relationship, so after some encouragement from friends, I joined OurTime – the online dating site for the over-50 cro[...]

The Long Race

WILL POWER, PAIN AND SECOND CHANCES Lenny Mintz Why am I standing here on a cold rainy day watching young athletes run? I gave this up long ago, but here I am now with Silas. Silas is six feet-two, perhaps 150 pounds. He is long and lean, all sinew and muscle. He is a senior at Delaware Acad[...]

The Tao of Tending

HOW SMALL TASKS  BECOME  BIG  DOINGS Curtis Seltzer You do a lot of tending on a farm. "Tend" in both English and other European languages is rooted in words that mean "to set on fire" or "to kindle." I thought about this at 3:30 a.m. one 25-below morning earlier this year, when Nellie, ou[...]