Monthly Archives: September 2017

Sleeping with the Olympic bomber (Part 3)

Part 2: Shortly before dawn I heard, next to me, a click, which I recognized from my days in military intelligence as the unmistakable sound of a clip being loaded into an automatic pistol. So you can imagine my relief when the subdued strains of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring drifted over from the cassette player […]

Thank you for your service, Senator McCain

I dialed Susan Collins’ Bangor office number several times yesterday, and the line was always busy, which I took as a hopeful sign, although I was, and remain, apprehensive. I was calling to thank Sen. Collins once again for her courage in voting against the last Republican effort to repeal Obamacare and to say I […]

Sleeping with the Olympic Bomber (Part 1)

Rereading A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson’s riotous account of hiking the Appalachian Trail with the delightfully curmudgeonly Katz, made me think of two things: How little humor there seems to be out there these days – in the public sphere, on college campuses, among newspaper opinion writers – and how much I miss […]

Sept. 16, 1963, a bomb explodes in Birmingham

“The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line,” W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903) Two strong voices – those of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Bryan Stevenson – insist that DuBois’ observation endures because we have refused to confront it. In “The First White President,” Coates assails the notion that working-class […]

A narrow trail lovingly made

A new trail begins just west of Little Long Pond on the Mt. Desert Land & Garden Preserve, which consists of 1,165 acres abutting Acadia National Park. The Richard Trail is named for Richard Rockefeller, a doctor who for years chaired the advisory board of Doctors Without Borders and died when the plane he was […]

Freaky Friday

No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . . any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.           […]

The Good News

This is a simple story about people who do their jobs well. I’m judging a statewide newspaper contest, which consists of entries from six local daily papers, all of them multi-issue series of interest and importance to their communities. Contrary to the constant barrage of reports about fake news, sensationalism, and bias, these submissions bespeak […]