Helping You Be Contemporary in a Traditional Way

Be it at the Tribute in Lights, the Pentagon, a field in Pennsylvania or your home town, we hope you pause to remember September 11, 2001. This article was first published on

As previously explained, we had been absent from these parts for an extended period tied to the passing of my Mom on May 5, 2017. The days and months preceding and after that day were not conducive to sharing the offbeat we offer. During these serious and challenging times, it did not seem appropriate to […]

It’s late Summer soon to be Fall – time to hit the road and explore. When heading on a journey of exploration in places previously unknown, I especially enjoy the opportunity to try get acquainted with my new surroundings and get a feeling for what makes a place distinctive. For me it all starts with […]

One of the great success stories of the last few years has been the High Line, the re-vitilization of an old train line running through the west side of Manhattan. Once an abandoned rusting track bed covered with weeds, the High Line offers lessons of vision and persistence. It is a remarkable story that has […]

Some passings hurt more than others. This one hurts a lot. Laura Petrie. Mary Richards. Mary Tyler Moore. I loved them all. A woman beautiful in so many ways. Thanks for all you gave …turning on my world with a smile – taking many a nothing day and suddenly making it seem worthwhile… This article […]

” The greatest show on Earth” is what it called itself. And, perhaps it was. But no more. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus announced on January 14 that after 146 years of performances, it was folding its big tent forever. Reports the New York Times that in a statement on the company’s website, […]

Happy Birthday to Kirk Douglas who turned 100 on December 9, 2016 and was celebrated with a party at the Beverly Hills Hotel that day for achieving the century mark. More from USA Today This article was first published on

To many these days, 9-11 is a day that changed their view of the world. For others it was the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. But for a whole generation the day that most impacted them and they world they know was the attack of Pearl Harbor on […]

American photographer William Christenberry, best known for his evocative depictions of the Old South, has died, aged 80, following complications from a years-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. One of the most profound American photographers of his generation, Christenberry is best known for his poignant, poetic landscapes of his native Alabama, capturing the South’s great fading […]

Milt Moss, a comic actor who delivered the rueful catchphrase “I can’t believe I ate that whole thing” in a memorable commercial for Alka-Seltzer in 1972, died on Sept. 26 in Manhattan. He was 93. More from The New York Times This article was first published on

The person who created the Big Mac died on November 28. Michael “Jim” Delligatti, who invented McDonald’s two-tiered burger at his Uniontown, Pa., franchise, was 98. Delligatti began tinkering with the store’s burger in the mid-1960s. He added a second burger and six other ingredients. But he labored for two years to come up with […]

To many she was the Mom they wished they had. Florence Henderson who died on November 26 had a long and varied career. But she will always be best remembered as Carol Brady, the Mom on TV’s Brady Much. Some found the program too saccharine and full of sunshine. Though I was older than the […]

An interesting Thanksgiving Day feature about The Four Freedoms on The Takeaway. This article was first published on

A thankful Thanksgiving to you and those dear to you. This article was first published on

Since the 1787 Constitutional Convention, federal law has imposed few constraints on elections and left most smaller decisions up to the states — creating an interesting patchwork of state-specific laws. In some states they’ll call the Sheriff to haul you out of the voting booth if you take too long (no more than three minutes […]

There’s an unusual fight underway in Michigan over a simple black-and-white sign that identifies a state highway. That highway runs through a popular vacation region. And one business claims it has the exclusive right to use the road sign as a product brand. But the state disagrees, and the trademark dispute is now in federal […]

It is now week two of the new era for A Prairie Home Companion. After week one, the review were generally favorable for new host Chris Thile. Thile, handpicked as successor by Garrison Keillor, is trying to strike a balance – honriong the orgins while refreshing it to make it more embraced but a younger […]

The “House of Tomorrow,” designed for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair’s Century of Progress Exhibition, was named a National Treasure this week by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. When it was built it was one of the most innovative and influential buildings in modern architecture, filled with the latest technology and appliances. But it’s […]

I was doing some research for new postings and came across news almost three years old. But discovering the passing of Jethro Mann resonated with me. So, though belatedly, I here honor Mr. Mann and his spirit. This article was first published on

It’s understandable if folks from Toronto may not want to vsit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame over the next little while. For the second time this year, Toronto’s hopes for a championship parade to City Hall were dashed by a feel good story from Cleveland. In the Spring it was the basketball Cavaliers […]

Oscar Brand, the renowned and popular folk singer and songwriter whose weekly on-air radio program was the longest-running radio show in history with a single host, died on September 30 at Great Neck, N.Y. He was 96. He was a fixture in musical circles as well as on the radio. His radio program “Folksong Festival” […]

Contrary to what I wrote in a prior entry, the departure of Garrison Keillor is hitting me harder than I thought and hoped it would. As mentioned, we have been through this whole thing before back in 1987 when Keillor announced to the world that he was closing up shop to move to Denmark. I […]

“Author of  “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Ms. Lee’s novel about racial injustice in a small Alabama town became one ofthe most beloved and most taught works of fiction ever written by an American”. This article was first published on

On February 11, “Jubilee” closed. It was the last showgirl extravaganza on the Vegas Strip. The revue ran for nearly 35 years – 18,720 shows in all – before more than 18 million guests. Here are some interesting features via the Las Vegas Sun, The Las Vegas Review-Journal and NPR This article was first published […]

It starts with you and your narrative. But please know you are not alone. In addition, to offering strategies and service, we also act as an advocate. This role comes out of our own past and our passion. For us, it is more than a job. It is who we are and what we are […]

As mentioned in an earlier posting, our start in these present endeavors was inspired by the late Charles Kuralt. His words and explorations (as well as those of Garrison Keillor) have guided me for over 30 years. I too Like him, I too went ahead and have come to know the way. These words and […]

This year there are two types of music that will accompany us no matter where we go. Over course, there is the “Seasonal” music – Christmas tunes. I love this time of year – the lights, the bustle. But when the seasonal music starts a Veterans Day, well, I think things have gotten out of […]

With thanks to a dear friend (not just for this item but for your friendship), here is the elevator pitch they have forever been seeking. It was actually written a while back, but it was not until this infinitely patient and compassionate friend saw it in a recent post that we were together identify it […]

Even with congestion, pollution and crumbling infrastructure, the network of highways we have assembled remains a monument to achievement. In the U.S., the Interstate System has been called the Greatest Public Works Project in History. The Trans-Canada (and its successor freeways/autoroutes), along with the railroads, hockey and the CBC is said to have played a […]

In South Toward Home: Travels in Southern Literature, Margaret Eby visits to the hometowns and haunts of 10 favorite authors – including Faulkner, Welty, O’Connor and Wright. In making this journey, Eby premises it on the relationship between the region and its literature. “There is no popular category known as Northern literature’, she stresses. More, […]

Paul Theroux is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work of travel writing is The Great Railway Bazaar (1975) . He has published numerous works of fiction, some of which were made into feature films, and has received awards and critical acclaim along the way. A new work, Deep South: Four Seasons […]

The Honeymooners as a series of its own debuted on October 1, 1955 on CBS Television. In fact, the Honeymooners were based on a recurring 1951–55 sketch of the same name. It originally aired on the DuMont network’s Calvacade of Stars and then later on CBS’s The Jackie Gleason Show.The first episode of the new […]

Jack Larson was a playwright and librettist who died on September 20 at his home at Brentwood, California at age 87. To most of us, though, he was known as the actor who played the cub reporter Jimmy Olsen in the television series “Adventures of Superman. The New York Times reports that In 1951, Larson […]

Today, September 17, is Constitutition Day in the United States. It is a relatively new holiday. It is not known like September 11, nor is it an observance with connected with contraversy.  It is significant, though. Constitution Day (or Citizenship Day) is a day that recognizes the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and those who have become […]

Roy Rogers was a famous singer and cowboy actor – one of the most popular Western stars of his era. Known as the “King of the Cowboys”, he appeared in over 100 films and numerous radio and television episodes of The Roy Rogers Show. In many of his films and television episodes, he appeared with his […]

It’s so much a part of the American landscape that we tend to it for granted. State Fairs mean so much to so many. From music to food, agriculture to popular culture, entertainment, and, of course, the midway, there seemingly is something for everyone. And, now it serves as a production set for political campaigns. […]

In Wayne, Nebraska the answer to which came first – chicken or the egg – is an easy one. Each year the locals celevrate with the annual Wayne Chicken Show. The Chicken Show is an annual free, family-oriented event held in Wayne, Nebraska, every second Saturday in July. It has been put on by the […]

    A historic  civic stadium in Eugene is considered a complete loss after a fire engulfed it last week. A drone captured the fire captured of flames shooting up high into the air as the historic Eugene baseball stadium burned to the ground. Authorities responded to the fire . and evacuated a two-block radius. The fire […]

No summary of July Fourth activities would be complete with out mention of Washington, DC (parade, festival on the Mall and fireworks show), New York (fireworks), Boston (Boston Pops in concert) and Brooklyn. This last venue, Coney Island to be exact, is where the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest takes place at Nathan’s Famous […]

Along with Washington, DC, Philadelphia and Boston, this is one of those All-American places where one considers themselves to be lucky if they should find themselves there on July 4th. Apparently many others agree as thousands turn up for Independence Day events here. It is considered is a one-of-a-kind experience that can’t be found anywhere […]

Key Limes are an integral part of life in the Florida Keys. These fruits flavor soups, pies and martinis. Soaps and salts as well. As importantly, they say, key limes “flavor our lives, which are as unique to the Florida Keys as the tart and juicy fruit”. The Key Lime Pie Festival in Key West […]

At the Chaparral Park speedway in Lovington, New Mexico on July Fourth each year they lay out what is described as “the world’s premiere mini-reptile racetrack”. There lizards of different varieties vie for top honors in a competitive races – their jockeys handlers must be under age 16. They tell us the course is considered […]

Pekin, Indiana claims the oldest continuous July Fourth celebration (dating back to 1830) Folks in Bristol, Rhode Island beg to disagree. Here is the story out of that New England community. The Annual Bristol 4th of July Celebration began, the say, in 1785 when Rev. Henry Wight of the First Congregational Church and a Veteran […]

That’s what they call their Fourth of July event in Pekin, Indiana The town of New Pekin claims the distinction of having the oldest consecutive Independence Day celebration in the United States of America. Pekin began celebrating Independence Day in the year 1830. Bristol, Rhode Island claims to have celebrated since 1785, so Pekin describes […]

To many, Memorial Day means the Indy 500. In Twelve Mile, Indiana the Fourth of July means lawnmower racing. The Twelve Mile 500 is organized by the Twelve Mile Lions Club and occurrs annually on Independence Day. The tradition began in 1963 as a race for factory-built mowers with their mowing decks removed but in […]

This year marks the 30th anniversary of a unique July Fourth tradition. Since 1986 in Willimantic, Connecticut they’ve stepped off without any bands. There is music but it is courtesy of large boom boxes instead. You see, back in 1986 the town could not find an available marching band for its annual Memorial Day parade. […]

At most any barber shop on a hot day you might hear the invocation “Hot enough to fry an egg”. In Oatman, Arizona on July Fourth they not only talk about it, but they walk the talk – or fry the eggs. In an unusual Fourth of July celebration, residents of Oatman, where temperatures routinely […]

It came from England, but to me it was one of those All-American (Canadian) songs of vacation time in the early 1960’s – often trips to Canada. “Stranger on the Shore” was written clarinetist Acker Bilk for his then young daughter. He first named the tune “Jenny” after her, but was later changed when used […]

It’s a different type of move – counter to decades of changes. But an amusement is being taken apart and being moved into a nearby city. Two local businessmen in Albany, New York, Jeffrey and Reid Sperber, who are brothers, have taken the unusual step of buying a long-standing area amusement park and moving it […]

We seem to be in such a hurry. Rush hours during the week. Racing of all kinds over the weekends. Whether it’s cars, horses or humans, racing is popular – seemingly without end. This weekend sees yet another race – but this one is rather unique. It is the World championship Rotary Tiller Race taking […]

Throughout its history, Galesburg, Illinois has been heavily linked to the railroad industry. The state’s first railroads to connect Quincy and Chicago (the two largest cities at the time) went straight through Galesburg, as did the late 19th century Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. Though the old stations have been closed down, citizens of […]

For over 60 years they’ve been spitting seeds – watermelon seeds – in Luling, Texas. The event is the “World Champion Seed-Spitting Contest, and it’s part of the annual Watermelon Thump. This will be the 62nd year of the festival, which will have music, events and, of course, watermelon.Organizers say this year’s crop will be […]

Duct tape or duck tape is cloth- or scrim-backed pressure-sensitive tape often coated with polyethylene. There are a variety of constructions using different backings and adhesives. One variation is gaffer tape designed to be cleanly removed, while duct tape is not. Another variation is heat-resistant duct tape useful for sealing heating/ventilation/air-conditioning (HVAC) ducts, produced because […]

They won’t be getting much sleep up in Fairbanks, Alaska this weekend. For one thing, it’s light outside for much of the day as the longest day of the year approaches. Moreover, since they are going to be up anyway, folks celebrate the occasion with the annual Midnight Sun Festival. This next week marks the […]

June 19 is Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas in June 1865, and more generally the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South. Celebrated on June 19, the term is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth, and is recognized as a state […]

Lou Gerhig was born on June 19, 1903. It’s been almost 75 years since Gerhig’s death but he is still associated as a man of dignity. He hit 493 homers, knocked in 1,990 runs, and sported a .340 batting average. His 184 RBI’s in one season is an American League record. His 23 grand slams […]

He wrote the song, but Sammy Cahn was anything but irresponsible. He was a prolific composer, songwriter, lyricist and musician. He is best known for his romantic lyrics to films and Broadway songs, as well as stand-alone songs premiered by recording companies in the Greater Los Angeles Area. He and his collaborators had a series […]

It’s Flag Day today (June 14) in the U.S. The date selected to honor the Stars and Stripes commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The United States Army also celebrates the Army Birthday on this date; Congress […]

It’s more than 70 years since Glenn Miller went missing in World War II. The famous American bandleader, trombonist, composer and arranger disappeared while directing the Glenn Miller AAF Band during World War II. He was age 40. But he and his music still remembered around the world, and especially in his birthplace Clarinda, Iowa. […]

As a kid, I thought the Banana Split Ice Cream had been invented by the Good Humor Man. Afterall, for a long time the only place that I knew served them up was the Good Humor Truck that occasionally visited our street. Eventually, I came to realize that it was not the Good Humor Man […]

…It’s the Superman Celebration, the 37th annual edition, taking place this weekend in Metropolis, Illinois. This weekend a town of fewer than 7000 people becomes more of a metropolis as some 30,000 visitors from around the nation, and around the world come to visit. Of course, Superman will be there to visit with those fans […]

We are barely halfway into 2015 but it seems the 2016 Presidential campaign is already in full swing. It’s too early for me, and it seems to be getting earlier all the time. Like those sports seasons that now have no off-season, Presidential politics is now a full-time profession. The campaign experts and image are […]

Increasingly, in our travels we have come to find that places are starting to look and feel the same. Sprawl, big box stores, contemporary shops, most seemingly formula like in their similarities. Sometimes, it is hard to know just where you are because it can all look and feel so similar. So, we enjoy finding […]

Jean Ritchie, who brought hundreds of traditional songs from her native Appalachia to a wide audience and in the process helped ignite the folk song revival of the mid-20th century, died on June 1 at her home in Berea, Ky. She was 92. The Ritchies were one of the great folk song families of the […]

To many writing the obituaries she is best known as an actress in the “Friday the 13th” Movie. Others headline that she was in numerous other movies (Mister Roberts, Queen Bee), and on Broadway (South Pacific) For me, Betsy Palmer was one of those fixtures of television from way back when. She was a familiar […]

Yes, it has recently been owned by Toys R Us, and it some time ago moved from its classic spot on Fifth Avenue to more modern digs across the street, but the closing of F.A.O. Schwarz’s flagship store in New York is still hitting many hard. F. A. O. Schwarz remains one of New York’s […]

Actress and comedian Anne Meara, whose comic work with husband Jerry Stiller helped launch a 60-year career in film and TV, has died. She was 85. Jerry Stiller and son Ben Stiller say Meara died Saturday. No other details were provided. The Stiller family released a statement to The Associated Press on Sunday describing Jerry […]

Singer Peggy Lee was born on May 26, 1920 in Jamestown, ND. Born as Norma Douglas Egstrom she got her start at a North Dakota radio station, and got her chance to make it big through the Benny Goodman Orchestra. She was banner carrier for the American Popular Tune, but is probably best known for […]

Thanking those who made the ultimate scarifice for us. This article was first published on

It’s great weather this weekend. The type of weather to run, swim, BBQ and relax. It is also Memorial Day. In the midst of the fun, hoping you pause to recall what the weekend is all about. Thanks to those who served and sacrificed. This article was first published on

Now the idea is almost common place. But it was not always that way. This weekend they are staging another edition of A Taste of Cincinnati. It is the longest running culinary arts festival in the United States, dating back to 1979. More than 40 fine restaurants are featured at the festival, and “Best of […]