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Mystic Seaport

In college, I was forced to see the movie Mystic Pizza, and I have resented the coastal town of Mystic, Connecticut, ever since. The assignment was to write a movie review, but rather than each of us students picking the movie we wanted to see, the professor mandated we all see the same movie so we could better compare our ...

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Detasseling Corn

          Senator Ben Sasse has written about detasseling corn, calling the job a rite of passage in his small hometown in Nebraska; perhaps it was that as well for us teens and pre-teens in my small hometown in Illinois, but mostly it was just a job, and after forty years of jobs, not one of which I’ve particularly liked, ...

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Great Graves: Robert Frost

          I had been to Robert Frost’s grave before, but never in snow, and he’s always struck me most as a winter poet. Yes, he addresses autumns and apples and mud season and boys swinging on birches on warm summer days, but so much of his work is in winter—the woods where he stops on ...

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Thanksgiving with the Von Trapps

It is strange indeed to be at the Trapp Family Lodge in northern Vermont as the world is chaotic with conditions not unlike those that forced the Von Trapps to flee their native Austria for Vermont in the first place. We arrived two nights before Thanksgiving, and it was already a cold and exquisite snowscape. ...

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Clue Connections

Scrabble is to board games what The Beatles are to rock groups, that is, so superior to all of its peers that it’s simply not fair to include it in the discussion. But once we remove Scrabble from the fray, out of all that remains, what is the best? Is it Life, with its plastic ...

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Convenience King

America turns everything into a competition, absolutely everything, and nothing is off-limits, even the sacred, like marriage. Given the rising cost of funerals, it is not hard to imagine in the near future a Home Makeover Death version in which producers come turn your Uncle Al’s humdrum funeral into something spectacular with a shiny new ...

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