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Shot Heard ‘Round

I’d not even known there was a debate; I’d just assumed that the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World,” referred to one unambiguous report of gunfire in the American Revolution, the definitive first, but it was Shane, fantastic docent at the Concord Museum, who informed me otherwise. There was the gunshot that started the donnybrook in ...

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Litter and The Rock

The McDonald’s sack tossed into a grassy ditch, the brown bottle of Molson Beer chucked into a patch of wildflowers, the tennis balls that dogs failed to fetch floating at river’s edge, the Styrofoam worms-container abandoned by fishermen on the banks of a lake, the Pepsi can flattened in a parking lot—I despise litter. In ...

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Mother Bethel A.M.E.

If you happen to be in Philadelphia at the terrific new Museum of the American Revolution and, like the modern GOP, are tired of the Constitution and ready to leave it behind and try something new, rather than visit the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall, go a little further, about a mile south, to visit ...

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Jumping Off Places

          This past summer it was Moxie Falls, Maine, in the remote northwest region of the state, a little over an hour south of the Canadian border and west of Moosehead Lake. The trail to the falls was level and well-worn, mostly dirt but with occasional sections covered in pine needles or leaves. The place ...

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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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