The Pinnacle of Creation

A lightly worn trail runs up a north slope in Hubbard Park, where Kiki and I walk most days. Near the top, in a grove of magnificent red oaks, stands a beautifully built stone bench, just the right height, that invites a sit-down to think and breathe and watch the woods below. Beside the bench, set into a boulder, is a bronze plaque dedicated to the memory of an infant named Falko, who lived only eight days in midsummer of 2020.

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In Praise of Kale, the Misunderstood Vegetable Hero

Like Rodney Dangerfield, kale doesn’t get enough respect. I’ve been told that it only became a commonly grown vegetable in the 1970s, when salad bars ordered it to use as the bed upon which other edibles, like tomatoes, carrots and cukes, slept on in nearly ordered arrangements.

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Fast-Forward 71 Years

During my first year at a boarding school where all the students worked about ten hours a week, I was assigned menial labor in the barns. Perversely, perhaps, I loved it — spreading chopped silage as it poured in overhead from a chute, shoveling manure from the gutters behind the cows, grading apples and potatoes, beating the feathers from dead, scalded chickens (not a favorite), and slopping the hogs.

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Being Treated as if I’m Old

Much of the travel writing to which we’re exposed reminds me of the old fable of the six blind men inspecting and describing an elephant: it reports on only a portion – and often a small one, at that – of the reality of the travel destination.

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