Wrestling His Last Steer

With all due apologies to animal rights activists, I was transfixed by an obituary I read in the New York Times for Pete Burns, 85, “a retired competitive bareback rider, bull rider and steer wrestler.” Although he grew up in Chicago, he discovered rodeo sports while attending the University of...

Weathering the Winter

This weekend I was backing out of the driveway, past the towering mounds of snow, and wondering if anyone has ever been swallowed alive by an avalanche in their own driveway.  I realize that is unlikely to happen, but it is a sign of the mood I’m in.  I’m sick and tired of snow and ice and weather...

The Day the Music Was Born

Earlier this week, we marked an anniversary that has been made the stuff of legends, but it seemed to pass without a lot of fanfare. Maybe it is because of time, the great leveler, as other more recent events grab our attention, or maybe it is simply a function of there being actually less and less people...

J.F. Powers: Revisiting His Forever Faultless Prose

One of my early intellectual heroes was an intimidatingly well-read Jesuit who taught me English in 1966 when I was a freshman in college. He urged me to read stories by J.F. Powers. (“F” stood for “Farl,” and Powers got regularly irked when well-meaning fans, certain it was a mistake, figured it had...

It’s All in Your Perspective!

Yesterday I looked out my home office window and noticed a stray German Shepherd walking down the street. I was sure it belonged to our neighbors, who operate a German Shepherd rescue out of their home. I grabbed my phone so I could call them and then I ran outside. When the dog saw me, he turned and came...

On First Name Terms with God

Today’s guest blogger is Nick Luken, a second-year student at The Ohio State University, majoring in English and minoring in professional writing. Nick graduated from Roger Bacon, a Franciscan high school in Cincinnati, in 2012. I find it strange that my friends and colleagues have begun to call me by my...

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