Out Of My Head

February 28, 2020

First, I need to give a wink and a nod to Thomas Boswell, the late, great sportswriter from The Washington Post. I stole the title of the column from one of his books—one of the finest books on baseball ever written (along with another he wrote, “How Life Imitates the World Series”). As I sit ...

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A colleague recently suggested I write a column about what it’s like to be the editor of this paper. You know, pull back the curtain and show people how the magic happens. Well, to be honest, there’s not a lot of magic going on here. It’s usually days and days of routine, mundane stuff, ...

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When I was the managing editor for the Pawling News-Chronicle back in the ’80s I was sort of a big fish in a small pond. Pawling had (and still does) a population of a little over 6,000 folks. It was the town I grew up in and the school district from which I graduated. I was a star baseball ...

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Back in the early ’80s, my brother went to a Halloween party dressed as Diana Ross; two of his friends made up the rest of the Supremes. Danny was a huge Motown fan, and he held those groups in deep reverence. It was a karaoke party, and he viewed his radically off-key performance of “Can’t Hurry ...

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Sometimes just walking around in my daily life, I will hear or see something and think, “Oooh, that would make a good topic for a column!” I always promise myself to get a little book or something and write these ideas down. I never do and the ideas (brilliant ones, of course) are inevitably lost ...

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I discovered Trader Joes when I was living in Los Angeles in the ’90s. They were as ubiquitous as drive-by shootings; there seemed to be one on every corner. I had never heard of them before, but my cousin, who co-owned a frozen yogurt company with me, was determined to get our product into ...

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New York State is gearing up to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. While this is a sane and rational idea, there are still many out there who are convinced that patchouli-soaked hippies will be descending upon our playgrounds en masse offering “reefers” to 5-year-olds. The Yorktown ...

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The town of Carmel has been running a notice on its website for about two weeks now announcing when the town will pick up disposed-of Christmas trees from the curb. Those dates, by the way, are Jan. 8 and 15. That’s a bit early if you ask me because these days most people don’t take their ...

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Some folks, sadly, live in a perpetual state of fear and believe some form of danger lurks around every corner. I am not sure what initially instilled such a mindset in them, but I do know that social media, the 24-hour cable news cycle and many politicians (the Brown People are coming to get you!) ...

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Oh oh, Daniel my brother, you are older than meDo you still feel the pain of the scars that won’t heal?Your eyes have died, but you see more than IDaniel you’re a star in the face of the sky -Bernie Taupin/Elton John My brother Danny was eight years older than I am. Random memory—we are ...

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Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for president. One hopes it is the same half. —Gore Vidal Well, another election has come and gone. Most of us are pretty happy about the “gone” part. I don’t know about you, but if I had seen one more damn TV ad with ...

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I love a good ghost story. Book, TV show, movie—doesn’t matter. Scare the bejesus out of me and I’m a happy boy. I have no idea why that is. I’ll leave that to my therapist. I know some people avoid horror movies and thrillers like the plague, saying, “It will give me nightmares!” I guess I am ...

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This New Year’s Eve will mark the fifth anniversary of the day I quit smoking. I am not looking for any sort of accolade or pat on the back for doing something that was a no-brainer. I didn’t do it for health reasons. My motivation was purely economic. The price of a pack of cigarettes had ...

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To me, pizza is the perfect food. It contains all your major food groups: dairy, vegetables, bread and meat. It needs no alterations, no improvements, no changes. It is perfect in its pristine, glorious incarnation—unless you are in Chicago. I don’t know what the hell that thing is. But like ...

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Since its inception, Facebook has been a regular target of mockery and criticism—everything from, “Do I really need to see a picture of the pastrami sandwich you had for lunch?” to “Why did you help the Russians get Donald Trump elected?” No one likes to mock and criticize more than I do—just ...

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When I lived in Los Angeles, I was a senior editor for a magazine called Pool & Spa News. It was the leading trade magazine in North America for the swimming pool and hot tub industry. It was a fun and fascinating job—and I learned a lot. One of the many things I learned was about how pools ...

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A couple of weekends ago, I went up to the Koehler Senior Center to take a picture. The Senior Citizens of Mahopac had raised $510 for Toys for Tots and was going to present the check. Now, you may or may not know that Toys for Tots is a program started by the U.S. Marines, so we had a genuine ...

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My sister used to make fun of me because I didn’t do the Facebook thing.  It took me a long time to even go through the machinations of setting up an account—and I can’t recall the reasons I finally did it—and then once I did, I rarely used it. My sister said that made me a “creeper”—someone who ...

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I will never forget the look on my father’s face. He was not an overly emotional man—usually quick with a pithy remark or a roll of the eyes, but he seldom openly revealed when something was eating at him from the inside out. He grew up during the Great Depression. It was how they handled hard ...

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Do you think a bunch of fiery balls of gas, millions of lightyears away from you, can influence whether the boy you have a crush on will be receptive to your advances? Do those same balls of burning gasses, depending on the Earth’s position in the solar system during your time and day of birth, ...

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Remember the days when you would go to buy something, the clerk would tell you how much it actually cost and you then would give him that amount of money and be on your way? You: Yes, I would like to purchase your finest sphallolalia in taupe, please. You don’t have taupe, mauve will ...

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I don’t like guns. There. I said it. The cat is out of the bag. Does that make me a snowflake; a social justice warrior? I sure hope so. To be honest with you, if I woke up tomorrow morning and discovered that guns no longer existed—that every one of them had been tossed into the deepest ...

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The eminent German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said the greatest thing ever: “Without music, life would be a mistake.”  I don’t always agree with eminent German philosophers, but on this front, I believe that ol’ Friedrich was spot-on. Music has played a huge role in my life and I truly ...

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Neither of my parents went to college, so their dream was to one day be able to send their kids off to a fancy university and perhaps a better life.  That was back in the ‘70s and ‘80s when most people thought education was a good thing. I remember those public service announcements on TV that ...

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Paranoia strikes deep/Into your life it will creep/It starts when you are always afraid—Stephen Stills Over in neighboring Yorktown a couple of weeks ago, the town board there had a plan before it to convert an old, abandoned railroad spur into a hiking/biking trail and connect it to the town’s ...

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