Commentary

This is all commentaries on WVPE including Friday's Michiana Chronicles Feature and occasional one-time contributors.

Heather Curlee-Novak

When I was young and single every day was an adventure of possibility; would I meet a cute guy?  What would happen at that party? Would those new shoes hurt my feet?  Nowadays as a middle aged mama and wife, my thoughts (if I have any at all) are more mundane: What could I make for dinner?  Will my pants hurt by the end of the day? What the hell am I going to make for dinner? 

SIPA USA / PA Images

“Attention must be paid to such a person.” So said Linda Loman, wife of Willie, in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” but it’s applicable in other places too, don’t you think?

Headed for Evart

Oct 6, 2017

Last July I sloughed off all my obligations for a long weekend and headed for Evart. Evart, you say. Is that a person? A place? A thing? It is, after all, a noun, so it must be one of these. If you guessed from context that this is a place you’re the winner, but it’s much more. It’s the location of a dulcimer festival, and from all the evidence the largest one in the world; but it’s much more than that even. Lemme tell you about it.

 

April Lidinsky

Here’s a story of our changing family.  It’s a story of gender transition, a story for our times, and one I have permission to share. One I have been encouraged, actually, to share.  

 

On the way

Sep 22, 2017

We’ve got a nature-oriented guest coming to town who I suspect has never seen a bald eagle. I’m pretty sure he’d really enjoy the sight, so I’m on a quest to learn how to see this beautiful white-headed, wide-winged bird in the wild right here in northern Indiana, or at least to increase our chances.

LimeBikes

Sep 15, 2017
Sid Shroyer

I like the LimeBikes. I have the LimeBike app on my phone, so know where the bikes are are, but unlike my wife, I haven’t actually ridden one yet. Judy tells me they are big and bulky and not exactly fun to ride, but that’s beside the point to me. I like them as art. South Bend is a display space and LimeBikes are mobiles. “A decorative structure that is suspended so as to turn freely in the air,” is how the dictionary defines “mobile” and for the Lime Bike that works just fine for me.

The End of the Road

Sep 8, 2017

Back in the early 2000s I dreamed of writing a novel, but I wanted to set the story in the early 1990s to avoid scenes in which people sat composing emails. I didn’t want my characters to type out messages and then, at best, maybe hesitate dramatically before hitting “Send.” That’s what it’s like to be hung up on realism. Many authors still have their characters meet in person for extended conversations, but that’s a nostalgic take on our real lives.

Mr. Coffee

Sep 1, 2017
Andrew Kreider

I am on a trip to the big city with two of the kids.  Our room has two beds, a lamp, a table.  And on the table, a small black coffee maker.  That’s the ticket right there – big city prices for coffee are terrible.  Starbucks can wait – we’re going to brew our own coffee on this trip.  At least that’s the plan. 

Heather Curlee-Novak

We often tell ourselves stories that are not actually in the least bit true.  I tell myself I am laid back. (Actually, Not. True.)  I say I'm easy going(Nope. Actually, Quite Controlling.) I say we choose as a family to be unbusy.  And…that is partially true.   I still feel too busy.  

As schools begin the academic year and the shank of the summer road-trip season ends, I look at my faithful steed with happy memories. (Do you name your cars? Larry and I do; I think that it has more than a little to do with America’s love affair with the automobile.  Hence, we plaster our attached garages onto the front of our homes and, in essence, keep our cars in the house with us. That being so, why wouldn’t we name our cars?)  The Pod, our green Prius, habitually provides adventures both quick and lengthy, and we do love and pamper it like a family member.

Matt Farnsworth

It’s late in the night and a train is hammering down the rails only a block from my home in River Park. Some neighbors are bothered by the locomotive horns blowing for the crossings, but I love them, even when they wake me in the night. That lonely sound puts me in mind of songs I sing—Milwaukee Blues, Midnight Special, 500 Miles, almost like a greeting from the pages of history.

April Lidinsky

I know it’s cliché in these banana republic days in the U.S. to plan an escape to Canada, but last month, I did just that. As I packed my carry-on, I daydreamed about running into Justin Trudeau and Samantha Bee.  Maybe we’d lounge around on a chesterfield, eating butter tarts and talking politics and feminism …. I know. More clichés and some crushes. Sorry.

It’s curious, isn’t it, to remember a moment of silence in a college classroom nearly forty years later? To recall what took place during that silence, something of the words that were spoken next, and the young man who spoke them. He was an international student studying for a bachelor’s degree here in the Midwest, and he remains a ghostly presence in my mind. When his homeland is in the news, as it has been in many sad, even brutal circumstances over the years, I remember him.

Ken Smith

It was likely the harshest six-word movie review I will ever hear, and it came from the slender, grandfatherly gentleman who walked out of the theater ahead of me. Behind us in the dim cavern the credits were still scrolling up the front wall, but here in the westward-facing lobby the evening sun glared in our faces. His white-haired friend pushed through the doors into the summery air, saying, “That was pretty good,” but I heard a question in her voice. As he followed her out I caught his matter-of-fact, but crushing six-word reply. “She took too long to die.”

When I'm Sixty-four

Jul 21, 2017

I’m turning 64 next week. It’s an age I’ve given more thought to than most, because of the Beatle song, “When I’m Sixty-Four.” You know, “When I get older losing my hair many years from now,” that song that I’ve been hearing since I was 14. That future, that seemed so far away, not that long ago, that’s next week.           

My grandfather was 64 the year I was born.       

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