Commentary

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

Heather Curlee-Novak

With all the monstrous highs and lows for Americans these days, here is a crazy truth about our world: There is snow on the ground and people are camping in it for fun.  You know, canvas tent-sleeping bag-peeing outside-heating up coffee on a firepit, camping.  A local Boy Scout troop was snow camping just last weekend and my husband has shared a few stories about snow camping, but I do not see the appeal. 

Jeanette Saddler-Taylor

“Awww. Did you see that? Look!” Kathleen said to her daughter who was driving and trying very hard NOT to look at what Kathleen was showing her. That something was a critter alongside the road. That critter was not being cute or taking a nap; that critter had tangled with a vehicle and now was displaying its innards.

My Clueless Youth

Dec 1, 2017

We all “played guns” when I was young. Not a thought was given by any adult that any one of us might be wielding a real gun. We popped away at each other—and the more realistic-sounding the better, sometimes two rolls of caps threaded in the trigger together—and bang-you’re-dead, no YOU’RE-dead-I-got-you-first, tearing down the sidewalk on bikes and karts, going in and out of everybody’s back yard, and no one gave even a thought to the notion that a cop might blow our 7, 8, 9, 10-year-old selves away by accident or misprision.

Ninety-nine days out of a hundred I’m too busy to notice, but if I tune out the modern static and take a long walk through town, I catch glimpses of our history and I hear voices. I start thinking that our past is just barely past.

April Lidinsky

Prepare yourselves, friends: the season of gastronomic gloating has begun. I plead guilty, myself, to occasionallyscraping aside the rubble on my kitchen counter to frame and post a filtered image of a felicitously turned out peach pie, with a humblebrag tag line like: “Fun to put the ol’ rolling pin to work.” Soon, our social media feeds will flood with photos of brining and bronzing birds and glamour shots of caramelized yams. 

 

Baseball

Nov 10, 2017

I didn’t have a team to root for, or against, but the World Series held my interest pretty well last month; often I was just hoping the team that was behind would tie things up so the games wouldn’t end.

Baseball is the topic when my friend Tim and I tour diners for breakfast a few times a year.           

Sometimes, Tim will ask me to reflect on baseball when I call him to make our arrangements.           

“Sid,” he’ll say, “I want you to think about why players don’t seem to bunt, anymore.”           

Wonder Woman in America

Nov 3, 2017

The recent sexual harassment scandals involving movie moguls and other powerful media men has led to thoughtful commentary on the sexualizing of women. We hear how some of the male perpetrators regularly discussed the sexual appeal of female performers. Call it the “locker room talk” of the news and entertainment business. Outside the locker room of executive offices, this evaluation encourages women to strive for attention from men.

Knives and Mugs

Oct 27, 2017
Andrew Kreider

I’ve been thinking a lot about cooking lately.

Fully Dressed

Oct 20, 2017
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.

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