These disgusting e-cigarettes remind me of the “candy cigarettes” we kids bought at Hackert’s Grocery Store some years before we turned on to the real thing – tobacco cigarettes. I sometimes wonder if those candy cigarettes were a “gateway” device that led me later to the real ones. The candy smokes looked like thin chalk sticks with red tips that
Life’s milestones are measured in different ways. Births, deaths, weddings, divorces, funerals are markers on life’s timeline. For the more numerically inclined, there are birthdays. The numbers that increase with each trip around the sun clearly stamp crucial passages. A first birthday is always a big deal for a new family member. At 13, the teenage years begin. Sixteen-year-olds look
Come January, the National Restoration just might begin – a restoration of voting integrity, of the rule of law, of checks and balances, of strengthened treaties with our long-time allies, of rededication to environmental health, of renewed respect for science and facts. Time to make America decent again, sane again, democratic again. But will that restoration actually begin? Yes, but
I live a privileged life. I don’t worry when I’m walking down the street about that guy I see if he’s following me. When I’m with a group of my friends, I don’t worry about people mistaking us for a gang. In my younger days, I could have a first-floor apartment. Even better, when I get stopped for having a
In these divided political times, it takes an event of great significance to be able to bring the country together. There is infighting over even the smallest of political issues, as politicians and parties fight for advantage. Often, it seems like the two political halves of the country couldn’t even agree on what kind of pizza to order. A recent
My wife spends many hours communing with the dead. She’s found friends who lived in Civil War-era St. Cloud, then a city of about 2,100, while doing research for St. Cloud State University Archives and Stearns History Museum. These folks have come to life, not by time travel or supernatural powers, but through the pages of the city’s early newspapers.
Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, the Christmas holiday season is in full swing. However, something I see every year is that Thanksgiving, the traditional American holiday of being grateful and enjoying time with family and friends, is increasingly being absorbed into the Christmas season. Whether you are in favor of this trend or not, I believe it is
After a 150 years, you’d think we would have lost our fascination with firsts. In its Jan. 28, 1869 edition, the St. Cloud Journal reported Carl Christian Schurz was the first German elected to the United States Senate. The good people of Missouri elected Schurz, described as a German revolutionary and American statesman and journalist. After emigrating from Germany, he