Point of View

One bright light has gone out: A tribute to PBS Newshour’s Mark Shields

Mark was more than a brilliant political commentator, he was a good friend. I think back fondly to our meetings over lunch in Washington, DC where we’d talk policy, debate, and enjoy swapping stories over our mutual love of American politics. Mark was one of those rare political whizzes who could disagree with you without being disagreeable. He was always ready to hear a counterpoint but was more than ready to counter you right back. READ MORE

Point of View

The Soapbox: My life growing up in Manchester

“This isn’t the same town I grew up in!” I hear that said over and over again, and this is from people a lot younger than I. Well, I’ll tell you how it was before you all were around. I was born in 1950. We lived on Grove Street. That was the Greek section of town, Auburn Street, Cedar Street, Spruce Street, etc. My mom told me how no one locked their doors around there, how the kids went from house to house, how it was one big family. READ MORE

Point of View

The Soapbox: Pro what?

At the turn of the millennium, I was working with local teens at risk through a two-year grant administered by Franconia Notch University.* These were tough kids – butane huffers, illiterates, tempest-tossed, just plain tossed out like so much refuse. Our primary work was to mend a thousand traumas as best we could and to point these kids in the right direction before they were forever lost. READ MORE

Point of View

Alison…your aim is true

Alison has been my muse for over 30 years now, though she doesn’t know it. Her happy crayons created !Good nite by Alison! in a millyard child care center after-school program circa 1990. I think I was the teacher, but now I’m not so sure. She was about 6 at the time of her masterpiece.  READ MORE

Point of View

It goes like this: We start with a backyard and some mulberries…

My daughter reads while she swings, a book called “Town is by the Sea.” In the book, the young protagonist speaks to the reader about his home and his town. “It goes like this…” he says, a miner’s son, going to the store for milk, playing on the slide. In the background of his life, the sea is always shimmering, as the sea does. As the summer does. As life in the backyard does. READ MORE

Not That Profound

How to talk to your daughter about the SCOTUS overturning Roe v. Wade like a middle-aged man with high-cholesterol

She loves sushi. You hate sushi. But right now—in the face of this grave discussion—you’re willing to make concessions. Besides, she’s your daughter and since the SCOTUS stripped her—and millions of other American women—of the basic human right to privacy over their own bodies, nothing has been palatable anyway. READ MORE

Granite State of Mind

Help! Seeking clarity before pool season ends

Every morning I open the doors in the barn that leads out to the pool and kiss my Saint Christopher medallion around my neck and pray for clear water.  And every morning I curse back at Chris, holding him in contempt for the oath he broke, leaving me, yet again, with a cloudy blue pool.  Don’t make me move over to Saint Anthony, Christoper.  He’s been after me for years.   READ MORE