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Columns

  • Oh, the joys of aging!

    Recently, Vicki Howell asked me, “How do you like being retired here in Las Vegas?”  I explained to her that I dislike both the word and the concept. “Retired” sounds like I’m tired, over and over again. I’m not doing anything again. I’ve never been retired.

    Although I’m not working full-time anymore, I am teaching at Luna, writing a column for The Optic, and singing with Contrafact Jazz Band.

  • Adjust your sails to add value to others

    No one has ever attained greatness in a job they hate.

    There, I said it.

    Let me take this a step further. No one has ever been good at parenting who has hated being a parent. So much of what we do in this world is controlled by our core attitudes and beliefs. From our core comes our actions.

    This concept on greatness is quite simple. If you don’t have your heart into what you do, you will not excel at what you are doing.

  • Confessions of a neurotic media consumer

    I’ve been about three months without television and it’s made my life quieter. Couple that with the fact that I hardly ever get on Facebook anymore and I’m a veritable hermit.

    Sorry, friends, but I got tired of social media years ago. I keep a presence out there, and I check to see what’s up with friends from time to time, but I don’t really contribute to the social media conversation out there anymore.

  • What, exactly, is a 'cascaron'?

    How often does it happen that a holy day clashes with a hellish day? It happened only three days ago, when a calendaric (is there even such a word?) date occurs to combine Easter Sunday with April Fool’s Day.

    That’s an opportunity for churchgoers to take part in both events.
    Easter Sunday is one of those holy days that flit all around the calendar; sometimes it falls in March, sometimes in April. My birthday is constant, on April 21, but Easter is not. However, I can recall several times when my birthday fell exactly on Easter.

  • Easter and a man who lived long ago

    By Rick Kraft

    I think from time to time, “What if everybody in our community went to church on the same Sunday?” What would that be like? Every seat in every church could be filled and there could be people who would have to stand outside the sanctuaries or be turned away.

    It's Easter weekend. There will be more people in church today than any other Sunday the entire year. Nationally, church attendance will climb an average of 25% on this one day.

  • It’s about Wonder Woman — and me

    At some point during last Saturday’s March for Our Lives in Columbus, Ohio, I walked behind two young girls wearing star-spangled blue capes.
    The one with the ponytail kept looking around at the crowd of thousands, as if she couldn’t believe her eyes. The other girl marched face-forward, holding up a handmade sign: “I cannot stand by while innocent lives are lost. ­They had most likely seen Gal Gadot utter those very words as Wonder Woman in the 2017 film, and now they saw themselves in her. What a lift on such a somber day!

  • Fresh young voices must be heard

    Every now and then, big national news turns into significant small-town news. You can see it on the pages of many hometown newspapers.

    Since the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., there have been plenty of reports of threats making the news — all over New Mexico. Estancia, Roswell and others have closed schools for a day or more as a result of threats.

  • ‘But I wuz robbed’

    I miss my dad. He died at age 94 — way back last century. He was long-lived and clung on, despite some 25 hospitalizations of at least a week’s duration.

    But before you surmise this column is going to be one of those “I Remember Mama” themes, let me assure you it is not. Throughout most of life (his), I was far from his favorite son (there were five of us children, and Dad’s younger brother moved in with us on the death of their mother).

  • ‘Duck and cover;’ and ‘Run, hide and fight’

    Some readers may remember a film released by the Civil Defense in 1951. When a monkey lobs a lighted dynamite stick his way, Bert the Turtle knows to “Duck and Cover.”

    The rest of the film shows school children hiding under desks and cafeteria tables in case a light brighter than you’ve ever seen before appears.

    If adults aren’t around, we see older boys showing how to duck in a corridor. So where are the older girls?

  • Handling the seasons of your life

    By Rick Kraft

    Today, you are in a season of your life. Previous seasons are in the rearview mirror and new seasons are ahead of you out your front window. The past seasons are fixed in time, future seasons are an unknown.

    I grew up enjoying music by Fleetwood Mac and enjoyed seeing them perform in person a couple of years ago.

    They have a song entitled “Landslide” that asks the important question each of us must ask, “Can I handle the seasons of my life?”