Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Michele Bachman is still an outspoken
opponent of Obamacare.
        Republicans are asking people to sign a petition calling for the defunding of Obamacare. Why would anyone in his or her right mind sign such a petition?
        They wouldn’t if they knew the facts. Over a hundred million Americans have already benefited from the new law. On October 1, just two months from now, millions more Americans who are not now covered by health insurance will be able to buy affordable health care insurance, and they cannot be turned down because of previous health issues.
        Republicans in the House of Representatives keep trying without success to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It's the congressional version of the Chinese water torture. The right-wingers are even threatening to shut down the government over the issue.
        Instead they should be working with the Democrats and the Administration to try to fix

Saturday, July 27, 2013


        Over the past several months I have posted articles about and mentioned Cooperstown. New York, on a number of occasions. To substantiate further my high regard for that picturesque and surprisingly cosmopolitan village on the south shore of beautiful Lake Otsego, I am attaching a link to a series of brief articles written by Jim Caple for
        The link was sent me by my grandson Ryan Kanarek, who shares my love for baseball and for Cooperstown. The articles cover many aspects of life in the village of Cooperstown and are worth reading by anyone who has ever visited the town or has contemplated visiting there some day.
        For a fascinating look at life in what I have argued is the most interesting town of its size in America, click here, and don't stop reading after the first article. Keep scrolling down the page for lots more really interesting reading.      

Friday, July 26, 2013


        I am delighted to welcome my friend and Princeton Windrows neighbor Professor Hugo Walter as the newest member of our MINDING WHAT MATTERS team. Dr. Walter has taught at Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rhodes College, and Yale. He has published three important monographs and several volumes of poetry. Since 1999 he has been serving on the Faculty of Berkeley College as a professor of English and Humanities. For more information of his impressive background click here.
        As a Special Contributor to MINDING WHAT MATTERS Dr. Walter's first offering is his very latest poem, which will touch your heart, especially if you have ever bathed in the beauty and breathed in the history of Stony Brook Bridge. As a long-time resident of Princeton, I have crossed the bridge countless times, but I'll have a new appreciation for it, after reading the way Hugo has captured the spirit of that beautiful setting.
        We are honored to present to our readers for the first time in print . . .

by Hugo Walter, Special Contributor

Glistening in russet-saffron dawns
Of emerald-gray stones
Hovers over me gently
In a fine mist of jade-lavender whispers
Wondering if his stones are as old
As the stones of Monte Cassino, Chorin Cloister,
Westminster Abbey, Notre Dame, the Alhambra,
Or the bridge over the Delaware;
The Spirit of Stony Brook bridge
Flowing in amber-lambent reflections
And twilight arpeggios of crescent-ochre spells
Flowing in perpetual silences of ancient evenings
Flowing in autumnal tremors of odyssey-divine tears
And purple-ancestral waves of cherry-trancing blossoms,
Wondering if his stones are as old
As the sun, wondering if his stream is
As old as time.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


        In response to my claim that Cooperstown, New York, has more to see and do than any other town its size in America (see my post MY FAVORITE SMALL TOWN), a friend said to me, “What about Williamsburg, Virginia?”
Colonial Williamsburg
        I love Williamsburg! My wife Margie was born in Williamsburg. We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary with our entire family in Williamsburg. We’ve always enjoyed our visits there, and there is certainly much to see and do in Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg has always been one of our
favorites places to visit at any time of the year.
        There is also the well-known and very exciting amusement park Busch Gardens, which is lots of fun for people of all ages. Margie loves strolling the beautiful campus of William and Mary, where her father spent two years as a
Princeton's Historic Nassau Hall
professor of political science, before joining the faculty of Bucknell University. and finally Princeton University. He spent most of his teaching career at Princeton, New Jersey,which is another town with much to see and do.
        On one of our visits to Williamsburg during the turbulent early 1970's we were amused to see the college coeds wearing T-shirts labeled “Mary and William”! Well, why not?
        There is lots of history in and around Williamsburg, as there is in Princeton and Cooperstown, so none of the three towns has an edge over the others in that respect. Williamsburg and Princeton are both college towns, and that’s a big plus over Cooperstown, although there are two colleges in nearby Oneonta, New York.
Cooperstown, New York
        My original assertion about Cooperstown, however, does not need to be withdrawn or modified, because both Williamsburg, with a population of more than 15,000, and Princeton approaching 30,000, are much larger communities. All three towns are beautiful, but with respect to natural scenery Cooperstown has the decided edge, nestled in the foothills of the Adirondacks on the shore of Lake Otsego.
        Now, there could well be another town of 2,000 or less that someone would like to nominate as the best small town in America. But until some advocate steps up and makes the case, I shall continue to lift up Cooperstown as my pick for the top town of its size in the USA. Everybody I've spoken to so far, who has been there, agrees with me.
        What about you?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


        I’m talking about ball players not con artists.
        If I were managing a baseball team, any player who didn’t hustle to first base on a fair ball, no matter where it went, but especially on a ground ball to an infielder, would be gone in a hurry!
        It bugs me the way so many Major  League players don’t hustle down to first base on a grounder,  when first base in unoccupied. Oh, they’ll try hard enough to prevent a double play most of the time. But when they assume the fielder is going to make the play, they slow down noticeably.
       Really fast left-handed batters can make it from home to first in less than four seconds. They are a couple of steps closer to first than right-handed batters, a decided advantage, especially when bunting for a base hit. On a routine ground ball the infielder has to field the ball cleanly and make an accurate throw to first to get the batter out. Most of the time they do that in the Majors.
        But not always.  Think of all the things that can go wrong on any given ground ball. The ball can

Monday, July 15, 2013


        Here we are ---the 2013 Windrows Wonders:

        Our group is composed of residents and staff members of Princeton Windrows, a community for  independent seniors just outside of Princeton, New Jersey.
        A few of our team did not arrive in time for our photo and some didn't arrive at all, because they over slept.
        But those who did show up had a great time, and so far we have raised $6,370 for the Eden Autism Services Foundation. I say "so far" because we're still hoping some other caring folks will want to add to our total contribution to the fight against autism.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


        My wife Margie and I live in Princeton Windrows, a community for independent seniors located on the outskirts of Princeton, New Jersey. For the past several years some of our residents and members of our staff have participated in the annual one-mile Eden Fun Run for the benefit of Eden Autism Services.
        Last year 114 of our residents and 31 members of our staff took part in the event either as actual participants in the Fun Run or as donor-sponsors. With some of our residents in their eighties and nineties, we call ourselves the Windrows Wonders, and at the start of the "race," as we are announced over the P.A. system, we are always loudly cheered and applauded by the onlookers.
        Last year we raised a total of $7,317 toward Eden's wonderful work with autistic children and adults and their families. A few of our staff members and one of two of our residents have competed in the 5-K race immediately following the Fun Run.
        Every year we have our "team" picture taken before the race. Not all of the 51 persons who did the Fun Run last year got there in time to pose with our group, but here's a picture of those who did:

(I'm kneeling in the front row, second from left, and wearing a Baltimore Orioles cap.)
        The annual event will take place again this Sunday, July 14. The starting gun for the Fun Run goes off at 8:30 a.m. The 5-k starts at 9:00 a.m. The starting line for both races is on Main Street in Forrestal Village, just north of Princeton. If you live in the area and would like to participate in either the one-mile Fun Run or the 5-K race, you can sign up on line (click here). There is also a registration table, where you can sign in on the day of the race. Hold on to your ticket stub, as there is a drawing for some wonderful prizes following the race. If you don't win the race, you may a prize! All runners receive a nice T-shirt and a "goodie bag" of surprises.
        If you can't do the run but would like to support the cause, you can make an on-line donation at the same site. In filling out the registration/donation form, please indicate that you are part of the    
Windrows Wonders team. You gift will be gratefully acknowledged and is, of course, tax deductible.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


        In preparing this Fourth of July article I did some on-line research on the history of our use of the words “In God we trust” on our money and stamps. The original motto of the United States was secular: "E Pluribus Unum,” which literally translated is “out of many one," pointing to the fact that we are one country formed from many states.
        In 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote what eventually became our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. The final stanza reads:
               "And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'                                  
                And the Star Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
                o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave."
        In 1864 by an act of Congress the words "In God We Trust" were applied to a newly designed two-cent coin. The motto has been in continuous use on the one-cent coin since 1909, and on the ten-cent coin since 1916. It also has appeared on all gold coins and silver dollar coins, half-dollar coins, and quarter-dollar coins struck since 1908.
        President Theodore Roosevelt disapproved of using the motto on coins or stamps.  He thought that cheapened the motto.  In 1956 at the height of the cold war, and in declaring its opposition to

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


       If you haven't, it's worth watching. If you have, it's worth watching again. Click here to see Bob Hope (52) and James Cagney (56) tap dancing at the famous Friars Club in New York City in 1955. It's great fun ---and for me nostalgic--- to watch these two old pros doing their routines. Turn up the volume, enlarge your screen, and enjoy the show!