Pharos-Tribune

Columns

November 12, 2013

VILLAGE IDIOT: The Big Apple versus the crab apple

When my old friend Rob calls us from New York City, he always asks, “But what do you do out there?” As if everyone who doesn’t live in Manhattan lives on a farm in the middle of flyover country where you have to pump your water by hand and use an outhouse. Living in a small town would be his worst nightmare, because what he really means by “What do you do out there?” is “Where do you shop?”

“Doing something,” to me, means mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, stacking the wood, tending the garden, fixing the house, cleaning the gutters, getting the storm windows ready, jawing with the neighbors about how strange the weather has been. To Rob it means buying things.

While Rob has tens of thousands more neighbors than I do, he doesn’t know any of them and you wouldn’t need your toes to count his friends. He lives in a tiny, wildly expensive apartment in an elevator building with a doorman. His cleaning person comes in every Tuesday. His only household chore is writing a check for the rent once a month. When he’s not working, he’s shopping. His closets are full of expensive suits and ties from fancy haberdashers. He would be appalled by the 10-year-old dark suit from J.C. Penney that I wear to weddings and funerals. Everything else I own comes from what Sue calls “The Gutter Cleaning Collection.”

“What is there to do?” I answer him. “Plenty. We go into town and watch them put the mail in the boxes. ‘Course we’d have to get there before 10. What time do you get up nowadays? Around noon? They’re having a sale on sump pumps down at the Feed and Seed, and we don’t want to miss that. Doug’s having his septic system pumped on Saturday. That’ll be something to see. Then we all stand around and wait for the latest news from New York on the noon stage.” I could almost hear him roll his eyes.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • KITCHELL: Quality of life and leaders both matter It was with some astonishment and much disappointment I read in the Aug. 5 edition of the Pharos-Tribune that one of our local city councilmen was quoted as saying that previous efforts in Logansport to use Tax Increment Financing money for quality o

    August 20, 2014

  • RAMPELL: Here comes Entrepreneur Barbie WASHINGTON — Lego’s groundbreaking female-scientists set sold out almost immediately after it was released this month. But never fear, fans of feminist toys: A new Barbie doll, now in stock, is also shattering the plastic ceiling.Yes, that swan-necke

    August 20, 2014

  • MARCUS: Hoosier workers not gaining on the nation A few readers of the South Bend newspaper have sent emails complaining that either they do not understand my columns or that I waste their time by not sticking to the facts. That I include some of my conclusions from the data seems to be an irritant.

    August 19, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Stock market guru will work for food At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion dollars. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has becom

    August 19, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Craft brewers and vintners return to fair Brad Hawkins felt right at home hawking his beer at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last week. When Hawkins opened his Salt Creek Brewery in a converted filling station in tiny Needmore three years ago, some tee-totaling neighbors protested he was putt

    August 18, 2014

  • LYONS: Climate change deniers resort to attacks Recently a friend posted a video on Facebook that he asserted would demolish the Godless theory of evolution. On it, a fellow sitting in a pickup and wearing a backward baseball cap smugly explained that Darwinian evolution contradicts the Second Law

    August 18, 2014

  • KNISELY: Heading back to school It never ceases to amaze me the wildly different views my nieces have of getting ready to go back to school and actually going back to school every year. As school time approaches, they are ecstatic about all the stuff they get to do. One of those th

    August 17, 2014

  • Stu Engle P-T columnist sig ENGLE: Motivation that stays year round Every year I hear from students, “I will do better in school when I get paid for it.”My response, “What you are learning today will determine your future pay.”The mind-set for some teens exists in short-term benefits. They live in the here-and-now. A

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • STANCZYKIEWICZ: Mental health and suicide Terre Haute native Tommy John understands all too well how the pain of depression can lead a talented entertainer like Robin Williams to commit suicide.Like Williams, John achieved national fame, posting 288 victories as a Major League Baseball pitch

    August 17, 2014

  • CEPEDA: The matter with class culture ”In every walk of life, there are senseless rules, payoffs and shakedowns, quirks, unjust rituals,” explains Jerene Johnston, the matriarch of the privileged Southern family so deliciously skewered in Wilton Barnhardt’s irresistible novel “Lookaway,

    August 17, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.