Columns

Confrontation with the truth

I am almost certainly the first person in Lapeer County history to spend time in jail as a result of Kratom use. What is Kratom? Why did I spend 24 hours in the custody of the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Department because of it? Both questions are difficult to tackle,...

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Heart sings, soul soars in Charlevoix

Right about now, I’m sitting on the pristine sandy beach at Fisherman’s Island State Park, feeling the strong summer breeze coming off of Lake Michigan, smiling like a maniac—chin turned up toward the sky. This is just about as good as it gets. Where my heart sings...

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More than one way home

Most every July of my childhood, Dad drove our family to Kentucky for vacation. The summer he couldn’t leave his barbershop, Dad dropped Mom, my sisters, and me off at the Detroit bus station. In Ohio, we boarded a train to Williamson, West Virginia. That meant a...

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Relegated to the acceptance of fear

I was the anomaly in a van packed full of orange sardines. The one sardine in regular clothes rather than county-jail-issued uniform. The process of putting one of those uniforms on is humiliating. It involves stripping naked, squatting, coughing, and following the...

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Newsworthiness, behind the scenes

Just six more issues to go, and the pendulum keeps swinging. For every—how shall I say—unsavory person I’ve met (such as described last week) there have been 10 amazing individuals to balance the scale. One of them is Doug Hunter. We have a little joke in our office...

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Pink cloud dissipating

I need help. The pink cloud I was swept up in has since dissipated. For the uninitiated, I’ll explain what a pink cloud is. It’s what happens when many individuals first get sober. Abandoning substance abuse and engaging in the real world can bring forth a surge of...

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Tragedy, or comedy that writes itself?

Well, the pendulum swings to and fro, and some things just keep cropping up like weeds. One in particular in the patch definitely merits mentioning on my trip down memory lane. In fact, he was in the headlines again just recently. Surprise, surprise! A federal judge...

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Letters to grads and their parents

Dear Reader, my parents were born in Appalachia in 1922. Dad completed eighth grade. He fought in Guam with the Marine Corps. Mom graduated from high school and riveted airplanes in Akron, Ohio. They married in March 1945. Thanks to the G.I. Bill, Dad earned his...

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Question is ‘now what?’

You have a problem. You can't deny it anymore. You can't hide it anymore. Your life is completely unmanageable. Now what? You've boosted electronics from big box retailers. You've stolen from your loved ones. Hell, you've sold your own body. Now what? Now you get...

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After graduation, then and now…

This weekend's commencement ceremonies planned at the four school districts in our coverage area has me tripping down memory lane. I know that these grads—members of the Class of 2019—aren't thinking about reminiscing over the experience as the years fly by ('cause to...

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