Archive | Bob W.

RSS feed for this section

Vanishing Villages

Gusts of cool wind from Lake Superior buffet the car as I drive along Wisconsin Highway 2, approaching the Michigan line. Turning inland towards my vacation destination, it seems I am embarking on a journey into my past. Driving through a cluster of small mining towns near the northern border of the U.S. takes me […]

Happy National Arts and Humanities Month!!

October is here…fall weather, football, and pumpkins abound. But one more reason to celebrate the 10th month is National Arts and Humanities Month. During October, we at the Alabama Humanities Foundation will bring you a series of blog posts highlighting some of our favorite humanities topics. These could be art history, literature, film studies…whatever we […]

A Touch of Foolishness

Bert Kaempfert was a little known orchestra leader, a songwriter and arranger during the “big band” era of the 1950’s. His recordings enjoyed only moderate success until he recorded “Red Roses for a Blue Lady,” a song that had been around for two decades without hitting the charts. German born Kaempfert’s rendition of this tune, […]

A pocketful of music

Attired to test the limits of the dress code, the 12 surly teenagers shuffle in. Who would possibly look forward to embracing this marginal collection of anti-social misfits whose behavior has them teetering on the edge of permanent suspension? Leaning against the desk up front, Bruce attracts only passing glances until one by one each […]

In search of Boo Radley

She has the plot and the main players in mind and now she needs a special name for a character unlike any other. She invents a surname and with the aid of her attorney sister, searches local courthouse records to be sure the choice will not offend area residents. Satisfied her selection is unique, she […]

Christmas in February

Our 2009, Christmas Eve’s Eve gathering proceeds as usual. The grandchildren arrive at Gram and GrandBob’s house with their parents in tow. The little ones manage to eat a few bites of wild rice soup as their expectations soar. Excitement builds until the moment finally arrives for opening gifts. Four-year-old Elise is the first to […]

Take time to listen

I stow my carry-on and settle into a window seat just in time to hear the flight attendant announce, “Has anyone on this flight lost a wallet?” The 200 passengers, including myself, discreetly check through our belongings for our cash and credit cards. Momentarily she breaks the silence, “Now that I have your attention, we […]

Music in our bones

Wherever I may be, whatever I’m engaged in, if I hear music start up—I stop. I listen. And I involuntarily identify the tune. This automatic name-that-tune response must have imprinted on my brain during my early years of music training and brief career teaching music. If I go to any restaurant that features live musicians […]

Fall anniversaries

Anniversaries are nice, unless you forget one. Recognizing events of the past helps to gather our culture’s collective memories we choose to keep alive and pass on to our progeny. September was an unusually rich month for commemorations, perhaps because autumn is a season for clearing the fields and preparing to start anew. While we […]