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The Raymond Primer

November 26, 2009
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The Raymond Primer

Raymond, among the many middle-class families in our extended neighborhood, was very poor indeed. One look at the disheveled exterior of his house, crying out for the touch of a paint brush and a weed whacker, and you could see that not only was there little cash flow but an assumed degree of neglect....
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Bonfire of the Families

November 16, 2009
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Bonfire of the Families

When I was growing up in the ’50’s and ’60’s, environmental concerns weren’t on the average person’s radar and, in fact, Rachel Carlson’s ground breaking 1962 book, Silent Spring, was the only serious look at pollution and was primarily concerned with the use of poisonous chemicals, dispersed in the ground water supply. So, when...
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Good Will Hunting

May 10, 2009
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Good Will Hunting

At various times throughout my youth I had BB Guns, pellet guns, a machete, archery gear, an array of deadly fireworks that would rival a military ammo dump, and even a .22 caliber rifle, but for all of that I just didn’t have the heart of a hunter. Tin cans I could brutally mow...
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Friendship 101

August 15, 2008
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Friendship 101

We’ve all got our various acquaintances based upon common interests and work relations and we’ve got friends we see on a more casual basis (often because of distance and time) and those that we see much more often and are a part of serious bonding and history. Friendships are a part of life that...
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In Passing

August 6, 2008
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In Passing

There is no primer for how to deal with the passing of a loved one. There’s no simple formula, no self-help book, no real advice that can ever make it go down easier. There is only one tried and true procedure and although you’ve probably heard of it, here it is again in print:...
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Vacuum Packed

August 3, 2008
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Vacuum Packed

Having no siblings meant a certain freedom, one closely associated with solitary confinement but a freedom nonetheless. The freedom of being alone allowed me to dream, design and create without the distractions of a larger family. It didn’t help me socially at all because I was never challenged in the way that siblings challenge...
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Time Travel

July 23, 2008
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Time Travel

A year and a half ago my mother was notified that she had an aortic aneurysm, a discovery made by a radiologist while looking for something else. These aneurysms are like a ‘run’ in women’s hosiery; not a big problem in their small form but when they finally give way, the hosiery is useless...
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Ode to Joy

July 16, 2008
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Ode to Joy

Godparents are assigned to you, based upon their relationship with your parents, as sort of a backup team that can come in off the bench if any of the starters are injured or taking a leave of absence. In general, the system makes sense. Parenting is a full-time, hands-on job that can be interrupted...
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