Fake News and Facebook Friends

We have all heard that it is unwise to talk about religion and politics. However, when you think about their far-reaching effect, it is unwise not to talk about religion and politics. We just need to learn how to do it without hating people or concluding they are crazy. Continue reading

Disagreeing Without Being Disagreeable

Recently, I was face-to-face with someone I thought highly of and we were in the midst of a serious disagreement about political issues. It has happened several times with several people. While I enjoy a good open discussion, I don’t enjoy these encounters. In these situations, I am usually shocked… Continue reading

It All Comes Down to Relationships

On March 3, 1991, in the wee hours of the morning three friends who had spent the night watching basketball and drinking were speeding on Interstate 210 in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. A California Highway Patrol unit gave chase, but the driver refused to pull over. The… Continue reading

Ditch Digging and Dining Room Tables

Something beautiful happens in ditches and dining rooms. More specifically, it happens when we dig a ditch with another laborer and share our table with another diner. Chip Gains introduced me to that concept. Chip and his wife Joanna are the stars of the hit HGTV show, Fixer Upper. Chip… Continue reading

The Coffee Pot’s Secret Recipe

My favorite breakfast place in the world is The Coffee Pot. What’s not to love? The food is fabulous, the menu interesting, the location full of character and charm, and the service is dependably friendly and efficient. So, I decided to meet with owners, Julie Zorn and Janis Barnhil to… Continue reading

Relearning the Value of Physical Work

I was tired. Really tired! I might even have experienced heat exhaustion. Anyway, it was hot, ninety-five degrees to be exact, and I was exhausted. Moving dirt, laying sod and pushing a lawn roller filled with water is hard work even when it is not scorching. But I feel fulfilled… Continue reading

Help for a Polarized Nation

This was my column in the Kenosha News in February, but is still very relevant. We have a very energetic president who currently lives alone, doesn’t require much sleep, works weekends, and tweets before most people are awake. So, there is no telling what may have happened in the intervening… Continue reading

Are You S.A.D.?

I have become a bona-fide winter hater. I didn’t used to mind it much, but after weathering sixty-three of them, I have had it with winter. Short days, slippery roads, and snow blowing the driveway give me no joy. My body aches more. I eat more. I sleep more. I… Continue reading

The View from the Mayor’s Office

The view from the mayor’s office on the third floor of the municipal building is impressive. Harbor Park is on full display on one side and downtown on the other. It is just high enough to be grand, but not so high that you can’t see a lot of detail… Continue reading

Loving Life

Dan Stika lives a full life doing the things he loves and giving back to the community. He has lived in Kenosha for all of his seventy-six years. After he retired, Dan decided to obtain his undergrad degree. He enjoyed the experience so much that he went on to get… Continue reading

Myths about Downtown Kenosha

Unfortunately, I believed some myths about downtown Kenosha. Maybe, you have, too. Downtown is not dead. It is a vibrant, entrepreneurial business community. If you haven’t been there for awhile, then revisit your downtown. Catch lunch at Loula’s or the Buzz Café. Plan a night out enjoy dinner at Wine… Continue reading

Life and Death

Here is my column in the Kenosha News published October 16th. I am writing from my hometown, St. Joseph, Missouri. Yesterday, I was honored to have a small role in the memorial service for my favorite uncle. The day before, my mom and I began hospice care for my ninety-year-old… Continue reading

The Supper Club Mystique

Wisconsin has something special to offer to the rest of the world, besides the Packers and cheese. It is the supper club capital of the world. While these dimly-lit destinations from decades gone by are an upper Midwest phenomenon, Wisconsin hosts by far the largest concentration. The Badger State is… Continue reading

Florida or Wisconsin?

  Just a few weeks ago, my wife and I were living in the paradise that is the gulf coast of southern Florida. We spent ten days living on the beach of a little known barrier island that is one of the last remaining pieces of “Old Florida.” “Old Florida”… Continue reading

Don’t Let Anyone Should on You (Column Version)

My column in the Kenosha News, last Monday: Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.— Howard Thurman What makes you feel alive? You may be able to answer quickly, or… Continue reading

Grandpas

Sam My Grandpa made everything better. He was my favorite person in the whole world. Somehow, he merged a stern German demeanor with a tender, yet manly love. As I look back, I think I was special to him, like he was to me. Six-foot-tall. Back straight as a broomstick.… Continue reading

Kenosha Dreams

I love Kenosha. Sometimes I play a little mental game, dreaming about what I would do if I were King of Kenosha. I chose king as my imaginary title, instead of a more realistic one, like mayor, city administrator, community development director, or councilman. That way I don’t have to… Continue reading

The Age of Goodbyes

Here is a copy of my column from Monday’s Kenosha News. I never thought about Leonard Nimoy dying, even after he was recently admitted to the hospital suffering from COPD at eighty-three years of age. He was Mr. Spock for Pete sake! As Mr. Spock, he just got cooler as… Continue reading

The Death of Truth

Truth is dead. Apparently, we don’t need it anymore. Instead, we contort what little we know about an incident to support our preconceived viewpoint. Our minds are made up before we even become fully aware of the facts. We speak up with great indignation, believing we are calling attention to… Continue reading

Was Jesus Religious?

Here is my most recent column in The Kenosha News. Don’t talk about religion or politics. People tend to have strong opinions about these matters, and they really don’t want to re-examine what they believe. Their minds are made up. Today, I am ignoring that sage advice to write about… Continue reading

Make Your Own Cheese

Here is my column from Monday’s Kenosha News. Being Wisconsin, I could have entitled this column “Make Your Own Beer,” but there is a fair chance you are already doing that. Or, I might have used the title “Make Your Own Sausage,” but nobody really wants to see sausage being made. So,… Continue reading

Am I Illinoising You?

A reprint of my column in the Kenosha (Wisconsin) News: I have a confession. Brace yourself. I live in Illinois. There, I said it. Please, don’t stop reading. Even though I’m from “south of the border,” it’s only by a block and a half. And that’s how I explain to… Continue reading