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A couple days ago I learned of the untimely passing of one of my best childhood friends, Arthur Russell “Rusty” “Russ” Wilbur. I thought I’d share a few stories of our time together, which was during some of the best years of my life. I first met Russ when I was maybe 7 years…(Read More)

Ever since my kids were very young, I’ve been dreading one day becoming an empty nester. I just figured it would happen years from now. Oh, the kids are still home. We still have several years before they officially fly the coop. The nest I’m talking about is an actual nest, a robin…(Read More)

“I thought you were brushing your teeth?” The Animal called out from his bedroom, as I reached the top step. My wife and daughter weren’t home yet, but it was late and my son was already in bed and waiting for me to tuck him in. I answered him from across the way in…(Read More)

Back when I was a kid, I was captivated by the 1985 movie “The Goonies,” which follows a group of kids on a perilous but thrilling adventure in search of hidden treasure. If only something like that could happen to me in my hometown! Alas, the only treasure-hunting adventures took place in my imagination…(Read More)

So my dad calls me on Thursday evening. “I’m going to get some Oram’s cinnamon rolls tomorrow morning,” he says. “You want me to get you some?” Every once in a while my dad drives to Beaver Falls early in the morning to pick up a box of Oram’s legendary pastries, which…(Read More)

It was Saturday afternoon and the second day of the annual Pennsylvania Bigfoot Camping Adventure at Benner’s Meadow Run Camping and Cabins in Farmington, Pa. For a full day, my daughter and I had been camping out and enjoying the various speakers and vendors, all centered around the legendary hairy man of the woods…(Read More)

Five years ago today, I walked away from the highest paying job I’ve ever had. And a company-match retirement plan. And a comprehensive health care plan. And a guaranteed monthly paycheck.  No, I didn’t have a massive head injury. I just wanted to take a shot at freelance writing. In the…(Read More)

“After nine miserable years, we finally get a new couch!” We were enjoying a late lunch at Athens Family Restaurant in Beaver Falls when The Animal made this pronouncement. I mean, my wife and I knew our old couch had seen better days, but it was news to us both that our son had been…(Read More)

I don’t like dancing. Don’t get me wrong, I got rhythm. When a song comes on with a good beat, I can tap my foot just as good as the next guy. Just don’t ask me to dance.  Unless, that is, you’re my daughter. I don’t know when it all…(Read More)

When your kids are still pretty young, it’s easy to convince them of crazy things. Things like fairies exist. Or that an enormous bunny sneaks into their house overnight and leaves them plastic eggs filled with candy. Or that an overly jolly and slightly rotund old man with a long white beard can somehow…(Read More)