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December 19, 2014
  • Pat Maloney: A good man who gave me a chance
    There’s no other way to describe it, so I’ll just lay it out there: Without Pat Maloney’s faith in me, I don’t know where I’d be or how my life would have turned out.  
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  • When will ISIS start terrorizing our homeland?
     Not too many moons ago I wrote a column about the world today and how dysfunctional it has become. Wanton violence has unfortunately become the “norm” from Hong Kong to St. Louis, and it continues to expand exponentially throughout the land. 
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  • Be extremely careful when choosing people to admire
    I’ll never forget the first time I saw him. And I mean never. That’s how good he was. That distinct. That creative. 
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  • From Julius ‘Dr. J’ Fromm, to Gus, Abe and now Luke

    It was just a few short winters ago some “experts” were predicting pheasant hunting in Iowa would become non-existent.

    Brutal, prolonged winters, and cold, wet springs, along with a significant reduction in CRP (conservation reserve program) land due to a tremendous increase in corn production, had taken their toll on the pheasant population and the outlook for the future was not promising.

     
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  • Only a matter of time before I turn into a reef
        Forty years ago, we’d sit around enjoying a “sociable” or two and ponder the future – in particular what life would be like when we turned 65. You know, retirement age. 
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  • Local artists worth support
    I’ve never considered myself an “artsy” person. Oh sure, I can pen a clever phrase now and then, but I don’ create beautiful or interesting things out of seemingly nothing. 
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  • Time for Goodell and Rice to go
     Here’s my solution to the appalling Ray Rice issue: He should be suspended for life for his actions, and Roger Goodell should resign as commissioner of the National Football League. 
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  • Is this heaven? No. Better than that, it’s Iowa

    First of all, let me state in no uncertain terms: I will go to my grave convinced Iowa is the best state in which to live your life. 

    Single, married or whatever, the serenity and sincerity of Iowa – its core values, if you will -- make it a wonderful place to pursue your dreams and ambitions. Granted, it’s not perfect … what place is … but the quality of life found throughout Iowa is about as good as it gets.

     
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  • Genius is way overused, but he fit the description
     If I were one one-millionth as talented a writer as Robin Williams was a comedian, this column would be the best thing ever published in Decorah Newspapers’ history and I’d be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for journalism. 
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  • I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of missile attacks
    Terrorism continues to be a horrific reality in the 21st century and it doesn’t show any sign of abating. In fact, if anything, it’s getting worse. 
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  • After 30 years, I’ve run out of Fest ‘angles’ - so enjoy
       The task is easy to understand, but accomplishing it is another thing all together. But since I get paid to give it a go, I’ll try once again. However, if you sense what’s coming and you just can’t stomach another of these columns, turn the page now … quickly … and get on with your life. I won’t blame you a bit. 
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  • How much more can we handle? Moonlight and soccer
    The concept of building a community center and a new elementary school facility sounds wonderful, unless you’re fighting hard to just make ends meet and feed your family. 
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  • I understand its popularity, but not its appeal
    Soccer is an acquired taste. Kind of like coffee, or lima beans or tequila, or – perhaps I should stop right there. I don’t want any self-righteous, lifestyle police picketing outside my office or threatening to poison my pooch for condoning something (like alcohol) that shouldn’t be condoned. But I digress. 
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  • The great ones could take on, and beat, all comers
       I love thoroughbred racing. With a passion. Always have. Always will. It’s one of the greatest – and perhaps most overlooked – traditions we have in America, and anyone who says otherwise is itchin’ for a fight. 
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  • What are you and your tootsie-wootsie planning?

    Aw yes, the good old summertime. I’m not quite sure what a toosie-wootsie is -- and I definitely don’t want to be one – but I do know that we all deserve a long and comfortable summer to help erase the memory of the winter from hell. Can you say sub-zero?

    The signs of the season are abundant. The young corn is big enough to be “rowed,” the grass requires mowing about every four days and the always-enjoyable burdocks are flourishing. Yes, indeed, it’s summertime in Iowa, and everyone is enjoying this season in the sun. That’s as it should be.

     
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