#140 – Dick Bernard: 500 years

Happy New Year, and new Decade! 2009 ends today. Much of this past year my personal endeavors have been around family history projects. Since late summer, I’ve been tackling an immense task: trying to summarize 400 years of the recorded history of my average and ordinary French-Canadian families experience in North America. (My father was […]

#139 – Dick Bernard: Part II Real Time Health Care in the U.S. from another perspective

Part I, yesterday’s post, turned out to be a very positive experience. The exam revealed nothing worthy of note – the next appointment in five years. Everything was very efficient and the five medical staff who worked with me were very friendly, from the person who checked me in, to the doctor who did the […]

#138 – Dick Bernard: Real Time Health Care in the U.S. for a Member of the Privileged Class

Overnight I’ve been involved in the never-pleasant preparations for a Colonoscopy. I’m a veteran of the procedure – family history, precautionary. If past is prelude, the preparation for the Big Event later today has been worse than the Event itself will be. And afterwards I can eat again! I’m a Medicare veteran, and the Colonoscopy […]

#137 – Dick Bernard: "Climate" vs "Weather": A matter of huge consequence.

From time to time I’ll add updates to the end of this post. For other blog entries on Climate, see “Climate Change” under Categories. For current information, see International Panel on Climate Change. Early yesterday morning came a brief e-mail from someone who reads these posts: “…if the world doesn’t limit global warming to 1.5 […]

#136 – Dick Bernard: The Bad Plus

UPDATE: The venue at which the Bad Plus is playing New Years Eve is the Village Vanguard in New York City. The National Public Radio program which will broadcast part of its performance, plus many others, including at the Dakota in Minneapolis, is apparently Toast of the Nation on December 31st. There is a very […]

#135 – Dick Bernard: Dad's Shoes

Today is my Dad’s 102nd birthday (he passed away in 1997, not quite reaching 90.) He’s more on my mind than usual this year because, for the last several months, I’ve been trying to summarize 400 years of his French-Canadian ancestry in North America. I’m in the home stretch, now, thanks to many people. I’m […]

#134 – June Johnson: A 1940s Country School Christmas

NOTE: Each year I’m drawn to this essay, written in December, 1985, for the teacher union newsletter on Minnesota’s Iron Range. June Johnson was then a teacher at Bigfork High School. CHIPS FROM THE NORTHERN BRANCH by June Johnson From somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, I have plucked a Christmas memory which […]

#133 – Dick Bernard: The Dust Bowl

COMMENTS follow this post. Last evening I watched most of a History Channel program on the horrors of the Dust Bowl of mid-America in the 1930s. Interspersed with film and commentary from the actual events, were recollections of survivors of the Dirty Thirties, as well as a fascinating effort by scientists to reenact in the […]

#132 – Dick Bernard: The Christmas Call, and an encore for Susan Boyle

Last night about 8 o’clock or so the phone rang. There was an irrepressible, unmistakable, voice on the other end. It was Danny, calling to wish us a Merry Christmas. Danny is one of those memorable characters one comes across once in awhile; people who brand themselves into our memory bank. I met Danny during […]

#131 – Dick Bernard: Merry Christmas

UPDATE Dec. 18, 2009: We now know much more than we did three days ago. Were this a place with a union (it isn’t) I would without hesitation advise a grievance on wrongful termination. Most likely, though, our friend would never grieve: her gender, race and culture would cause her to not fight the issues. […]