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‘Overnight change’ required decades of sacrifice
 I woke up last Saturday morning feeling as if America had changed overnight. I almost felt as if I had landed in a brand new country, knowing that marriage equality was now the law of the land in all 50 states. Again and again, we hear the amazement in the voices of newscasters about “the rapid pace of change” in the nation&rsquo...

4:00 AM Saturday, Jul. 04, 2015

I woke up last Saturday morning feeling as if America had changed overnight. I almost felt as if I had landed in a brand new country, knowing that marriage equality was now the law of the land in all 50 states. Again and again, we hear the amazement in the voices of newscasters about “the rapid pace of change” in the nation&rsquo...
Spirit of 9/11 victim shines on through parents’ peace activism
 On June 11 — on what would have been her 42nd birthday — a rose was tucked into the engraving of Alicia Nicole Titus’ name at the 9/11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan. It is the custom to do that on the birthdays of the 2,983 names of the men, women and children who are honored here. Bev Titus wasn’t there that day. She...

4:00 AM Saturday, Jun. 20, 2015

On June 11 — on what would have been her 42nd birthday — a rose was tucked into the engraving of Alicia Nicole Titus’ name at the 9/11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan. It is the custom to do that on the birthdays of the 2,983 names of the men, women and children who are honored here. Bev Titus wasn’t there that day. She...
You never forget that first concert
 Am I the only one out there whose first live concert turned out to be a flash-in-the-pan teenybopper? I may as well get it out there right now: Bobby Sherman. 1970. Memorial Hall. “Bobby who?” my kids would say. But at the time he was the dreamiest of teen idols, the youngest brother — the one with the shy stutter &mdash...

4:00 AM Saturday, Jun. 06, 2015

Am I the only one out there whose first live concert turned out to be a flash-in-the-pan teenybopper? I may as well get it out there right now: Bobby Sherman. 1970. Memorial Hall. “Bobby who?” my kids would say. But at the time he was the dreamiest of teen idols, the youngest brother — the one with the shy stutter &mdash...
Lessons from a ‘literary pilgrimage’

4:00 AM Saturday, May. 16, 2015

It is the most ordinary of objects — a cloth plaid diary filled with a young girl’s scribblings. Yet people the world make the pilgrimage to Amsterdam for a glimpse of Anne Frank’s diary. The term “literary pilgrimage” tends to be tossed around lightly, but in this case it truly feels like one. To visit the Anne...
March to honor peace heroes
 “War heroes” has a certain ring to it — a phrase that rolls off our tongues so easily that it seems like a single word. “Peace heroes” sounds more foreign, unnatural. Despite the beatitude that “blessed are the peacemakers,” we don’t tend to honor them. That’s a dynamic that the Dayton...

11:16 PM Friday, Apr. 24, 2015

“War heroes” has a certain ring to it — a phrase that rolls off our tongues so easily that it seems like a single word. “Peace heroes” sounds more foreign, unnatural. Despite the beatitude that “blessed are the peacemakers,” we don’t tend to honor them. That’s a dynamic that the Dayton...
Lessons vandals should learn from the dead
 The Rev. Laura Shreffler of Versailles has a direct message for the vandals who desecrated the grave of her mother and 163 others at Kettering’s historic Beavertown Cemetery: “Every headstone you destroyed had a family, and a history.” As a woman of faith she knows that the souls of her mother and brother — their true...

4:00 AM Saturday, Apr. 11, 2015

The Rev. Laura Shreffler of Versailles has a direct message for the vandals who desecrated the grave of her mother and 163 others at Kettering’s historic Beavertown Cemetery: “Every headstone you destroyed had a family, and a history.” As a woman of faith she knows that the souls of her mother and brother — their true...
Bombeck home recognized as historic place
 Erma would have had a field day with this. Aren’t you just pining to read the column she would have written about her former home being named to the National Register of Historic Places? The nomination for the house at 162 Cushwa Drive in Centerville refers to the home’s “historic integrity” as well as the neighborhood&rsquo...

4:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 21, 2015

Erma would have had a field day with this. Aren’t you just pining to read the column she would have written about her former home being named to the National Register of Historic Places? The nomination for the house at 162 Cushwa Drive in Centerville refers to the home’s “historic integrity” as well as the neighborhood&rsquo...
Dayton events bring death penalty issue to forefront

5:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 07, 2015

“To be silent,” said Sister Helen Prejean, “is to be complicit.” The famed anti-death penalty crusader delivered those powerful words recently at the University of Dayton – a message reinforced the next day by the Dayton Opera’s magnificent production of “Dead Man Walking.” Sister Helen herself...
Moore shines in year of ‘real-life movies’

12:27 AM Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015

Every Academy Awards year seems to have a distinct personality, and this year it seems to be the “real- life Oscars.” Rarely have I seen such a strong batch of movies that are the stuff of everyday existence. Take the astonishing “Boyhood,” my hands-down favorite for best picture. It feels so much like life as we really...
Famous writer’s obituary sparks outrage among women

5:00 AM Saturday, Feb. 07, 2015

If newspapers write the first draft of history, small wonder that women have all been written out of our history books. You don’t have to be a Colleen McCullough fan to be offended by the opening paragraph in The Australian newspaper describing this national treasure as “plain of feature, and certainly overweight, [but] nevertheless...
A life that could have meant even more

5:00 AM Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015

If the tragic death of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn has taught us anything, it is the need for compassion, for empathy. “My death needs to mean something,” she wrote in her achingly poignant suicide letter. And it already has, raising awareness of the plight of transgender youth, who are at 41 percent greater risk for suicide...
Memories can ease the pain of loss

1:37 AM Sunday, Jan. 04, 2015

We should have been getting ready for New Year’s Eve, but instead, my daughter Veronica and I are putting the finishing touches on memorial urns for two beloved cats. “Does that look like his nose?” Veronica asked of her painting of our orange and white tabby, Oliver, who boasted a rather impressive schnozz offsetting his...
Hope that Dayton engineer will get recognized for code-breaking
 Will the new movie “The Imitation Game” acknowledge Dayton’s role in cracking Germany’s Enigma Code and winning World War II for The Allies? Local historians aren’t very hopeful. “The code-breaking machine built at NCR does not in the least get the credit that it should,” said Brady Kress, president...

5:00 AM Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

Will the new movie “The Imitation Game” acknowledge Dayton’s role in cracking Germany’s Enigma Code and winning World War II for The Allies? Local historians aren’t very hopeful. “The code-breaking machine built at NCR does not in the least get the credit that it should,” said Brady Kress, president...
Nobody’s perfect; let’s be kind to retail workers this Christmas

5:00 AM Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014

The grocery store clerk glanced around the bustling store and confided, “I don’t like this season.” At the book store, a cashier encouraged me to fill out a customer satisfaction survey, adding in a half-whisper, “If I don’t get a perfect score, it counts against me.” I have been told the same thing by...
Dying teen’s video inspires family to carry on, pay it forward
 What if you had a single hour to sum up the whole of your life? Just one short hour to tell the tale of the people you loved, the adventures you had, the way you changed the world. It sounds daunting, even if your life turned out to be a very short one. Dying at 16, Corynna Strawser knew that a life review video would comfort and inspire...

1:27 AM Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014

What if you had a single hour to sum up the whole of your life? Just one short hour to tell the tale of the people you loved, the adventures you had, the way you changed the world. It sounds daunting, even if your life turned out to be a very short one. Dying at 16, Corynna Strawser knew that a life review video would comfort and inspire...
The appeal of a live talk

4:00 AM Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

I called my daughter at college, excitedly telling her about Dayton’s very own TED talks — as if I had been the first person to discover this global marketplace of ideas. The subtext was, no doubt, “Take that, College Kid! You aren’t the only one having an intellectual life here!” I even condescended to ask her...
Great-grandsons of Taft, Roosevelt promote civic discourse
 You can’t help but wonder what Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft would make of what’s going on in Dayton this week. They are, after all, a famous example of a political alliance – and close friendship – gone horribly wrong. Taft was Roosevelt’s former Secretary of War and handpicked successor for the presidency...

4:00 AM Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014

You can’t help but wonder what Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft would make of what’s going on in Dayton this week. They are, after all, a famous example of a political alliance – and close friendship – gone horribly wrong. Taft was Roosevelt’s former Secretary of War and handpicked successor for the presidency...
Survivors hope Ray Rice case will be turning point

4:00 AM Saturday, Sep. 20, 2014

Domestic violence survivor Beverly Gooden was shocked when that question dominated the response to the videotape of Ray Rice’s brutal assault on his fiancee. “All the tweets overwhelmingly targeted her actions,” Gooden said. “I felt the need to defend her. She didn’t commit a crime against herself, after all...
Unforeseen problems require creative solutions
 Americans held captive by repressive regimes have plenty to worry about. Losing their jobs back home shouldn’t be one of them. Yet Jeffrey Fowle, the Moraine street department worker held captive in North Korea for almost four months, told CNN last week that he is “desperate” — not for fear of his life or prolonged...

4:00 AM Saturday, Sep. 06, 2014

Americans held captive by repressive regimes have plenty to worry about. Losing their jobs back home shouldn’t be one of them. Yet Jeffrey Fowle, the Moraine street department worker held captive in North Korea for almost four months, told CNN last week that he is “desperate” — not for fear of his life or prolonged...
Troubling responses to beloved actor’s death
 The death of beloved comedian Robin Williams has proven a Rorschach test for our times, evoking disturbing responses from the well-meaning as well as from the hatemongers. Rarely have I seen a celebrity death that has evoked such an outpouring of nearly universal grief — one that touches people of so many generations and backgrounds...

4:00 AM Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014

The death of beloved comedian Robin Williams has proven a Rorschach test for our times, evoking disturbing responses from the well-meaning as well as from the hatemongers. Rarely have I seen a celebrity death that has evoked such an outpouring of nearly universal grief — one that touches people of so many generations and backgrounds...
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