Not that you asked, but . . . - Vilas County News-Review
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Not That You Asked, But...
  • “What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.” —George Bailey, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” 1946

    George Bailey may still want to woo Mary Hatch with the moon, but
  • “Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.” — George R.R. Martin

    With sunny skies, gentle breezes and temperatures in the mid-70s, the weather last Thursday was a central casting picture-perfect summer day. 
    A veritable feast for the senses, the
  • The stories live on
    “I began to reflect on the wonders of these ordinary people whose lives were laced with the markings of greatness.” —Tom Brokaw, “The Greatest Generation”

    Duty, honor, country, those principles were among the common values of the 
  • Beauty for a day
    “A lily of a day is fairer far in May, although it fall and die that night, it was the plant and flower of light. In small proportions we just beauties see, and in short measures life may perfect be.” —“The Nobel Nature” by
  • “If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life.” —Mike Ditka

    On the front end of summer, the solemn observation of Memorial Day provides a chance for reflection at war memorials and cemeteries for those who
  • There’s always next year

    Will this be the year I finally quaff from my dusty Brewers glass?

    “All I do is write their names on the lineup card and let them play. It’s not a tough job. I

    “I swear to God, if my kids, when they’re 18, if they come to me and say, ‘Dad, I love pumping gas. I...
  • Adventures with Finn. Or, what’s in a name?
    Mater: My name is Mater.
    Lightning McQueen: Mater?
    Mater: Yeah, like “Tuh-Mater,” but

    Even in retirement, unsinkable ‘Skip’ Wagner still sets sail for fun

    Johnny Carson: “Who’s the funniest person you’ve ever heard?”

    Bill Murray: 
    “Well, it’s

  • Back in the drive-in days
    “When I was a kid, the only way I saw movies was from the back seat of my family’s car at the drive-in.”—Forest Whitaker, American actor

    Having logged 14 years in the North Woods, I’ve made my share of round-trip runs between Boulder Junction and Rhinelander as a Shopko devotee.
    Driving along Highway 17 during a visit to Rhine­lander for an interview and photo shoot last week, I
  • “If variety is the spice of life, marriage is the big can of leftover Spam.” —Johnny Carson

    Marking the one-year anniversary of “two weeks to flatten the curve” of the roller-coaster COVID-19 global pandemic, the world is looking a little different these days, and
  • “I’m Mr. White Christmas, I’m Mr. Cool. I’m Mr. Icicle, I’m Mr. 10 Below.” —Snow Miser “The Year Without Santa Claus,” 1974

    With my thermometer in Boulder Junction reaching an eye-popping minus 33 last week, stepping outdoors brought to my mind the 1980 film, “The
  • Little things, big memories
    “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” —Winnie the Pooh

    I was recently reminded of that sage observation by British author A.A. Milne’s “silly old bear” at, of all places, the Minocqua Walmart, as I spied a small glass forcing vase in the floral cooler sporting the poster child Charlie Brown tree of spring harbingers: an
  • Growing branches on the family tree
    “Family history is a perishable commodity. It disappears with time, as memories fade, and as loved ones pass on.” —Guy Black

    It’s said that genealogy is like a mirror. You start looking into it and interesting faces begin to appear. 
    One of the faces — or at least names — to appear out of the foggy mists of time as I’ve explored my own family history over the years is
  • “Chase your dreams but always know the road that will lead you home again.” —Ziad K. Abdelnour

    I chased my dreams and ultimately U.S. Highway 51 led me back home again to the North Woods, now wordsmithing at the Vilas County News-Review after a

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