Opinions

Wed
19
Jul

We have met the enemy and he is triskaidekaphobia

One of my favorite cartoon characters was Pogo, the title and central character of a long-running daily American comic strip created by cartoonist Walt Kelly. Set in the Okenfenokee Swamp of the southeastern United States, the strip often engaged in social and political satire through the adventures of its anthropromorphic funny characters.

Pogo mouthed some of my favorite comic strip lines. In one strip, Pogo and Porkypine are walking through the swamp, and Porkypine says, “Ah, Pogo. The beauty of the forest primeval gets me in the heart.” To which Pogo responds, “It gets me in the feet, Porkypine.” In the next panel we see that the swamp is full of litter and junk, and Porkypine says, “It is hard walkin’ on this stuff.” And here’s the line I love: Pogo says, “Yep, son. We have met the enemy and he is us.”

In another strip, Pogo announces, “Friday the 13th came on Tuesday this month.”

Wed
12
Jul

Canadian fishing is hard to beat

The ability enjoy harsh weather, getting along with eight family members and friends for seven days without seeing another person, staying up very late at night and thoroughly enjoying fishing are all requirements for a seven-day Canadian, fly-in fishing trip.

Wednesday, June 21

Last night was another one of those nights where the first of us went to bed at 3:30 a.m. and the last two were still standing at 6 a.m. That may sound a bit off the wall to you, but we come here from as far away as Walker, Louisiana, and each of us knows the importance of getting every possible minute out of an experience like this.

Today is day 5 on Shultz Lake (Chimo Lodge and Outposts). Everyone will head out of camp about 11 a.m. and will return at 10:30 p.m.

Wed
12
Jul

The day the school burned down

2017. It’s been 60 years since the high school in Oconto Falls burned down.

March 8, 1957. We were seniors in high school, less than six weeks away from graduation, when Oconto Falls High School burned down.

And while many of our contemporaries had often made smart-aleck remarks about wishing for some catastrophe so we could have a few days off, almost no one was happy to have that wish fulfilled.

It was a cold wintry March day, and as the school buses arrived at the school, there were officials waiting to tell the bus drivers to take everyone back home. Only the senior boys were allowed to disembark. We were pressed into service to rescue what we could from inside the building.

Wed
05
Jul

Here’s a peek into the world of Peeps

Marilyn is a peepsophile. “Peepsophile”: from the Greek peeps (chicken) + philos (love of). She loves Peeps, those gooey marshmallow chicks and bunnies that are so popular around Easter time.

She loves them as much as, or more than, I love peanut butter. But she’s not alone; there are peepaholics everywhere. I read somewhere that this past Easter Americans consumed an estimated 700 million of the marshmallow candies. That’s enough for every man, woman and child in the United States to eat at least one. Maybe that’s OK, though, because they’re low-fat; only trace amounts of fat in Peeps. Thirty-two calories of pure sugar per Peep!

Wed
28
Jun

Little Suamico board shuts down dialogue

To the editor:

Now that the town of Little Suamico has removed the three-minute public comment from the town’s agenda this month because board members do not want to be transparent, I will outline a few items that all citizens should know about.

In 2015, Little Suamico hired R&R Assessing out of Oconto Falls for three years to do a maintenance assessment. When the first-year maintenance assessment was done, over 490 properties were assessed, and R&R left off 69 properties with major improvements and did not increase their property taxes, throwing off the town’s equalization. We found this out after requesting a list from R&R of the properties that he did assessments on.

Wed
28
Jun

A 60-year milestone

To the editor:

After graduating from Lena High School in May 1957, I joined the Navy on June 28, 1957. The Navy recruiters for Northeastern Wisconsin had set up what they called a Packerland Company. They signed up almost a full boot camp company.

On the 28th of June, 1957, we had a noon luncheon in Green Bay where we were sworn in. Later in the afternoon we boarded a train for Great Lakes Naval Station. The train stopped that evening near the front gate, and we walked in.

Other local enlistees of the Packerland Company included J.A. Couillard, Ronald Funk and James Walls from Oconto, Daniel Voelker and Ronald Skarda from Coleman, Dale Brehmer and Joseph Koebach from Oconto Falls, and Clyde Tucker Jr. from Carter.

I enlisted on what was known as the kiddie cruise. If you entered while you were 17 years old, you got out the day before you were 21. You were also guaranteed a service school.

Wed
28
Jun

Ooooo! Aaaaah! Wow!

This is the season for fireworks. The night sky comes alive with a rainbow spray of sparks. The flower-shaped boomers scatter their hot seeds to the breeze and cast a special and beautiful magic only they can do. The graceful arching rockets that silently explode like brilliant dandelion heads illuminate the clouds of smoke from previous shells and reflect off the dark waters of the lake.

The crowds of viewers oooo and aaaah. Children shriek in delight.

Scenes like that are repeated in thousands of cities across the nation every Fourth of July. It says something about our psyches, I think, that we enjoy these incendiary pleasures. Our national anthem could easily be referring to modern-day pyrotechnic displays: “And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air …” (Don’t tell me you didn’t sing that last sentence.) (You did, didn’t you?)

Tue
20
Jun

Hearts are everywhere we turn

Did you know that in California you can get a heart on your license plate? You know, as in “I (heart) my dog.”

Ten years ago, our son TJ was married to a wonderful girl in California, so the heart motif was pretty prevalent. It did my heart good to be part of such a heartwarming and heartfelt event. (Can you see where this is going?)

I happened to notice quite a few cars with the heart on the license plates as we traveled the freeways of the Bay area near San Francisco. That got me thinking about why we do that. Why do we use the symbol of a stylized heart to represent love – and other emotions? You see it everywhere, don’t you? – bumper stickers, keychains, tattoos, valentines, necklaces, rings, earrings – everywhere.

Wed
14
Jun

I’ve been having bad cases of hiccoughs

One of the goofiest side effects of some of the cancer medications I’m taking is that I get some really loud, painful hiccups. By loud, I mean LOUD. When I hiccup, I scare the birds, rabbits, and squirrels in the yard. It’s ridiculous, and unfortunately, none of my doctors seems to be able to explain why it happens.

Oh, I’ve had hiccups often in my life, but they were just run-of-the-mill, ordinary hiccups. They were nothing like this. And I’ve found that almost everyone has a “cure” for those ordinary hiccups: like holding your breath, drinking water, drinking through a handkerchief, and Marilyn’s favorite – “I’ll give you a dollar if you hiccup again.”

Wed
07
Jun

Recalling the joy of smelt-dipping

It doesn’t take much of a nudge to make the DVR in my brain slip into triple-rewind and bring back some amazingly clear pictures of stuff that happened when I was a kid. For example, in the process of looking for some information about something (I can’t even remember now what it was; how’s that for a memory problem?), I saw a church ad for a spring “smelt fry” somewhere in the Upper Peninsula.

Wow! A smelt fry! Have you ever been to a smelt fry? Or have you ever gone dipping smelt?

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