In general, they appeared on the dates shown in various Colorado Community Newspapers.
I don't know much about my maternal great-grandfather. His name was Wilhelm Waack. He came from Germany, and settled in Michigan.
Later, he became a reasonably successful businessman, filling an important social need. He was a bootlegger.
My grandfather, Wilhelm's son, spoke some German, and could read it a little. Sometimes, I remember neighborhood boys would ask him to translate a line from a WWII movie. But it was definitely a second language for him.
For those of us who do a lot of reading, it's hard to imagine a life without books. But sometimes, life surprises us. We sustain a sickness or an injury, and suddenly, we have trouble with our vision.
That trouble may be temporary or permanent: a cataract, or macular degeneration. A detached retina. Blurred vision. Congenital blindness. Or simply the advance of age.
Some of my friends have faced these issues, bravely, right up to the moment when they realize they won't be able to read anymore. Panic!
For the past couple of weeks, I've been trying to wrap up a book I've been writing.
Most of it was done, but I wanted to do some in-depth research on a topic near and dear to me: the First Amendment. I've learned a lot.
There are two ideas about the United States Constitution. One of them is that the Founders were unanimously wise, prescient, and intended to give us precisely the rights we take for granted today.
By Mark Weston, President,
Douglas County Libraries Board of Trustees
[Note: I'm going to be on vacation the first two weeks on January. This column is from Mark Weston, President of the Douglas County Board of Trustees. I'll be back in the saddle the week after that.]
By Rochelle Logan, Associate Director of Support Services
[Note: I'm going to be on vacation the first two weeks on January. So this column is from Rochelle Logan, my Associate Director. Next week's column -- which I will send next Thursday, will be from Mark Weston, President of the Douglas County Board of Trustees. I'll be back in the saddle the week after that.]
The last couple weeks of the year are precious to me.
The library's budget has been adopted for the next year. The meetings tend to be put off till January, because lots of people have taken time off.
The frenzy of shopping is done. The parties are over. Now comes one of the true gifts of the year: time to think.
So much of our lives is conducted as if we were in some kind of speed trial. Or as I read in "The World is Flat," by Thomas Friedman,
"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
Back in 1992, I reprised a column I'd written even earlier. I find that I still don't have much to add. So here it is again. Happy holidays!
What we really need is an all-purpose gift that will satisfy everybody. It should be suitable for all ages. It should require no assembly. It shouldn't need batteries. You shouldn't have to feed it. It should last forever. It should be constantly entertaining. The more the recipient uses it, the more he or she should like it.
And of course, it should be free.
There are many things parents would agree they want for their children. Health. Love. Family and friends. Success, defined as "a respectable job that pays well enough to provide all of the essentials, and some of the luxuries, of life."
But you know what I most want for each of my kids? I want them to have a rich inner life.
You can lose your health, your lover, even your family and friends. You can lose your job and your home. In disasters, you can lose your ability to put food on the table.
Sometimes you stumble across a book you didn't know you were looking for. For me, it was finding the library's copy of "The History of Torture and Execution," by Jean Kellaway.
Every time I come across the story of somebody stretched on the rack -- or wedged into the Spanish boot, or broken by thumbscrews, or victimized by any of a variety of infernal devices -- I feel an immediate sense both of horror and of recognition.
After college, I sold shoes for awhile. I was good at it, too. I broke some regional sales records, and got offered a manager position.
But I was young and restless, and really didn't want a career in a shopping mall. So I hit the road with a pair of shoes I sold myself.
And those shoes gave me blisters so bad that by the time I got to my uncle's in the Arkansas Ozarks, I could barely walk.
So my aunt took me to a big new store that had just opened up in Fayetteville. I'd never heard of it, but my aunt said the prices were great.