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4×2

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The neighborhood comes to this park, where each of our back yards is extended to ten, 20, 50 times its actual size. It’s a short walk for some of us, a brief drive for others, but for all those who bring their dogs to this anonymous oasis, it’s a daily destination that ranks just behind our children’s schools and just ahead of our workplaces…

In Memoriam

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These are the stories that run unaccompanied by photos, in spare columns deep in the paper, the small bursts of danger and demise that form the background pattern of modern life. We read them all the time, not closely, but with an eye for any familiar details—a name, an age, a location. The victims are almost uniformly anonymous, our six degrees of separation stretched into double figures…

The Pointer’s Perfect Arc

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It’s tempting to recall those ball-battering marathons with cheap nostalgic reverence, and lather them up with clichés about innocence and timelessness. Bunk! It was baseball at the street level, away from the organized game we played in flannel uniforms for pot-bellied coaches and the bellowing herds of local Moose, Elk, and Lions…

The Cairn Man

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Stewart is, not to put too fine a point on it, a rock piler. A more academic description of him might be as sculptor, or environmental performance artist. What Stewart created were assemblies of stone, polished from the rolling and tumbling of the waves along the Pacific coast, and balanced with a breathtaking disregard for visual symmetry or the conventional laws of physics…

Bleep This

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I’m telling you, I’ve had about all I can take of the #*!#&*! profanity. Everywhere you go, people blowing vulgarity like eighth notes out of Dizzy Gillespie’s horn. At the coffee joint. The car wash. The Little League field. At Back-to-School Night, for *#!^&* sake! You get the feeling that somewhere in America, sailors are blushing and Bobby Knight is struck dumb…