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Larry Lehmer
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That's a pretty nifty writing group we've got going. Thank you, Des Moines writers. To recap: We started the Nonfiction Writers of Des Moines a couple months ago when I couldn't find a local writing group that focused on nonfiction. There are several very good general writing groups in the... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Life In the Slow Lane
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Finally, some good news to report about Bandstandland: It looks like we have a publisher. Since we haven't reached a final agreement yet, I can't provide all the details, but here are the main points: The book will likely be released sometime in 2019, probably in the second half of... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bandstand Beat
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Do you often think about life without your spouse? That was the theme of a movie Linda and I watched last weekend. The movie, The Leisure Seeker, was the story of an aging couple determined to check off one last item on their bucket list before one or the other... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2018 at Life In the Slow Lane
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In the news: Aug. 19, 1957 Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2018 at Life In the Slow Lane
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Remember Earl Butz? He was the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture four decades ago, first appointed by President Richard Nixon and continuing under Gerald Ford. In 1976, John Dean, former White House Counsel under Nixon, was released from prison after a short stay for his role in the Watergate scandal. Rolling... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2018 at Life In the Slow Lane
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"You know, Walter, you have the best job, getting to interview the rich and powerful," a friend once said to CBS newsman Walter Cronkite. "You've met the most interesting people in the world." "Yes," Cronkite replied, adding some clarification. "And most of them are journalists." That's a story I've shared... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2018 at Life In the Slow Lane
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I have a confession: There is no Giuseppe Polomi. Except for the one that inadvertently escaped from keyboards under my control a half dozen or so times over the past 40-plus years. Truth be known, no more than a handful or two of people were ever aware of the mythical... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2018 at Life In the Slow Lane
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Here it is, another mid-April in Iowa, the weather toggling between snowy and slippery and drizzly and gloomy. And I'm missing an old friend, Jim Pollock, gone these six years now. For years Jim and I were co-workers at The... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2018 at Passing It On
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Man, I need a break. From technology, that is. I'm plumb tuckered out. Don't get me wrong; technology is a wondrous thing. When it progresses at a reasonable rate, that is. But what's happening now is just too much for me. I'm no technophobe, either. I studied computer programming in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2018 at Life In the Slow Lane
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In the mid-1990s, my wife, Linda, took her mother on what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. Rose was in her mid-70s at the time and recently widowed. She had always wanted to visit Washington, D.C., and Linda decided to help her mother finally realize her dream.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2017 at Life In the Slow Lane
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Today would be my dad's 97th birthday. Although he died nearly four years ago, dad, Walter B. Lehmer, lived to see 93 of those birthdays, 66 of them while married to my mother. Dad and I were not particularly close.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2017 at Passing It On
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There are key decision points in every person's life where one's life may have been very different had the decision been made another way. I had to make one of those important choices nearly 50 years ago, in November 1968.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2017 at Passing It On
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Man, floods are bad. So are hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires and mudslides. No matter where you live in the United States, you're at risk of one natural disaster or another. But, no matter where you live in the United States,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2017 at Passing It On
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Much family history slips through the cracks. Through the generations, items are misplaced, destroyed, neglected, overlooked or simply tossed because somewhere along the line their significance faded. Calvin Riley has made it a personal mission over the last 40 years... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2017 at Passing It On
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John Vlahos, like many people of a certain age, would probably tell you that his life was nothing special. To those who loved him, of course, nothing could be further from the truth. The son of Greek immigrants, Vlahos was... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2017 at Passing It On
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At one point in my youthful past, I played softball on a team sponsored by my employer, The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil newspaper. The boss sprung for a bunch of snazzy jerseys, emblazoned with the newspaper's name across the front. Sadly, the jerseys arrived with "Nonpaeil" (the "r" missing) in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2017 at Life In the Slow Lane
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“Where are you going now?” Elvis asked. Judy Tyler, his co-star in Jailhouse Rock until just a few days earlier before filming was wrapped up, had an easy answer. After a whirlwind three months in Hollywood where she filmed two movies and one television show, Tyler was eager to return... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2017 at Before Their Time
Oral history is hot. People everywhere are getting the message about recording their family stories. Whether on audiotape, videotape or digital media, there's nothing that compares with hearing a family story told by a family member. Although my primary business... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2017 at Passing It On
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In his heyday, John C. Holmes was compared to Elvis Presley and Errol Flynn. But Holmes didn’t sing and, although his greatest exploits were on film, he wasn’t much of an actor, either. Holmes owed whatever success he achieved in the entertainment industry to something else: He had a big... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2017 at Before Their Time
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I have this weird problem: How should I respond when someone asks me what I do? I think they’re asking me about what kind of work do I do and aren’t really interested in the mundanity of my everyday life, but even with that realization, I hesitate before answering. For... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2017 at Life In the Slow Lane
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Janet Parker had a splitting headache. A migraine, she thought, as she knocked off work early on Friday afternoon, August 11, 1978, and headed home to the duplex she shared with her husband on Burford Park Road in the Kings Norton section of Birmingham, England. Fortunately, she had a weekend... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2017 at Before Their Time
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It was supposed to be something of a celebration. Helen Gott was just a month from graduation. Across the candlelit table from her at the Tippin’ Inn in Syracuse, N.Y., was her steady boyfriend, Ernie Davis, a recent college graduate himself. It was a familiar scene for the couple, who... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2017 at Before Their Time
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Isn't life interesting? That's one way to explain a lifetime of experiences. Just by virtue of longevity, a senior citizen of today has been through plenty. Some of us have changed a lot over the course of a lifetime; others, not so much. In fact, many of us older folks... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2017 at Life In the Slow Lane
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"Pardon me. I didn't do it on purpose." Those are allegedly the last words spoken by Marie Antoinette, queen of France, after stepping on the foot of her executioner on her way to the guillotine. Last words are important to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2017 at Passing It On
Legacy letters convey something of importance from the sender to another person. Whether eloquent or inarticulate in their presentation, legacy letters are often so emotionally powerful as to send the recipient reaching for a handkerchief. Such is the case with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2017 at Passing It On