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The thud of a robin crashing into one of my windows broke the sweet mid-morning peace.

A warm home. Musicians jamming. And a woman named Laurie Rische cooking up a storm! Three essential ingredients for perfection. Laurie manages her kitchen like a lioness. You don’t want … more
I have great respect for people who seek to maintain and foster relationships with citizens of other countries over many years and/or decades. This respect comes from observing my wife, Sarah, … more
The five women firefighters of the Galena Fire Department are well-trained professionals. At one moment they draw on the serious focus required in their important work; the next moment they warmly … more
Don’t ask me exactly why certain people enter my heart. They just do. I suppose there is a selfless earnestness about them. A fresh enthusiasm. An unsung dedication to their task. For years … more

Ancient mounds whisper their secrets which we, perhaps, can only know with our hearts. From the edges of steep slopes, along river bluffs, and resting in dense prairies, they appear again and again. We are in awe as we are lured to their mysteries. We lose ourselves In their conical, linear and animal shapes and hunger for the truth resting in their silence.

I well remember writing a column many years ago complaining about a new stone retaining wall that was built along Riverside Drive. It’s just too short to do any good, I remember thinking. … more

I refused to walk down the trail leading to the rope bridge which I knew was precariously spanning the churning river.


The Grange, one of the first significant efforts to organize farmers in the United States, was established in 1867. The Galena Weekly Gazette, summarizing the state Grange gathering of 1901, highlighted the Jo Daviess Country Farmers Institute in Stockton to be held in late January of that year.

It was like going down memory lane last Friday morning at Hartig Drug store this past Friday morning. Inside, Dick Hartig was all smiles as he introduced his two sons, Wes and Charlie. He was a … more

I love cameras. Being in front of them, being behind them––any chance to get near a camera, I’ll take it. So when Paula Sands called me late one night begging me to be on her show, well, I just couldn’t say no.


For the past few days I have been thinking of lessons learned in childhood. How something good may emerge from diversity and challenge. How things don’t always turn out as expected. How there are angels–you just need to know where to look for them. How there is an inherent goodness in people when they lead lives filled with trust. And, finally. . .to expect the unexpected.

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