Carol Sommer

A wooden barrel vs. the British navy

Cramped quarters make me anxious. I’m also a lousy swimmer. No matter how compelling the cause, I can’t imagine going underwater in a 3 by 6 foot wooden barrel, but Ezra Lee did just that during the American Revolution. It was the first chapter in New London County’s rich...

Rick Koster

Rick's List - Holiday Tune-Doctor Edition

You may not know it, but I'm pretty famous as the go-to guy in terms of "doctoring" holiday songs by contemporary artists. What happened was an accident. I was out boozing it up with the late, great George Michael and he asked if I'd give a listen to a demo of a seasonal song he'd...

Steve Fagin

Starting a fire from scratch, scratch, scratch

While kayaking down rapids on a snow-lined river one early spring day a number of years ago, I snagged a partially submerged log, flipped over, squirted out of my boat and somehow managed to scramble up an icy bank, shivering.

Robert Tougias

Common and uncommon visitors

My busy schedule has left me with little time for birding trips, and I have been feeling as if the entire season might pass me by. In response, I have become more aware of the birds here at home. I'm observing the common birds longer and sighting the uncommon visitors more frequently.

Rick Koster

Rick's List -- Fond Holiday Mem'ries Edition

More and more, friends and family members in my age group have commented that the Holiday Season, bookended by the Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, is an increasingly depressing period. "Everybody's dying," commented one friend. "We used to have 20, 25 people over for...

Steve Fagin

Why would anyone want to live in New Jersey?

While snarled in bumper-to-bumper-to-bumper traffic the other day, I snorted derisively at the name of the road, based on a state nickname, that would hold us captive for the next three hours: the Garden State Parkway.





Dr. Jon Gaudio

Wanting to alleviate pain but not enable addiction

In 1997, I was an Internal Medicine Resident with three small kids and a lot of bills.

Rick Koster

Rick's List -- New and Improved Black Friday Edition

As I write this, it's early Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and a look out the newsroom window reminds me of Frost's beautifully melancholic lines about November: "My Sorrow / When she's here with me / Thinks these dark days of...

Steve Fagin

Let's face it: People are slobs

All right, not all people are slobs, probably not even most folks — but there are enough dirtballs who think nothing of flinging trash out their car windows that so many roadways look like garbage dumps.

Rick Koster

Rick's List - Rick's Police Logs Edition

One of the most popular features in our newspaper is the daily enumeration of crimes/alleged criminals populating our police logs column. As reporters who compile these items, we follow a carefully calibrated list of offenses that are...

Steve Fagin

Elevated thoughts: Lessons from a hillside

A granite outcrop not far from our house rises steeply above the forest floor, providing expansive views of the surrounding countryside. It is a wonderful perch to scramble atop, gaze off at the distance and contemplate one's place in the...