Celebrating the Fourth of July

Many of us remember the days when we did not lock our doors and actually left our bicycle in the front yard without concerns about it being taken/stolen. We had few fears, other than possibly communism and the Russians. We referred to one another as “Americans” without hyphens. Lawyers were “Attorneys” and were “Officers of the Court”. Judges were “Jurists”, and the “Guardians of Justice.” Doctors were physicians, and served the “patient” and were samaritans. Cops were “policemen” and represented “Law and Order” and were respected for their authority.

Tom Purcell

Shining the light on Independence

“Burgers on the grill, great discounts at retail stores and amazing fireworks — that’s why I love the Fourth of July!”
“It’s a grand time, to be sure — the day every year that we celebrate American independence and the birth of our country. And there are lots of interesting fun facts about the Fourth.”
“Such as?”

Tom Purcell

The incredible power of fathers

Editor’s Note: This column is an excerpt from Tom Purcell’s humorous book, “Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood,” available at
My 84-year-old father still asks me why I did it.
The “incident,” as my family refers to it, dates back to 1973, when my father remodeled our basement into a family room. The project included a small bathroom, which would be the bane of his existence for more than 30 years.

Christine Flowers

Celebrity suicides should be a reminder to listen

When I heard my brother Jonathan had taken his own life, my first thought, unfiltered through the sieve of reason, was: “Why the hell did he do this to me, to my mother, to us?”
When I learned that Kate Spade had taken her own life, my first thought was: “Why did she do that to them?” referring to her husband and 13-year-old daughter.
And when, almost unbelievably, I learned that Anthony Bourdain had committed suicide in his hotel room in France, I thought “My God, he had everything to live for! Why?”


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