×

WRITER: Burton Cole

Let’s get ready to laugh — or groan

Hey, it’s National Humor Month! Let’s celebrate with grins and giggles — or possibly with corny groaners. Author and humorist Larry Wilde founded National Humor Month in April 1976 to bring public awareness to the therapeutic value of humor. And really, after 2020, we need a couple truckloads of therapeutic humor. Call it a vaccine without the needle. Research shows that laughter relieves stress, ...

The peril of spring cleaning

The great philosopher William Morris once advised: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” This is probably why the two most dreaded words in the English language for me are “spring cleaning.” I never know if I’m going to make the cut. There are other dangers to spring cleaning, such as filling yet another box full of cords and cables that MIGHT go ...

And the readers say ‘Leave the Name Alone’

A Mosquito by any other name won’t be the same. That’s the verdict from Tribune Chronicle and The Vindicator readers, who were invited to pitch their ideas for a different name for Mosquito Lake State Park. “I say leave Mosquito, Mosquito,” Jim Cartwright of Canfield said. “That’s where I fished with my Dad, sailed my boat past fall foliage and waded in summer with my family. The name never ...

Lessons from an old Allis-Chalmers

Everything I needed to know in life, I learned driving an orange Allis-Chalmers tractor. At the time, it felt like some of the most boring, sweat-soaked days of my teenaged life. Dad refused to trade in the old Allis for a modern farm tractor with an air-conditioned cab and built-in stereo sound system. The old cheapskate claimed that an honest day’s work in the sun with nothing but my own thoughts jouncing ...

Bugged by a name: What would you like to call Mosquito Lake State Park?

What's your suggestion? If you could change the name of Mosquito Lake State Park, what would you call it? Send your suggestions and why, with your name and town or township of residence, to Features Editor Burton Cole at bcole@tribtoday.com or mail them to Burton Cole, Features Editor, Tribune Chronicle and The Vindicator, 240 Franklin St. SE, Warren, Ohio ...

Sour, salty and hot: Favorite jelly bean flavors reflect the national mood

This may sound un-American, but I detest jelly beans. A few decades ago, we elected a U.S. president who kept a jar of Jelly Belly beans on his desk. I have been suspicious of politicians ever since. “You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jelly beans,” President Ronald Reagan said. He probably would have had my character escorted out the White House doors for spitting the ...

‘Hopeful skeptics’

Bigfoot researcher Amy Bue calls herself a “hopeful skeptic.” “I’m not a 100 percent believer,” the 52-year-old language arts teacher, writer and editor from Youngstown admitted. “I want them to be real, too. Fingers crossed!” Bigfoot sightings and evidence have been reported in Trumbull, Portage, Mahoning, Geauga and Columbiana counties. Salem, Girard, Howland, West Branch State Park and the ...

Life smoother in the bumpy days of dirt roads

I grew up in the era of dirt roads. Dirt roads were our most prolific crop out in the country where I grew up. My family lived across the road from one. My siblings and I and the neighbor kids churned up clouds of “smoke” on our bicycles as we practically jarred out our brains with hours of rough riding on the crater-pocked thrill that was a dirt road. Life was slower in the era of dirt roads. It had to ...

Mystery photograph: Can you help?

Eric Templeton found the crinkled, black-and-white picture of kids with guitars while going through a box of family photographs. He recognized the boy in the front row as his father. But names of the other players and the circumstances of the photo remain a mystery. Templeton is asking Tribune Chronicle and The Vindicator readers to help him learn more about this aspect of his late father’s life. ...

Frogs inspire hoppy thoughts

We tiptoed to the ditch, then counted the number of frogs leaping from the grassy bank into the water. We always stopped to study the frog ditch on our summer walks. “That was the life,” I sighed. “Sunning myself in the grass, snapping flies out of mid-air, and snoozing underwater.” My wife, Terry, felt my forehead. “You were a frog?” “Sure, don’t you remember? You kissed me and turned me into ...