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WRITER: Burton Cole

He’ll finish this column when he gets a round tuit

“When are you going to rip the old carpet out of this room?” my wife demanded. “We brought the new flooring home more than a year ago.” I glanced around the little space I call my home office. Sure, the carpet had a few snags and stains. And a gouged hole or two. But it still did what it was supposed to do — keep my feet from getting cold. “I’ll work on it as soon as I get a round ...

Old man swings advice from porch

The great philosopher Terri Guillemets once said, “The swing on your porch is a better liver of life than the chair in front of your desk.” I’ve started my seventh decade and I get that. I craved the dizzying whir of the merry-go-round in my younger days. The faster the better. The merry-go-round keeps picking up speed but I’m all whirred out. I’m ready for the gentle sway of the porch swing, where ...

Newspaper brings awareness to fight

The rate of new breast cancer cases has increased over the last five decades. The mortality rate improved over the same span with better medicines, earlier treatments and innovations such as 3D mammograms, but the mortality rate decrease has slowed down, according to the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Today, The Vindicator turns pink in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We will present ...

Boardman Optimist Chili Cook-Off invites votes over best spice, beans

BOARDMAN — Chili beans. Peppers. Beef. Chicken. Corn bread. Celebrities. Politicians. After a year off, the annual Political-Celebrity Chili Cook-Off returns next week with all that minus one important ingredient — charity fundraiser founder Pete Gabriel passed away last month. “Pete Gabriel started the event,” Optimist member Jan Cefalu said. “We always are talking about fundraising ideas. We ...

The day cousin Ollie turned church into a rodeo

“Ma, we’re leaving for Sunday school,” cousin Ollie yelled as the two of us 9-year-old boys bolted out the back door of the farmhouse. “I have a bad feeling about this grand plan of yours,” I puffed as we ran to the barn where we left the bicycles. “I ride to church all the time. It’s just down the road.” Ollie checked the baling twine he’d tied from both bicycles to a red wagon with plastic ...

‘Black Man on Wall Street’

Growing up around the steel mill laborers of 1960s Youngstown, J. Derek Penn had never heard of Wall Street. Nor was how to negotiate on the trading room floor discussed in Rayen High School football huddles. “I literally did not know what Wall Street was until I was 23, 24 years old and in business school,” Penn said in a phone conversation this month from his Hudson Valley, N.Y., home. Penn, 64, ...

Procrastinators unite! — tomorrow

It was a lovely day and I was spending it productively, reading the big volume of Donald Duck comics I’d checked out of the library when — while turning a page on a very important storyline involving Uncle Scrooge — my eye caught sight of the calendar. “Wait, what day is it? Oh, no — my column is due today!” A great philosopher once said, “I put the pro in procrastinating.” I know the ...

Watch out for snakes in the grass

Never walk barefoot through a cow pasture. That’s one of life’s lessons that I learned growing up on a farm — but not for the reason you might think. One bright summer day as a kid, I gingerly combed my toes through the grass at my cousin Dale’s farm. Why I was barefoot, I can’t remember. One of the guys must have swiped my shoes. I had a couple of weird friends who enjoyed squishing cow pies ...

Color TV, my own phone — oh, to be that rich

When I grew up, I wanted to be rich. Really rich. So rich that my house would have TWO TVs. Both color, of course (rich kids didn’t have to suffer with black-and-white sets), and both with those massive cabinets and 25-inch screens. That’s how rich I wanted to be. It was my goal. I thought about that the other day when someone posted his musings on what we used to set as life goals. (I noticed this post ...

Wanted: Elves for housework and light cobbling

Where are my elves? In the fable of “The Elves and the Shoemaker,” a poor shoemaker had only enough leather to make one final pair of shoes. The poor guy — let’s call him Harold — cut the leather and went to bed. According to the news report from the Brothers Grimm, when Harold and his wife awoke the next morning, the shoes were finished, and beautifully so. Shortly after, a customer came into the ...