×

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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,” ...

Contradictory wisdom of the ages wrestles for sense

“Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life,” she said. She was hinting that I should wear something besides my “air-conditioned” but comfortable sneakers with my 20-year-old suit. I don’t do well with hints. “If Cinderella’s shoe fit perfectly in the end, ...

Now boarding for Parts Unknown

One year later, we are so eager to go somewhere that we’ll pay good money to go anywhere that isn’t locked up at home. Qantas airlines in Australia is banking on it. Qantas is now offering mystery flights. It’s simple. You plunk down a minimum $737 for economy class or $1,579 for ...

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 ...

‘Wrap rage’ keeps reader tied up

Faithful reader Ron Reid cried out for help. He probably meant to send his urgent plea to someone else. Generally, I’m the last person someone in trouble hollers to for rescue. “Help! Save me!” a person dangling from a limb mysteriously growing out of the side of a cliff would yell. ...

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 ...

The check’s not lost … just give it time to materialize

Dear County Property Tax People, My check might be a little bit late. See, I put it in a safe place so I wouldn’t lose it and, well... I’m having a bit of trouble finding it. It’ll turn up. Possibly when I’m digging through the refrigerator to find the ketchup or when I’m pawing ...