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Burton Cole

Get groovy and feel the nostalgia for yesteryear, Daddy-O

How did we get so mixed up over nostalgia? By definition, nostalgia is a yearning to revisit a past period in one’s life. That leaves out my junior high school years. Speaking of which, when I was in junior high, once or twice a year, we would have ’50s Days, in which we all came to ...

Wiggle your fingers at these numbers

There has always been the notebook. My earliest memories of family trips — other than bouncing all over the back seat with my little brother — are Dad reciting the odometer reading and the number of gallons the gas station attendant had just pumped into the car. Mom recorded these in the ...

One local author plus chocolate equals happy holiday

The post warmed me more than a mug of hot chocolate: “In Iceland, books are exchanged on Christmas Eve, then the tradition is to spend the rest of the night reading and eating chocolate.” I don’t know if this is true, but it sure ought to be. Which books should we give? Mine, ...

When hide-and-seek isn’t an option, Lego is still there

Toy commercials are back! They probably never went away, but it’s the first time in years that I’ve taken notice with the rapt attention of my youth. And by “rapt attention,” I mean scribbling them in a notebook so I can detail my Christmas list for Mom and Dad. If I had spent as much ...

Don’t raise a stink or you won’t pass the smell test

You don’t have to gag your way down the cologne aisles to know that we are enamored of odors. Our speech reeks of fragrances not meant to be taken literally. Take a whiff of some our favorite idioms: • “Wake up and smell the coffee.” (Meaning, “Buy a clue, Mr. Oblivious.”) • ...

The Magazine Card Stuffings Wallpapering System

Editor’s note: Burt is goofing off again. While we try to find him, enjoy this all-time favorite Cole Classic originally concocted on Nov. 22, 1998. It’s time once again for practical decorating tips from Uncle Burtie, your home interiors answer man. Today, I introduce you to the Burt’s ...

Men knew things before YouTube

When I was a boy, men knew how to do things. You didn’t hire mechanics or carpenters. You fixed and built stuff yourself. If you didn’t know exactly which direction to route the plumbing fixtures, you had your spouse call the spouse of one of the other guys who did. (Back then, men ...

Clothes trauma can be traced back to Smelly Ralph’s hand-me-downs

“Would you like to shop for your own clothes?” My wife asked this with a straight face. I waited for the punchline. None came. “I’ve got stuff,” I said. “No, I mean we could go shopping together for new shirts and pants for you,” Terry said. She couldn’t be serious. Could ...

Tall tales almost certain to land you in hot water

Mom and Dad gushed fake enthusiasm when they dumped me off at cousin Ollie’s farm. “You’ll have so much fun,” Mom said. “I envy you,” Dad sighed. “Open fields to roam, trees to climb, bulls to outrun ...” “So let me go to the restaurant and you guys play with Ollie. I ...

All is sunny, bright … If you have a tarp

In the Biblical account, the prophet Elijah told King Ahab there’d be no more rain until Elijah said so. For 3 1/2 years, there wasn’t so much as dew on the ground. One day, Elijah told King Ahab to batten down the hatches ’cause he was about to get drenched. The blasts from a thousand ...