Christmas in July … part one

The Flame Flickers in West Brookfield If there is a sacred moment for the residents of West Bookfield, it is during the singing of Silent Night at the end of the nonsectarian Christmas Eve service in the spare, wooden church, built in 1839. There’s no glitter, no flashing lights. The space is sparsely decorated with... Continue Reading →

What about The Crusades?

[A few weeks ago in the Silverback Digest we set the record straight of Genghis Khan, one of the most mischaracterized figures in history. Today we are doing the same with The Crusades. With the kind of academic rigor that you've come to respect from this publication, I do not even cite the source for... Continue Reading →

Baking Soda in the Garden

But first ... The summer installment of my epic poem Next Year in the Garden: Part II–Summer Next year in the garden ... I won't wander out after showering and changing clothes to admire my work and bend down to pluck just one errant weed, because I've learned that one good weed deserves another. I... Continue Reading →

Two Takes on the Future

by Stephen Morris [This was written just before the Pandemic showed us that all our brilliant futurists are no smarter than the rest of us.. SB SM] Amid the concern about global warming … er, climate change … er, climate crisis, two recent reads have put a different spin on what we might expect from... Continue Reading →

A Year Ago

[We were in lockdown, unable to do much of anything. Then, on a humid July Saturday, we busted out from the Gilead and hopping in Sandy's Mini for what can only be described a crazed romp through the hinterlands. Well-l-l-l ... I suppose it could also be described as a quiet drive on the back... Continue Reading →

Ticks … Little Buggers

[On Saturday we set out early to check out an Oriental-style rug advertised for sale by a local lady. Then, we visited the Norwich Farmer's Market, a lively affair that encapsulated all the best of rural living. After a shared lunch of Samosas, chickpea curry and coconut rice (Vermont specialties), we capped it all off... Continue Reading →

Demise of the Alpha Male

[Remember Father Knows Best? That's when men were men and women were glad of it. That was light years ago. This has not been a good half-century for the alpha male. He is routinely portrayed as a nincompoop or a clueless dolt. He has even become an adjective, as in Dad jokes, Dad pants, Dad... Continue Reading →

The Sacred Swimming Hole

[When I was growing up my local swimming hole was the Atlantic Ocean. Now, my local is Gilead Brook and you have to sit in it just get half your body wet.. SB SM] “Sacred” and “secret” are the only appropriate words for Vermont swimming holes. There aren’t that many days when you absolutely, positively... Continue Reading →


(Every few years I crank out a tune. Some of them have been inflicted on you, my loyal denizens of The Jungle. Within my canon of musical masterpieces is an unfinished country and western song, "Whatever Love Is, I Don't It You." The title and theme delights me. But that's as far as it's gone.... Continue Reading →

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