Guest Columns

James Pinsky: Critters don’t litter

James Pinsky

August 25, 2016

Think a deer is cute? You wouldn’t if it tossed an empty bag of potato chips and a cigarette butt on your lawn every time it strolled by your house.

George Bowers Sr.: Shake the branches

George Bowers Sr.

August 19, 2016

Instead of rice, imagine pelting newlyweds with almonds as they leave for their honeymoon. Although it would be expensive and perhaps dangerous today, that’s what the Romans tossed 2,000 ago as a fertility blessing. While I’m not sure of the quantity of nuts thrown, I hope hard hats were acceptable wedding attire.

Bonner Day: If hope is here, can hummingbirds be far behind?

Bonner Day

August 17, 2016

The hopes of cool May turned to hot reality in August. I welcomed three or four hummingbirds in the spring and looked forward to more as the warm weather continued. Alas, the hummers left and were not replaced. The bright red nectar in my feeder needed no refills.

Bonner Day: A prosperous future for the valley

Bonner Day

August 12, 2016

People tell me about the time when many clothing manufacturers made the Shenandoah Valley home. There were jeans makers, dress makers and T-shirt makers providing good pay to hundreds of local residents.

George Bowers Sr.: Picking lessons from tomatoes

George Bowers Sr.

August 12, 2016

Praise God for tomatoes! They are one of my favorite parts of summertime and certainly at the top of my list of veggie preferences. Once August arrives, those hard crunchy ones from the produce aisles can finally be swapped out for real ones from the garden!

Bonner Day: My unhappiness with county fairs

Bonner Day

August 6, 2016

It’s the season once again for county fairs, reminding me once again of a long frustration. The Frederick County fair is over. Warren County’s fair ends today, the Rockingham County Fair begins Aug. 15, and Shenandoah County begins its fair Aug. 26.

George Bowers Sr.: Facing terror with courage

George Bowers Sr.

August 5, 2016

Imagine your parents being savagely murdered in the doorway of your home while other family members are brutally gunned down or hacked to death. Although this sounds like a recent news report from Syria, Iraq or even France, this took place right here in the Shenandoah Valley 250 years ago this month. Thankfully, a young teenager escaped or I wouldn’t be writing this column today. In fact, I wouldn’t be anywhere today for she became my great, great, great, great grandmother.

Sandy Schwalb: The story of Luke, the canine

Sandy Schwalb

August 1, 2016

Every rescued animal has a “back story.” My husband Steve and I have volunteered for a number of animal rescue organizations for many years and we have “seen it all.” There are dogs, cats, and yes, even cows, that are found wondering the streets or countryside, show up at people’s homes, are left behind when their humans move or, in rescue lingo, “dumped” at shelters. In these cases, we don’t always know where they come from, but at least we know that their “once upon a time” begins when they are rescued, made to feel safe and begin their new life.

George Bowers Sr.: Reckless driving with horses

George Bowers Sr.

July 29, 2016

All modern motorists are familiar with the large fines and insurance increases that accompany a reckless driving charge. I was somewhat surprised, however, to learn that some drivers were cited for this violation even back in the days of the horse and buggy.

Jason Wright: Heavenly view offers rewards

Jason Wright

July 29, 2016

Several years ago, I was hired to lead a trip to Peru. The trip was organized by a group travel company and was expertly executed in every way, with the exception of the in-over-his-head host.

Bonner Day: When you have fallen and you can’t get up

Bonner Day

July 29, 2016

In a recent week a series of disasters fell on me. Air conditioners in the house broke, a pipe leak was sprung between the well and the house, and electric power to the well was shut off. Add electrical problems with my farm pickup and the week seemed a total wreck.