Guest Columns

George A. Bowers Sr.: Now is the time to pray

George Bowers Sr.

May 1, 2015

In January of 1776, Pastor Peter Muhlenberg gave his now famous sermon in the middle of Woodstock on Ecclesiastes 3 which declares a time for every purpose under heaven. At the end of that rousing message, he removed his clerical robe to reveal the uniform of a Revolutionary Officer and declared, “There is a time to pray and a time to fight and now is a time to fight!” Most folks in the valley are familiar with this heroic story of patriotism that motivated many of his parishioners to join his regiment. This event is depicted not only on Woodstock’s town seal, but is commemorated with statues in front of the old courthouse not far from the actual spot of the sermon’s delivery. We also know the victorious outcome for the Continental Army under Muhlenberg’s close personal friend, General George Washington.

Richard Hoover: Is political orientation genetic?

Richard W. Hoover

April 29, 2015

Forty years ago I witnessed a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera “Iolanthe,” put on by a group of British ex-patriots. From it all, the lone Sentry’s marvelously rancor-free political rumination stuck in my head:

Laura de Medici-Bentley: Giving Livia the best of both worlds

Laura de Medici-Bentley

April 27, 2015

Livia had amazing teachers at the school where I taught in Arlington. Not only was she constantly stimulated; she was very, very loved. It has been months since she’s been in school, but she still vividly remembers her teachers and talks about them frequently. Sometimes, she still asks for her first teacher, whom she calls “Mama Vera,” since she was like a second mom.

George Bowers Sr.: Disagreement does not equal hatred

George Bowers Sr.

April 24, 2015

With all the banter regarding various issues today, it is important not to swallow the poison we’re being force fed: that disagreement with someone means that we hate them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Cody Fitchett: Chill that biscuit dough

Cody Fitchett

April 21, 2015

I learned a key tip in making biscuits is to have the coldest butter possible. We
even put it in the freezer for 20 minutes. The colder the butter the better.

George Bowers Sr.: Kites can teach us lessons

George Bowers Sr.

April 17, 2015

I’ve always enjoyed flying kites in the springtime. There’s something very relaxing about watching a thin sheet of paper or plastic climb into the wind and dance playfully in the breeze. Even as an adult, I still have several of these contraptions in my basement awaiting launch.

Roger Barbee: There’s a reason it’s illegal to park there

Roger Barbee

April 16, 2015

In case the reader is not aware of my prejudice, let me inform him or her right off that I have a sore spot for the people who park in spaces reserved for those with handicaps. Perhaps it is the fact that I use a wheelchair and must park where there is space for not only my van but the side ramp which allows me to enter/exit it. Let me also state that I am well aware that not all handicaps are easily seen. Someone may need the special space because he or she has a heart condition or some such problem. So be it.

Cody Fitchett: Three-layered sponge cake

Cody Fitchett

April 14, 2015

It is week eight here at the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, New York, and I can say that its been the best eight weeks of
my life! I learn something new everyday in baking class along with several academic classes that pick my brain.

George Bowers Sr.: We can’t extend our date with death

George Bowers Sr.

April 10, 2015

April 15 will soon be here reminding us of the old maxim that nothing in life is certain but death and taxes. And not necessarily in that order. But with only 57 percent of Americans paying income taxes last year, the truth of that statement continues to erode. Really it never has been true, but has been used to illustrate how highly predictable governments are at fleecing their people by comparing their assessments to the one absolute certainty in life: death.

Cody Fitchett: Pie Day at the CIA

Cody Fitchett

April 7, 2015

Good morning everyone in the Shenandoah Valley! The sun is out and the birds are finally
chirping here in the beautiful state of New York.

Roger Barbee: Yes, ‘It trembles on spring’

Roger Barbee

April 3, 2015

In a recent email exchange with my long-time friend Druin, who lives in the Cotswolds of England, I asked about the weather there. He responded that “it trembles on spring.” I was struck by his description for several reasons, but most of all by the accuracy of it in his use of an unusual, but vibrant, verb.

George Bowers Sr.: March Madness or April gladness?

George Bowers Sr.

April 3, 2015

This weekend college basketball fans are abuzz with the Final Four of March Madness (even though it’s April). The team that can win two more games will be the 2015 NCAA Champions and receive all the bragging rights that pertain thereto. Tons of money have been bet and lost on which teams even got this far through many upsets and no-brainers, easy victories and hard-fought nail biters.