Symphony Orchestra
Senior Stories

Boston Symphony Orchestra: Berkshire Music Center

“My grandmother heard them ring the bells when the Civil War ended,” Betty Hinchliff told me recently. “That’s how close we are to history.” Betty knows. At 103, she’s lived through plenty of it. The stepmother of a close friend, I’ve become friends with Betty over the past five or so years, and it’s been…

true technological marvel paper tickets
Senior Stories Technology Travel

True Technological Marvel: Paper Tickets

Gather ’round, young’uns, and soak up some old world wisdom about a true technological marvel… Some time back, my commuter line launched the miraculous electronic ticket. But that’s not the tech I mean. I’d held off on adopting the new baby for a few reasons. A biggie being the dreaded phone battery gone dead blues….

Jethro Mandolin

Kenneth Burns: The Mandolin Giant They Called Jethro

Unless you are of “a certain age,” you’ve probably never heard of the guy modern mandolin masters call a genius. Sam Bush and David Grisman will tell you he was the greatest jazz mandolinist. Along with the father of bluegrass music Bill Monroe, Jethro was the greatest mandolinist of any genre — ever. Even if you…

Teens Angry by Retarded
Senior Stories

R Word Against Theirs

“He’s retarded.” Does that make you flinch? Do you hate that word? Its banishment by the Cultural-Awareness-and-Sensitivity Squad (and, officially, Obama in 2010) is fine with me. Colloquial use, especially as an insult, is abhorrent and causes pain. Being a father to a wonderful young man who used to be mentally retarded but is now…

Gender Reveal Balloon Box
Senior Stories

My Gender: Revealed at Last

I’m a dude. As in male. I also just turned 59 — yep, only 21 years away from the Big 8-0! Actually, I don’t mind being older because the alternative is being dead, which I’ll try eventually anyway. Besides, I’m told 60 is the new twelve and a half. Male Chauvinist True Confessions I haven’t…


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