Harry Drabik

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Going, going, gone

Harry Drabik

The other day outside a convenience store, I ran into a neighbor I hadn’t seen in a while. I stopped to say hi and otherwise pretend I was a decently sociable human being. If you recall last week, there were some windy and chilly days. Well, it’s north shore in spring, so wind and cold are the norm. I recall one May wearing a parka and choppers to water my new grass (lawn). It was like that outside the store talking to someone buffered from t

It’s more than a word

Harry Drabik

We live where it’s sometimes hard to know what to call the time of year. Is it spring? Or are we better off saying mud time or pre-bug season? Our end of winter isn’t like the sunny Easter to the south, but then ours comes minus tornados, so I’m not complaining. Northland spring is a multi-word affair. I’d vote for “ice-out, frost on the ground, too soon to plant, fire at night, bumpy road, no bugs time of year.

Responsible

Harry Drabik

I was asked recently about an article. The question: Was I beating war drums? Well no, I wasn’t, but in 1,000 words (plus my ability to muddle) a single clear theme might get lost in the shuffle. Nonetheless, I take responsibility for what I attempted in the spirit in which I attempted it. Sorry my intent wa

Burnt to the Ground

Harry Drabik

No, the title isn’t world news. Inside while snow flew, I remembered an incident when I was six. Mother going to lie down with a headache (I’m sure it had nothing to do with me) presented a perfect opportunity for a camping adventure...

Lyceum

Harry Drabik

Some don’t recall it, while others don’t wish to acknowledge how at one time public education was a model for American values and progress. Most parents, if it was within their reach, wanted better for their children. Before “public” education was available, the likely ways to do this were by signing a child (sometimes for a fee) to indentured service (free labor) so he (in general only males were educated) could learn skills, to a guild (much the same as indenture), or a favored few (in part due to limited capacity) were allowed entry to a church school where a boy learned to copy, sing, and do menial work. The poor and their children had little opportunity to move above their station in life. Many children learned skills strictly from work with their parents or in their community, the majority of whose members were illiterate. The Protestant Reformation with its emphasis on individuals reading the Bible in their own tongue caused many parishes to provide limited education, primarily in reading, often excluding fem

Stokers and other things lost

Harry Drabik

As a kid in Chicago I remember our basement holding an item that was my father’s pride and joy. (It seemed to rival me in his affection, so I remember it very well.) That item, kept gleaming clean despite ...

Tough Sledding

Harry Drabik

Thinking about the forthcoming John Beargrease Race, I was reminded of an old friend who in melodic Swedish voice used to say, “We’ve got two seasons: winter and a couple months of tough sledding.” He’s gone ...

Will it be a Happy New Year?

Harry Drabik

If the Maya are correct we are in for big a bad time, as in an End-of-the-World style trouble. Well, it is possible, though in my view you’d need to push the notion of possible very far ...

Christmas Presents

Harry Drabik

I don’t have my outdoor lights up. A few years I missed getting them out completely. It depends on the weather and what comes up. I’m not too concerned though. As a kid I more than made up for any seasonal deficiencies now ...

Old Dishes

Harry Drabik

Over Thanksgiving while looking for a serving bowl I found a stray cup, the sort of thing most would rightly discard. Even in a second hand store how much value is found in one old cup?

Politics at daddy’s knee.

Harry Drabik

I learned what I’d call a form of “hard knocks” politics from my father. In his mind and words my dad was absolutely a staunch conservative who knew what was right and would not back down. He was adamant about that.

Lazy Bums

Harry Drabik

This time of year my local Post Office falls short on providing source material because with chill winds blowing and chores to get done between rain showers and before the snow flies we don’t linger as much to chew into mulch whatever it is ...

It’s easy to forget

Harry Drabik

It’s easy to lose sight of how fortunate we are to live where we do. The approach of winter (we can’t stop its arrival) causes a certain amount of “it’s coming to get us” anxiety, but we pull ourselves together and soldier on knowing there’s ...