Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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Posted June 18, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Spotlight on a young professional

Yes, dear reader, you have now turned to that part of the newspaper where we traditionally focus on some amazing young professional in the Des Moines area as an inspiration for those of us who might be slacking just a bit and need to shape up. These are always great

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Posted June 11, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Just a game

It’s just a game. Nothing more. Something to pass the time. Perhaps you can do it with your kids on long car trips. Or with your husband, when he looks across the table at you in that nice restaurant with his usual bored expression. Or maybe you know someone in

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Posted June 04, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

‘Am I in that grave?’ — part 2

Omaha Beach. Utah Beach. Sword Beach. Juno Beach. Gold Beach. Seventy years ago, on June 6, 1944, thousands upon thousands of American soldiers came to Europe for the first time, up these “beaches” into Normandy. And over the next few months, thousands followed behind them for the push into Germany.

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Posted May 28, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Older men

Older men are a dying breed. Sad to say. They are a species unto themselves, and I worry about their extinction, which causes me to write on their behalf. I’d speak of older women, but I find myself frequently infatuated with older women. Not enough emotional distance to report accurately.

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Posted May 21, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

‘Our boys’ — Part 1

The old Dutch couple moved slowly along the narrow reflecting pool. Flowers and a vase were cradled in the woman’s arms. They stopped. The man took the vase from the woman and carefully, with obvious complaint by his joints, went to one knee next to the pool. He dragged the

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Posted May 14, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

What should a woman not have to do?

Wading into the dark waters of women’s issues is not a good idea, especially for a male. I know this. Why not just stay up on the bank where there are no snakes, no quicksand, no danger? This seems a no-brainer. But, unfortunately, I also believe in the magic of

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Posted May 07, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

A typical conspiracy

Conspiracies are awesome. Who doesn’t love an intricate web of deceit and lies and blind alleys that ends with a broken bottle, three yellow tulips and five drops of blood? The obvious explanation? A conspiracy. Conspiracies are the province of mystery story writers and science fiction authors and the media.

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Posted April 30, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Daydreaming in early spring

Is there any harm in letting your mind drift along on a warm spring day, feeling the sun on your neck and smelling the just-turned Iowa dirt from across the fields? With the world topsy-turvy because of missing planes, upside-down ferry boats and troops massed on the border, isn’t it

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Posted April 23, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Why not?

HELP WANTED: Person needed to create something wonderful out of an empty spot in Downtown Des Moines. 400,000 square feet available. Some debris removal required. Portions of Tea Room included. Helpful if partially crazy. The monumental fire and the destruction of the Younkers Building was quite a tragedy — sad

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Posted April 16, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

When a building dies….

When a building dies, do we mourn the loss? With all the real troubles in the world — the real suffering, the real terror, the real death — it seems absurd to mourn a building. I mean, come on, let’s be serious. A thing, built of mortar and brick and

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