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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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Posted April 09, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Fathers and sons

Old farmers in the Midwest tell tales of winter blizzards so fierce that a farmer had to tie a rope from the house to the barn to be able to get back home. The tied-off rope kept the farmer from getting lost in the blinding snow and freezing to death

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Posted April 02, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Dear soon-to-be graduate

Let’s talk about your future. Please. We must. Before things get too far. Sure, it was just a moment ago that you were trudging to class through ice and snow wondering if perhaps the glacier had permanently slid down from the tundra of Mason City to cover Des Moines. But,

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Posted March 26, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Obamacare implicated in Grand Avenue Bridge fiasco

The recent fiasco at Grand Avenue Bridge, as reported first by Cityview, underscores once again how Obamacare has unmoored the very heart of red-blooded America. Listen to me when I talk to you about this because I’M ANGRY AND I’M LOUD. And you should be, too. After Obama almost stopped

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Posted March 19, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

A streetcar is trying to kill me

A streetcar is trying to kill me. I thought you should know. Crazy? Maybe. Paranoid? Certainly. But untruthful? You be the judge. The bell is what announces the streetcar’s arrival. There is no rumble, no whistle, and no escaping steam to give warning. Silence reigns as she smoothly glides along

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