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This Friday I retire. Not just after 31 years here at the St. Joseph News-Press, but from a working life that began at about 12 years old.

I already knew my mom was a queen before she was dubbed second runner-up in the Ms. Nursing Home Queen of District 2.

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By 2020, books were supposed to be dead, cars would be able to go months without refueling and we’d have anti-gravity belts.

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You wouldn’t know it by the sounds of the nightly fireworks in many neighborhoods for the past month, but the Fourth of July is actually this coming Saturday.

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These pandemic-laden days have us nostalgic for a time in the not too distant past. We long to sit in a movie theater, see a live sporting event or just give someone a hug.

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As if anxiously awaiting the end of a movie, we all wonder how this pandemic will end. We can’t fast forward to the ending. There’s no reliable prediction.

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We went to Red Lobster Saturday afternoon for my wife’s birthday. In earlier times that statement would mean little. But in the context of reopening during the coronavirus pandemic it can be seen as extraordinarily brave (like sticking your head in a lion’s mouth) or just as stupid.

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It’s dangerous for a black man to jog on the streets. When some people see a black man running, they assume he’s running from the scene of a crime or about to commit one.

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Blaise Pascal, the 15th century French writer, inventor and Catholic theologian, sums up the human condition during the coronavirus pandemic quite well.

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Many people think it would be great to work from home. I beg to differ. I have too many distractions at home: video games, beer, movies and my dog. At my office I’m more focused without those distractions and all my files are there.