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Sitting in a Buddhist zendo in Evanston, Illinois, my senses were supposed to be focused on the meditation around me. I came there in 2013 for a sesshin, a week-long residential, silent meditation retreat in the suburbs of Chicago. It was day five and I felt very relaxed, especially after an…

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At this time a year ago, our feeling of normalcy tilted firmly toward trepidation of an unknown killer hitchhiking its way into our community — the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, Covid-19, were arriving in the Loveliest Village.

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Recently, I was watching TV and came across a fascinating program (at least it was to me) featuring people who choose —for whatever reason — to live off the grid in frozen Alaska.

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A lot of people have fretted over Auburn’s proposed short-term rental (the “STR”) ordinance. Thus far, many people, particularly the majority of Auburn’s elected officials, have viewed the proposed ordinance as simply a means for bringing a noncompliant use into compliance, as a supplemental…

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A renter’s perspective: When our daughter was an infant, my wife and I were invited to a friend’s wedding in Knoxville. We wanted to stay somewhere that had multiple rooms because our daughter was a light sleeper. We also needed to be close to downtown since that is where the wedding party a…

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As I was preparing this week's conversation, I found out how treatment of some of the most dreadful diseases known to man are literally going to the dogs. 

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The failure of the electrical power system in Texas, which left millions without heat and other necessities during very cold weather, is beyond awful. Why did this happen?

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To this observer of the hours-long Feb. 16 Auburn City Council meeting, one Councilperson’s multi-part amendment (which was adopted) to the “Short-term Rental/Homestay Ordinance” looks like an eleventh-hour strategy to undermine the years of work done by the Planning Commission and the Task …

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e careful where you step. There are lots of rabbit holes out there, and they are not easy to spot. 

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You might say we're living by the numbers. Here's more on what I'm talking about.

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The Southeastern Conference is expected to make a move as soon as this week that will drastically alter the landscape of college football — adding two of the premier sports brands in the country to what is already the NCAA's strongest athletic conference. 

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North Carolina writer Thomas Wolfe penned the novel, “You Can’t Go Home Again.” But you can.

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If you have satellite TV, you know what it's like to try and watch your favorite program in the middle of a rain storm. 

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Many of the conversations we share here in the Auburn Villager begin with words from my lovely and talented bride of nearly 50 years, Paula, and this will be another one.

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News may be defined as noteworthy information about recent or important events. The plural of our English word “new” comes from the Latin word “nova,” meaning “new things.” The major TV networks like ABC, CBS or NBC had journalists overseas who were foreign correspondents. They fired them in…

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Two weeks from today the Auburn Tigers, Arkansas Razorbacks and Missouri Tigers will take the stage to wrap up day four, the final session of the 2021 Southeastern Conference Football Media Days at Hoover. None of those three teams is expected to be one of the favorites to win their division…

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The saying that “a nation (city or society) sits on a hill” implies that such items are doing something specially helpful for humanity, a great compliment. 

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It was a typical hot and muggy August evening in 1976 when my wife Paula and I rolled into Montgomery. We were driving from Nashville where I had interviewed for a job at a TV station in the Music City.

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Towns and cities with rivers running through or by them are few and far between on the American landscape.

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It’s difficult to be a Muslim today in the U.S. It seems that Muslims have replaced communists as the bad guys in the cultural wars. As a child living in Bayonne, New Jersey, I never heard of the words “Muslims” and “Islam.”  This was back in the Forties and Fifties.

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The Lone Ranger: If we ride together, we ride for justice.

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So may of our conversations begin with things I see on television. Take for instance last weekend when my wife Paula and I were watching a number of documentaries from WWII. The most memorable one was a documentary on the Battle of Britain. During part of the program, the narrator mentioned …

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“Each religion is alone true, in the same way, each landscape, each picture, each poem, etc. is alone beautiful.”— Simone Weil 

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When I’m counseling people, I try to emphasize that we learn by way of contrast and by way of example. We can observe marriages and say, “I want to have a relationship like that.” Or, “I definitely don’t want to do it that way.” And since no relationship is perfect, you can learn by contrast…

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Growing up, I was involved in all kinds of pranks and shenanigans as, I assume, most of us were at some point, even if we would not admit it in polite company. 

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In case you haven’t noticed, we’re officially in the summer season. I guess you could say it’s time to get used to high temperatures and soaring humidities. I can remember when I was doing the 6 p.m. and 10.p.m. newscasts, I had Tuesday and Thursday mornings free to take care of my jobs arou…

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Five hundred years ago, during the summer of 1521, a young soldier from northern Spain found himself injured and immobile, recovering from a cannonball wound received in battle. Until his injury, the goal of the young man, Ignatius of Loyola, had been to serve as a soldier and to make a name…

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I spent another couple of hours watching sports on TV this past weekend. This time it was the pre-Olympics diving competition. That goes to prove that I will watch most any program labeled sports that comes on network television.

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During the first week in June, it was estimated that 40 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and 60 percent have received one dose. The Biden Administration has set a goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the U.S. population by July 4, since in the region of …

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When my family moved from Albany, New York to Auburn in 1984, the city had about 30,000 residents. Now, we have circa 68,000 residents. That’s roughly a 38,000 increase in population. 

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The phone rang about 8 p.m. on Thursday night, May 27. The person on the other end was dejected and discouraged. I immediately recognized the voice of Hope Zeanah, a 40-year veteran educator, assistant superintendent of the Baldwin County school system and a former Alabama Elementary Princip…

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I did something last weekend I haven’t done in quite some time. I watched softball and Major League Baseball on TV... all in the same weekend. And boy, did I get my money’s worth when it came to unexpected outcomes. 

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U.S. flags fly through the toughest of weather, from raging wind to bright sun to pouring rain. The flag is surely our symbol of perseverance.

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The other night, Paula and I were enjoying a rare, mild evening — just made for watching airplanes and make-believe UFOs. 

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66 years, 3 months, 26 days …Thomas Joseph Beckwith, “Joe” as we know him … The Good Lord loaned him to his family, friends, communities, and this world. While his recent passing leaves his loved ones and friends grieving, we can take great solace in knowing him and the countless blessings h…

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Last month, 10 members of my congregation joined me and three other educators for a training in Emotional CPR. The premise is simple: when we’re in emotional crisis, what we need most isn’t for someone to rescue us or fix us or set us straight; what we need is to know that others are able to…

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Alabamians have proven their resilience throughout the past year. As our state took precautions to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, we adjusted to changed surroundings, coped with being separated from loved ones and faced growing uncertainty about the future.

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In a university town like Auburn, it may be of interest to some readers of the Auburn Villager to ask who and what makes an intellectual? There are tons of answers to such a question but scant agreement about what makes a person an intellectual. When it comes to discussing what makes an inte…

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You never knew what’s around the corner — especially around the house I grew up in. 

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My attitude toward water is different today. I used to be a water waster. Now, I’m a conserver. I treat water as a precious liquid, and I use only what I need.

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Due to the pandemic, last summer was the first time my children were not in some sort of full-time day care or camp. 

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A little over a month ago, our office manager, Christi, excitedly told me about her weekend plans — she and a group of her friends, kids in tow, were traveling up to Leeds to spend the day at a gas station. 

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In case you’ve been locked up in quarantine and haven’t had a chance to notice, the city of Auburn is now a mass of construction cranes, temporary trailers, and more construction-based signs than you could easily count. And not to be outdone, the AU Board of Trustees is moving ahead with its…

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Regardless of what happens with Auburn High School’s run in this year’s state playoffs, in which the Tigers have advanced to the Class 7A state semi-finals, in my eyes the AHS baseball program is a big winner this spring for honoring the program’s most successful baseball alumnus, pitcher Jo…

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A year ago, the Auburn community was creeping slowly back into public in limited fashion after a mandatory shutdown kept everybody homebound for everything but the essentials.