Take a turn at the front

Migrating Canada geese have a very public and proven way of spearheading their progress. By advancing together in a vee, their leader induces an aerodynamic lift for all who follow. And if you observe carefully, you’ll note that the Chief Honker switches periodically, as another energetic follower extends its neck and takes the lead for Read More

Messing around in a small town

Chapman Quarries is the smallest incorporated borough in Pennsylvania, with a population in the 2010 census of 199 people. It’s where my dad’s family was established, and where his dad, granddad, and nearly all his male relatives worked the slate quarries. While I didn’t grow up in town, that’s where church was and where my Read More

Matters not for legacy

There are conflicting stories about the precise heritage of my 7th-great grandfather, Augustin, a protestant minister born in 1661 in Germany. One claims he was rightful heir to an ancient well-known noble lineage; the other alleges he was the grandson of a common miller and an aristocratic pretender. Neither can be conclusively substantiated because the Read More