The Role Of The Historian

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It’s early Saturday morning and I’m driving through history on my way to history. Like the hills I’m traveling through, the rain ebbs and flows in calm undulating waves.

“Calm” and “undulating” might not go together at first glance but think of sinusoidal waves. They move up and down with precise regularity. That regularity equates to calmness. The “up and down” represents “undulation” defined.

Such is the role of the historian, who commands the log of the human ship through waves of foible fads, ever trying to keep it calm and undamaged, despite its erratic and often misguided crew.

“Memory, thy name be frailty.” The metaphor of this butchered Shakespearian quote suggests the theme of this essay. It also represents the burden of the historian.Continue Reading “The Role Of The Historian”

Was This Written 50 Years Too Early or 50 Years Too Late?

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I‘ve always been puzzled by this thought: Was I born 50 years too early or 50 years too late? This thought resurfaced this week as I rode the train back and forth to Chicago while the rest of the world dazzled itself with remembering the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

It reminds me of a skit I once did as Cubmaster for Peter’s pack. We had our meetings in the cavernous Mendon Firehall. It was always filled to capacity. Filled with boys, their parents, and their siblings.

That night I donned a pair of Buzz Lightyear “wings” (actually they were my young nephew’s and I don’t know how I fit them over my shoulders without overstretching them). After strutting a few steps with those wings, I added a Woody hat on top of my head.

Maybe one of the Toy Story movies was out that year.

In either case, I asked the pack to guess who I was. Some of the boys says “Buzz” and some said “Woody.” I said “Nope” to each guess. Then I looked up to the parents in Pack 105 and said – in a distinct John Wayne kind of voice – “Well, pilgrim, some people call me a ‘The Space Cowboy.’”

And so it has been in my life. Teetering on the precipice of “born too early” while simultaneously straddling the ledge of “born too late.” Some might view this as a Continue Reading “Was This Written 50 Years Too Early or 50 Years Too Late?”

Ronald Wilson Reagan: The Real Man of the Decade

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the January 4, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259(We interrupt our regularly scheduled Commentary Coming of Age in the ‘80s: Part I to bring you this special reaction to Time Magazine’s declaration that Mikhail Gorbachev is the “Man of the Decade.” Portion of this piece will be neatly mailed to the “Letters-to-the-Editor” section of Time. We’ll keep you posted.)

The fourth estate has a very special role in any free society. Unattached to any governing body, it plays a vital part in the system of checks and balances between the three branches of government. Because of the blurry line separating the news media from entertainment, reporters enjoy the same poetic license of artists. This creativity allows them to report in a colorful – and somewhat Continue Reading “Ronald Wilson Reagan: The Real Man of the Decade”

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