Are We Losing Our Independence?

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A very good and kind friend of mine from New York City once came to visit. As we were sitting casually in the sun overlooking my front yard, he turns to me and says, “Chris, that open space is a terrible waste of good space. You should pave it for more parking, maybe put up a shed or two. You’ll get more use out of it.”

I tried to explain the fine nuance of local zoning laws, the joys of smelling freshly cut grass, and the pleasant soft coolness an expansive lawn offers, especially on hot summer days.

He would have none of these arguments. He saw only the sterile utility of the land, not the Continue Reading “Are We Losing Our Independence?”

1620 – A Quadrennial That Defines America

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Without 1620, there would be no 1776. There would be no United States. There would be no us.

As we sit down at our Thanksgiving Day tables – which this year includes grandma and grandpa joining us via Zoom – we should consider not just what we are thankful for, but what it took to get us here.

We can turn to the Pilgrims for inspiration.

Long persecuted for their beliefs, they put their trust in their faith and ventured into the Continue Reading “1620 – A Quadrennial That Defines America”

Why I’m Thankful for The Sandlot

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Take a step out into the fall air. There’s a faint rustle in the stillness. Falling leaves flutter to the Earth’s floor. Their slow decomposition releases an arousing aroma. It’s the smell of autumn. It’s the smell of coming things. It’s the smell of football.

There comes a time in the late school day afternoon, when the homework is finished, that the smell beckons. When this siren calls, the boys come out.

Or at least they used to. There was once an age, well before organized youth sports, when neighborhood boys would regularly convene. Together, they would decide the game, the boundaries, and the rules. Then they’d play. Sometimes deep into the darkness. The score never mattered. The camaraderie did.Continue Reading “Why I’m Thankful for The Sandlot”

The Annual Thanksgiving Mudbowl

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mudbowl-1434436-1598x1062Bring an old weathered football up to your nose, close your eyes, and take a good whiff. Can you smell it? Do images of sweaty muddied gruff men, caked with sweat and blood, move in slow motion within your brain? Do your muscles tighten in pleasant anticipation at the thought of the gridiron? If so, then congratulations. You are part of a dying breed, a member of a secret society that long ago closed its doors to new applicants.

Well, not exactly. Those doors  remain open today and they will forever stay open. It’s just that, in an era of prefabricated microwave cooking, no one wants to go through the Continue Reading “The Annual Thanksgiving Mudbowl”

Thanksgiving Thinking

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the November 23, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259Act II, Scene 5 from Pass the Cranberries and What’s the Score

(The scene is a Norman Rockwell-like Thanksgiving dinner setting, complete with all the trimmings: grandma, mom, dad, two older sons and two younger daughters. Grandpa is in the family room sleeping on the couch and an old B-movie plays on the television set. Though dinner is nearly over, dishes are busily being passed and the clinking of silverware against a plate rings incessantly.)

Mom: Come on boys, finish the vegetables. There’s too little left to put in the refrigerator and we need room for the rest of the other leftovers.

Son #2: (Looks to his older brother.) OK, I’ll take the peas and mushrooms and you can have the corn.

Son #1: No problem. (Turns to his youngest sister.) Pass the salt.

Daughter #2: (Stretches her arm across the table, knocking over her glass of cherry-red Kool-Aid on the formerly brilliant white tablecloth.) It’s too far for me to reach. Could somebody pour me some more Kool-Aid?

Daughter #1: (Giggles.)

Dad: (Angrily.) That’s not funny. (Places all available napkins on the ever growing spill.)

Son #1: Oh, oh. I think I just saw the EPA pull up in the driveway. (No one at the table Continue Reading “Thanksgiving Thinking”

Day 13 – November 26, 2009 (Thu): Reel In Your Evangelists

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 90 Followers: 60 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 12 – November 25, 2009 (Wed): Look for Your Evangelists

twitter_power_joel_comm_150It’s Thanksgiving. Who’s on Twitter? This morning as we prepared the meal and before football started, I had a short back and forth with @SkeeterHarris. He said he liked this experiment. I thanked him. Most of the other comments came either from the Buffalo Bills players and what appeared to be scheduled tweets.

By half time of the second game, Twitter bubbled with a touch more activity. Still sparse, but a little more. While I wasn’t looking, though, my eleventh grader sent me on a journey down memory lane that pleased me and astonished her.

Continue Reading “Day 13 – November 26, 2009 (Thu): Reel In Your Evangelists”

Day 12 – November 25, 2009 (Wed): Look for Your Evangelists

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 81 Followers: 57 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 11 – November 24, 2009 (Tue): Have Fun!

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Well, let’s just say I woke up to a pleasant surprise this morning. Not only had my following paid off in new followers, but I discovered some of those new followers had added me to their lists. However, an “@” response from Democrat & Chronicle sports writer Sal Maiorana. Now, those who know me have full knowledge of my familiarity with the media, but, other than the fact Mike Catalana used to live next to my brother, most of my contacts reside on the business page. In fact, this morning I spoke to D&C reporter Matt Daneman about credit default swaps.

Sal had some interested comments on the disposition of the Buffalo Bills coach. He seems to feel a top-tier won’t desire coming to the Bills due to lack of talent.

Although Joel Comm had his own ideas for the next two days, I realized that, with today being the day before Thanksgiving and tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I figure there won’t be much action on Twitter. I continued to experiment with the “@” and DM functions and found out I accidentally @’d the wrong person. The whole knew. Oops! In the end, it probably came across as more of a non sequitur and less of a “your slip is showing” kind of event.

For the most part, the rest of the evening I spent cleaning off our dining room table in anticipation of tomorrow’s big family feast. It’s the least I can do for my lovely wife.

How many followers do you think I’ll have after 30 days? Click here to enter your guess on my Survey Monkey survey “Chris Carosa’s 30-Day Plan to Dominate Twitter Experiment.” There’s no prize, but the fan who guesses the closest correct number the earliest will “win” and I’ll mention you if you want me to.

Find out today’s results on Day 13 – November 26, 2009 (Thu): Reel In Your Evangelists

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