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By Tim Hayes
Poseidon in Greek mythology and Neptune in Roman.  Sumandra in Hindu, Tefnut in Egyptian, and Mazu in Chinese.  Heck, even Aquaman in the comic books.
All gods of water, the liquid source and sustenance of life.  Entire cultures worship water for its irreplaceable role in keeping the planet alive.  We twist a knob and [...]

Beware the Brain Fart

By Tim Hayes
Seated in a giant semi-circle of metal folding chairs, clad in a starched white dress shirt, black slacks, and clip-on necktie from Sears, I awaited my turn in the citywide spelling bee.
The bee took place in a cavernous auditorium within what had been known as the Buhl Planetarium on the North Side of [...]

Flag Day Funk

By Tim Hayes
A couple of weeks ago, heavy rains and strong, gusty winds tore through our little corner of the world, blowing window screens into the driveway and snapping the cord that held up our American flag outside the front door.
This past Thursday, June 14, I finally got around to restringing the pole and raising [...]

Of Poetry and Pie

By Tim Hayes
My friend Tom and I sat at his mother’s dining room table, agonizing over this accursed high school English assignment – reading Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”  And as though that weren’t tortuous enough, our teacher expected us to actually think about it and offer our own personal analysis of the various characters’ motivations.
Gawwwwwd.  [...]

Turning Violet Around

By Tim Hayes
Everybody knew about Violet.
A longtime employee, Violet carried a pretty sizeable chip on her shoulder.  She enjoyed creating havoc.  She had a masterful way of pitting her peers against each other one day, then uniting them in vocal opposition to their shared manager the next.  She had perfected the art of swatting at [...]

Sacred Space

By Tim Hayes
This would be a special day, so I wore my best suit and favorite tie.  On this day, I would be meeting a personal hero.  I didn’t want to let him down, after all he did for me and my family.
Standing amid a group of other professionals in a special section of the [...]

Converting Nostalgia Into Action

By Tim Hayes
I grew up in a great place, in a great time.  Mt. Oliver Borough, in the ‘60s and ‘70s, to be precise.
The old-style corner store, run by the older couple, who’d extend your folks credit until payday, and who aired their family business all day in front of their loyal customers.  Every time [...]

A Study In Trash

By Tim Hayes
Would you trust a bunch of 12-year-old boys, armed with brushes and stencils and buckets of oil-based paint, turned loose on the utility poles of your local municipality’s main business district?
Well, they did in 1973.  And pockets of proof can still be seen, barely, all these years later on a handful of those [...]

Mushrooms: A Love Story

By Tim Hayes
“Would you look at this kid?  He could be a brain surgeon.”
The chatter from my parents around the Formica-topped kitchen table became nothing more than background noise.  Important work lay before me.  Lengthy, precise, essential work.
Picking microscopic chunks of mushroom out of that evening’s tuna casserole dinner entrée, that is.
Made with cans of [...]

Archie and the Hose

By Tim Hayes
In my old neighborhood, green space remained at a premium.  We had a small backyard, a strip of grass beside the house, and a tiny patch in front.
To prove the point, we had a manual push-mower from Sears.  No gas engine, no extension cord, just you and any kinetic energy you could summon [...]