PUB CHATS

Cool River Pub is a safe place, a community. Those who gather here are invited to share the honest expression of ideas, impulses, and inspirations. And, the house rules invite (and enforce) good humor, respect, and generosity of spirit. 

Living on the Roulette Wheel

I went to visit an old friend in his new home a few days ago. I found “Fred” sitting in a semi-circle of 12 other people gazing at a TV. The others drooped, drooled, gaped or groaned in various depths of indignity. But Fred, true to his nature, sat tall

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What We Once Knew About Sex

When Michelle Pfeiffer’s character in Up Close and Personal proposes marriage to Robert Redford, she mentions her need to have him around in the morning.

He, the typical modern male, counters, “But you already have me around in the morning.” And she replies, “But I want to know you’re legally required to be there.” Smart woman.

Marriage is not a “straight jacket,” “just a piece of paper” or a relic of ignorance. It is entirely reasonable and necessary structure for people seeking a reliable foundation for life.

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One Man

How was it even possible that a man who had no training as a spy and failed at everything else in life became an essential voice to, both, Hitler and Churchill? He, a double agent, is the only spy to be honored by both Germany and England.

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Sailors

The 20th century had taken these two men to vastly different places, but as children of God they shared an enormous familial heritage. I saw them touch their shared bond as brothers. Class distinctions blew away like dust; they were sailors.

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Radical Insignificance

Did you know that April 11, 1954 was the most boring day in history? It was according to a Cambridge University project. They fed 300 million historical details about people, places, and events into a computer. And the computer calculated that the only things that happened that day were an election

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Shovel Friends

Most friendships really soar in the big moments. We celebrate, laugh, eat, drink, mourn, and travel through the milestone moments together – we never forget the embraces at the ER, the tinkle of wine glasses in the wedding toast, that message at her funeral, or those transcendent times when Heaven touched earth.

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Confidence

We all ride a ball that is 8 thousand miles in diameter and moves 67,000 miles an hour in its perfect orbit around the sun. Our whole solar system is traveling about 45,000 miles per hour through our galaxy, a galaxy that is 100,000 light years wide and contains about

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Circles of Life

I grew up in the middle of Kansas, in the middle of America, in the middle of the 20th century. Naturally the racial attitudes in our home reflected our time and place. But over time I came into personal friendship with several African-Americans. I didn’t seek them; they didn’t seek

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The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski (Harper-Collins, 2008) is a grand American novel that swept me away to a land I’ve never seen (northern Wisconsin) and dropped me into a story I’ve never read. For days I couldn’t work, think or sleep very well; I could only read

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Living Life in all the Ways it Might Come to Us

Growing up in the farm country of south central Kansas, I quickly learned that agrarian life could be brutal. I saw the long days (and sometimes nights) of very hard labor; watched farmers cope with tornadoes, blizzards, livestock diseases, and volatile market conditions; and we all knew the sickening thud

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