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Burton Cole column

Watch out for snakes

Never walk barefoot through a cow pasture. That’s one of life’s lessons that I learned growing up on a farm — but not for the reason you might think. One bright summer day as a kid, I gingerly combed my toes through the grass at my cousin Dale’s farm. Why I was barefoot, I can’t ...

Color TV, my own phone — oh, to be that rich

When I grew up, I wanted to be rich. Really rich. So rich that my house would have TWO TVs. Both color, of course (rich kids didn’t have to suffer with black-and-white sets), and both with those massive cabinets and 25-inch screens. That’s how rich I wanted to be. It was my goal. I ...

Wanted: Elves for housework and light cobbling

Where are my elves? In the fable of “The Elves and the Shoemaker,” a poor shoemaker had only enough leather to make one final pair of shoes. The poor guy — let’s call him Harold — cut the leather and went to bed. According to the news report from the Brothers Grimm, when Harold and ...

Gang of garbage-filching cockatoos and can-crashing critters raid bins

It is my household duty to take out the trash. I don’t. I let our “trash panda” do it for me. The trash panda is the roly-poly raccoon that lives in the woods outside our rural home. He probably would move inside if we invited him politely. His bags are packed, ready to take up ...

My face didn’t freeze that way and other lies adults told

My face didn’t freeze that way. My eyes didn’t stay crossed, either. I tromped around for days trying to freeze my face into a snarling, cross-eyed dinosaur mask of terror, but all that happened was my jaw ached. “No, really, it’s ugly,” my cousin Scott soothed, trying to cheer me ...

How I spent my summer vacation — an essay in memes

During elementary school, the first assignment of every year was to write an essay titled, “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” Back then, summer vacation was three months of playing baseball, bicycles, camping and pestering siblings. Somewhere along the way, without meaning to, I morphed ...