Summer’s Scourge

Summer’s Scourge

LISTEN HERE Poison Ivy CREDIT RALPH GARDNER, JR.  Communing with nature comes at a cost. There’s lawn care. Pool care. Tree care. And I haven’t even gotten to our house and all its geriatric needs. But that’s not the cost I’m talking about. I’m referring to a levy that I’m told is avoidable, though I haven’t figured out how to avoid it. It’s a tariff as self-destructive as any the Trump administration has devised in the gloom of Donald Trump’s…

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Family Meal

Family Meal

LISTEN HERE Gracie Gardner, center, surrounded by family and Blue Hill at Stone Barns co-workers RALPH GARDNER, JR.  Let me stipulate that the food was sublime, the service to match when we were invited to Blue Hill at Stone Barns last week by my older daughter Lucy and her fiancée Malcolm St. Clair as thanks for throwing their upcoming wedding. The reason I’m stipulating that is because the cuisine at one of the world’s finest restaurants, if not secondary, wasn’t…

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Shooting Practice

Shooting Practice

  LISTEN HERE   Ralph Gardner at the antique firearms event in Kinderhook, NY I recently inherited a gun. Actually, a .22 rifle. I know what you’re thinking. I was thinking the same thing: Get rid of it. Sell it. Donate it. This will not end well. I’ve never owned a gun. But this specimen has been in my family since – frankly I don’t know when. I seem to recall mention of associations to World War II. There’s a…

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And then there are the Books

And then there are the Books

LISTEN HERE    Cleaning out the apartment where my parents lived for the last sixty years after my mother died in February, and where I grew up – the task was completed last week — presented various challenges. Logistical, sentimental, financial, political. But one of the most disturbing and seemingly insoluble was what to do with all the books they’d accumulated over the years. Hundreds if not thousands of them. These books fell into several categories — at least a…

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

  LISTEN HERE Malcolm St. Clair, center, and Lucy Gardner, right, planting a tree in Prospect Park, Brooklyn RALPH GARDNER, JR.  Other than having a baby – perhaps even including having a baby – what’s a more profound vote of confidence in the future than planting a tree? Particularly in the current epoch where we daily read dire warnings about melting glaciers and mass extinctions: I believe the proposed name for this geologic era is the Anthropocene because of the…

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The Lure of the Garage Sales

The Lure of the Garage Sales

  LISTEN HERE   Pamela Salisbury (Photo:  Ralph Gardner, Jr.) The last thing I need at this moment is to spot a garage sale. I have enough material in our own basement to stock a dozen garage sales of my own – furniture, clothing, glassware, antiques, electronic equipment, tchotchkes of every imaginable permutation. And that’s not even counting the crap, though some of it is respectable crap, that I recently inherited from my parents. Yet the siren song of garage…

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We Appreciate Your Feedback

We Appreciate Your Feedback

  LISTEN HERE CREDIT RALPH GARDNER JR. Our Honda CR-V feels like a member of the family. Our first one, purchased in 1997, was the second CR-V on the East Coast. We could have had the first but it came in black and we wanted silver. The vehicle had accumulated 320,000 miles when my daughter’s boyfriend, a lovely person but a novice driver, totaled it on the Taconic State Parkway. Even though it flipped three times before coming to rest…

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The Stages of Spring

The Stages of Spring

  LISTEN HERE Early spring in Central Park RALPH GARDNER JR. I have this theory that the season when you were born is your favorite season. Perhaps that’s because if you came from a reasonably happy family your parents made a big fuss over your birthday and you got lots of presents. Having said that, I don’t understand how anybody can pick any season other than spring as his or her favorite. And it’s not just because I was born…

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My Earth Day 2019

My Earth Day 2019

  LISTEN HERE The writer celebrating Earth Day. CREDIT LIZ NEUMARK I use Earth Day as an excuse to clean up the garbage that’s accumulated along our road over the previous twelve months. Actually, it’s not an excuse. That’s the point of Earth Day at least as I understand it, to respect and repair the planet. After all these years, I’ve got the sanitation process down to something of a science. I line a shopping cart with a large, heavy…

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I Brake for Salamanders

I Brake for Salamanders

  LISTEN HERE    Spotted salamander CREDIT RALPH GARDNER JR.  One should always exhibit caution when driving at night. But especially during March and April in these parts. That’s when some of our favorite amphibians – though I should probably speak only for myself – can be spotted crossing the road to get to the other side. And why are they crossing the road, you might ask yourself? And if you don’t you should because there are few things that…

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