All posts by Paul Smart

Our swimming hole

Our swimming hole

I guess there’s an element of privacy that’s long drawn folks to the Catskills. There may not be as much wilderness as in other places, but that doesn’t mean there’s any lack of hideaways, especially if you explore a bit and don’t get flustered when stores and gas stations disappear.

The good old days

The good old days

Chapman Hotel was a bar in Schoharie County that you entered through someone’s living room. They served Genesee and kept an old jar of pickled eggs on the bar for those needing sustenance. Down the road was a trailer bar in what seemed to be a landfill, along with a combined bar, laundromat and bowling alley.

Perils of a librarian

Perils of a librarian

My first nine months as a library clerk pushed me to rewatch The Wire. I wanted to run diary entries from my work experience alongside notes taken while watching the classic series’ dark glimpse into the various systems by which modern cities live.

Making better decisions

Making better decisions

I guess I’ll also have to tell my son, who’s been fielding news of his teenager friends getting grounded for smoking pot and stealing family funds, that I’d also been in jail for shoplifting in my late teens, There was also that college incident in the U.K. involving a stupid drinking game and charges of public drunkenness.

We’re still kids now

We’re still kids now

I can hear my mother chiding me about not forcing my son to keep a regular bedtime. I can vaguely remember myself sleeping until all hours back when I was his age, staying out all night to smoke cigarettes and drink instant coffee when at boarding school. Priding myself on how often I’d catch the sunrise when in college, or later in New York City as a young man.

Fingers do the walking

Fingers do the walking

Nowadays, we must build our own world of contacts. Unless friends share the people they know, we all live on little islands of our own. Or go whole-hog into Facebook, where limits rule even there. All’s for sale, which is why I ended up leaving their universe.

Micro and macro

Micro and macro

We could be looking to invest in new forms of education that incorporate armies of young people drawn into service to meet current challenges. Same is true for agriculture, food distribution, and other key elements of modern life. Remember CETA, signed into law by Richard Nixon, grown during the Carter era, and transformed beyond recognition under Reagan?