Cicadas, Katydids and Crickets

There is a sweetness – sometimes overwhelming – of the rise and fall, the rise and fall, the rise and fall. Late summer afternoon or early evening cicada song stirs something very deep inside of me. It is an unnamed sadness mixed with gladness.

It is a farewell song, a song of transition, punctuated by a ratcheting fade, a needle scratching at the end of an album track.

It is a call and response, a forecast of seasons about to change. These are back-to-school sounds, moving-away- to-college sounds.

Late in the evening the cicadas have fallen silent, replaced by the steady chorus of katydids in the backyard trees. Shadow sounds in an even percussive tempo, woven with shafts of moonlight and wrapped in humidity. Katydid-katydidn’t-katydid… And below (and sometimes above) the katydid choir is the steady white noise of crickets, almost unnoticed, but intensely present.

Sounds of August. Sounds of summer soon to transition. Sounds of life in slow motion, about to quicken.

Times Transitions

Today’s paper is the last issue for Fran Mannino who has been with the company for nearly 18 years. Mannino serves a variety of editorial roles, including that of online editor and managing editor of our West End Word newspaper. Mannino has worked as an important partner in the editing of each week’s Webster-Kirkwood Times and South County Times.

Mannino has accepted an editorial role with a daily newspaper serving a large retirement community in the Orlando, Florida, area. The move will enable her to live near her daughter.

Times Assistant Editor Marty Harris also retired a few months ago, but makes a few visits back to the office to provide vacation coverage.

Managing Editor Kevin Murphy, Assistant Editor Jaime Mowers and Editor-in-Chief Don Corrigan will be joined by Melissa Wilkinson, who will assume many of Mannino’s roles including that of managing editor of West End Word.

Times employees Holly Shanks and Dustin Bitikofer will take on added online and social media duties.

The Second Other Amendment

A well regulated system of transportation, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and drive automobiles shall not be infringed.

Automobiles had not yet been invented in 1791 when the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution made its debut, but if they had?

The argument against registration, regulation, safety standards and liability insurance for vehicles might go something like this: cars don’t kill people; crazy drivers do.

And 1791 hadn’t yet seen AR-15s.