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It’s hard for white folks to talk about racism. We think we are so beyond that R-word. We may have friends or associates of color. We may have voted for an African American. We haven’t a racist bone in our bodies – we haven’t ever used the N-word.

Most Americans of a certain age recall sitting for hours in front of a mostly-static TV screen on Sunday evening, July 20, 1969. A few hours earlier, two U.S. astronauts had made the first-ever human landing on the surface of the moon.

A Times reader recently called to plead with me that the newspaper run no more letters on the topic of abortion. These letters are hurtful to women, she said. They reopen old wounds for women who have ever had an abortion.

Summer Solstice, the farthest northward arc of the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, occurs today, June 21. It is the day of the year with most hours and minutes between sunrise and sunset – 14 hours, 52 minutes and 7 seconds. By Saturday, the sunlight day will be two seconds shorter.

Fifty years ago this month I graduated from high school. There were 24 of us in the graduating class at Canton High School. Many of them are still in central Kansas. A couple have died. I have lost track of others. I have heard nothing about a reunion.

Obviously, I have never been a Mom. An active parent, yes. But never the carrier of life. Never the partner with flesh torn in process of giving birth.

I just finished reading the April issue of National Geographic. The focus was Cities – Ideas for a Brighter Future. According to the magazine, the world’s population just 30 years from now is expected to be around 9.8 billion. And nearly 70 percent of those people will live in urban areas.

A majority of readers, I hope, got to this page by picking up a red wrapper on their lawns or driveways, then slipping out the paper and opening this newest issue of the Times. Often the red bag contains additional retail inserts.

March is the windiest month of the year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Close behind are the months of April, February and January.

Have you ever seen those flocks of thousands of blackbirds that look like spiraling dark cirrus clouds on the horizon? Last Sunday morning on a straight gravel section line road in Kansas, one of those masses appeared to flow across the road like water. As I neared, they parted in perfect ch…

When I am out of the country, I may say I live in the U.S. state of Missouri. (Sometimes that has to be explained with a reference to the Mississippi River.) When I am traveling stateside, I say I live in St. Louis. When I am in St. Louis, I say I live in Webster Groves. My town happens to b…

One would think by now we would have gotten it right. One would think by now that color and cultural divisions would have dissolved, that we were all a happily blended neighborhood.

Last week on the radio I caught a snatch of conversation that disturbed me. A politician was being interviewed and I didn’t catch the context. It may have been about the head games Amazon has played with cities across the country to get tax break promises before choosing its new headquarters…

I suppose it was a culturally deprived childhood. I never got to go trick or treating. We did usually have some sort of Halloween activity in grade school. I am not remembering costumes. But there may have been some decorated paper grocery sacks with holes for eyes.