Arts & Style

Beating the February blahs

While much of this winter has been downright balmy, February can still be a month where leafless trees, early sunsets and frigid early mornings can wear you down. And with leap year, we have to slog through 29 days.

Blowing in the wind

In the 1930s, dust clouds roiled a mile high and more than 100 miles wide across the Great Plains, visible on the horizon hours before the black blizzards descended on towns and decimated farms. “It looked like the end of the world,” said Cal Crabill of the wall of dust that would plow into his Colorado farm near the Kansas border. “It looked like a mountain range moving toward us.”

Catching up with KC and Melissa Etheridge

During the disco music-fueled days of the mid- and late-1970s, KC and the Sunshine Band was ubiquitous, getting down tonight on every top 40 radio station across the country. At the same time, nascent rock star Melissa Etheridge was honing her guitar skills in her small Kansas hometown and would burst onto the national scene in 1988 with her first album.

Creating a show about aging parents

Soon after my last blog post about the dearth of older characters on TV and realistic story lines for them, I interviewed Amy Lippman, creator o the YouTube show, “Ruth and Erica.” The show, which is presented in seven-minute snippets, follows  40-something Erica, played by Maura Tierney (currently also in the CBS hit “The Good Wife”), who is grappling with caring for her increasingly frail mother and father, who is in the early stages of Alzhe

Eat, drink and be merry

Yesterday afternoon, I pulled the tattered recipe for gingersnaps out of recipe box that had once belonged to my mother. Gingersnaps are a holiday treat we made each year growing up, and baking them every December continues as a tradition with my own daughter.

Goodbye to a quiz whiz

Back in 2005, "It's Academic" host Mac McGarry ferried me around the NBC channel 4 studio, introducing me to news anchors and other luminaries before settling back to talk about his more than 40-year career as host of the high school quiz show for a Beacon cover story on him. In the weekly show, teams from three local schools compete with lightning-fast velocity to answer questions  ranging from history to literature to math.

Holiday shows help make the season merry and bright

Beyond the Christmas creep and the showdown for parking spaces at the mall, the holiday season brings a bounty of plays and concerts that more than make up for commercialization of the season. Here are a few to consider attending, many with the youngsters in your life. All will make you feel young at heart and are sure to banish Scrooge’s voice in back of your head.

Is it so terribly strange to be 70?

Bob Dylan turned 70 yesterday. Fresh from playing concerts in China and Taiwan, he’ll jet on to Ireland, England, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and Norway — and that’s just in June alone.

Must-see TV?

Just how many characters on your favorite shows are over 50? Very few, it turns out. However, a new online-only drama series, "Ruth and Erica" explores the dynamic between adult children and their increasingly frail parents.

Red but not read

Last year, the producers of the movie Red, currently in theaters, wrote to us asking permission to include a copy of the Beacon in a scene from the movie. I was thrilled. The Beacon was going Hollywood.