When the gas cap is smarter than the driver

It has been many years since I made a trip to Arizona. It has also been many years since I needed to rent a car. That was evident a couple of days ago when my gas tank was getting low, and I needed to fill up. I pulled the rented Kia Rio painted bright yellow,…

Going back to school reveals that nothing stays the same

After high school, I spent several years taking classes at Yavapai College, a short distance from my hometown of Chino Valley, Ariz., hoping to eventually go to a university and getting a journalism degree. Life didn’t quite work out as planned, but I’m in the career I originally aspired to be in. It had been…

Mural survives bigotry but may fall in face of school closing

An interesting little debate hit the streets of Prescott in 2010, the year before I left Arizona. A mural on the side of an elementary school, the side pointing toward a main intersection, was causing a fuss because the dominant figure in the mural was a black boy. I never got the chance to see…

From the ashes of a corporate bookstore rises an independent Peregrine

Bookstores are not dead. Despite the advance of ordering anything and everything via the Internet, some bookstores have managed to not only survive the online invasion but thrive, as well. One of the things on my list for my vacation in Arizona was to check out the Peregrine Book Company, an independent bookstore in downtown…

Traveling the winding road proves to be stop-and-go

The winding road home in Arizona has gotten a little more congested. That’s one of the things I took away from my first day back in the state since I left in early 2011 to pursue a new chapter of my life in Wisconsin. After waking up at 2:30 a.m. Wisconsin time, which was still…

Returning home should be an interesting journey

It’s been an interesting transition the last five-and-a-half years going from the desert climate of Arizona to Wisconsin, where there’s plenty of green—until the snowstorms hit and bury it in white. I made the journey partially out of necessity, as I had lost my job at the newspaper I was working at. I could have…