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  • Clarke Wallace

I’m an inveterate -- as in longstanding, chronic, confirmed, dyed-in-the-wool, incorrigible -- reader of newspapers. Always have been. It's that tactile feeling of holding them physically in your hands, turning the pages. You can put them down, and pick them up later where you left off.


I know that sounds corny, if that's the right word. But newspapers fill a need for me beyond TV or radio.


What I look forward to is in my area, is The Toronto Daily Star. The Globe and Mail. Especially the weekend editions. I’ve been asked why I don’t give up the expense of buying them, instead of relying on free TV or radio that cover the news well enough, it's a good question. I have no answer.


Then again, maybe I have. It seems I absorb information better when reading the printed page . I’m not in a hurry; the newspaper isn’t going anywhere. What I read stays with me, flashing back every now and again, reminding me how life goes on.


Watching news on television takes concentration. You look away, and miss something you might have found important. It’s there one moment; and gone the next.


Author’s comment: Don’t get me wrong. I watch television and listen to radio, the latter mostly in the morning. Over breakfast. Even before. But daily newspapers give you an intangible feeling life is staring at you right in your face.


  • Clarke Wallace

There are two ways to look at a Christmas tree: real or not.

The latter kept in a box you’ve stored in the attic – or basement. For how long? Ten years?

Most of us buy one or other to celebrate the season, pretty much sticking to one of them year after year.


We have friends who insist on the artificial tree, it being environmentally friendlier. Whereas the real tree is dumped by the curb after the holidays to be picked up by a garbage truck, along with whatever else you’re tossing out.


The good news? Many are picked up separately from the garbage, turned into mulch and recycled back into the earth.


I’m told during the Christmas season, the aroma of a coniferous tree indoors, raises the dopamine (?) levels in the brain, which makes us feel better. No one ever told me that.


Author’s comment: And this: A truck from Trenton, Nova Scotia, makes a 1,100 km. trek to Boston, Mass. to drop off a large, 13.7 meters high – 44 feet - Christmas tree. As a gift. It’s to show ‘the province’s gratitude for Bostonians who helped out after the devastating Halifax explosion in December 1917’.

It happened, I’ve been told, every year since.