Cruise Control: Set Sail for Adventure…and Relaxation – Garrett Foster

07.2017 FORT LAUDERDALE — If you’re someone who already loves to cruise, this story offers tips to make your next one even better. If you have always believed cruises are not for you, you may be booking one before you read the last sentence. For years I was adamant about not cruising. I thought there would be too many people on board. I didn’t want to be told what to do and when to do it during my precious free vacation time. I believed cruises would be too expensive. The biggest reason: I was afraid I would be bored and feel … Continue reading Cruise Control: Set Sail for Adventure…and Relaxation – Garrett Foster

Migraine – Mike Varga

07.2017 Image perfect and clear Now splintered, or wet Jagged confused, pain too near Mad at disrupt of day Of mind’s perfect betrayal Forcing an all stop-and-stay Find quiet, find dark See mind electric Seek calm, control spark Simple mind matters Failure is great pain Loss leaves me in tatters Knife shatters all peace Stomach erupts Breathe, hope it will ease Vision back, but I don’t want to see Stay in dark, quiet Manage pain and just try to breathe Always hours, maybe five Hang on and live Get there, just survive Brutal, life stress affects Try to control, or … Continue reading Migraine – Mike Varga

Independence Day; A Patriot’s Ideals – Mike Varga

07.2017 Ideals defined by thought and design Those words become one with us Forever fair and free in heart and mind Committed, complete and with resolve To share, care, protect and nurture Never weak or slow to problem-solve With higher purpose and with pride Protecting our freedoms, doing what’s right Onto the challenge, into the fire we do ride Whenever, wherever those colors do fly There too are the thoughts and words Meaning and purpose no one can deny Through this creation of freedom air Our patriot’s words and deeds ensure A nation, a people beyond compare Our united ideals … Continue reading Independence Day; A Patriot’s Ideals – Mike Varga

These Days Branson’s ‘A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock-n-Roll’ – Dennis Richardson

07.2017 BRANSON, MO – It’s 2 p.m. on a Thursday and traffic is slowly winding its way, single file, along a four-and-one-half-mile stretch of Missouri Highway 76 that the locals know simply as, “The Strip.” Vehicles pass by multi-million-dollar music palaces that beckon visitors with signs promoting “Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede,” “Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theatre,” and “Andy Williams’ Moon River Theatre.” Past budget hotels and restaurants, miniature golf courses, water slides and go-kart tracks, and souvenir stores. Traffic doesn’t cruise along so much as it oftentimes crawls. Locals say it is not unusual to require 50 minutes or more to … Continue reading These Days Branson’s ‘A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock-n-Roll’ – Dennis Richardson

Will Anyone Make a “Dent” in MLB’s Pennant Races? – Dennis Richardson

07.2017 Almost 39 years after Dent broke the hearts of Boston Red Sox Nation with a home run that helped give the hated New York Yankees the 1978 American League East championship, Red Sox fans still cannot say his name without interjecting a colorfully inappropriate adjective. The homer by Dent, a light-hitting shortstop who hit only 40 in his 12-year, major-league career, helped the Yankees cap a furious second-half rally from 14 games back of the Red Sox in July, catching Boston on the final day of the regular season and forcing that winner-take-all, 163rd game. (That the Yankees went on … Continue reading Will Anyone Make a “Dent” in MLB’s Pennant Races? – Dennis Richardson

A Good Walk Spoiled – Dennis Richardson

07.2017 ORLANDO, FL – Arnold Palmer never did it. Neither did Tiger Woods, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, nor Byron Nelson. In fact, none of golf’s greats ever did. Except for Jack Nicklaus – and, now, Jordan Spieth. When Spieth won the 146th Open Championship – only in the United States is it called the British Open – at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England, last Sunday he joined Nicklaus as the only golfers to win three different majors before his 24th birthday. And Spieth, who turns 24 tomorrow (Thursday), is the only one to have won … Continue reading A Good Walk Spoiled – Dennis Richardson

The Yin and Yang of Me – Mike Varga

07.2017 Defined this one by what I do But what does it mean to you? Is it accomplishment you see? Or the other person I’ve come to be Two minds working side by side Trying to balance life’s bumpy ride Is relevance now in the past? Will accomplishments really last? Understand this from where you are The only way to see is from afar Too close you find us two Easy to confound and confuse Conflict unbalanced by change Priorities, thoughts rearranged Energetic me is forever younger The other me somewhat stronger Yin and yang of which we are Bringing … Continue reading The Yin and Yang of Me – Mike Varga

Profile in Courage Needed – Randy Coppersmith

07.2017 WASHINGTON, DC — John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, Profiles in Courage, is a 1957 volume of short stories that describes acts of bravery and integrity by eight United States senators from America’s past. The book, co-written by Ted Sorenson, profiles senators who defied the opinions of their party and constituents to make what they felt were the right decisions. Each of the eight senators suffered severe criticism and losses in popularity because of their actions. Kennedy’s book hails the courage of each of these men, as they made their decisions despite the unpopularity in their home states at that time. The book follows the … Continue reading Profile in Courage Needed – Randy Coppersmith

Cigar City Still At the Heart of Tobacco Industry – Randy Coppersmith

07.2017 WASHINGTON, DC — When we were first getting Words Matter started, back in mid-December, my friend for nearly 42 years, Charles L. Bennett, of Philadelphia’s mainline, by way of Lakeland, FL, sent me a note suggesting I write about cigars. “Write about something you know about,” Bennett said. “And you know about cigars.” “And besides,” Bennett continued, “it’s an interesting topic.” Kind of him to say – even though I did teach him how to smoke cigars in Tampa when we were fraternity brothers at the University of South Florida. The truth is that cigars have been a lifelong passion of mine, … Continue reading Cigar City Still At the Heart of Tobacco Industry – Randy Coppersmith

The Week in Golf You Likely Missed – Dennis Richardson

07.2017 ORLANDO, FL – There was a lot going on in the golf world last week, in case you missed it – two major tournaments, and a controversy involving a third event. It’s not surprising that news got lost in the shuffle. Even on a slow week, a women’s major, a men’s senior major, and a tournament on the Web.com Tour – the PGA Tour’s equivalent of the minor leagues – don’t generate a lot of coverage. They are the cousins in the family of sports – while you may enjoy your cousins’ visits and they’re likeable enough, they are down … Continue reading The Week in Golf You Likely Missed – Dennis Richardson

Baseball’s ‘Midsummer Classic’ is a Classic No More – Dennis Richardson

07.2017 ORLANDO, FL — Major League Baseball’s night of stars has lost its glitter. A contest that is supposed to showcase the sport’s best players has, sadly, become a non-event. When I was a kid, I eagerly looked forward to MLB’s All-Star Game, thrilled by the possibility of seeing Sandy Koufax pitch to Mickey Mantle, or watching Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente play in the same outfield. When the season schedule was released each winter, I looked for two dates: Opening Day and the All-Star game. For months, I waited for that game, which this year is scheduled for … Continue reading Baseball’s ‘Midsummer Classic’ is a Classic No More – Dennis Richardson

MLB Trade Deadline Can Be Like Christmas in July – Dennis Richardson

07.2017 ORLANDO, FL – Major League Baseball’s version of Christmas morning arrives at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday (July 31). That’s the league’s non-waiver trade deadline, when teams’ fans, players and managers have opened the presents (player acquisitions) that, hopefully, their general managers have given them. Like kids shaking gift-wrapped boxes trying to discern what’s inside, fans have spent days scouring websites, participating in online chats, and tuning into talk shows in the hopes of discovering any tidbits that might indicate which players will be joining their team. Is my team getting the starting pitcher we need? Are we trading for … Continue reading MLB Trade Deadline Can Be Like Christmas in July – Dennis Richardson