The Artist: A Tribute to Roberta Cioppa

Roberta Cioppa (1935 – 2021)

I had the privilege and honor of working with Roberta Cioppa at Helen Keller Middle School for nearly 30 years. Upon meeting her we immediately bonded. Roberta taught art while Robert taught music.

Growing up, art was always my favorite subject, Continue reading “The Artist: A Tribute to Roberta Cioppa”

Column: Call It a Day

There was a time I loved Easton and my 3.6-acre property so much, I often I told my wife, “…when I die, bury me next to Sam.” It would be my honor to rest in peace alongside Sam, short for Samantha, the greatest springer spaniel known to man.

How I’d love to rest under the shade Continue reading “Column: Call It a Day”

Put the Fruit Down!

If you choose to believe Bible stories, in the beginning, along with a newly created garden paradise with its animals, bugs, birds, fish and whatnot, there were three beings, Adam, Eve and the Creator Himself. God didn’t ask or demand much from the bugs or animals, he didn’t have Continue reading “Put the Fruit Down!”

Live and Learn for Goodness Sake!

In my coveted Covid solitude I’ve been forced to do things I wouldn’t normally do. There’s been introspection, meditation, contemplation and lots of word games. More games than I’d like to admit. That said – let us now take a closer look at the word “evolve.” Reverse the first four Continue reading “Live and Learn for Goodness Sake!”

Industrial Arts Teacher Leaves a Legacy

A Tribute to Mr. Gass

Though I’ve lived in Connecticut three quarters of my life I’ve always considered myself a transplanted New Yorker. There weren’t many “New Yorkers” during my nearly 33-year teaching career at Helen Keller Middle School, not real New Yorkers. But when Ted Continue reading “Industrial Arts Teacher Leaves a Legacy”

Gotta Love ’em!

It was election week. Corona, politics and corona politics left little else to think about. As palpable tensions of abounding unknowns saturated the nervous airwaves, concerns grew ever deeper. Something had to give; either there was to be a seismic shift toward reason and sensibility Continue reading “Gotta Love ’em!”

All Aboard

Robert LaValle

You’ve barely opened your eyes and the morning SOS express (not ‘save our ship’ but ‘same ol’ stuff’ or four-letter explicative) is impatiently waiting at the door of your brand new day. The conductor shouts, “All aboard” and though you would love to roll over you Continue reading “All Aboard”


Robert LaValle

As soon as our ears can hear, words are translated into action.  There are all types of words. They can be powerful, playful, musical, monotonically robotic, harmful, loving, meaningful, or meaningless. Some bring joy and can make us laugh, others can make us cry Continue reading “Words”

Rendezvous with Destiny — A True Story

As the sun began its descent into the western winter sky, its message illuminated the great outdoors and quickly thawed the frozen crevasses of my sedentary mind. Unlike prior weeks of the worst winter in recent history, this sun beamed into our living room with undeniable force Continue reading “Rendezvous with Destiny — A True Story”

Mambert Road: A Job Well Done

Robert LaValle

Editor’s note: This is the third installment of a three-part series based on the author’s experiences on a family-owned property on Mambert Road in New York, east of the Hudson River. Here is the first installment, published on Aug. 21 and the second installment, Continue reading “Mambert Road: A Job Well Done”