Commentary

Fri
25
Nov

Thanksgiving, a time to count blessings

By Lew Cohn

Managing Editor

When I was a child, Thanksgiving was one of my favorite times of year. We'd either go to my grandmother's house or have company over at ours and we'd feast on turkey, dressing, brisket and everything sweet under the sun.

The last few days of school were spent learning about the Pilgrims and the Indians and how they celebrated the first harvest in the New World. We'd dress up like Pilgrims with black paper hats or big white collars or we'd pretend we were the Indians, with feathered headdresses and long hair and breastplates.

It would be a celebration of equality, spirituality and brotherhood that would belie the rest of America's historical treatment of the indigenous people of the North American content, but we didn't know that as kids. We just enjoyed the fun of the holiday, stringing cranberries and popcorn together to hang in the classroom and reading about Squanto, Massasoit, William Bradford and Myles Standish.

Fri
25
Nov

Knee replacement: a modern miracle

By Lew Cohn

Managing Editor

A lot has been written about in this newspaper in the past about the Restore -The Remarkable Join Replacement Center at Hill Country Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg. It is considered one of the best of its kind, not only in Texas, but in the nation.

In mid-October, Healthgrades released its ratings of nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide and for the 2017 ratings year, HCM received Excellence Awards in joint replacement, pulmonary care, gastrointestinal care and general surgery, ranking HCM in the top 10 percent in the nation in those four categories.

Specifically, Healthgrades recognized HCM as a five-star recipient for total knee replacement, hip fracture treatment, colorectal surgeries, treatment of COPD, and treatment of pneumonia.

Fri
28
Oct

Psychic wife means ghosts in my life

By Lew Cohn

Managing Editor

Highland Lakes Newspapers

I love a good ghost story, but I am not sure if I truly believed in ghosts before I met my wife. Since that time, a number of things have happened that have made me into a true believer.

My wife told me not long after we began to date that she had been given a gift (or curse, sometimes) of being able to not only see the departed, but to commune with them. Stephen King referred to it as “the shining” in his book of the same name, while others refer to it as psychic ability.

I admit I was skeptical at first, even though my wife is a very direct, honest person. My skepticism didn't last for long. While in the hospital, Betty hesitantly told me there were three spirits with us. (She still wasn't comfortable with talking about her ability because she was afraid of ridicule from disbelievers).

Fri
23
Sep

Saying 'goodbye' to a beloved fur baby

Sydney Bristow Cohn (April 27, 2003 to Sept. 20, 2016)

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

 

The decision to put my dog down was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. My wife Betty came to my office Monday, Sept. 19, and told me that Sydney had been coughing and struggling to rest all night. That morning, she had coughed up some blood and things looked very bleak for her health.

Sydney, after all, was more than 13 years old. She suffered from cardiomegaly (an enlarged heart) and congestive heart failure. Just about six weeks ago, we had to rush her to Austin to the 24-hour emergency clinic because she was having a hard time breathing.

Fri
09
Sep

Remembering 9/11: an editor's perspective

By LEW K. COHN

Managing Editor

HIGHLAND LAKES NEWSPAPERS

It was a Tuesday morning in September and it was deadline day for getting the Bowie County Citizens Tribune out the door. I was in the office early, like I usually am when it is deadline day, and the phone rang around 7:50 a.m.

“You won't believe this!” my (now former) wife said. “A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. It's on Good Morning America.”

“That's horrible!” I said. “Let me know if you hear anything more about it.”

I ended the phone call and went back to work on the paper, thinking a plane crash in New York City was tragic, but would have very little impact on my job locally as managing editor of a small-town Northeast Texas newspaper.

Then the phone rang again at a little after 8 a.m.

Wed
24
Aug

Blame it on me: My song made it rain

Lew K. Cohn, Managing Editor

The Highlander

I confess. I think I am the one originally responsible for all of this rain in Burnet County.

It started innocently enough. The cast was in the middle of performances for “Annie Get Your Gun” when it was also auditions for the Hill Country Community Theatre's Talent Show. I decided to try out and my act would be playing my guitar and singing.

I had many different song options from which to choose. I play rock, pop, blues, country, alternative and even Jewish camp songs.

I was only supposed to play one song for the audition, and I narrowed down my choices to four: “My Hometown” by Charlie Robison, “Baby I Love Your Way” by Peter Frampton, “Alabama” by Cross Canadian Ragweed and “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” by Credence Clearwater Revival. I chose the last one.

Fri
05
Aug

Interconnectedness proven during weekend

Lew K. Cohn/The Highlander

At one point during her Choctaw Casino concert Friday night, there was about six feet of separation between me and Joan Jett. She is still an incredible performer. 

by Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Highland Lakes Newspapers

 

Very few people have not heard of the theory of six degrees of separation — the theory that everyone and everything in the world are connected by six or fewer steps from any other person or thing in the world.

This theory was originally introduced by a Hungarian author, Frigyes Karinthy, in a 1929 short story, “Chains” (Lánczemek) and is used to demonstrate how the world, though incredibly large, can be a small place through our interconnectedness.

Fri
05
Aug

Webb was a giant in Texas newspaper industry

Willis Webb

by Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Highland Lakes Newspapers

 

This year has been a tough one for entertainers. We have lost some great names in the arts, including Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Patty Duke, Maurice White, Harper Lee, Pat Conroy, Merle Haggard and Muhammed Ali.

This week, we added another name to the list of greats we have lost — our very own columnist, former Texas Press Association president and Texas Newspaper Hall of Fame honoree Willis Newman Webb.

Willis passed away at his residence in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Monday, July 18, at the age of 79. Below this column is the first of the last two columns Willis wrote for us. The other will appear in next week's Highlander.

Fri
05
Aug

Real Annie Oakley empowered women

Alexandria Randolph/Highland Lakes Newspapers

Hotel owner Foster Wilson (Managing Editor Lew K. Cohn) is stunned at the shooting prowess of Annie Oakley (Christine Ashbaugh) during a Hill Country Community Theatre performance of Irving Berlin’s “Annie Get Your Gun.” The real Annie Oakley was an empowering figure for American women who, during her heyday, earned more than anyone else in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West except Buffalo Bill Cody himself. 

by Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Highland Lakes Newspapers

 

For the past few months, my fellow cast and crew at the Hill Country Community Theatre have been recreating the fictionalized story of sharpshooters Annie Oakley and Frank Butler on stage in the Irving Berlin muscial “Annie Get Your Gun.”

The production features some of the most recognizable music in the history of American theater, including the anthemic “There's No Business Like Show Business” and the rousing “Anything You Can Do.”

As of today, July 29, we have three more productions of this show — at 7:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, July 30, and at 2:15 p.m. Sunday, July 31 — before we say goodbye to Col. Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show and strike the set.

Mon
11
Jul

Remembering Coach Hale's kindness

CONTRIBUTED/UT ATHLETICS
Coach Clovis Hale speaks to his players during his time as an assistant coach at the University of Texas at Austin. Hale died in an auto accident in Spicewood July 2 and funeral services were held Friday, July 8, in Loraine in Mitchell County.

 By Lew K. Cohn 

THE HIGHLANDER 

MANAGING EDITOR 

 

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