Blog Archives

My apologies for not posting…

After putting up the Joseph Stiglitz piece yesterday, the trackpad on my MacBook started playing games on me… going where it wanted to go, not where I did, and opening windows and folders I didn’t want to.

I spent most of the day cleaning the pad, trying all the downloads recommended on the help boards, loading and unloading applications, changing administrative sign-ons, etc., but it was only late in the evening that it started working more-or-less correctly again.  So far this morning there is no problem.

The non-working computer also kept me from finishing the article on the arts in Shepherdstown, WV, that I am writing for the new Fluent magazine… so that will take up a lot of my day today (assuming this baby keeps on course.)

So come on back later this afternoon and I hope something will be here for you.


I’m on my way over to CATF this morning to interview Ed Herendeen…

Ed Herendeen

Given his tight rehearsal schedule, I have been lucky to snare 20 minutes with Producing Director Ed Herendeen this morning at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. I am doing this for Fluent, Nancy McKeithen’s forthcoming on-line arts magazine which will appear on or about July 1st.

Ed is a theatre professional that I greatly admire and his festival is one of the reasons Elly and I moved to Shepherdstown. Indeed, because of the CATF even more arts organizations and programs have built up here and, if you can’t live in short travel distance to NYC, this is a great place to be.

Anyway, I’ve got to get out of the house. I’ll be back on line later…

So, it looks like we’ve sold our Town House…

Three months after moving over here to rural Harper’s Ferry, we have just signed the agreement to sell our Shepherdstown town house…not for as much as we wanted, but for enough to move forward in our plans to eventually build a totally sustainable house in the lot next to ours. In Elly’s mind, we are moving again next year, but I’ll just wait and see.

Life is never easy.


I’ll be on the radio alone tomorrow morning…

John Case just called to tell me he and his wife are going camping in Pennsylvania and I’ll be doing our joint show, Friday Winners and Losers, alone tomorrow.

If you want to tune in and you are within 50 or so miles of Shepherdstown, WV, it’s 89.7 on the FM dial.

If you are from anywhere else in the great wide world, go to and tune in from there.

Sitting over at Mellow Moods…

John Case was still away, so I did the morning radio show alone and unprepared… but it went OK. Now I’m over at the Mood for post-show coffee and talking with local friends who hang out here.

Can’t tell what the weather will be like for the rest of the day. It’s nice out now, but there are some dark clouds rolling over and it is a little windy… if we have rain later in the day I won’t be surprised.

Shepherdstown is setting up for an active weekend. Tomorrow is Eastern Panhandle Earth Day at Morgans Grove Park all afternoon and into the evening. There is the Really, Really Free yard sale on The Wall on German Street both Saturday and Sunday. And, of course, I have my regular WSHC show, Talk To Me, tomorrow from 11 AM to 1:00 PM.

Elly is doing a lot of different things today and, I guess, for the rest of the weekend, so I’m pretty much on my own. We’ll see how it goes.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Two weeks of moving start today…

Elly and Me?

We closed on our “farmette” on Friday, and now we will spend the next two weeks moving, emptying the townhouse and getting it ready for sale (say, are you looking for a nice townhouse in Shepherdstown, WV? Let me know.)

Home for Chicks

The thought of entering a life as somewhat of a farmer has been entering my consciousness as I plan to repair the very old chicken house on the property so we can go out in April (or earlier) to get a dozen or so live chicks. Sure looking forward to eggs by the end of the summer.

If this makes the blog come out at odd times of the day in the next week or so (no internet connected to the new house yet) then we will have to live with it.

Sitting in the radio station after crawling through ice to get in.

Thank goodness for 4-wheel drive. Fortunately they had already plowed King St. and I could park quite close to WSHC‘s studio in Kunicke Hall.

There’s about 2 inches of snow layered with a half inch of ice.  It took me a few minutes to scrape my car off, but it looks like the worst is probably over. The Weather Bureau says the temperature will go above freezing and we’ll have a little light rain and then overcast sun later this afternoon. Can’t wait.

Given the weather, I’m not sure if any of my regular walk-in guests will be on “Talk To Me” today. Hopefully folks will call in to 304-876-5369 and say hello.

The internet is up, so if you’re not in the Shepherdstown, WV, area you can tune in at I’ll be on from 11AM until 1 PM ET.

Since it’s a great day to stay inside and snuggle up with your sweetie take advantage of it. There has been so little winter this year that this is almost like a vacation.

I started thinking about Old Greenbelt, MD, this morning…

Greenbelt  Theater

… where we lived when we first came down to the mid-Atlantic area because I was then working for CSC. While the row townhouses in Old Greenbelt are not terrifically stylish, they are small and comfy and we really enjoyed living there. You are within walking distance to stores and movies and community theatre, and it’s a short drive to large supermarkets, malls and the DC subway.

We sold our townhouse when we went to Hagerstown and then to Shepherdstown.

This morning I woke up missing being in Old Greenbelt. Turns out that Elly misses being there to, so, tentatively, we are putting it on our househunting/retirement list and will be exploring the possibility.

Who knows?

Just got back from WSHC…

Hard to believe, but I substituted for John Case on this mornings Winners and Losers show on WSHC radio. Thankfully, Shepherd U. police came over to unlock the door at Knutti Hall and let me into the studio, where I spent the morning playing Thanksgiving songs (mostly about Turkeys) and talking about what I was thankful for.

At 2:00 we’ll be over at my Daughter Penny’s for Thanksgiving dinner. However, right now I’m watching the Macy’s Parade, which I try never to miss (back when I lived in NYC, I always tried to see it live and in person… a great event.)

Shepherdstown is pretty dead right now… most of the students from Shepherd are home for the weekend and most of the businesses are closed. No street parking problems, though… just nowhere to go.

Happy Thanksgiving, all. Be kind to an Indian today… and apologetic.

And don’t go to any stores that start Black Friday today. They are un-American.

Homecoming Day at Shepherd University…

… and I had a hard time finding a place to park to get into the radio show this morning. Alumni were wandering in clumps all around German Street and many were starting to head for the Stadium for the football game.

Of course, with all of this the Football guys were late getting into the studio and I had to stick around after my show to make sure they got into the studio.

Another Saturday at WSHC.

Things happen that we are not used to in Shepherdstown…

Like this, a couple of hours ago (from The Herald):

3:53 p.m. EDT, October 5, 2011 – SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va.

A 55-year old Pennsylvania man who jumped off the James Rumsey Bridge over the Potomac River near Shepherdstown was pronounced dead by rescuers as he was pulled from the river Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

According to Doug Pittinger, director of Jefferson County (W.Va.) Emergency Services, witnesses said the man jumped from the bridge just before 2:13 p.m., the time at which the original call was placed to Jefferson County 911.

This will be news for days!

Saturday starts my new radio show on WSHC…

Although the times may be moving around a little during football season, I am starting my new program this Saturday at 9:00 am, and this week we will be running until 11:00. I only got the word yesterday, so I may not be able to get guests to talk with… although eventually I want to do a lot of guest interviews and incoming phone calls from listeners. I’m calling the show “Talk To Me,” and that’s what is going to be the dominant theme.

I’ll be playing some of my esoteric song collection as well, the amount of which will depend on how much talk I can scare up. I’d like to talk about politics, the local arts scene, Shepherdstown business, and anything else my listeners want to converse about… within reason.

I’ll still be doing Friday mornings with John Case on Winners and Losers… I’ll ket you know more about my Saturday show then.

If you want to call in this Saturday, the phone number is 304-876-5369. We’ll be on WSHC, 89.7 on the FM dial, or on the internet. Hope you’ll be there.


No Hurricane Here…

… but according to the weather map we’re getting the fringe edge of Irene, which means we’re getting a rain and a wind at about 30 mph. It will probably continue all night and into the morning, with the rain sprinkling through the day.

The Morgan’s Grove Market made it through the morning until closing with only dark clouds and a small spitting of drizzle. Unfortunately, the threat of weather kept a lot of the vendors away. I spent my morning under Ruth Raubertas’ canopy to keep dry in case of a downpour that didn’t come.

They’ve cancelled a couple of outdoor events in Shepherdstown for tomorrow, like the Really Really Free Market in the center of town which the students throw at the end of each month, I guess they got through it today, but had to close down earlier and usual when the rain picked up.

Oh well, don’t have to water the garden today.

I’ll be hosting “Winners and Losers” on WSHC for the next week and a half…

Grandfather Case

John Case called me right after his Wednesday morning show to tell me his daughter was about to deliver his grandchild in Canada and he was taking off and needed to give me the studio key. He will be picking up Carol after she gets to the train station after work and they will be driving to Alberta.

So now I’ll be getting up early for the oncoming mornings to start the show warm ups at 7:00 AM and to open the program at 7:30 AM.  I hope you will all tune in to WSHC 89.7 FM for the next seven weekday mornings (or beyond, depending on John’s schedule.) You can also tune in on the internet at You can call in on the programs at 304-876-5359.

I’m also looking for interview guests who represent things going on in Shepherdstown. If that’s you, reply to this post.

We’re supposed to have fireworks tonight…

…but we are currently being hit by a string of thunder storms passing over us toward Hagerstown. The Fire Department Carnival, which is supposed to present the fireworks at 10:45 PM,  hasn’t announced a cancellation yet… if they do, tomorrow night is the rain date.

The Weather Channel, however, is predicting a 70% chance of thunderstorms tomorrow and tomorrow night. Shepherdstown Fire Department has not listed another rain date…yet… so maybe we will or won’t have fireworks this year. These are the ones I really like, since Elly and I can sit on our back deck and not have to leave the house or find parking.

Oh well, we’ll see what happens.

Having Coffee at Mellow Moods and Working on My CATF Reviews.

Now that I’ve seen all five plays, I’m starting to see a very interesting theme that or set of themes that form a basis for them all: Family, Society, Death, Recovery, Race, Politics, Helplessness and the search for redemption. These are five very strong plays by five diverse playwrights of different backgrounds and styles, yet their work comes together to form a brilliant combination and a most effective season.

Most of this, of course, is due to the choices made by Ed Herendeen, Peggy McKowen and their staff over the previous year leading to the Festival…not to mention the selection of actors to carry out the imaginins of five talented playwrights.

The CATF is an event that makes Shepherdstown stand out internationally – and it brings the most professional and satisfying theatre to a small West Virginia town so far from Broadway that it makes you cry.

I’ll be publishing the reviews later today or tomorrow, and recording them next week at WSHC.

CATF reviewing is going along as planned.

From David Mamet's "Race"

I’ve seen four of the five CATF plays so far and I have the fifth one, We Are Here, at the Studio Theater at 8:30 PM. I won’t give any details of the shows yet, except to say they are certainly worth seeing and cover a range of dramatic experience that I’ve come to expect from this festival. I’ll be posting at some time tomorrow and will be doing the audio reviews on my podcast Tuesday at 10 AM (Click Here on Tuesday Morning).

Friday I am recording the reviews for WSHC FM (89.7) in Shepherdstown, where they will be individually scattered throughout the month while CATF is going on (July 8th-31st).

I would suggest you hurry to and get reservations as some shows have several sold out performances, especially David Mamet’s Race, which started selling out a month ago.

How does John Case do it every morning?

I’m in my third day of subbing for John Case on the WSHC Winners and Losers show and once again I’ve gotten up at 5:30, taken my meds, fed the dogs and have had a cup of coffee while I sort out the music for the broadcast.

Now I’m usually a late sleeper and it is an effort to get up on Friday Mornings when I regularly do Winners and Losers with John. But he does this every day… as a matter of fact, he gets up earlier than I do so he can come into Shepherdstown from Harper’s Ferry. He is always bright and intellectually alert this early in the morning, which I give him great credit for.

Anyway, I’m off now to the basement of Knutti Hall where I’ll get on the 89.7 FM microphone once again (you can listen on the internet at

Talk to you later.

My Superfocus Glasses are supposed to be here tomorrow! I’m excited…

It will be lovely to see well at all distances with my adjustable SuperFocus glasses that I ordered nine weeks ago. While that seems like a long time to wait, the waiting time used to be 12 weeks, but, as one of the SuperFocus employees told me (after getting tired of my weekly “Are we on schedule” calls) told me, the shipping times have shortened because response to advertising and increased sales has allowed them to put on more staff.

Anyway, according to UPS tracking, they left Van Nuys, CA, on the 22nd and as of this morning they have left Illinois and are heading toward Shepherdstown.

I’ll talk about these more when I get them.

It’s raining in Shepherdstown for the Earth Day Celebration!

Hooboy! I just woke up to rain here in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and I’m wondering how the big Earth Day event in Morgan’s Grove Park is going to go. Oh, there’s a covered pavilion there so the musicians can be dry while they play… but this has got to cut down on people. Or maybe not. Shepherdstowners are a hardy lot.

I’ve got to go to Martinsburg first where they are having a special sale on water barrels (for collecting rainwater for gardening, etc., and composters. Elly has an event of her own to go to, so I’m in charge of the environmental equipment purchases.

I’ll have to get to the blog a little later today. Hope you all have a good one.

6:30 AM and I Woke Up in the Middle of a Nightmare…

It was one of those dreams that is too real and that I had trouble shaking off when I woke up.

I was getting ready to go to my appointment with Dr. Kahn (which I actually do have this morning at 9:00) and I got involved in some discussion with a lot of people in my house… a great big house somewhere… not our small townhouse in Shepherdstown) and then I left to go to the appointment. But I forgot my coat, so I had to go back in the house and go through room after room to find it, which I finally did on a bedroom…not MY bedroom…floor. So I left again and got almost to where I was going and remembered that I had forgotten to take my meds, in this case my diabetes pills (for some reason I didn’t even think of the insulin shots), so I went all the way back to the house.

But I couldn’t find them. I went through room after room, looked into drawers, looked on top of cabinets, asked everyone if they had seen them. No one had. I started to go absolutely crazy. Without the pills my blood sugar would rise astronomically and then I would die. As I looked all over this house, which was full of people who I wasn’t recognizing, although they were all people from my past, my old friend Harold Kepnes was coming up the stairs and joking at me. I was so upset… I couldn’t take a joke and called Harold some awful names and he started to leave. Then I realized I had hurt the feelings of a friend and chased after him and got him to help me look for the pills.

Meanwhile, my mouth was drying out and I was starting to be incomprehensible… I remember running into Harold’s mother and pushing her out of the way so I could search for the pills… and I was getting hysterical.

Then my dog, Nestle, started licking me, and I was in my reclining chair and Morning Joe was on television and, somewhere between sleeping and waking, I realized I was in my real living room and had been dreaming. It took me a couple of minutes to shake off the dream and meanwhile our other dog, Byron, came downstairs and, of course, both dogs wanted to eat and I looked at my cell phone at my side to see the time… 6:30. I had been sleeping in my chair ( I came downstairs at around 4:00 AM when I couldn’t sleep in bed and settled into a CSpan replay of a Climate Change conference in the House of Representatives, when I must have fallen asleep and started dreaming.)

I fed the dogs and then took my morning blood reading… 265!… much much too high. And now, fully awake, I realized it must have been the high blood sugar that was giving me a warning nightmare.

Now, after pills and Insulin, I’m having a cup of coffee and waiting for my blood sugar to go down so I can go to my appointment at the Doctor’s.

I don’t want to go through this one again. Oh, and sorry Harold. Didn’t mean to get you involved.

I’m doing the Winners And Losers radio show tomorrow and Friday…

John Case is going to be away and I’ll be doing the show (7:30 to 9:00 AM) Tomorrow and Friday. For those who haven’t tuned in, it’s on WSHC FM in Shepherdstown, 89.7 FM… or you can listen to it on line at

The phone line will be open during the show and if you want to call in and discuss politics or Zappadan or whatever, call 304-876-5369. I love your participation.


– Bill

I’m having a cup of coffee at Mellow Moods post radio show…

John and I had Karen Valentine and Laurel Parker from Source, the new inter-cooperative business on Princess Street in Shepherdstown. A little political and VERRRY local (pushing hard at “buy local” for as many things as you can), they have established themselves as a recycling source (where else can you bring your dead batteries and old panty-hose around here) and a sales area for local crafters, farmers, soapmakers and others.

They are having an opening blast on Sunday at 3:00 and I expect that Elly and I will get there for it. Hope you can, too.

John couldn’t make it to the Mood today, but I needed to say hi to Phil and friends and have a cup of coffee with everyone. Then I’ll get home and work on cleaning the junk out of the cellar.

American Conservation Film Festival Starts Today

The ACFF begins its 4-day run in Shepherdstown today, and among the great films on today’s schedule (some requiring paid tickets, some for free) is the Student Filmmaker Showcase at Erma Ora Byrd Hall at Shepherd University. Here’s the schedule:

screens with…

And don’t forget… On Saturday from Noon to 4:30 are some great films… some with the filmmaker attending, at the National Conservation Training Center… and all NCTC films are FREE.

On Sunday Morning… getting ready to go to the Farmer’s Market

In about 5 minutes Elly’s rye bread will be out of the oven and we’ll head off to the Farmer’s market to see if we can pick up some fresh sweet corn. Then there are a couple of art shows we want to see in town as part of the weekend’s Festival… we saw a couple yesterday, plus we went to a documentary screening about Historic Shepherdstown and a CATF lecture on protecting art in wartime (related to “Inana”, the play about how a museum curator copes with the oncoming American invasion.)

Weekends in the summer are full of things to check out around this area… and much of it is free. The Shepherdstown Visitors Center is a good place to check on what’s going on.