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Anyone who has read my memoir about losing and partially recovering my hearing knows that I’ve never met a pun I didn’t like.

What I neglected to mention in the book is that “Life After Deaf” wasn’t the only title I considered. With my wife, Marty Winkler, and my agent, Eric Myers, as sounding boards, I tossed out a stream of titles, looking for something catchy but not too outrageous or obscure.

So here, now, finally, is the list.

The Best Ears of Our Lives

Deaf Reckoning

Deaf Trap

Deaf in the Afternoon

Deaf Race 2000

Matters of Life and…


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Firecracker photo courtesy Macau Photo Agency.

If we were to play word-association and you said “fireworks,” I would not say “4th of July.” I would say “Christmas.” I have no memory of popping firecrackers or shooting off Roman candles on the Independence Days of my youth. Why that is, I’m not sure. Maybe it was just too hot in July in south Mississippi. I don’t recall the city of Laurel ever having a big fireworks-in-park event, either.

Where I lived, out from town in the unincorporated, almost-anything-goes country, fireworks fever would strike soon after Thanksgiving. …


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I sure hope Donald Trump plans to donate his body to science. When his time comes, I mean.

I know it’s a long shot, the most science-averse U.S. President of all time bequeathing his remains to, say, the medical school at Harvard or Emory or the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, his alma mater. But I’m serious. He’s a rare human specimen, and he owes it to the nation — to the world — to make himself available for posthumous study.

First of all, there’s his body, the ample corpus that makes him look like a…


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America the beautiful balancing act. Photo: Noel Holston

The Washington Post’s Sunday magazine yesterday featured a powerful article about our bitterly divided country’s prospects for healing after Tuesday’s election. The author, Gene Weingarten, though he’s a humor columnist by trade, struggled to keep his optimism up.

I understand how he feels. So do millions of us.

A dear old friend, a naturalized American citizen who fled South Africa because of apartheid, told me the other day that despite accusations from the Right, she doesn’t hate Trump supporters, she simply can’t fathom their allegiance to such a creepy guy. …


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Nothing Donald Trump said during Thursday’s final Presidential debate told us more about who he is and how he views life than his response to a question that moderator Kristen Welker posed to both candidates in the closing minutes.

“President Trump,” she said, “people of color are much more likely to live near oil refineries and chemical plants. In Texas, there are families who worry the plants near them are making them sick. Your administration has rolled back regulations on these kinds of facilities. Why should these families give you another four years in office?”

Trump didn’t hesitate. “The families…


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More, perhaps, than cheeseburgers, adulation sustains Donald Trump. It’s his happy meal, his comfort food, his B12. Last Saturday, at a tarmac rally in Muskegon, Michigan, he got a huge serving from a good-sized crowd of MAGA-capped supporters.

The big headline out of the Muskegon campaign stop was that Trump encouraged the crowd when a “Lock her up!” chant began in response to a swipe he took at Michigan’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer. She was understandably livid given that the FBI only days earlier had broken up a white supremacist plot to kidnap her and put her on trial for her…


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President Trump with SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who likely will be portrayed by Laura Linney in an inevitable HBO movie.

To hear some of my fellow Democrats tell it, Amy Coney Barrett, her confirmation to the United States Supreme Court pretty much a mathematical certainty, will quickly lead the new conservative super majority to slam shut every door for women ever opened by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The hysteria and hand wringing are escalating so fast, I halfway expect to hear a prediction that Barrett will rescind women’s right to vote, own property and read books other than the Bible, then promptly retire from SCOTUS to a barefoot and perpetually pregnant life with her husband, Jesse, and seven kids…


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“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933–2020)

In yet another assault on truth and logic, President Trump has insinuated that the reported “dying wish” of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — that her replacement on the court should be nominated by the Presidential candidate elected November 3 — is just one more hoax cooked up by Democrats to harass him.

“Sounds like a (Chuck) Schumer deal or maybe a (Nancy) Pelosi or Shifty (Adam) Schiff,” Trump harrumphed.

His “suspicion” was echoed and magnified by…


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Homemade 2020 political sign, Watkinsville, Georgia. (Photo: Martha Winkler)

“Like they say, it takes all types to make the world. But sometimes you wish it didn’t.” — Gloria Naylor, Bailey’s Café

Ain’t that the truth, now more than ever?

Our country hasn’t been so divided since the run-up in the 1850s to the Civil War, but this time, though there are similar moral and social issues at the heart of the conflict, the geographic aspect is not so defined than you can draw a Mason-Dixon line between North and South.

Animosity is festering among citizens who live side by side, albeit dispersed in different proportions from state to state…

Noel Holston

Mississippi native, award-winning veteran of The Orlando Sentinel, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Newsday, stand-up storyteller, lives in Athens, Ga.

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