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A commercial shown this time of year, for a hand-held vacuum, I believe, features three Golden Retriever puppies popping out of a box under a Christmas tree. They’re wearing red bows and look ever so adorable.

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There were no “Midnight Madness” sales in my youth. Thanksgiving went off at 1 p.m. sharp - as in the stuffing of the face — with a “second seating” anywhere between 4-6 p.m. in the Penn household, and “Miracle on 34th Street” (the Edmund Gwen classic, all other pretenders be darned) was on …

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The year was 1974 or maybe ‘75. Lou had only moved to New Haven from Hartford in 1973, right around the corner from yours truly, who was actively interviewing candidates for best friend.

When I moved to my new home, I just assumed that I would have no opportunity to garden. Yes, I did observe some sort of backyard; small and situated on a slope, but it wasn’t planted at all.

I recently visited Amalfi, Italy with two collaborators to show our documentary on Wooster Square. Because there were so many who immigrated to New Haven from Amalfi and the neighboring towns, we thought it would be a nice gesture to bring it back to the place of origin.

Imagine my surprise when I pulled into the parking lot of the store where my kids have picked out their Halloween costume for the last half dozen years or so and - much like many other buildings throughout Connecticut - there was a huge “For Lease” sign there to greet us.

As I grow older, the changes in seasons seem to be more pronounced. The fact that the temperature and the daylight hours change causes a level of consternation for me.

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“It’s my first night sleeping in the kennel at Shelter 1 and it’s bright and pretty loud even at 10:24 p.m. I can hear the bulldog in quarantine howling and two dogs are in the outside part of their kennel barking at something in the woods. At 12:24 a.m. two of the dogs are pacing and nervou…

Last week our local pharmacy, Towne Pharmacy, here in Branford announced that they would be closing. The message sent a wave of sadness throughout our community. So many of us had gotten to know the proprietors and they, in turn, knew us. It was another example of how the passage of time, an…

In the 1630s the Saybrook Colony was named in honor of Lords Saye and Brooke, prominent Parliamentarians and holders of the colony's land grants. Artist Bill Dougal commemorated them in a drawing, imaginatively showing Lord Brooke drawing a caricature of Lord Saye. The premise is apropos for…

As a father, I have prided myself on my ability to answer my children’s questions, from the zany ones requiring quick thinking and an active imagination (while oftentimes driving an automobile) when they were wee ones to the increasingly challenging ones, familiar to many a ma or pop, as the…

As our in-law tiny house downsizing/saga continues our household has been taken over. Our daughter is on teacher-summer break. Our son-in-law leaves for work at 5 a.m. and our brilliant, beautiful and unbelievably funny 3-year-old granddaughter is our daylong entertainment.

Summer always reminds me of how much life has changed from my childhood. Growing up in a city neighborhood meant a summer filled with lazy days on your block or perhaps around the corner playing with some friends.

At this point in my life, I find that I actually do spend time thinking about the things I’ve done and those that remain on my bucket list.

A few years back I did a segment on my radio show about the summers of my youth and the various beach clubs that I’d either sneak into with friends or my parents would score a guest pass from theirs.

My dear friend and esteemed colleague, Dr. Nancy Cappello, passed away this past year, far too soon. The short version of that story is that Nancy died of the very late consequences of delayed diagnosis and treatment of her breast cancer. That delay resulted from the imaging challenges with …