Those pesky TV ads regarding toothpaste and whiter-than-white teeth are sort of true. Even though my smile bears testimony to a lifelong addiction to Earl Grey tea and cola, I boast the whitest, brightest bristles on my toothbrush.

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I went to school with a wonderful person named Thaddeus E. Pinkney III.

I expect the original Thaddeus never set out to create a ritual in which the eldest son of each succeeding generation was named Thaddeus, but that’s what happened. Rituals are important. They help us mark important events. They begin to shape us, as we shape them. Read more

Clam chowder did not set out to be a ritual.

But, somewhere along the retirement life, it settled into a comfortable, enjoyable Friday tête-à-tête for two mortals who after eight decades still vastly enjoyed each other’s company. Read more