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David Churchill Barrow

David Churchill Barrow is a Massachusetts “Swamp Yankee” descendant of William Bradford and Myles Standish of Pilgrim fame, who grew up on a farm that has not been sold since first built in the early 1700s.  In that farmhouse still hangs the commission of James Churchill as a captain in the Massachusetts militia signed by John Hancock, and the sword of Thomas Churchill, a Navy engineer who served in the Blockade of the Confederacy.  David’s father, David Bradford Barrow, was a Marine gentleman farmer who commanded a flame-thrower tank in the Battle of Saipan in WW II.

David’s childhood was mostly spent in the woods and swamps of Southeast Massachusetts, building forts and pretending to be Daniel Boone, the Little Drummer Boy of Shiloh, or just an unnamed “Minuteman” making ready to “fire the shot heard round the world.”  He has lived and breathed history since first opening his eyes.

He met his wife MaryLu in high school.  They were married in 1979 and have three adult children.  MaryLu is a former elementary school teacher working on her first children’s book.  Today they live just outside Tampa, Florida, with their Berger Blanc Suisse Attila and their two cats, Minnie and Tink.

David has written non-fiction historical pieces and columns for The Tampa Tribune (now the Tampa Bay Times), The Marine Corps Gazette and the “Lore of the Corps” section of The Marine Corps Times.  He has been a regular contributor of both short stories and posts to Liberty Island Magazine since its inception.  He and MaryLu co-authored Silver and Lead and are working together on a YA novel centered around the so-called “Boston Massacre.”

“Self-Image” Issues? Your Parents Were “Narcissists” and “Toxic!” – Convenient Excuses and Cultural Dry Rot

“Certified Life Coaches” are springing up across the country like dandelions (and you, too, can become a “Certified Life Coach” in as little as 90 days!).    Lisa Romano is one “who specializes in codependency and narcissistic abuse.”  She was challenged by a viewer for encouraging the alienation of adult children from their parents, and to her credit Romano gave a detailed response.  In it, there is a glimmer of self-awareness when she considers that her views on “abuse” might in turn be abused by self-centered offspring, but it quickly fades.  After all, she’s not talking about parents “who ask their kids to clean up the dishes after their friends were over to teach responsibility,”and she goes on to cite far more serious cases.  As for all that may lie in between?  Well, if it wasn’t “validation of your feelings,” if it didn’t “fan the flames of the light inside you,” then it was abuse, “dear ones.”

Remember This About D-Day: It Could Have Failed…

D-Day: 6 June 1944…. When we look back upon the mighty armada the allies threw ashore on that day, it is tempting to believe overwhelming victory was inevitable. Not so. In a series of small matters God smiled upon the endeavor.

Memorial Day Memories and Small Town Virtues

Memorial Day in the sleepy little Massachusetts town where I grew up was a big deal (not so much here in Florida or elsewhere in the south, since its origin was a commemoration of  Union dead).  Next to Christmas it was also my favorite holiday, despite the somber ceremonies.  It marked the beginning of summer – cook-outs, the filling of swimming pools, flowers in full bloom, and fresh clean air.  Not long before school’s out!

2 Photos: Sisterly Love In Nature

Submit your photographs of nature and the outdoor life to [email protected] to participate in this weekly feature exploring the natural world.

The Cult of Bonnie and Clyde: Lessons On How To Avoid the Worship of Today’s Killers

In Robert Arrington’s review of The Highwaymen on this site, he laments the cult that idolized this murderous couple in their day, and wonders if much has changed. There is more to the fascination, then and now, with these two than just the “Robin Hood” and “stickin’ it to the man” memes (which was also falsely attributed to the James & Younger gang of the previous century) and, as Eastwood’s character in The Unforgiven observed; “Deservin’s got nothin’ to do with it.”

First, there is the “star-crossed lovers” angle (though Bonnie was married to someone else serving time, and wore his wedding ring up to the day of her famous death). This was amplified by Bonnie’s poetry, which was discovered in one of their hideouts, and made public. They make sport of it in this movie – and she was no Whitman or Longfellow – but it ain’t half bad if we’re honest, especially for common folk.

Cute Animal Photo: Same Smile – Different Dental Plans

*Submit your photographs of nature and the outdoor life to [email protected] to participate in this weekly feature exploring the natural world.*

Shouldn’t We Be Teaching the Constitution in Elementary School?

How many adults, let alone children, know that while state power is plenary (a state can do anything not prohibited by the U.S. Constitution or its own) federal power is limited; the federal government can only do that which is expressly provided for in the Constitution? How many adults, let alone children, know that the founding fathers’ greatest fear was not that which is prohibited by the Bill of Rights (which were amendments; i.e. afterthoughts) but the combination of powers that ought to be separated?

So Where Are You On the Parenting Spectrum: Bulldozer, Helicopter Or Free Range?

Lori Loughlin is, of course, the er girl du jour for “bulldozer” (aka “snowplow”) parenting, where mom and/or dad simply annihilate all obstacles in the child’s path. We can all agree disaster that way lies; for both parent and child. Even if no legal lines are crossed – or you are at least not caught crossing them – the emotional and psychological damage can be deep and permanent.

2 Photos: Attila and the Monarch

*Submit your photographs of nature and the outdoor life to [email protected] to participate in this weekly feature exploring the natural world.*

Calling Harvey Weinstein a Pig May Be an Insult to Swine Everywhere, But…

… When He Walks Into a Courtroom He is You and Me

There is an ongoing controversy upon the campus of Harvard University an a protest against Law Professor Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., an African-American jurist of renown, and Dean of the Winthrop House. Spray-Painted upon that house were DOWN WITH SULLIVAN!, OUR RAGE IS SELF DEFENSE, WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON! and YOUR SILENCE IS VIOLENCE.

Over 300 people have signed an online petition calling for his resignation as dean, and members of the Association of Black Harvard Women have addressed a public letter to him stating “You have failed us.” His sin? Agreeing to be part of the legal defense team of Harvey Weinstein.

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