The Paragraph Stacker

Uncensored columns from an exiled newsmane

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood station, Des Moines, Iowa. ITEM FIRST: Let’s stop fussing about things that some people enjoy but don’t affect our ability to enjoy similar things. The typist refers to, of course, the great debates of our time: pineapple on pizza and pumpkin spice …

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Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa. ITEM ONE: Two dozen of us stood under and around a tent spiked to a hilly expanse at Highland Memorial Gardens to say goodbye to our beloved Lois Newcomb, mother, grandmother and great-great grandmother. …

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Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa. ITEM ONE: Drake University student Morgan Carroll suffered severe injuries in a collision between her car and a semi on Monday evening. The crash occurred on Interstate 80/35 west/southbound lanes between Hickman Road and …

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Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020 From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station. ITEM ONE: Terrible news from the bar at Jethro’s on Forest Avenue near Drake University: The restaurant is closing on Mondays and Tuesdays for at least six weeks. Insiders tell the typist the restaurant has a steady …

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From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa. Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020 ITEM ONE: The typist made the mistake of reading the news Monday. He recommends against it — especially if you are prone to anxiety and depression. The stories he perused related to the possibility …

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From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa. ITEM ONE: The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg brings anxiety to the typist for more reasons than the potential future ideological makeup of the court. The demagoguery and hypocrisy certain to mark the decision to …

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From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Station. ITEM ONE: Word reached Hot Sheet early Wednesday that the reality TV series “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” will end after 20 seasons in 2021. Oh, how one longs for the the halcyon days of yesteryear when all we cared about was …

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My friend Mandy Stadtmiller suggested I watch an episode of the British TV series “Black Mirror.” She told me the show is an “anthology of dystopias.” Mandy is an author. That’s the kind of thing authors say. She explained it was kind of like “The Twilight Zone,” only more depressing. I avoid depressing things for …

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I used to ask retired Polk County Sheriff Bill McCarthy if the times we’re living in were as divided and troubled as when he was a young man. McCarthy served as a Marine in Vietnam. He came up as a Des Moines police officer in a time when the city had as many as 30 …

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Lewis S. Jordan of Winterset is my friend.We were born nine days apart.We were in Cub Scouts together. His dad was den leader. My dad was assistant. We made pinewood derby cars. We made rubber band guns. We put on a skit for the VFW. I spent uncounted afternoons at the Jordans’ house watching cartoons …

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