Dennis E. Powell's View from Mudsock Heights

Dennis E. Powell is crackpot-at-large at Open for Business. Powell was a reporter in New York and elsewhere before moving to Ohio, where he has (mostly) recovered. You can reach him at

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The View from Mudsock Heights: A Sad Anniversary Sparks a Brief History of the Last 40 Years or So

By Dennis E. Powell | May 28, 2009 at 9:18 PM

My father died 42 years ago last week. The anniversary gave rise to various emotions — a little sadness, of course, though we’ve had time to get over it — but chiefly I thought about how much he has missed.

The View from Mudsock Heights: Memorial Day Ought to be About More than Sales and Cookouts, and for Some, It Is

By Dennis E. Powell | May 22, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Time was, Memorial Day was May 30, and it meant more than sales, cookouts, and “the unofficial beginning of summer.” To some, the old meaning remains.

The View from Mudsock Heights: Remembering When One Flu Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Another, Serious Epidemic

By Dennis E. Powell | May 14, 2009 at 5:39 AM

Some of us are old enough to remember it well. I barely remember it, but it was from a dangerous time anyway.

The View from Mudsock Heights: The Annual Plant Infestation Begins and the Wild-Eyed Hordes Descend

By Dennis E. Powell | Apr 30, 2009 at 4:24 AM

Just as soon as there’s even a hint that the last freeze has passed, out they come. There are swarms of them. They burrow into the ground. They descend upon plants, especially the biggest and healthiest specimens, until soon only the spindly, weak ones remain.

The View from Mudsock Heights: With the Thaw, Unexpected Visitors Venture into the Countryside

By Dennis E. Powell | Apr 24, 2009 at 5:29 AM

Out here in the woods, people seldom stop by unannounced. Every so often a logger will knock on the door to ask if it would be okay if he were to cut down my cherry, maple, and walnut trees. It wouldn’t. And sometimes there’s a surprise CARE package, so the mailman or the UPS guy will knock. If I’m not here, he’ll put the package on the back porch, where it’s safe from the elements. But beyond that, unexpected company is rare.

The View from Mudsock Heights: A New Bug Going Around Has Me Pinin’ for an Evergreen

By Dennis E. Powell | Apr 16, 2009 at 4:47 AM

There is a very unpleasant little bug going around. It’s like the flu or the bubonic plague or something. It causes fever, makes breathing a chore, and makes one abnormally stupid. And I’ve got it. Which means that this would be the perfect time to run the “evergreen” column in this space. What is an evergreen column? Well …

The View from Mudsock Heights: A Happy Computer Reverie is Interrupted by a Low-Tech Malfunction

By Dennis E. Powell | Apr 10, 2009 at 10:39 PM

Yeow! Why is it that hot coffee defies gravity and manages to escape the spout of the coffee pot and — sometimes actually flowing uphill — find its way onto the hand holding the cup, or the tablecloth, or the early morning bare feet?

The View from Mudsock Heights: They Might Be Slithery and Scaly and Cold, but They Really are Our Friends

By Dennis E. Powell | Apr 03, 2009 at 4:42 AM

It would be a lot easier to get things done around here if there were more snakes. No, I’m not kidding.

The View from Mudsock Heights: The Story of a Very Big Ditch Passed -- the Story, Not the Ditch -- Through Here

By Dennis E. Powell | Mar 26, 2009 at 3:03 AM

One of the first things that happened after I moved here into the woods four years ago was a visit by a friend from back east. Gerard Koeppel is a noted historian and writer who has specialized in the history of the infrastructure of New York. That is not a subject which immediately quickens the heart, but a book he wrote that was published in 2000, Water for Gotham, actually made the history of the city’s water-supply system exciting.

The View from Mudsock Heights: Always Remember: Ownership Brings Responsibility

By Dennis E. Powell | Mar 12, 2009 at 4:17 AM

It’s something that folks who grew up around here have come to take for granted, in which many have participated since they were kids. Handled responsibly, they reason, there is little danger.

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