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Bob Gray

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Bob Gray has lived in Great Barrington most of his life. He was an English teacher and Department Chairman at Monument Mountain Regional High School for 25 years. He has written for publication in various newspapers and literary journals as well as a book on life in the Berkshires.

Articles by Bob Gray

BOB GRAY: White dazzle

Tuesday, 1 Dec 2015 - If he's winter wishing on a snappy but drab December day, he can't help but hope the changing weather might bring a little snow.

BOB GRAY: Path less traveled

Saturday, 24 Oct 2015 - I walk in part to stop time, since I’ve read somewhere that movement freezes time, forestalls aging.

BOB GRAY: Chaos among the vines

Wednesday, 14 Oct 2015 - I'd decided to circle the vines with sunflowers, plant the seeds inches apart hoping they'd grow like logs into a stockade.

BOB GRAY: A manly pursuit

Thursday, 24 Sep 2015 - It’s sad that rusty stereotyping might keep even one person from enjoying anything his heart and soul might urge him to do.

BOB GRAY: Farewell(s) to summer

Friday, 28 Aug 2015 - In its finality, August, by my lights, lives a double life: a brazen, wilting day at first, a day as crisp as October the next.

BOB GRAY: A dream of hawks

Saturday, 27 Jun 2015 - Hawks are of another, wilder world ruled by a less benign and forgiving god than the one I’ve heard about.

BOB GRAY: Summer Solstice

Saturday, 20 Jun 2015 - Scarce starlight in the double glowing of the night sky remind us the Soltice is really about light, long days of summer so easy to live with, encouraging us to forget caution and prudence, and, like sky night, burn our candles at both ends.

BOB GRAY: The way of things

Wednesday, 3 Jun 2015 - Overeager and anxious to get a jump on the season, I planted a couple of my rows of corn way off line so their crooked ranks stagger, loop from left to right and back again like happy, wandering, drunks.

BOB GRAY: I am the grass

Monday, 25 May 2015 - As the grass grows and the poppies blossom, the lessons of history go begging as we blithely repeat our deadly mistakes time-after-time all down the days, all down the years.

BOB GRAY: Fleeting messengers of spring

Monday, 11 May 2015 - It’s well-known Spring is the least of our seasons. The peepers and their tentative brook are at once the least but surest of all Spring’s messengers.

BOB GRAY: Distressing news coverage of a local tragedy

Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 - A fine young gentleman from Housatonic, Garrett Norton, 21, died tragically in an automobile accident. Worse still is the coverage of the accident by the local newspaper. Most difficult for me, and I hope for all of you, are the gratuitous pictures published under the guise of being part of a news story.

BOB GRAY: Pruning, and farewell, farewell to March

Friday, 3 Apr 2015 - It’s a simple thing to become desperate and exasperated with the world and its people and events which I have no power to change. Working outside in the waking world gives me time to contemplate, to realize I’m not charged with changing the world. The best I can do is examine my own life in peaceful, quiet, and solitary labor.

Breaking news

Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015 - As the TV anchors and the experts droned on and on with inane commentary, I wondered how many children in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya were being rendered homeless? How many children died of hunger, disease, and exposure while we got to know way too much about the 150 well-fed, adequately clothed, and financially secure people?

BOB GRAY: Playing in my mind

Saturday, 14 Mar 2015 - Each passing aisle of graves is a page in a book. It might read like a mystery to people from away, but for someone who can read each page, there is history and memory, melancholy and remembrance.

BOB GRAY: Fending off pibloktoq

Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 - I wouldn’t think piblotoq would be too difficult to diagnose in the Arctic, but given this winter extreme cold and dark I think I’ve had a couple of symptoms of the stuff myself.

BOB GRAY: Fire and ice

Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 - Winter came in shyly In December, masquerading as delicate snowflakes, but now cabins us in, piles up around our foundation, hangs over us as icicles, dripping melt one minute, a glittering sword to land on our heads the next.

BOB GRAY: I’m sorry

Saturday, 14 Feb 2015 - False contrition begs the question “Are we on our best behavior because of goodness part of our fiber? Or are we good because we fear being caught and punished?”

BOB GRAY: Grace and luck

Sunday, 8 Feb 2015 - I am not a man of great or constant religious belief, though I wish at times I were. But I do have faith in the proven dogma of the seasons, of sun and rain and warm and cold passing and coming around again and again over long, slow time.

BOB GRAY: Faultless fire in January

Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 - Maybe a pyre would be a better word for my annual pile gladly given over to the flames. Much of what was burned were mistakes. Not mistakes I’d made by tossing the stuff on the fire but mistakes in judgment, the detritus of dreams I chased too far for too long.

A clear-cutter’s dubious claims

Saturday, 17 Jan 2015 - By my lights, the clear-cutters bought some lake-side property and, regardless of any consequences or precautions against polluting a water supply, decided it was their right actually to see the lake.

Hour of the wolf

Friday, 9 Jan 2015 - Some tribes believed that wolves were men’s souls. Imagine them, circled around a campfire, startled, doubtful, apprehensive, and thrilled at the same time as they listened to the pack abroad in the January moonlight.

Happy New Year – past and present

Wednesday, 31 Dec 2014 - In young adulthood, you imbibed your way past any sense or inhibition, danced yourself into a good lather, and got to kiss your neighbor’s wife at midnight.

Bob Gray: The day after

Friday, 26 Dec 2014 - I just can’t stop thinking of all the good which might be done with simply the eight million dollars this country spends each day for airstrikes against the Islamic State in a “war” which will never be “won” despite all the bombs and the billions of dollars we drop into that black hole.

Bob Gray: Merry Christmas   

Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 - It will suit us well to remember no clergy, no zealot, nor king had any hand in what may have or may not have happened that April, October, February, or December night.

Bob Gray: The last to know

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 - The petition must be first-rate since its authors are prominent community members. My question [about the authors of the petition concerning the future of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District] is which of us gathered to anoint them to their prominence? I do know neither I nor anyone I know was consulted.