Photo by J.E. Hargate

Caveat: I am not a mental health professional, but I know some great ones and trust their judgment. What follows are my observations and opinions based on my experience, and the advice and counsel of some very smart people.

Trauma is part of life. For most of us, we have experienced varying degrees of trauma and may even do so on a daily basis. When those traumas continue to cause pain or immobilize us, it’s important to get help in managing them.

Exposures to serious traumas have long lasting effects. The list of those types of traumas in life is…


Original art by J.E. Hargate

We’ll be direct. We are asking you to donate to Justin Bibb’s campaign for Mayor of Cleveland.

You may not live and vote in Cleveland, but if you live in Northeast Ohio, or even if you don’t, you have a vested interest in helping to put progressive, compassionate and energetic leadership in charge of our great city.

Justin Bibb is the kind of leader that we need in all our cities. He is smart, capable, honest and a tireless worker for society’s most vulnerable people.

For residents and voters in Cleveland this is an easy choice. Justin Bibb will put…


Photo by the author.

It’s a good thing we had the Feast of the Assumption celebration again this year here in Little Italy. It was looking pretty sketchy with the constant thunder boomers we’ve been having and their deluges of torrential tropical rain.

Two of four festival days were indeed wet, but I’m sure the restaurants and other merchants were pretty pleased after how bad the weather had looked and having to scrub the event last year due to COVID.

Nonetheless, the mess left behind where we live is substantial each year, so my wife and I do our part when we head out…


Original art by J.E. Hargate

Dear Cousin Carol,

I know exactly what you’re thinking, and I have a pretty good idea what you will have to say about this letter. You’ll have a sparkle in your eye and say something cute and dry like, “Well, better late than never, eh?” That’s just the way you are, Carol, always the funny and good-natured, intelligent optimist.

But especially now I want to articulate exactly what you mean to me as a cousin, from the time I was a little boy and the whole time you knew me and insisted on calling me “Artie,” which I never minded…


Original art by J.E. Hargate

Tick…tick…tick…tick…tick.

I was never a clock watcher, but that afternoon I couldn’t keep my eyes off of the plastic Elvis wall clock, his hips and legs swinging back and forth as the clock’s hands moved sluggishly around his guitar and mildly smirking face. I was a rabid Elvis fan, and one of the ladies at work saw the clock in Vegas and grabbed it for me. It was a perfect clock for me in every possible way, the one concession to frivolity in my otherwise quintessentially drab office.

But today Elvis’s gyrating hips just would not move fast enough.

I’d…


Original art by J.E. Hargate

Summer 1970. 51 years ago.

Recently jettisoned from an agonizing four-year sentence of boarding school, the joyous pardon and release from purgatory birthed a spate of graduation debauchery. Then a summer of painting houses followed to gather cash, readying myself for college in the fall.

Southampton Beach was a getaway place to first recover from the revelry and then escape on weekends after work without worry. A friend knew about the oceanside sanctuary and told me about it, but shared the information as if it were a profound secret.

You could sleep out on the least accessible public beach there…


Stepping out onto the sidewalk along St. Honore, I pull shut the heavy tall green door to the courtyard where the entrance to our simple fourth floor walk-up hides from the street. We’ve been here so many times now; it feels like a second home. There is no pressure now to see or do anything but experience and explore the city as if we simply had a weekend off and were curious about what was happening here.

Even early in the day with not many people stirring, the air retains the familiar city scents, not entirely unpleasant either. Faint hints…


Photo by J.E. Hargate, personally owned by the author.

Great teachers have told us that you become what you think about most. You believe what you tell yourself, so it’s important to be very thoughtful about what it is that you are saying with your self-talk. That voice in your head is powerful.

As a musician I’ve been instructed that mental practice can be as effective as actual physical practice in learning a piece of music, so at roughly 2500 thoughts per hour, that’s a lot of practice time you can use to your advantage. But you need to be mindful and disciplined about it to do so. …


Original art by Joan E. Hargate

This is a good choice of name for our baseball team here in Cleveland. The art deco statues on the Hope Memorial (aka Lorain-Carnegie) bridge are iconic, and symbolic of the role we all need to play right now. We all need to be guardians of our democracy, that’s for sure.

A lot is under attack, so Guardian is an excellent choice of name and the logo is smart, as well. Now, if they could do something about the indescribably weird Slider cavorting around the ballpark, that would be really glorious.

It will take…


Original art by J.E. Hargate

July 21, 2021

President Harlan M. Sands, Cleveland State University

Dear President Sands,

Our granddaughter starts Cleveland State next month, and we want you to know how pleased we are that the university is requiring returning students living on campus to be vaccinated, unless they have a valid exemption for religious or medical reasons.

This action will clearly make for a safer and more productive learning environment for her to start her college years, after the uncertain and frightening experience she has endured since COVID-19 first hit us all.

Your action also exemplifies bold leadership that puts the health and…

Arthur Hargate

Arthur Hargate is retired after a 40-year management career in the environmental services business. He now writes, plays guitar and is a social activist.

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