George Berdes


George Berdes has worked as a journalist, teacher, editor and in international affairs in Washington, D.C. and several foreign countries. He is a 1953 graduate of Marquette University's College of Journalism, where he eventually served on the faculty.

Berdes is the author of three books, including The Girl Without a Name, as well as numerous freelance articles, and several Congressional reports. He is a longtime commentator for WXPR-FM public radio in Rhinelander; his essays now re-air on Lake Effect. He currently lives in the woods on a lake east of Eagle River, and is the proud father of four children and grandfather of three. / fotolia

It’s no fun thinking about the end of your lifespan.  Well, usually, it’s not. Essayist George Berdes points out that thinking about the end of your life can be a little more entertaining than you might think:

Your doctor wants a copy of it in your file.  If you’re smart, you’ll send one to each of your kids.  It’s best they know your wishes now…while you can still talk.  Otherwise there could be a lot of love – and emotion – clogging the situation.

Matthew Ragan / Flickr

How did you get out of your house, or your apartment this morning?  How did you get into your car, just a little while ago?  Consider the humble doors in your life.  Lake Effect essayist George Berdes did:

I was surprised the other day when I looked up the word “door” in the dictionary.  Of course it wasn’t the definition of the word that startled me.  It was its placement in the alphetical order in which it was located.

Ian BC North/Flickr

In the midst of such a harsh winter, cabin fever is affecting young and old alike, as Lake Effect essayist George Berdes can attest:

Dave Reid, Flickr

You’d think the residents of Wisconsin’s north woods, who are used to copious snowfall, might look with some amusement at our relatively modest snow depth. Not so, says Lake Effect essayist George Berdes:

Orin Zebest/Flickr

(Originally printed as "Listening," reprinted with permission from the blog "East of Eagle River.")

Gave away my ears the other day. It was to a friend. No, he had two of his own, so it wasn’t like a transplant. Anyway, while I was doing that I also pretty much zipped shut my mouth. Mostly I just sat there and listened to him.