Russ Kent column: Mother Nature, Star Trek and and chain-smoking attorneys

Russ Kent Galion Inquirer

Russ Kent Galion Inquirer

Sorry folks. My bad.

I didn’t realize I wielded so much power.

I sometimes make readers angry. It’s part of the job. And part of my life.

It means that now and then I receive angry phone calls or emails or instant messages.

Such was the case this week.

I wrote a column two weeks ago lamenting the lack of the types of winters I remembered growing up.

Winters with lots of snow and sledding and snowmen and snow angels. I longed for streets and yards and parks covered with new snow, before anyone has walked or driven or let their dogs out to mess up the fresh powder.

Apparently, Mother Nature read that article, too. And she’s not a fan of complaints.

So last week, winter returned to Ohio. It wasn’t a big storm. It was just enough to coat cars and grass and roads and sidewalks. It brought out the ice scrapers and snow plows and salt trucks and for at least a couple of days covered up the muddy quagmire my yard has become.

Some did not love the return to winter as much as I. And they let me know.

Beatrix, my rescued, white pit bull, loves playing in fresh snow. She had one brief experience with it last. In my front yard. It didn’t last very long, because after a couple of joyful laps around the yard, that snow was already turning to mud.

But for about 15 minutes, Beatrix ran and jumped and buried her nose and rolled in the snow. She loved that fresh-fallen snow just like I used to love it while sledding down the 11th hole at Valley View Golf Course on a toboggan.

These days, I still enjoy the snow. But I like it more from inside a warm home.

So, I spent much of the last week indoors. If I didn’t have to get out, I stayed home. And I watched a lot of TV. I finally made the switch from cable and satellite TV to a TV hooked up to the World Wide Web.

I do miss Golic and Wingo in the morning. And I miss my morning news from 5-6 a.m. Its how I catch up on the day. I also miss breaking into my TV feed to let me know what’s going on in the world.

Now I binge watch. I never thought I would be one of those guys. But I’ve discovered the joy of binge-watching TV shows. I’ve still not seen some of the ones I thought I would catch up on. There have been no meth dealers or dragons or proper Englishmen and Englishwomen, or zombies on my TV just yet.

I’m sure there coming.

But first, I’m catching up on my science fiction.

The first thing I watched was the new Lost in Space. The first two seasons are in my rear view mirror.

And I’m still catching up on Star Trek. I’ve watched most of the original and some of The Next Generation. I even found a TV show from about 15 years ago called Star Trek: Enterprise. It’s set in the days before Capt. Jim Kirk made that ship with the famous NCC 1701 moniker famous.

Right now, I’m in the process of catching the last few episodes of Star Trek Voyager, you know, when they get back home. I never watched those episodes. I think I’m just a few more hours away.

This weekend, I watched the first episode of ‘Picard.” Star Trek TNG was my least favorite of all the Star Treks, but some of the characters were memorable, especially Jean Luc. We’re now catching up with him some 25 years later. I watched a show Sunday night that provided a little back-story about the new series. Now I’m most go back and see if that back story was part of the old series, or something created for this new series.

I’ve also watched a lot of Cheers and Fraisier and The Brady Bunch in the middle of the night. Yes, I’m one of those who keep a TV on 24/7. I like the noise.

And then there are the old Perry Mason mysteries from the 1960s. It’s hard to believe those shows are more than 60 years old. I was watching an episode or two each week on a certain cable TV channel.

But now I can watch every show from every season. And I am.

I have two takeaways from the 20 or 30 or 60 episodes I’ve watched in the past eight days. Except for Della Reese, I believe every character on that TV show smoked, and smoked a lot. Perry smoked, Paul Drake smoked. Every murderer or black mailer of thief smoked. Every store owner or bank president or horse-trader smoked.

Thankfully, times have changed. Smokers on TV are not so prevalent anymore.

And one other Perry Mason tidbit. It’s the dark side of network TV in the 60s and 70s.

There is a lot of wife- and girlfriend-slapping happening in those episodes. I know it was a different era, but I’m still shocked and saddened each time I see it happen.

Fortunately, I rarely see that on TV anymore either.

Russ Kent Galion Inquirer Kent Galion Inquirer

Email Russ Kent at

Email Russ Kent at