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THE LEFT COAST — If it’s July, it must be Vacation Time for the O’Connors, which also means a column or three dedicated to our meanderings. A goodly number of folks inform me they enjoy these travel pieces, so I keep on doing them.

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BEDFORD — On July 17, 1944, the telegrams began pouring into the cramped little Western Union office pigeonholed in the back of Green’s Drugstore. All Betty Teass, the young woman who operated the machine, had to see was a Bedford name and the word “sympathy” in the first sentence of the tel…

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BEDFORD — Any way you look at it, war is a devastating thing — whether the scene of battle is a broad open plain, or a jagged shoreline, or house-to-house in the streets of a town where residents once lived peacefully, plying their trade, earning their daily bread.

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Wednesday before the Apple Blossom Festival is generally, or at least theoretically, reserved for a "Bloom"-tinged Valley Pike. The truth of the matter is, though, some years I can bang out a pretty informative Apple Blossom retrospective. And some years I've got squat.

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NORFOLK — At a venue and event dedicated to excellence in newspapering — journalism, to me, always sounds a little pretentious, but then I never took classes for credit at a “school” devoted to the discipline — basketball attained primary precedence, for many of the convention-goers as well …

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Because of my fuzzyheaded-ness — or what the man himself may have called “funnelheaded-ness” — I did not attend Pete Dunning’s memorial service Tuesday.

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Walking, and sniffing, the Green Circle

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My mother-in-law, Maxine Korb, is a big fan of the Game Show Network. Well, not exactly the whole network, but rather two shows — Ben Bailey’s “Cash Cab” and a new one, “America Says.”

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The English language has some unique quirks, from homophones to onomatopoeia. And then there’s those oddities that, to the best of my knowledge, defy classification. For example, this head-scratcher: Why does a water-borne vessel like a ship carry a “cargo,” but land cruisers, from SUVs to b…

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Beset by the flu bug (or something), I am cloistered in my little office at the corner of the newsroom with the door shut. I am thankful for a refrigerator full of water and for such amenities as the phone and old-fashioned letter correspondence. Combined, they have made this Valley Pike possible.

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For at least a couple of years now, Harold F. Madagan Jr., known to all simply as “Doc,” had wanted me to stop by his house on Stuart Drive in the Jackson Wood’s enclave of Frederick County off Middle Road. Doc’s reason: to show me a treasure, an 1856 edition of the Winchester Virginian.

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I realize I may have already thrown out this question as the theme for a recurring feature along Valley Pike. I believe I may have even answered the question a few times before moving on to other things. But, really, did you ever wonder ...?

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Bob Orndorff does not quite know what overtook him. For years, even scores of years, my octogenarian friend from Bunker Hill, W.Va., never had the “urge,” as he says, to revisit and, thus, re-open, a metal chest that has resided in the basement of his two homes. That is, not until last month.

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Adrian O'Connor is off taking a long winter's nap. Valley Pike will resume in the New Year — next Wednesday, that is.