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Cloud Cuckoo Land, take two

A second look at a complex book

Review by Robert McCool 

I reviewed this book once before, but felt the need to look again at this very complex novel. Some readers will not like it for its complexity and length. All I can say is that it’s worth the investment of time and thought it takes. I hope you give it a chance and become a fan of Doerr’s twists and turns. 


McCool is back with The Maid

Review by Robert McCool

Icon Columnist

It's been quite a few weeks since I've submitted a book review for the Icon. It's been quite a few weeks since I have had the motivation to read a new pop-fiction release. I’ve found myself returning to some classics: “East of Eden,” “Travels with Charley,” and even the more recent “Cloud Cuckoo Land.”


Bluffton teammates, Bluffton friends

By Bill Herr, Icon columnist

What is the greatest example of friendship between two individuals you have ever known? My choice is two of my former students at Bluffton High School, Matt Schweingruber and Eric Smith.

Matt graduated in 1994. He next went to Taylor University (Indiana) and graduated with a degree in education. Today Matt and his wife, Shirley, live in Yonkers, New York. He teaches fourth grade at PS 128, the Audubon School, in New York City. Matt loves teaching.


Farm life: Molly Brown and feathered friend

Miniature donkey Molly Brown was caught playing chicken last week at Little Riley Creek Farm in rural Bluffton. Perhaps they were keeping each other warm during the cold snap.

Watch for more updates from the farm as we head into the growing season. 


Music review: five songs to keep you upbeat!

By Craig Hoffman

Note from Craig: It is great to be back in the music saddle writing for the Icon(s)! I hope everyone is doing well in my hometown area, and as always, thank you for reading. What songs do you use for daily motivation? Let the Icon(s) know in the comments!

On Everything Is Smaller In Japan


What was the farthest a baseball was ever hit on Harmon Field?

By Bill Herr

Before building the nice field out at Village Park, the baseball teams for Bluffton High School played at the southeast corner of Harmon Field, near the railroad tracks. It also served for softball games. This was after Triplett Corporation used to sponsor excellent baseball teams. When they played, the diamond was in front of the stadium. I used to go to their games. They had talented players who were out of school. The games were highly competitive.