There’s a blue balloon quietly losing its air sitting on my desk as I write this. It blew into my front yard a short while back when the kids graduating from Attleboro High were at Highland Park getting their pictures taken before singularly picking up their diplomas at the high school. Some arrived at the park in limos, others in the beds of decorated pick-up trucks.

It was a pleasant diversion on a June evening and, like everything in life should, it got me to thinking.

Graduates this year have missed so much, proms, graduation ceremonies, an emotional last-time togetherness that will never be repeated.

But they’re young. They’ll get over it.

Which led me to think about my prom and graduation. I got over it. In fact, I can’t remember much about it. Granted, it was decades ago, but still …

I have no recollection of graduation, although in some musty box somewhere I have a copy of the remarks I gave from the podium.

As for my senior prom, I dug out my old yearbook and looked for pictures. Yes, there I was, at a table with men and women I still remember, mostly. I didn’t remember where the prom was held, or which band played the tunes, but it was all there in my yearbook.

I knew exactly where my yearbook was — and there was no dried prom boutonniere stuck between the pages — but I couldn’t tell you where my diploma is. Having gotten one was the important thing.

Kids, the pomp fades. The circumstance is forever.

Saturday sermon

“It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”

— Martin Luther King Jr.

Going viral

Since men are more likely to die of COVID-19, some are being treated with female sex hormones. Pass the quarantini.


“It’s ironic that you mention tomatoes in your column last week with that question about states,” writes Dan West. “Tomatoes are grown year round in Waterville, Maine, of course in a very large greenhouse.”

Heard at the bar

If it wasn’t an election year, maybe more would have been done to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

So you’re so smart …

Last week, Lee Ashcraft and I bet you can’t tell us (1) the only state to border only one other state, (2) the only state with a two-vowel postal code and (3) the only state name with one syllable.

Answer: Maine, Iowa and Maine again.

Jim Poore got it right, too, as did Mike Miconi, David Buttrick, Ginger Fortier, Elaine Watkins, Doug Wynne and Elaine Young

“Apparently, I’m not so smart,” writes Ron King, who sent in an incomplete answer. “I’ve been informed by my aunt Beatrice Knowles (also an avid reader of your column) one answer is Iowa. Just think, she is a retired math teacher???”

A lot of readers said Maine, but skipped Part 2 of the question.

Now, I bet you can’t tell me how many U.S. presidents were Quakers, and name them — if any.

Columns for Kids

Donations can be sent to The Greater Attleboro Area Council for Children, PO Box 424, North Attleboro, MA 02761. Its website is My goal is a monthly average of $150 for my column to continue. So far, so good.

Thanks. See you next week.

ORESTE P. D’ARCONTE is a former publisher of The Sun Chronicle. Reach him at

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