Peace, from a front porch in Rifton, New York

Both David Henderson and Greg Dobbs, who founded BoomerCafé, have a colleague from their days in network television news who was as active as any journalist around: Rolland Smith. As an anchorman for a New York City television station and White House correspondent for CBS News, he lived a big life. But now, in retirement, his world is smaller, and his perspective perhaps fresh, and welcome. He writes a brief observation of the times… from his front porch in Rifton, New York.

I went to the front porch the other day to enjoy a brief warm harbinger of spring. I sat in a chair, enjoying the day’s warmth. It was only for several minutes, but it gave me a respite from the constant dialogues about the Covid-19 virus, both on the tube and on-line.

Rolland Smith

I know that this virus is severe, and some people in their seventies, my age, are at risk.

I’ve decided to socially isolate, wash my hands when I return to the house and when I must go out, and take other prudent measures to protect myself as best I can. The rest, I’ll trust to the All That Is and to the predilections embedded in my spiritual and physical DNA.

As I sat on the porch for those brief bucolic moments, I remembered as a child playing in whatever neighborhood my parents happened to be living, of seeing older neighbors sitting on their porches watching us kids frolic in the youth of life. I thought then, what fun can sitting be?

Since I am now where they were then, sitting on my porch, I understand a porch peace. I embrace its comfort. I feel the calm it engenders to the daily, even hourly rigors of threats, worries, and thwarts presented in the current climate of fear.

Maybe, this pandemic will be a global epiphany to the diversity of the world that we are ONE in-breath and death. I don’t remember who said it, but the quote is appropriate: “There is nothing like extinction to focus the mind.”


  1. Porch peace, I love that way of putting it! Yes, I’m sitting in my garden here in Italy, watching the whole country go in lockdown (I was lucky to be caught by the quarantine announcement while in the countryside – I hear that city living is far worse). In our case, isolation is no longer a personal choice as our friend here chose to do – and wisely so. I would recommend all Baby Boomers do so: The fatality rate for older people is frighteningly high, close to 50 percent.

    No need to panic though. One simply needs to follow rules of common sense and wash one’s hands thoroughly and as often as possible! And yes, enjoy the Spring sun whenever it peaks out between two clouds and increase the time spent online for entertainment., Go to your Kindle, go to Netflix and other sites: Germs don’t travel on the Internet and movie streaming can be great fun!

  2. Great article. I also like to sit on my small front porch and look at the clouds and trees sway in the wind. Very peaceful very relaxing. Occasionally small children like to ride their bikes, scooters, skates, whatever has wheels roll down the hill on the sidewalk in front of our old house in an older neighborhood. Sidewalks and front porches should be required on all houses, in connects the people with the neighborhood. Especially fun when your older.

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