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Columns

  • Me, Jenny and Ranger Randy

    A few weeks ago I wrote an article about 24 days of extreme outdoor hiking, repelling, rock climbing, and canoeing I did with a group called Outward Bound North Carolina some 34 years ago. I lost 30 pounds during that time and looked like a survivor of a Nazi death camp at the end.  I was young and dumb then.
    Now, I’m just old and dumb.

  • Earn it yourself, kid

    The way I see it, in many ways this country is headed down hill fast; it’s in high gear and nobody’s touching the brakes.

  • Fallen trees

    I called it my African tree, although it had reached maturity long before I took possession of the property on which it stood. “Look at it,” I said to my wife as we sat on our back patio. “It’s out of Africa and out of place and so alone. It looks like one of those trees I knew from my summer in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Africa when I was a kid.”

  • Sleeping with snakes

    They say snakes are really out in force this year;

    Which reminds me of a story;

    Which most everything does.

    You ever know someone that would sleepwalk?

    Most sleepwalkers do so at an early age and then sort of grow out of it as time goes by.

    Take me for instance.

    I was a certifiable sleepwalker from about age five. However, It didn’t totally end as I got older. Occasionally, over the years, I will have unexplainable reoccurrences.

    I blame these reoccurrences on my brother, Tony.

  • In need of a hug?

    llow residents at the long-term care facility I visit, ensconced in her wheel chair, sometimes napping, sometimes staring. I suppose I’ve walked past her dozens of times, greeting her with a casual “Hello,” or “How are you?” I can’t say I’ve taken the time to wait for a response. I’ve felt her tired eyes following me as I’ve quickly disappeared around the corner and down the hallway.

    But this day, she stopped me cold in my tracks.

  • The Red, White and Blue

    Every time I see the flag of these United States flying in a strong breeze; when I hear the national anthem playing or being sung at some event; when I see colors rendered at a veteran’s last rites, I get a chill that sort of runs through my body and sometimes, believe it or not, I get a little teary eyed.

    It’s known by many names; The American flag, The Stars and Stripes, the Red, White and Blue, Old Glory or The Star-Spangled Banner. But it means so much more than just a piece of cloth with some bright colors and pretty stars upon it.

  • There’s an app for that

    Do you want to strike it rich? Does sitting back and watching the money roll in sound like the career path for you?

    Luckily for you, that opportunity is right there for the taking, sort of.

    All you have to do is put your thinking cap on and come up with a mobile device application that is completely silly, a waste of time and/or — and this is the most important part — addictive.

  • Kind people along the road

    Granddad Whitlock, whom we affectionately called Pappy, liked to say the people in Texas were among the friendliest folks on earth. Pappy was born in Texas, in the tiny town of Osage. Although he spent most of his adult years in Oklahoma, he was always proud to be a native Texan.

  • Me, Jenny and Ranger Randy - Part 2

    Writer’s note: This is the second part of a two-part story on a recent extreme outdoor adventure camp that my 15-year-old daughter, Jenny, and I took with “Ranger Randy.”

    The adventure began.

    We awoke at the crack of dawn.

  • The traveling salesman

    “Cindy!  Is that the guy?”

    It was about 6 p.m.  We’d just finished up supper when this guy rode up into our driveway in a pickup truck. I’d been waiting patiently for weeks for his return.

    “That’s him.”

    “Oh boy, oh boy!”  I was giddy with excitement.

    “I wish you wouldn’t get giddy all over the place. Somebody has to clean that mess up. By the way, you do know you’re going to the ‘bad place’ don’t you?”