• Graduates, consider your legacy

    By Dr. Harry Toder

    About three years ago, a high school teacher by the name of David McCullough at Wellesley (Massachusetts) High School gave the commencement address at that school. His address attracted a great deal of attention. His message to the graduates was, in essence, that they were not special. I think, more accurately, what he was attempting to convey to the graduates was that they should not have assumed they were special. He gave many statistics to prove his point.

  • State certified firefighter in 178 hours?

    It has been my experience that the folks who do the best in life are those who spot opportunity and act on it.

    These people are not any smarter than the rest of us. But they take action when the fire is hot and make a commitment while the rest of us don‘t.

    It’s also been my experience in life that you don’t want to be those folks who 20 years after the fact say “I should have, I could have, I would have” when successful people accomplish something you wish you did.

  • A gardener’s dilemma: do I stay or do I go?

    A friend and gardening mentor told me when I first ventured into this labor of love called gardening that this hobby should be relaxing. “If it’s stressful,” he told me, “you’re taking it too seriously.”

    His words echo in my ears as I stare at the freshly plowed ground, that chore the courtesy of a friend kind enough to break up the soil for me.

    It happens every year: “Can I do this? Do I really want to start with the planting, the cultivating, the weeding?”

  • Racism still a problem with all races

    In journalism, if you need a source for a story, you talk to someone who has a point of view to share for your story. You do that regardless of the person’s background, and particularly regardless of their race.

    Usually, I find myself on the side of the news story where I’m the one asking the questions. Rarely have I been the one interviewed. But Monday morning, I received a telephone call that placed me as a source for a story to be aired on television.

  • Hurting the ones you love

    “Why is there ever this perverse cruelty in humankind, that makes us hurt most those we love best?”
    - Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel’s Chosen

    I had a really good weekend and I really, really needed it.

    Cindy and I went to Madisonville to spend the weekend with our oldest daughter and her husband, and most of all, our granddaughter, Natalie.

    We didn’t really do a lot.

  • 'I love you, mom'

    Archie Bunker, the proverbial “lovable bigot” of “All in the Family” fame, wasn’t very good at telling his wife, Edith, he loved her.

    In one episode Edith pauses, furors her brow like she’s really thinking and asks, “Archie, do you love me?”

    Archie has no patience for such queries: “What kind of question is that?”
    Edith persists: “Do you still love me?”

    “Of course I still love you. Why do you ask?”

    “You never tell me that you love me.”

  • Hot summer nights with Sticktight

    About 15 years ago a young couple with a 2-year-old boy were visiting country music superstar John Michael Montgomery at his farm. He’s a fellow with several gold and platinum records to his name. The young boy had wandered off, and when the mother called him to the cabin he came back covered in stick tights. John Michael just laughed and laughed as Mom struggled to pull them all off. Then he said “Boy, we’re gonna have to start calling you “Sticktight!”

  • Somebody's prayin'

    “Preacher,” a church member said to me one Sunday, “I was driving in front of the church this morning, and I saw you standing by yourself up there at the top of the front steps. I knew what you were doing; I knew you were praying. And I just want you to know it made me feel better.”

    It somehow makes us feel better knowing somebody’s praying, though I can’t explain exactly why.

  • Battle of the ants

    Ants - Tiny creatures with a primitive brain no larger than that of a psychic-hotline caller.
    - Comedian Dave Barry

    Several years ago I was storming around the house, getting madder by the minute. Finally I looked up at Cindy and said, “My gosh, these dang pesky critters are everywhere! Where do they come from? How do we get rid of them?”

    She looked up from her crossword puzzle and said, “You mean the ants?”
    “No, the kids. I can handle the ants.”

  • Bring on those 60 birthday candles

    At last, here’s some good news from the wide world of news. This one comes from Stony Brook University and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

    Researchers there have concluded that age measurements that have traditionally categorized people as “elderly” or “old” at a certain age (usually 65) are no longer valid and must adjust accordingly.