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Columns

  • Murphy on vacation

    "If anything can go wrong, it will."
    Murphy's Law

    The following story is true. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

    I've always had one big fear about taking vacations by car far from home. It's the unexpected major breakdown. I've been lucky but a friend of mine wasn't.

  • Senator Jimmy Higdon’s Frankfort Report
  • Who can be a volunteer firefighter?

    I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.

    -- Kurt Vonnegut

  • Lying, cheating, backstabbing scoundrels

    I’ll bet that column heading got your attention.

    You probably thought this was going to be an opinion piece on Washington politics or maybe something on Wall Street.

    Close, but no banana.

    It’s the latest Broadway classic, “How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying,”  playing at the Opera House in Springfield.

  • God in the storm

    I grew up in Tornado Alley. Tornadoes were more of an event I enjoyed than a threat I feared, so invincible did I think I was as a child and teenager. As we gathered in the Shively’s storm shelter with other neighbors, I rather enjoyed the social gathering and naively hoped the twister would somehow be bad enough to cancel school but not destructive enough to hurt anyone.

    Questions of why, an inevitable response to suffering, weren’t in my purview, at least not then.

  • A time to remember

    We celebrated a very important holiday, Memorial Day, on Monday.
    It was a day that meant different things to different people. For many, it was the unofficial start of summer, marked with vacations and cookouts. For others, it was a day of reunion, used to reconnect, reminisce and remember loved ones.

    The original meaning of the one holiday we reserve for memory, though, is to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom and our way of life.  Those who gave their lives for our country.

  • The scissor lift incident

    Mark Simms, a friend of Cindy and me, offered to let us use his scissor lift when our family and my now son-in-law’s family were decorating the St. Dominic gym for their wedding reception.

    Mark had one stipulation; “Don’t mind loaning it, but don’t let Kenny near it or on it at any time.”

    Then he mentioned something about wanting to get it back in one piece.

    That Mark, he’s always a kidder.

  • How I became a tree hugger

    “What are you doing, Dad?” my son asked when he called me on his cell phone.

    I was sitting on our back patio, admiring the work I’d done, having just planted the first third of my garden with the non-genetically modified seeds I had oh-so carefully selected. I wanted to come as close as I could to having an organic garden.

    Then just as I leaned back to relax, I stood up straight, squinting at the tractor spraying the field behind my house. It was coming closer and closer to my garden.

  • Changing lives one person at a time

    “Few bonds in life are more influential than those between a young person and an adult.”
    — Unknown author

    Washington County High School seniors will be graduating this week. It is a momentous milestone in their lives. They will leave their family and friends, and their decisions, good and bad, will decide their lives for decades to come. My son is among those students.

  • Are you the bad neighbor?

    Will there be fences in heaven?

    That’s another way of asking, will your bothersome neighbor’s heavenly mansion be next to yours? Before you petition heaven’s city council for a privacy fence or request that your bad neighbor be confined to the eternal promised land’s back forty, make sure you yourself aren’t unwittingly the neighbor from hell who somehow slipped under the pearly gates unnoticed while St. Peter was distracted by a game of heavenly baseball.