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Columns

  • Empty rooms filled with memories

    “All that had been used to make it a dwelling place, by my folks on back, by Grover and me… all the memories of all the lives that had made it and held it together, all would come apart and be gone as if it never was.”
    from Sold, a short story by Wendell Berry

  • The Music Man

    “You watch your phraseology!”
    Jerry Grider as Mayor Shinn, to the wild kid.

     
    Great honk!
    “The Music Man” has rolled into The Opera House in Springfield, and this town will never be the same.

  • Smoking: The truth never hurts

    The purpose is to get people to quit. Simple as that.
    The Federal Drug Administration recently announced that beginning September 2012, it will require larger, more prominent health warnings on all cigarette packaging and advertisements in the United States.
    The changes will be the first in more than 25 years and are “a significant advancement in communicating the dangers of smoking,” according to the FDA.

  • Excellence at WCHS

    “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
    William Arthur Ward

    Teaching is more than an art. It’s extremely hard work when it’s done right.  

  • Burning bridges

    All the burning bridges that have fallen after me
    All the lonely feelings and the burning memories
    Everyone I left behind each time I closed the door
    Burning bridges lost forevermore

    Lyrics to “Burning Bridges”

    When I was young, I was always a loner.

  • My stuff's not junk

    “You’ll find you’ve brought too much stuff.”
    The words were softly spoken — almost as if to himself — by a retired pastor, a resident of my parents’ retirement community. He seemed to know by observation and personal experience: we take too much stuff with us.

  • Grateful for their service

    The black and white picture of the B-24 on the front of the time-worn postcard caught my attention. I flipped it over to find my dad’s barely legible handwriting, smeared as it was by an aged water stain. It was postmarked, Dec. 12, 1944, from San Marcos Army Air Field, San Marcos, Texas.

  • Are you a good citizen? Take the test and find out!

     

    We all like to think of ourselves as patriotic, and good American citizens.
    When they play the national anthem at a sporting event, we stand up and remove our hats. When we say The Pledge of Allegiance, we put our hand over our heart. We’ve always done these things because we were taught as children they are the proper thing to do, and they are ways to show respect for our nation and its treasured symbols.

  • Vacation without Cindy

    . . . is seldom a vacation.

    Cindy couldn’t go on our annual pilgrimage to Dollywood this year in Gatlinburg due to her new job.  I hated that, but she sure didn’t.
    For some reason the idea of missing out on walking all day in 95-degree heat with a pack of howling kids while going from ride-to-ride that astronauts would think twice about getting on didn’t seem to bother her.  I warned her how lonely it would be in the house all by herself for five days, and her smile just seemed to get bigger.
    Go figure.

  • Moving Mom and Dad

    As I walked away from the emergency room, I felt a heaviness for my friends who had just brought in their elderly father. They were rightly concerned about his health issues. But their dad wasn’t. In fact, he was angry that his adult children had insisted on admitting him to the hospital.
    There he rested on the gurney, pouting because he wasn’t home. His lower lip was turned up, childlike, which enhanced the scowl on his face as he weakly waved me away.
    It’s not easy parenting parents.