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Opinion

  • “The Lord is with you.”

    Angel Gabriel to Mary

    The quote you see above was spoken by the angel, Gabriel, to Mary announcing the coming of Jesus Christ. Mary was about to conceive a child without ever knowing a man. God knew, as good a woman as Mary was, she would still need his help, his divine protection, for the road that was ahead of her.

    Divine protection.

  • It’s one that makes you proud to stand up and say, “Yes, I come from Washington County, where we have good people that make a difference.”

    Today I want to talk about one such young man that is making a difference. His name is Michael Hilton Mann.

  • I’m a former smoker. I smoked a pack-and-a-half a day for 11 years before finally kicking the habit in January 2013.

    That makes this January my fifth year as being smoke free.

    Despite this, I still get cravings; especially when I smell someone else’s cigarettes. When I’m stressed, it sends my “I need a cigarette” craving to DEFCON 1. I literally hear missile alarms and see quick flashes of red sirens pulsating in my brain as my fingers twitter around, longing for that familiar feeling of a cigarette in my hands.

  • By the time you read this I will have officially retired from the Army Reserve after a total of 42 years, 7 months and 29 days. I had nine years of active service and the rest as a weekend drilling Army reservist. I never, ever planned on staying this long.

    I believe that I set a record as the longest-serving enlisted man that Washington County has ever had. But I’m sure that local citizen Roger Milburn is the longest serving person overall as a warrant officer with more than 43 years of service.

    Dang that Roger!

  • Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, 

    And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.” 

    And The Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave 

    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 

    From The National Anthem of the United States of America.  “In God is our trust.”

     

    Powerful words. 

    Words that shouldn’t be said lightly. 

  • We look at our parents and grandparents, and often, we see them as people who have somehow been eternally old. It’s not a matter of disrespect, it’s just hard to see them as someone who was once our age, and even younger, with a life of their own, filled with activities similar to those we enjoy.

    As an adult, I know my grandparents weren’t always old, but in my memories, that’s pretty much been the case. Until you start to do the math.

  • Johnny Hardin wrote this story about the Springfield of his youth a few years back.  A lot of the older residents from that time enjoyed it so much that I thought I’d give it a repeat in honor of his recent death.  I think I got more calls and letters about it than any story than any story that I personally wrote.  So without further delay, here is Johnny Hardin’s Memory Lane.

  • My aunt Alison was a trip.

    I’ve never met anyone like her - and probably never will.

    She took me to a midnight showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” when I was 12 at the Nuart Theater in Los Angeles, California. I had no idea what she was getting me into that night, but boy was it a surprise.

  • “Whatcha Preachin’ on?”

    That was the way my dad would answer the phone when I called him on Sunday mornings. 

    Before, “Good morning,” or “How ya doing?” he would ask, “Whatcha preaching on?”

    Always on the way to church on Sunday, I would call. 

  • “I’ve got this,” my son, David, told me as me as he reached for the check.

    “What are you talking about?” I asked. 

    And my wife, Lori, chimed in, “You don’t need to pay for our dinner.”

    We were visiting David in his new home. His girlfriend had driven down to meet us for dinner at a favorite dinning spot of his. 

  • You know what?  

    You don’t? 

    Well that’s what I’m here for.  

    I’ll tell you what.

    There ain’t nothin like a good old fashion scary show to get your neck hairs primed and standing up. 

    Oh, I know there’re a lot of other things that can get your neck hairs up.  

    But none of that is like a scary show.

    When I was a little kid I was drawn to scary movies like a skunk is to tires rolling down the highway.  

    That was a long time ago.

  • Sometimes actually knowing what you are talking about based on experience will lead to very, very different conclusions than from someone looking at a situation based on what they have read or heard.

    I ran into that one day between two different college students on a very serious topic.  It was the value of living in America.

    I love talking with young college kids.

  • I’ve always tried to be a good citizen, and I keep up with what’s going on in our country. I like to be informed, and I think it’s also part of my job.

    Still, I’ve never been one to sit and talk politics at great length.

    That’s why a visit from a U.S. Senator to my newspaper office many years ago turned into a good old-fashioned baseball chat. And that’s a subject I can talk about all day long.

  • What’s the toughest part of your job?

    That’s a question that rings home to me, and the answer is hard to think about – looking at the faces of the children caught up in custody and divorce cases.

    I remember one little girl; she must have been 8 or 9 years old at the time. She and I were sitting outside the courtroom while her family members were arguing over who got custody of her.

  • How on God’s green earth do school buildings not just disintegrate in a heap of dust with all the kids running around them nine months out of every year?

    It’s beyond me.

    My own house seems to need a complete renovation about every 12 years and we only had five kids, now mostly adults, running around in it. I can’t imagine the amount of wear and tear a school building gets.

    But I digress.

  • I’ve come to realize over a period of time that there are different levels and kinds of funniness. What one person will double-over laughing at might not even bring a smile in another person or worse make them mad. Here are a few examples that you might have experienced before.

    Years ago my sister, Mary, who’s from Louisville, met one of my friends from the factory that I worked at in Danville.

    They’d been talking for a while when suddenly the friend realized that Mary was my sister.

  • Dear Friends

    As this Mother's Day approaches, we plan to celebrate as we remember the abundant and unconditional love our mothers unselfishly gave throughout our childhoods.  Whether they are with us or have passed on, we can look back and remember what they taught us about life.

  • Dear Editor,

    The invasion has started! Please help fight back and save our county.

    Have you heard about the worse environmental invader now coming our way – bush honeysuckle? Drive around metro areas in early spring and you will find how this bush has taken over the landscape. It is first to leaf out in spring and creates a thick shade bush up to 12 feet tall.

  • Dear Editor,

    As a child growing up, on more than one occasion, my mother warned me how my words and actions could hurt my reputation. Well, I must admit, I did question her advice and wondered if it really made any difference. Once you get through the “I know everything” stage, you quickly realize that when you hear someone’s name, you have an instant opinion of that person.

  • I come from a big family that had nine kids.

    Johnny is the third oldest at 63 and I’m fifth at 59.

    Where have the years gone?

    We look quite a bit alike, and over the years people have frequently mistaken us for each other. That didn’t help my ego, as he was four years older than me, but that’s another story. We also have a few habits and other things that are similar.

    We both married, and John’s three kids came out as a girl, a girl, then a boy. The first three of my five kids came out the same.