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Columns

  • How different my life would have been

    I was thinking the other day about how different my life would have been had my mom not married my stepfather.

    What is a stepfather anyway? It’s just a new dad...not a replacement for the old one. Maybe, more like a supplement or an enhancement to the previous situation.

    Whatever.

    But in my case, my mother, my brother and myself were just getting by. Being a single mom is not an easy task, and it’s even harder when your “ex” is no help whatsoever. I can’t imagine what my mom dealt with on a daily basis.

  • We appreciate all the dads out there doing their jobs

    My sister and I took one of our friends out to lunch Saturday. He doesn't have family here and during a recent conversation we thought it would be a nice idea. He selected the restaurant and we set out for a nice afternoon. First thing I noticed was that there weren't a lot of people out beating the rush, as they do for Mother's Day.

    We also stopped by a few shops and the shoppers were scarce. No one seemed to be planning a big day for Sunday.

  • My wife and my truck...I love them both

    My truck and my wife quit in the same week. Can you believe that? That old Chevy had been with me since October of 1989. The old…the old…uh…uh…my beautiful wife has been with me since...uh…for a little bit longer!

    Whew!

    I lacked four months getting 20 years from the truck. It carried me a little over 279,000 miles. Most of them pretty smooth.  Josh was 14 when I wheeled up into the yard in the shiny new vehicle. Jesse had just turned 12.

    "Take us for a spin, dad.”

    “Can we ride in the back?”

  • Some folks will just never understand that vet's Fourth of July tear

    The corn on the cob would stick to my teeth. The barbecue was accompanied with mild, hot, or sweet sauce. The potato salad was more than adequate if they went light on the mustard and the egg halves. The hot dogs were always a might over done. And the ketchup bottles were so sticky after the first five people went through that I wouldn’t pick one up for nothing! The drinks were iced down in No. 3 washtubs. And the dessert table took up a whole corner of the town square.

  • Today's holiday is not the same as in years past

    In the distant past, the Fourth of July was a holiday of much fun and patriotic feelings. But the feeling of today’s Fourth is vastly different from that of yesteryear.

  • Time for a change...or not

    Well...if there’s anything that’s constant in this life, it’s change.

    I was supposed to have started a new job this past Monday. It didn’t happen. I was promised things that, when it came time to sign on the dotted line, weren’t delivered. I politely declined, and came home to the Times. I’m a lot of things, but stupid ain’t one of them.

  • Same sermon, different year

    Every year around this time I preach the same sermon.

    We are one month into hurricane season and thankfully there has been nothing sighted in the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. But the last thing we need to do is become complacent. Now is the time to get ready for hurricane season by doing all of those things that the National Weather Service deems important. Now is the time to get those trees cut down or trimmed.

  • A good 'chaw' is worth a thousand words

    Raymond Mercer would ease a “chaw” of  "Day's Work" from one side of his jaw to the other. He’d squint off toward the back of the Parke Theater. He’d squat down on his haunches and expertly ease a load of juice equal distance between the toes of his trail worn Red Wings. He’d peer up at Luke Finley’s dark-colored mule. He’d squint back toward the theater again, spit and slightly nod his head up and down. We all breathed a sigh of relief. He bought the animal!

  • Saying goodbye to the man in the mirror

    Like a lot of people, I was shocked when I heard the news that Michael Jackson had died. To me, it was like losing a member of the family. It really didn't sink in right away either. Only after I got home and turned to CNN did I realize that Michael, as I call him, was gone forever.

    Everyone has a favorite Michael story. And no one ever forgets the first time they saw Michael on television and definitely no one forgets the first time they saw Michael in person.

  • Missing the good parts of paying my bills

    There are two businesses that have in the past 18 months closed their offices here that I really miss. Well, I don’t really miss the businesses because they're still here, but I miss going in to pay my bill.

    The telephone office has been closed over a year and I still can't remember to pay my bill. When I get the statement in the mail, instead of paying it immediately, I procrastinate. In the old days when payment was due all I had to do was jump in the car and get to the telephone company before closing.