Early Sunday afternoon, on the day Mississippi observed its 200th birthday, Larry Priest and James "H.D." Taylor unloaded two fishing kayaks from the back of a battered GMC pickup and dragged them to the river's edge.
The other day, while waiting on the papers to come off the press, David Plyler, a high-school classmate, and I were talking about baseball and our shared love for the New York Yankees when we were kids.
Margie Hall is talking about the Ranch House, the restaurant that has been part of her life since she moved to Columbus from Gordo in the early 50s to carhop for her brother, Bill Hall, who owned the place.
When an abusive husband called her a "dumb ass," she drove to a nearby college and took and passed the Mensa test. That's Jane: intrepid, confident, irrepressible.
Earlier this year Doug Wheeler, 76, broke his ankle while water skiing. During his seven-week convalescence, his wife, Pat, chauffeured him on his daily rounds.
While most of us would declare the study of Latin and Greek terra incognita, Bob Wolverton would argue vehemently otherwise.
All his life, even before he was stapling posters on telephone poles advertising upcoming Ringling Brothers shows and B.B. King concerts for his Uncle Dave, Jim Lavender wanted to be in the circus.
You wouldn't consider any of them political activists, necessarily, but a handful of Southside residents may have the best idea yet on how to address the flag issue. They are flying in front of their homes the historic Magnolia Flag, the banner that was once the state flag.
In the city of Berlin south of the Brandenburg Gate and several blocks west of Checkpoint Charlie, there is a museum called "Topography of Terror."
In May 2014, James Fallows, a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, visited Columbus. Fallows and his wife, Deborah, also a correspondent for The Atlantic, were touring the country in their single-engine airplane.
Friday afternoon after work, Lance Dodd and his fiance Jami Harvey took their 3-year-old son, Jackson, to Lance's grandmother's place for a bit of end-of-the-week unwinding. At least, that's what they thought they were doing.
On a recent weekday afternoon, Art Mills parked his golf cart under one of the live oaks in front of the Main Street post office and went inside. The golf cart had a blue kayak strapped on top of it.
Not long ago a man walked up to me in Kroger and, in a barely audible voice, said, "My wife told me I ought to get in touch with you; I have something you might be interested in."
Late Tuesday afternoon five people are sitting in the living room of the small brick house Marion Fairchild shares with Joyce, his wife of 50-plus years.
The three-foot-long rat snake sprawled across the entrance of the barn like he owned the place. I could feel the hair on the back of my neck tingle. "He's here for the mice, the rats," I said to myself. "That's a good thing; he means no harm to you."
About a year ago, four Mennonite boys from Georgia came up with the idea to build a houseboat and motor down the Mississippi.
The sparrows here are insistent, expectant. Before I can get the laptop out of its case, two of them are at my feet looking up.
Paul Thorn, songwriter, musician, storyteller, artist, former welterweight boxer, son of a preacher and all-around good guy, walked onto the stage of the Omnova Theater Friday evening, sat down and to a full house unceremoniously announced he was going to play a song about "back-road fornication." Thorn then launched into "A Long Way from Tupelo."
Paddling downstream on the Luxapallila about halfway between Gunshoot Road in Steens and Highway 12, you come to a cypress slough stretching back to the north in the direction of Jemison Mill Road.
We had been talking about his growing up in Columbus and where he went to school, when I asked Fredrick Jackson what got him into politics. He held up his hand.
"First, let's talk about my wife," he said.
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