GUTHRIE, Ky. -- When determined women form a committee, move out of the way and take cover. Something's going to happen.
What happened here was the salvation of a so-called railroad bungalow on a corner lot. It was about to be sold and moved, red brick by red brick, to the university over in Bowling Green, but the ladies of Guthrie galvanized and said: "Wait just a minute. This is ours."
There was this glorious routine. My Mississippi Coast visits in the 1980s were frequent, full and never varied.
Every nice weekend, three or four of us newspaper buddies would pool our resources, fill up the Mustang with cheap gas and drive down from Jackson to catch the first ferry to Ship Island. That was the main event.
After learning from Internet "news" that real pearls feel gritty to the teeth and sago palms are poisonous to dogs, I decided to play a little music.
I can't handle the information age.
In childhood, summer vacation was synonymous with Florida. One year, in a slight departure from fishing the state's central lakes, we visited the winter home of the circus in Sarasota.
It was a bookstore in an old house that also sold chocolate treats and bottled beer, pretty much a working definition of heaven.
A group of convivial folks, mostly from the nearby college, had come to listen to Alabama author and veteran journalist Frye Gaillard talk about his latest, "The Books That Mattered, A Reader's Memoir."
The National Rifle Association wants to train and arm all public school teachers and administrators. The plan, as the NRA sees it, is to protect students.
FISHTRAP HOLLOW --It's been a bad week here in the Hollow.
A letter from the Mississippi Department of Revenue informed my county that I was ineligible for the homestead exemption on my house and land. "Applicant is not a natural person," it said.
The day the retired pope gave his last tweet, I was captive in the car for seven hours. I heard a lot of radio news, or what passes.
First I listened to my usual National Public Radio allotment, and it seemed rather like a slow news day. No marauding shooters were abroad, no wars were started and nobody but the outgoing pope tweeted anything of importance.
I haven't seen the Ladies' Home Journal in about a million years, except maybe in the dentist's office when I was trying to avoid a television permanently set on Fox News.
Somebody's grandchild was selling magazines for a school project, and Ladies' Home Journal was the only one on the list I recognized.
NATCHEZ -- In all of my visits to this beautiful river town, how have I missed the estate called Longwood? The mansions with their fanciful names run together if you see too many in one trip, but I've made many trips, toured many grand homes. Never, until recently, Longwood.
PASS CHRISTIAN -- Four different groups have ventured to our new holiday home on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. One found it.
I've carefully typed out the same detailed instructions for all travelers, giving the benefit of my considerable experience finding the shortest route. All four carloads ignored my directions and relied on some kind of global positioning gadget in their computers, telephones or cars.
PASS CHRISTIAN -- The week I became 60, I was on the Gulf Coast, the weather was balmy and life definitely seemed worth living.
Young Barney Schoby has an actor's animation and a historian's mind. Who better to guide you through the place that does more to explain the nuanced Natchez heyday than any other?
TUPELO. -- I carry on a friendly argument with friends who live in big cities like New Orleans and Memphis, and rave about their so-called convenience.
In little Iuka, I can drive the seven miles in from my house, go to the grocery, the post office and the bank, have at least one spontaneous conversation with a friend or an enemy and be home in less than 30 minutes. It doesn't get more convenient than that.
While the rest of the country is shoveling and shivering, South Georgia is at its loveliest. The camellias are blooming, live oaks keep their leaves and trees loaded with bright-orange kumquats and satsumas are exotically common.
FISHTRAP HOLLOW -- In the quiet of this early morning, in a season dedicated to peace and good will to all men, it is hard to believe the sadness and ugliness that assaults America.
PASS CHRISTIAN -- It was a painting on black velvet. Half a dozen or more boats, one of them a huge Biloxi schooner, all bedecked with colored lights, moving slowly through the darkness.
Something about the snakeskin flashlight for $25 sent me screaming to the Land of Bah Humbug. It was on one of those magazine lists of gifts for under $25 -- technically the snazzy flashlight was not "under" but "right at" -- which sucker me in to disappoint.
It was Cormac McCarthy cold, the wind rushing through deserted and dark buildings, whipping at loose trash that increasingly piled up on the rutted streets.
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