Diet. The word that grates on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. It's just so passť, bringing to mind the low-fat fiasco of the '80s or the low-carb craze of the '90s. Diet implies temporariness. And for so many of us, weight loss and maintenance are lifelong challenges. There are no temporary quick fixes that will last forever. You have to stay on top of it.
Back by popular demand, local book club The Sisters will headline the Friends of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library Table Talk series on Feb.15. The Sisters, whose examination of Kathryn Stockett's "The Help," drew record crowds last fall, will tackle best-selling author James Patterson's detective-psychologist Alex Cross.
I remember the first salon where I worked right out of beauty school. Scissors in hand, I began cutting. McRae's Department Store in the Hattiesburg Cloverleaf Mall was hidden far behind cosmetics, just past the shoes and tucked into a small corner beside customer service. Perhaps it's ironic that this column is all about customer service.
Mid-February may be the coldest time of year, but ironically, it is associated with love and warmth, and all good feelings. We can thank Saint Valentine for that. Evidently, there were at least 14 saints with that name who were martyred in ancient Rome. One was known for marrying Christian couples. It cost him his head.
Somewhere today on the small West Indies island of Montserrat, a disabled young mother recovering from a stroke is grateful for a new handmade walking stick -- a gift crafted with kindness in the Golden Triangle. With his new cane made in Columbus, another islander coping with partial foot amputation is navigating a bit better over the rough volcanic terrain of his homeland. When he received it in December, he gladly discarded the broken mop stick he'd been using as a walking aid. Simple things. Big differences. Building blocks in a mission undertaken by two young women -- one a native of Columbus -- and a willing 84-year-old accomplice in Columbus.
This will probably come as a surprise to Caledonia Middle School sixth-grader Elise Cook's fan club, but her favorite subject isn't English, it's math. In fact, this year's countywide spelling champ is hoping to someday become an engineer.
It's fair to say Walter Parks has worn a few hats in the music world. As lead guitarist for Woodstock legend Richie Havens for most of the last decade, he's played some prestigious venues, like Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden.
With all the coverage of the upcoming Super Bowl, thoughts turn to great football teams. In pro ball there are memories of the Old Green Bay dynasty. This past season of college ball brought back memories of the old LSU Chinese Bandits, at least until Alabama showed up for the rematch. Then there was East Mississippi Community College and its trip to Arizona to win the community/junior college national championship.
Sixty-two youth have already signed up for the Lowndes County 4-H shooting sports program, which began with safety classes Jan. 28. Dozens of children and their parents attended the sign-up event hosted by 4-H Agent Sharon Patrick at 4-H headquarters on Seventh Street North in Columbus Jan. 19. The shooting sports program has consistently been 4-H's most popular program in recent years. Much of its success is attributed to the efforts of long-time instructor Ben Kilgore, who retired last year.
Thumbing through a recent copy of Scientific American, I found a feature about recent innovations that will improve our lives. Some are in limited use today. I thought they were worth sharing in case they are as new to you as they are to me.
One of the great things about living in the South are the beautiful, unseasonably warm days sprinkled throughout our winters. This year we've already had several spring-like days in the upper 60s, and it's only the beginning of February.
Columbus' 17th annual Market Street Festival may be three months off, but preparations are well underway. The festival and the Columbus Arts Council are partnering again this year to offer the Juried Arts Competition and Exhibit. The contest and show will celebrate some of the best original paintings, drawings, photography and 3D work done by area artists.
If you are looking to get involved and volunteer in the community, the Master Gardener Program may be right for you. The program, which began in Mississippi in 1991, is designed to enhance public education in consumer horticulture. It provides educational assistance to any citizen in the area of horticulture through the use of trained volunteers.
Sherlock Holmes, Alex Cross, Adam Dalgliesh, Commissario Brunetti, Sam Spade, Perry Mason, Miss Marple, and Lisbeth Salander: February is "mystery month" at the Table Talks sponsored by Friends of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library. The Friends launches its latest series on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at noon in the library meeting room, 314 7th St. N.
Valentine's Day is fast approaching. I always become aware of this event in late January, when everything turns red, pink and glittery. Hearts are aflutter all over town with that Someone Special atop every shopping list. All sizes of stuffed animals -- monkeys, bears, frogs -- sit on shelves wondering who will take them home this year. Nearby are boxes of chocolates, bags of heart-shaped candies and anything and everything with a love motif. I am wondering what I will wrap up in pink tissue paper and stuff into a gift bag complete with a message of my affections (the perfectly chosen Hallmark) for my sweetheart.
Avery Dennison, who is from Columbus, was among Mississippi School of the Arts Visual Arts students who recently received a cumulative total of 85 awards in the Regional Scholastic Art Competition. The contest is hosted by the Mississippi Museum of Art. Students from the School of Arts took home three of the five American Vision Awards (for best in show), 19 Gold Keys, 15 Silver Keys and 48 Honorable Mentions.
"I could tell right away when I saw the picture that it had a story to tell." History detective Dave Trojan was talking of the photo of Clark Gable with Col. L.C. Mallory he came across while researching 1942 aircraft at the Columbus Army Flying School (now Columbus Air Force Base). "The picture was in with a lot of other photos in a file called '1940s Columbus AFB.'"
You might remember Clark Gable for his portrayal of Rhett Butler in "Gone With the Wind," or as one of the great legends of the silver screen, but almost 70 years ago, he was a real American hero, both on screen and off, when he flew real combat missions during World War II.
When the Jackson-based Mississippi Humanities Council announced recipients of its 2012 Public Humanities Awards Thursday, Beverly Norris of Columbus, and the Columbus Arts Council, were named to receive the Humanities Partner Award. Honorees will be recognized in ceremonies Feb. 24 at the Hilton Jackson Hotel in the state capitol.
In celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week, an interfaith conversation between five local religious leaders will be held Monday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium on the Mississippi University for Women campus. The event is free and open to the public.