These days a power walk around the block a few days a week just doesn't cut it. Lately the fitness motto seems to be, "Go hard or go home." And with all of the hardcore training routines out there, from at-home DVDs such as P90x and Insanity to group classes like R.I.P.P.E.D. and CrossFit, it's easy to see why.
May 5, 1945, was a typically beautiful spring day in Plzen, Czechoslovakia. The sun shone; flowers bloomed everywhere. But two hostile armies occupied the city. The Second Infantry Division of the U.S. Army were coming in on the southern flank for Allied forces in World War II. Germany held the city, but their resistance was fading.
We humans seem addicted to bestowing a "day" upon almost anything. In June alone, there's Flip a Coin Day, Hug Your Cat Day, Sewing Machine Day and, a personal favorite, International Panic Day. So it should come as no surprise there is such a thing as national Doughnut Day.
Ernest Mast's Homestead Acres is nestled deep in Noxubee County, past vast fields that call up the phrase "God's country." Miles of dirt road bordered by corn and soybeans lead to its white rail fence and a neat ranch-style farmhouse, originally built by Ernest's father.
We live in a place rich with history. Pilgrims come to the South from all over the world just to walk in the shadows of our past. This does not seem strange to us.
I remember my mama's arsenal of hairstyling tools from an early age. When you look at today's innovations, you might think she could as well have been beating two rocks together like a cave woman. Her hair dryer was about as small as a closed fist. It was the most offensive shade of tan, and it buzzed so loudly my daddy couldn't even hear the animals roaring on "Wild Kingdom."
The advent of summer heralds the return of live music to the scenic Columbus Riverwalk. Sounds of Summer, the popular series of free concerts, begins Thursday evening and returns every other Thursday through July 26 (excluding the week of July 4).
Well, the question that everyone wants to know from last week's column is, "Did Ryan and your dad catch any fish?" and "What did you do with them?" I was so excited about my gourmet camp food that I left out any details about why we were on Horn Island in the first place.
There was a time, in the not-so-distant past, when churning an ice cream freezer on the back porch was a summertime ritual. Every strong arm in the family took a turn at the crank, and youngsters in the right place at the right time got to lick the dasher.
It's late afternoon and Jordan Mize's little garden is bathed in the warmth of a low-lying sun. Light glints brilliant through droplets of water clinging to broad leaves and tiny green tomatoes, just coming into the world.
"Moonlight and Magnolias" is the theme of the Columbus Arts Council's gala June 2 at the Rosenzweig Arts Center in downtown Columbus.
Ten years ago, Rick Asherson got his first taste of Willie King's Freedom Creek Festival, that down-home celebration held in a field behind King's humble home in rural Pickens County, Alabama. There, by a cinderblock-and-plank stage under trees strung with lights, blues fans doused in bug spray and sun screen camped in lawn chairs and danced in the dirt when the spirit moved.
Last weekend I decided, on a whim, to join my husband and my dad on one of their saltwater fly fishing trips to the barrier islands off of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. They go on these survival camping trips to Horn Island several times a year, and when they return from their adventure it takes them days to recover from the sunburn, bug bites, chaffing, and general malnourishment and dehydration. Sounds fun, huh?
Little girls grow up way too quickly to suit us, and my niece is no exception to the rule. Recently I was honored to escort her to the makeup counter where she would be introduced to mascara applied the right way, lipstick in a shade worthy of a graduating sixth-grader, and even something to "blush" about, literally.
For generations of Columbians who have only hearsay to know what MSCW (Mississippi State College for Women, now Mississippi University for Women) used to be, Eugenia Summer has a tale of the days when Dr. B.L. Parkinson was president. I think it will amuse, perhaps amaze, you.
Deep in the heart of every writer lurks a voyeur. We are masters of schizophrenic listening. A good writer can participate in a lunch-time conversation while tuning into diners at the next table. He (or she) is an observer of human nature, body language and, most importantly, subtle inflections, the nuances of speech. There is an invisible recorder in the brain, storing away accents and tones.
Memorial Day traditionally serves as the starting pistol for a summer of outdoor smoking and grilling. How better to usher in that mouthwatering season than with a little insight from a master cook?
Two months ago, fifth-grader Jalyn Collins had never heard of guerilla marketing. Her classmate, Morgan Williams, could not imagine she would "pitch" a product to random shoppers at the mall. And 11-year-old Kevin Brown certainly had no idea what an elevator speech was. But these students at Sale Elementary International Studies Magnet School -- an IB (international baccalaureate) World School -- and their fifth-grade classmates have become pretty savvy since March. With a public exhibition Monday evening, they completed the K-5 school's first-ever IB exit project.
Photographer Martin J. Dain was one of the few who photographed author William Faulkner at Rowan Oak, the writer's home in Oxford. A selection of those images are compiled in a traveling exhibit, "Faulkner's World: The Photographs of Martin J. Dain," on display at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library through June 22.
Grants can often make the difference between a project coming to fruition or languishing unfulfilled. This academic year, the Starkville Area Arts Council has awarded more than $5,000 in grants in Starkville schools to support artistic pursuits.