You know the name Spartacus, probably from the many fictional descriptions of his life, especially Kirk Douglas playing the title role in the 1960 film by Stanley Kubrick. There are novels about him, too, and a ballet by Khachaturian. Ronald Reagan was no scholar of Roman history, but in an address in Britain, he referred to the rebellious slave Spartacus as a symbol of the fight against totalitarianism. Spartacus’s name seems as if it will resound forever, and so a case could be made that we ought to know more about him than the “facts” presented in a Hollywood biopic.
Retired children’s librarian Hope Ellis is passionate about making great readers out of today’s children. The Columbus resident, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in library science from Mississippi University for Women and a Masters degree in library science from the University of Mississippi, has amassed a treasure trove of educational resources in her 21-year career.
There’s an isolated field in the Old Memphis community, tucked behind a collection of mobile trailers circled, more or less, like a ragged, rust-pocked wagon train.
I have hesitated to write about the Mississippi University for Women name change because I have mixed feelings. Something surfaced, however, that I feel compelled to comment on.
Skinned knees and funny poses, school plays and runny noses. Homework, chores and playground fun; tussles, learners’ permits and big homeruns. If it were possible to write a job description for moms, the line items would fit right in, somewhere between wondering where the instruction manual is and becoming a grateful grandparent. For the house mothers at Palmer Home for Children, the tasks, freely undertaken, are never done. There is always another child in need of that special acceptance and patient, tender care.
Today we honor mothers of all sorts, and not a moment too soon. I’m not sure I could stomach another sticky-sweet ad featuring pink, cubic zirconia, hearts and corny text. Does anyone’s mother ever look like those models wearing inexpensive jewelry, and in rapture over a bottle of drug-store fragrance?
Recently I wrote that I had heard of the closing of Sir Antony’s near Pontotoc. I was distressed to be told that the major reason for this was due to “no-shows,” customers who make reservations and simply don’t show up.
For beef lovers, few aromas can rival the enticing lure of a flavorful, tender steak expertly grilled. There will be plenty of temptation to go around as the Lowndes County Cattlemen’s Association prepares nearly 3,000 ribeye steaks May 8-9 on grills set up at the Kroger parking lot on Highway 45 North.
Beth Rogers was delighted with her unexpected find. It wasn’t a long-lost locket, a forgotten $20 bill in a coat pocket, or even a great sale on spring shoes. No, Beth was thrilled to discover lettuce — fresh, crisp lettuce at the Hitching Lot Farmers’ Market on opening day April 25. Like most loyal market followers, for Chef Beth, of J. Broussard’s Restaurant, the new growing season couldn’t get here quickly enough.
Our perfect spring is quickly melting into the sauna that is summer. It won’t be long before Chris and I will be forced to abandon our late-afternoon alfresco chats with the neighbors, cultivating friendships.
“If I had your hand, I’d throw mine in.” Those are the words of encouragement I gave one of my best pals a few days ago during what turned out to be a pretty somber visit. His job is going away. I had to remind him that he is super intelligent and has a laundry list of accomplishments he couldn’t fit on a four-page resumé.
The nonprofit Columbus Arts Council is now accepting registrations for four sessions of summer arts camps that offer children 5 to 13 diverse worlds to explore through dance, mask-making, clay, edible art, improv, creative writing, fashion design, drawing, Irish dance and folk music and more.
Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science students have one more thing to be proud of this year. The annual history program “Tales from the Crypt” received the Award for Excellence in Use of Historical Records in Grades K-12 through the Mississippi Historical Records Advisory Board.
With all due respect to the late novelist Thomas Wolfe, Caledonia High School alumni would argue that you can go home again. Many of them do every Mother’s Day weekend, maintaining a long-held reunion tradition dating back 75 years.
Let me introduce you to my grandson, Douglas McRae, who is serving a 27-month assignment in Peru as a health volunteer. I thought my readers might like to know something about what it is like to do that, so I asked him to share his experiences with us. It is new to me, too. What he sent me follows.
As the May 5 primary elections draw near, political talk of promises and platforms escalates. Earnest candidates vying for the voter’s nod pull out all the stops to generate interest. In Starkville, the mayoral race is drawing a little extra attention — from two write-in candidates whose only real platform is the one they’re discreetly bolted to on the graceful wrap-around porch at 501 Louisville St.
“Smooth” is an adjective often associated with Jesse Robinson’s rich repertoire of blues and jazz. The “seventh son, thirteenth child, baby boy, and a preacher’s son” first picked up a guitar at 6 years old and hasn’t set it down yet.
In the South we are known for our warmth and hospitality. It doesn’t matter if someone asks for directions, or advice on where to get great barbecue, or just says “hi” as they walk through our lovely streets. In this part of the world, and especially in Columbus, we are eager to respond. In fact, we sometimes wish there were more opportunities to illustrate why we are called “The Friendly City.”
Dr. Kendall Dunkelberg, professor of English at Mississippi University for Women, has published a new book of poetry, “Time Capsules,” with Texas Review Press. The director of creative writing will read from “Time Capsules” Monday, April 24th at 4 p.m. in Painter Hall, Room 108, on the university campus. The public is invited to attend. A book signing will follow.
One of literature’s most heart-warming classics is the inspiration for the YMCA Drama Team spring production. “The Secret Garden,” based on the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, will be presented by the Frank P. Phillips YMCA troupe Friday, May 1, in Rent Auditorium on the Mississippi University for Women campus at 7 p.m.
2. A Southern favorite: Rick Bragg to speak in Fayette ENTERTAINMENT