On the cover of the new book by historian Merry Wiesner-Hanks is the portrait of a young girl dressed in Renaissance finery, an elaborate and lacy dress. She smiles slightly and looks directly at the viewer with big brown eyes. She has flowers in her hair. But she has hair not only at the top of her head, but all over her forehead, cheeks and chin.
It is said that by age 50 we have the face we deserve. For most of us that is a reflection of life and experience. At middle age, we can polish that face with a smile or, for women, a bit of lipstick and blush. However, except for extreme plastic surgery (and excluding the picture of Dorian Gray), we are pretty much forced to wear the results of the life we lived. Events and emotions of our past are etched around our eyes and impossible to hide with anything offered at a cosmetic counter.
Chris is fascinated with the College Baseball World Series. He leans forward in his “papa bear” chair yelling at the TV. Our two dog-daughters look confused at the barrage of noise gushing from their usually calm daddy. Of course, they cannot understand that the Tigers are at bat and doing very well. The LSU players look quite sharp in the deep purples and sunny yellow of their uniforms.
From time to time I hear a teacher or professor lament, “Students just don’t read anymore.” What a pity! I know that the printed page has to vie for popularity with all sorts of high tech entertainment, but I grieve for anyone who misses the pleasure of reading a book.
The mouthwatering smell of the slow-smoking grill, the familiar feel of the Tombigbee River and fireworks dancing in the sky will help us celebrate our nation’s birthday this Fourth of July, and organizers are asking for the community’s help.
I have been reading the comments regarding the Burns Bottom “sportsplex” with interest, some amusement, and much aggravation. I am reminded of a tale I heard/read many years ago regarding an influential and wealthy State Senator from Columbus. I hope my memory serves me well here.
Extreme fatherhood seems to be in style these days. The ideal family of 2.5 children is as passé as 33 RPM records and platform shoes on men. If you are to believe reality television, families of eight to 18 children are the only ones of any interest.
“Let me tell you a secret, about a father’s love A secret that my daddy said was just between us. He said daddies don’t just love their children every now and then. Its a love without end, amen, its a love without end, amen. “A Father’s Love” by George Strait These lyrics ring so true in the Truesdale household. Throughout the duration of this column you have heard many a story about the man behind the column’s three children — also known as Number One Son, Number Two Son, and Third Favorite. “Strummin’” this week will take on a different perspective, to tell you about Number One Dad from the perspective of Third Favorite, his only daughter, Kady.
The ancient Egyptians hardly knew how influential they would be when they put up obelisks. Pyramids are, of course, more impressive, but if you build a pyramid, it is going to stay where you put it no matter what. Obelisks may weigh hundreds of tons, but they are still to some extent portable, and they have been exported, to various world capitals for various reasons.
Elephants are among the first exotic animals of which kids have some knowledge. Every Noah’s Ark set has a pair, and children are able to draw elephants almost as soon as they can draw any recognizable animal. We love Babar and we love Horton. But most westerners see real elephants only in zoos and circuses, where they are among the favorite attractions.
I began taking an interest in hot cars when my bicycle lost its appeal with the girls in my class, somewhere around the age of 12.
Summer has arrived with a vengeance. The air hangs heavily. Chris goes into the backyard to gather beans and cucumbers, and returns exhausted, breathless. A voluminous humidity clings to our skin like a fog, seeping deeply into each pore. And, like a cranky house guest, she stays much too long. We know it will be many months before this visitor packs her bags and moves on.
These early summer evenings are punctuated with the small, bright flashes of fireflies. From my porch we exclaim at every sighting. “There’s one! I just saw one!” You’d think there was a reward for the most observed in a single night.
Will miracles never cease? We boiled our first garden-grown potato recently! Only one, and I undercooked it, so we could only nibble it to be sure it was edible. How exciting. Well, it is for us, anyway.
A fad for deregulation hit our country in the mid-1980s, and whether you think this was a good thing or a bad thing, it inarguably brought us late-night advertisements for the miracle Food Dehydrator, the Ronco Automatic Pasta Maker, spray-on-hair for balding persons, the Snuggie and colon cleanse based on Biblical principles.
Columbus seems encircled by celebration these days. Weddings, graduations, major events of all sorts call for an acknowledgement and a toast before moving on to the next chapter, the next goal. It’s always fun to help friends honor a joyful moment. Too often we meet at funerals or in times of tragedy.
Sports and nationalism often clash, and did so memorably when Adolf Hitler was in power. The story of how the four gold medals won by non-Aryan Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics embarrassed the Fuhrer has often been told. Of somewhat lesser renown is the 1936 heavyweight fight between Max Schmeling and Joe Louis, of which a German radio announcer said, “It is every German’s obligation to stay up tonight. Max will fight overseas with a Negro for the hegemony of the white race!”
The lyrics from a classic Linda Ronstadt song keep rolling through my head. “Heart like a wheel, when you bend it you can’t mend it.”
It’s that time of year again. People are returning to their roots, gathering for class reunions. May seems to be the busiest month for that, with autumn homecomings and Christmas holidays trailing slightly.
It wasn’t so long ago that we were all fascinated with the change of millennium, jumping into the two thousands of years. There were worries: Everyone with a computer remembers that shortcuts by 20th-century programmers were supposed to mean computers would crash when they unexpectedly came across years with a first digit of two rather than of one. It’s interesting that our worries with the big date change were technological. They didn’t come to pass.
4. America and the Muslims BOOK REVIEWS