Can we talk about gun violence now? Of course not. Since details of Monday's murderous attack at the Washington Navy Yard are still emerging, it would be premature to use the tragic event, which took the lives of 12 innocents and the gunman, as the basis for a real conversation about the gun violence problem in the U.S.
Just the other day Tjajuan Boswell was working on the flowered medians in downtown Columbus. Heat radiated at 107 degrees, and she was working like a Trojan. With the back of her forearm she wiped sweat from her brow. I complimented her on how wonderful the flowers looked and thanked her for her efforts to beautify the city. It's no easy job.
Lynn Spruill grew up in Starkville, the only child of an accountant whose energy level and curiosity exceeded the demands of his practice. L.E. Spruill, the son of a Kolola Springs farmer (his only sibling is the wonderful Frances Jutman of Columbus), also bought, demolished and rebuilt failing subdivisions and rental properties. He did dirt work.
Lately there has been much conversation about the future of the Tombigbee cut-off across from Columbus, commonly referred to as the Island. The Island has a long and historic past. Prior to the construction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in the late 1970s through early 1980s what is now called the Island was a big bend in the Tombigbee River.
And the worm turns... Look back at the presidential campaign of 2008. Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden strongly criticized young, first term U.S. Senator Barack Obama for his lack of experience. He won't be ready on "day one," said Clinton. Republican nominee John McCain agreed and used Clinton's and Biden's remarks in television ads. All to no avail, as we know. The inexperienced senator won the Democratic nomination and the presidency.
This is for four women who are not here. It is for grandchildren who never existed and retirement celebrations that were never held. It is for Sunday dinners that were never prepared in homes that were never purchased. It is for children who were never born and fathers who never got to walk daughters down the aisle.
As I read Vlad's op-ed in the New York Times, a Judy Collins tune kept replaying in my head: "Isn't it rich? Isn't it queer?" The song -- actually written by Stephen Sondheim, although it is Collins's signature hit -- is "Send in the Clowns," and it seems an apt soundtrack for current events.
Lowndes County is about to have a problem, the sort of problem most other counties and cities would love to have. Over the next five years, the county is going to have more money than it knows what to do with, a happy circumstance created by the boom in industrial development in the county.
Michael Farris Smith sat at a table in the W Room at the Mississippi University for Women student center Tuesday, busily signing copies of his book, "Rivers," as avid readers, MUW officials and students milled about, some standing in line waiting to have their books signed, others mingling over hors d'oeuvres, punch and wine as singer/guitarist Paul Brady provided a musical backdrop.
It's been 12 years now, yet anybody over the age of 20 or so remembers where they were when the first planes hit the World Trade Center. I was living in Arizona then, on my way to work, listening to sports talk radio. I don't recall the topic they were discussing, of course, but do remember one of the radio hosts commenting on something he had just noticed on the TV. "Wow. What is that?" he said. "It looks like a plane flew into a building somewhere."
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