So tell me, what are you reading this summer? If you were going to recommend a book to a stranger or friend, what would it be? This was a question I put to half a dozen or so local readers.
One hundred and fifty years ago the Alice Vivian, a Tombigbee River steamboat turned Confederate blockade runner, was captured by the USS DeSoto while attempting to sail from Mobile to Havana, Cuba. Few steamboats anywhere experienced history as did the Alice Vivian.
Hold your applause. As milestones go, this one is disappointing. It is, at best, half a milestone. Or a down payment on a milestone. If you are of a more cynical bent, you might even call it an effort to forestall a milestone.
Three months ago, when Angela Verdell was appointed to the Columbus Municipal School Board to replace Tommy Prude, there was a feeling the dynamic of the school board would change -- and for the better.
Suppose you pick up your paper and a headline says the school superintendent is "declaring war" on dropping out of school. You would infer the superintendent will deploy assets and tactics to reduce the number of students who quit before receiving their diplomas.
Some day, when the perspective of time permits a dispassionate view of what is now called the Gay Rights Movement, May 23, 2013, will stand as one of its milestone moments.
Dr. Harry Sherman called and asked if we could meet at Plymouth Bluff Environmental Center. We toured the exhibits and he pointed out the merlin, a small falcon that had the misfortune to collide into our sunroom's window. The merlin was now immortalized in the nature exhibit.
When I saw the lizard sunning himself at the top of the door jam, it occurred to me I was standing where Martin Dain had stood just over 50 years earlier with his Leica as William Faulkner closed the door below where the lizard now sat unblinking.
I have not seen the video. Not saying I won't, but for now, I've chosen not to. To rush online and seek out cellphone footage of two fanatics with machetes who butchered a British soldier in London on Wednesday, to watch them standing there, hands painted red with his blood, speaking for the cameras, would feel like an act of complicity, like giving them what they want, like being a puppet yanked by its strings.
The election of Chokwe Lumumba as the Democratic nominee for Jackson mayor has got everybody talking about race. That's not a good thing. If I'm not mistaken, white Republican northeast Jackson voted overwhelmingly for the blacker of the two candidates. So exactly how can this be about race?
Often the photos are faded and bent, and though fewer and fewer remain who remember the names, their sacrifice is still ours to honor. They include the members of the "Greatest Generation," who gave their lives so we could be free. That whole generation is fast leaving us, which means it is up to us to pass on their legacy.
1. Possumhaw: Corncobs, critters and Catalpa Creek LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Tim Kalich: Open government is good government NATIONAL COLUMNS
3. Editorial Cartoon for 1-26-15 NATIONAL COLUMNS