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Steve Mullen: Rays of sunshine in the Gloom Belt

Posted 4/22/2009 in Local Columns

It seems a team of scientists has been cataloging the nation’s bad-hair days. As it turns out, Kentucky is gloomy, but so is Mississippi. In fact, you could call Mississippi the buckle of the "Gloom Belt."

Steve Mullen: News in another new form

Posted 4/15/2009 in Local Columns

As I write this column, I’m switching back and forth to a program called TweetDeck. Its dark, businesslike interface fills my entire laptop screen with several columns of updates, each one chiming as new information comes in.

Birney Imes: Tupelo honey at the Silver Spur

Posted 4/11/2009 in Local Columns

Last summer at the farmers’ market I asked George Dyson if tupelo trees grow this far north. George, one of the market regulars, is the grizzled fellow usually on the north end of the market with a beard and the tattered “I (heart) Bikinis” baseball cap. He sells bowls and cooking utensils he crafts from native woods such as bois d’arc, oak and sassafras.

Steve Mullen: The girls arrive; the party begins

Posted 4/8/2009 in Local Columns

We’ve covered some ground. Lee and the two girls, ages 7 and 9, are here for Spring Break, their first time in Columbus, in advance of moving here from California after the school year ends. I’ve received lots of suggestions on how to keep them occupied; we’ll never cover it all but we’re off to a good start.

Birney Imes: Uncovering another local hero

Posted 4/4/2009 in Local Columns

Glenn Lautzenhiser and Rufus Ward are at it again. The two local cultural preservationists have, in the past year or so, organized memorial events for native sons who have been titans in their field, sports broadcaster Red Barber and boxer Henry Armstrong.

Steve Mullen: Two days and counting

Posted 4/1/2009 in Local Columns

It’s D-Day minus two. My wife, Lee, and our two kids are coming in for a visit Friday night, and preparations have begun.

Birney Imes: Of ballparks and buffalo

Posted 3/28/2009 in Local Columns

According to Roger Short, the jury’s still out on the site selection for the proposed sportsplex. Someone called earlier in the week to say word on the street is that the decision has been made, that it will be Burns Bottom.

Steve Mullen: Getting ready for ‘the girls’

Posted 3/25/2009 in Local Columns

If you’ve seen the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey,” you have an idea of what they look like.

Birney Imes: Good books

Posted 3/24/2009 in Local Columns

Deborah, a friend visiting from New York who loves most things Southern, invoked the spirit of Eudora Welty Friday evening. At issue was whether she should have a dessert made from chocolate, pecans and vanilla ice cream.

Steve Mullen: Found poetry

Posted 3/18/2009 in Local Columns

There is a certain poetry about Columbus — literally. Writers are among us, in places you wouldn’t expect, recording bits of everyday life.

Birney Imes: Joe Hogan’s legacy

Posted 3/14/2009 in Local Columns

“Hey, didn’t you say you were on Paul Harvey?” Nancy Perkins asked her husband when she heard news of the radio broadcaster’s death recently. 


Del Phillips: An innovative plan for educational improvement

Posted 3/11/2009 in Local Columns


Steve Mullen: Supervisors' 'belly bump' part of life in the Friendly City

Posted 3/4/2009 in Local Columns

Columbus is known as the Friendly City, something I pointed out last week, commenting that it was “a pretty good nickname, as it’s tough to find an unfriendly person.” The paper was barely on the street and the column on the Web site before a challenge landed in my e-mail inbox.

A school visit and an evening walk

Posted 2/28/2009 in Local Columns

Thursday evening just after 7 I happened to be walking across the parking lot behind the Methodist Church toward the back of the post office. There, as if for my benefit alone, the evening presented a momentary convergence of sights, smells and sounds — the chatter of kids and the thump of a basketball at the church, an insistent but soothing train whistle to the south, a young woman (Rachel Smith) talking on a cell phone as she walked to her car and the faint scent of a Japanese magnolia behind the P. O. Can spring be far away?

Steve Mullen: 25 random things about Columbus

Posted 2/25/2009 in Local Columns

Those familiar with Facebook, the online social networking site, know that the big thing right now is to make a list of “25 random things” about themselves and share it with friends. The idea is, if you are sent a note, you have to, in turn, create your own list and send it to 25 more people, and so on.

Steve Mullen: A historic marker for Catfish Alley

Posted 2/21/2009 in Local Columns

Original ideas are few and far between. In fact, journalists often joke that in the news business, no idea is original: Whatever it is, somewhere it’s been done before.

Birney Imes: The Catfish Alley tapes

Posted 2/14/2009 in Local Columns

A letter last week from Bob Raymond questioning the origin of the name Catfish Alley reminded me of research a friend did on the subject years ago. The friend, Mark Gooch, is a Birmingham-based photographer.


Learnard Dickerson: Hard times call for faith, hope and charity

Posted 2/13/2009 in Local Columns

In response to the difficult and disruptive times we are facing socially and economically, there are three ways to enrich your life, community and the lives of others: Cut back on your spending, build your savings and increase your faith, hope and charitable giving.



Green goodness

Posted 2/11/2009 in Local Columns

Southern Ambrosia



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