The praying mantis had the advantage, as his head rotates 180 degrees. His forearms were folded in prayer; he looked so delicate, so pious. His very name "mantis" means "prophet" in Greek. But if there ever was a wolf in sheep's clothing, it is the praying mantis.
I saw a slow moving, old white dog the other morning. She was crossing one of the vacant fields at Lynn Lane and Louisville Street in Starkville. That property sits across from my office and so I took the time to watch her make her way through the grass in the first hours of the business day. No doubt she was headed to some quiet place to rest as the heat of the day began to descend on her home.
Early this year, when the qualifying period began for the mayor and council races began, I found it odd that more people didn't choose to run. As you will recall, two council positions were uncontested and only one council race had as many as three candidates. In the mayor's race, two challengers faced incumbent Robert Smith. Given the general downward trajectory of the city, you might have thought more people would be inspired to jump into the fray. Hardly.
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.
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."
Susan sat in the chair facing the woods. "Look!" she said, "There's a deer, no bigger than a dog looking in the window."
Why doesn't little Johnny in Mississippi score as high on achievement tests as his counterparts in other states? Why, it's George Bush's fault.
The late 1800s were a time when women were still expected to stay at home and tend to children and household duties. Marion Stark Gaines was not one to limit her lifestyle.
Fifty years ago when they were young and beautiful and gas was 35 cents a gallon, they drove their cars across the river bridge to a battered little drive-in with a gravel parking lot. The place was a staging ground for the rituals of their youth: dating, hanging out, racing their father's car down Old Macon Road.
We wound our way through the woods to Willis Pope's garden. Willis and Carolyn were out of town, but walking partner Shirley had permission to glean from their garden.
Two hundred years ago today Samuel Edmondson, riding "hellbent for leather," passed this way warning John Pitchlynn and others of death and destruction.
On a Saturday morning this past winter Elbert Ellis, Casey Griffin and I were planting pine seedlings along the edge of a muddy field in Noxubee County. As we were slogging along -- there's nothing quite like Prairie mud -- Scott Boyd, publisher of the Macon Beacon pulled up. The newspaperman was on his way to have some tools sharpened by a Mennonite man on Buggs Ferry Road; I didn't catch the name.
Monday is Labor Day, a holiday that really has no traditions associated with it. The day is more commonly used as a day to celebrate the approaching end of summer.
In Mississippi, people paid to influence legislation (lobbyists) must register. They must file reports when they feed and otherwise entertain public officials. In Mississippi, candidates for any public office must file reports showing every campaign gift (cash or in-kind) worth more than $200.
Not many folks would show up in the misting rain for a Gator ride, but Dianne Patterson did. She was dressed in rain jacket and green rubber shoes. I offered an umbrella, but she slid her pale blue hood over her head.
1. Our View: City needs consistent approach to festival beer sales DISPATCH EDITORIALS
2. Froma Harrop: Who are these outlaw bikers? NATIONAL COLUMNS
3. Lynn Spruill: Memorial Day LOCAL COLUMNS
5. Susan Estrich: The graduates NATIONAL COLUMNS