Nearly 40 years ago I realized a dream. I went to work for the government. In this day and time it is a favorite parlor game to "dog cuss" anything having to do with the public sector and the bureaucrats who ply their trade, but that was not always so.
We operate in a retail world dominated by chain stores. Too often these stores are staffed with lackadaisical clerks with little knowledge of the goods and services they are selling. In fact, so seldom do we encounter competence and enthusiasm in this arena, it is like a blast of cool, fresh air when we do. Here is one such story.
Late November and early December was once the time when Columbus, Aberdeen and other towns along the upper Tombigbee River would get to celebrate the arrival of the first steamboat of the season.
Today, free people and people throughout the world pay homage the memory and legacy of Nelson Mandela, whose courage, foresight and spirit transformed a nation.
If you haven't driven down what is officially State Highway 182 or Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Starkville recently you will be amazed at the difference a lot of grant money and sound vision and yes, sidewalks have made along that corridor.
In 1996, shortly after making the move from Mississippi to Northern California, I had the opportunity to attend the Stanford-Cal football game, known around the Bay Area as "The Big Game."
Which government operation is the big winner in a draft of next year's budget? Education? Roads and highways? Health care? Nope. The answer is prisons.
"Standing in the checkout line, I watched as a white-haired lady began to put her groceries on the conveyor belt. She caught my attention because her sweater was funky and full of life. She'd already put a few items on the counter when the cashier said, 'I'm sorry, ma'am. I'm closing."
There was a huge fire at Columbus on the night of Nov. 25, 1865. It destroyed the former Confederate Arsenal Building, which is southeast of the old Marble Works. The building had been taken over by the occupying Federal troops and was being used to store property seized as having belonged to the Confederate government.
Something in the air changes as the first leaves begin to fall and the holiday season nears; we began to pay closer attention to things we take for granted the rest of the year. One of those things, the generosity of this community and its willingness to work together for a greater good, was made clear to me on Thursday.
About two-thirds of the way through Thursday's Egg Bowl, after watching Mississippi State and Ole Miss perform their version of "Punt, Pass and Kick" minus the "punt"and "pass" parts, I left my seat in the pressbox at Davis Wade Stadium for the dining area. It was there that I discovered what it must have felt like to be the last dinosaur to roam the face of the earth.
Last year I lived in Jacksonville, Fla., and at the corner store near our home there was a man who regularly sat hunched beneath a pay phone. I saw him a lot while coming home from work. He was terribly thin and always in tattered clothing. It would be O.K. to call him homeless.
In a letter to a church he had founded, the Apostle Paul made a series of suggestions. One was to "pray without ceasing." Several years ago, a friend and I had a long talk about what that meant.
A couple of weeks ago, Butterball, one of the nation's largest turkey suppliers, announced that it would have a shortage of large turkeys available for Thanksgiving.
One ladybug chased the other, and this made me think that perhaps I had captured a male and a female. I'm no entomologist, but I'm thinking maybe.
It's a strange feeling when you see your journalistic work wind up in the book of a leading presidential candidate.
About 10 years ago Dispatch pressmen Jerry Hayes and Jamie Morrison found a litter of kittens nestled between the walls in the basement. Hayes, now retired, and Morrison worked in the dark, cavernous space that houses our Goss Urbanite printing press.
When I started writing this piece I had just a basic thought in mind, but after the media blitz associated with Alderman Roy Perkins' proposal to ban all electronic media from the Starkville Board of Aldermen meetings, it took on a new life and intensity.
Three years ago marked the beginning of a series of the bicentennials of the events leading directly to the founding of Columbus. November of 1813 was a month in which those events linked directly with one of greater national significance. That story is told in the nation's newspapers of the day.
The world has turned over many times since that fateful day in Dallas 50 years ago when President Kennedy was killed. Anyone who was old enough to understand what happened knows exactly where they were and what they were doing when they first heard the president was dead.
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