Fifteen years ago, when I moved to northern California, people there often commented on my speech. I would usually just laugh and say, "You know, I never had an accent until I left Mississippi." The brighter folks usually figured out what I meant by that.
Folks familiar with Greek mythology (10th grade?) will remember that it was Alexander who "untied" the Gordian knot in 333 B.C. and, as a result, became known as Alexander the Great. The knot had existed since Gordius honored Zeus by tying it. No one could figure it out.
Tonight you may be sitting in a bar or alone in a hotel room, you may be confined to a hospital bed or you may be kneeling at a Communion altar. You may be with family or only dreaming of a family far away, wherever you are right now the Christmas Eve story is for you.
Once again, it's the season of joy and light on this little planet of ours. And please forgive me if it's unseasonal for me to mention this, but there's a little problem that has come up in Caledonia. It has come without much fanfare or attention, though it may very well lead to a great deal of attention if it's not tended to.
At Christmas we always think of children and gifts and goodwill. But do we ever stop and remember the people in our community or connected to it that year round do so much to help young people. Of course there are teachers and social workers and church youth leaders and scout leaders and so many others that I dare not list for fear of leaving someone out.
Early last January, I got a call from an old high school friend who lives in the suburbs of Memphis. It was the same day a deeply-disturbed 22-year-old named Jared Loughner opened fire in the parking lot of a Tucson supermarket, killing six people and injuring 12 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
It's been a tough road for the Delta, but high commodity prices are giving the region a healthy boost.
Once at MUW I shared my fear with Professor David Smith that I was not brave. Looking up from his desk with horn-rimmed glasses on the tip of his nose and disheveled graying hair on his head he said, "Bravery is not bravado. It's being afraid and doing it anyway."
What were you thinking? Why did you do what you did? I don't care if you were mentally ill. I don't care if you were a nerd, loner or had issues. I want answers to why you had to kill 20 elementary children and six adults. You killed your mother in her bed and you picked innocent, defenseless children in their school. You killed teachers trying to protect those children.
I have not talked with you in a while. I still think of you. I still feel with you. We have watched our children grow. Some of our children have had to endure heartbreaks, yet most of them have matured into responsible adults with careers: teachers, bankers, writers, photographers, lawyers, doctors, etc. To feel cool, they no longer are compelled to borrow each other's clothing or to see who can make an A in Uitohoven's English class. Some have babies, and those babies are OUR grandchildren.
The Christmas season always reminds me of barbecue and global warming. They have both been around our area a long time.
The failed Twin Creeks solar panel plant in Senatobia is yet another chapter in Mississippi's story of failed state investments.
I live in a world of superlatives, just ask my wife. But when every day is "the best day ever," I find I'm rarely disappointed. You would think that with high expectations, I would be let down more often than not. But I tend to keep my expectations realistic; it's what happens along the way that I find most exciting.
In tough times we expect strong leadership from public officials. These days our officials come from one of three types: leaders, pleaders, and plodders.
The cabin was barely finished when the need arose. The preacher man was exhausted and full of sorrows. "Come to the quiet," I offered.
As a child growing up in Southside, Cheryl Bush's favorite playground was Friendship Cemetery. "We'd run around there for hours and then pick up acorns," she said. When you ask her what she did with the acorns, she looks at you quizzically, too polite to imply you've asked a question with an obvious answer.
Last week, I had an interesting conversation with Sam and Carolyn Kaye about Horace King. King, the subject of a previous column, was a black bridge builder who, in 1842, built the first bridge across the Tombigbee River at Columbus.
Almost every afternoon, I take the walk from the office to Coffee House on 5th for an iced tea. The other day, I noticed a young lady sitting at one of the tables there, working on her laptop, which was positioned at such an angle that I could recognize what was on the screen. "Algebra, right?" I asked. "Yes," she said wearily. "I'm studying for finals." I certainly remembered the feeling, if not the algebra.
You may have seen a couple of stories last week about teachers accused of paying to have others take (and pass) their licensing exams. News such as this paints a picture of a world in which values are upside down.
An odd friendship is often born of necessity. Jack, the white cat, lost Jane, his companion, when Jane stowed away in the bottom of the fishing boat. While in route to the river, Jane chose to bolt from the boat, never to be found.
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