Young Barney Schoby has an actor's animation and a historian's mind. Who better to guide you through the place that does more to explain the nuanced Natchez heyday than any other?
If a visitor from another planet landed his spaceship in Mississippi and spent some time examining what he found, he would likely be led to ask a question that Mississippians appear to have quit asking long, long ago. He would observe that our state is almost always last in everything good and first in everything bad and ask the obvious question: How come?
Jack, the deaf cat, knowing sign language, responds to the universal sign of flicking your hand. "Come on," I flick my hand; he comes.
Early last week I sent Jeff Smith and Martha Liddell an email. Neither had taken nor returned calls from our reporters who were working on stories in which each of them was a principal player.
From a bomb threat to a windstorm, the early buildings of St Paul's Episcopal Church in Columbus had their problems, but the 154-year-old present structure is a classic. Records of the church provide a view of early church building in Columbus.
A recent Boy Scout camping trip took me to the Sipsey Wilderness Area in north Alabama. It is beautiful. A hidden gem.
Noted 20th Century essayist G.K. Chesterton once wrote that the whole modern world is made up of Conservatives and Progressives. "The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes," he wrote in a 1924 newspaper column. "The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."
Even law enforcement will admit Mississippi's concealed-carry gun law is a joke. Citizens already can legally possess a firearm anywhere in their house, car or business without a permit. The average citizen does not want to carry a weapon on his side and walk down the street - although we technically possess that right under the Constitution.
Well, he put it out there. Since the time of Roosevelt's New Deal and Johnson's Great Society, a debate has rumbled over whether government aid programs kill private initiative. Conservatives say it does. Liberals either don't care or insist it doesn't.
I often wonder how different life would be in the city. I wonder if city dwellers contend with coyotes, fox, armadillos, owls, raccoons and beaver; possibly a snake or two.
The story of a skirmish between a hawk and a duck shouldn't be all that difficult to tell. Now consider the duck belongs to a Thai man who speaks broken English and lives in east Columbus, that almost everyone in the story has two names, and the tale begins with a bet on a golf game where the loser will cook duck for the victor.
Deeply ingrained in both the history and culture of Northeast Mississippi is the Black Prairie. The prairie takes its name from the dark, almost black soil that typifies its range. From the time of the earliest European-American traders and settlers, the region has attracted attention.
The English language is alive and evolving. The word "friend" has been considered a noun for a very long time. These days it is also a verb, as in "to friend" someone, such as on Facebook.
Education has been one of the dominant themes in this year's Mississippi legislative session. Although the methods vary, the one thing all parties agree on is that Mississippi's educational system is broken. Most often, a deficiency in math and English skills are cited as being areas of particular concern.
The Mississippi Insurance Department, in the news due to a disagreement between its elected director, Mike Chaney, and Gov. Phil Bryant, is 101 years old. It is a clearinghouse. If a company wants to sell any type of insurance in Mississippi, the company needs the state's permission and stamp of approval.
Puffy little dark-eyed juncos are popping in and out of the leftover Christmas tree. The same Christmas tree we bought at Marvin's the day after Thanksgiving. A couple of years back we decided we were no longer able or nimble enough to trek hill and dell to secure the tallest and finest cedar tree in the Prairie.
Thursday night it was my good fortune to see Spike Lee's heart-rending documentary, "4 Little Girls." The screening was the second item in a remarkably dense schedule of events Dream 365 organizers have programed over six days, beginning with a spelling bee on Wednesday and culminating tomorrow with a prayer breakfast.
Over the years searching for the route of the Hernando de Soto Expedition through Alabama and Mississippi has been about like hunting a ghost. So I guess that in looking for the route of his 1540 trek through what is now Lowndes County, it is only fitting that an old ghost story turned up.
For the second time in two years, the Mississippi Senate has passed Charter School legislation. The bill, which has a faint aroma of Good -Ole-Boy corruption, would permit for-profit charter schools to open in chronically low performing districts.
That gruesome skip-rope ditty dates to 1892, when young Lizzie was on trial in Massachusetts for the bludgeoning deaths of her parents. The question for us in 2013 is, "If a 9mm Glock had been handy, would she still have used a hatchet?"
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