Dr. Kent Sills (“Doc Sills” everybody called him) was the director of bands at Mississippi State when I was a student here back in the mid-80s. I played trombone in the Maroon Band. Doc used to say – especially during football season, and especially when we went to road games – that if any of us got arrested, he wouldn't claim us.
Happy holiday! The Second Most Wonderful Time of the Year — the Legislature-imposed sales tax holiday — will be upon us in nine short days, and yes, like an eager little kid, I’m counting the days. From 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 31, to midnight on Saturday, Aug. 1, I’ll be able to waltz into any five-and-dime or mega-mart in the state and buy some school supplies without having to pony up a single penny to the state Tax Commission.
Years ago, on a walk in the woods with Kerry Pittman, we came upon a tree with spikey knotty bark. Kerry pulled out a large folding knife, expertly cut a piece of the bark and handed it to me. ”Here, chew this,” he said. As I did, I felt my mouth go numb. “Toothache tree,” he said.
As a former Radio and TV journalist I thought I had become inured to the tragedies that befall us as humans; with the death of Donna Blakney, I learned otherwise.
Where's Sallie Reneau when you need her? Reneau was possibly the most persuasive woman Mississippian of her day. In 1856, at age 18, she convinced Mississippi's governor and legislature to charter a state university for women -- never mind that such a thing had never been done before, in any state. Now, Reneau's own name is on a very short list of proposed new names for the Mississippi University for Women.
Does it seem to you, as it does to me, that more and more friends are leaving this earth? Two people that were long time friends of mine died this past two weeks and I find myself, yet again, thinking, “I cannot believe they are gone.” Gen Colvin Bennett and Carl Jaynes were not the closest friends I have, but they shared some of my days, some long ago and some recent. It seems that “puff” and they were gone.
Pick an evening, say a Friday in July. Call a friend at 6 and ask him if he wants to meet you and your wife for Mexican food. He's single, an empty nester of sorts and is delighted. On the way in the restaurant, you run into a couple who is there for the 89th birthday of an uncle. (Happy birthday, Jim Ford).
The Golden Triangle has a new big brother. Starkville is now more populous than Columbus, according to Census figures released last week.
Someone said the huge flag came from the Marble Works. It made a fine backdrop for the swearing in of seven men we’ve chosen to guide our city these next four years.
Another Fourth of July is almost upon us. A majority of us know how we’ll mark the occasion — probably with fireworks, beer and barbecue. Unfortunately, fewer than half of us have a good idea of why we’re celebrating.
Dan Camp has served this city as a community developer, a member of the Starkville School District Board of Education and, most recently, mayor.
Back in high school I had a couple of friends who found the sound of an ambulance siren irresistible. They loved the thrill of the chase and the sight of carnage. Morbid, I know. Not surprisingly, they both ended up working for funeral homes.
I came across news of a new medical study that compared mothers’ reactions to pictures of attractive babies vs. ugly ones. It turns out that unconditional love isn’t all it’s cracked up to be: Moms are quick to drop ugly babies in favor of pretty ones. Unconditional love, it seems, comes with conditions, especially if you have a face only Mom can love — or at least one you thought she did.
I read in the Friday, June 19 paper that Coach Stacy Hester is going to appeal the County School Board’s decision to not renew his baseball contract (The headline incorrectly stated: “Hester to appeal firing”—he was not fired). I do not know Coach Hester, but judging from his win-loss record, we are indeed losing a talent. I hope he will chase his dream in the college or professional ranks to do there what he has done for New Hope.
The late Robert Rice, a California artist who died last year, once said, “A lack of solemnity is not necessarily a lack of seriousness.” Wade Beard may not fully understand what Rice meant, but he said basically the same thing Wednesday during his testimony before the Columbus Civil Service Commission.
When one thinks of energy-producing states, Texas, Alaska and California come to mind, for their oil and gas.
As I sat in church this past Sunday morning, I found it difficult to concentrate on worship—sorry Brother Mickey— because of so many thoughts I was having about the proposed soccer/footballplex. I found myself thinking of reasons to defend the many hours that have gone into the process that has led us to where we are now.
Yes, I suppose we’ve all heard more than enough about Burns Bottom and the six soccer fields that seem destined to go there. Many have expressed outrage at the idea, and all I can say is let your supervisor and councilman know. Write us a letter or comment on a story or column on the subject — many of you have done that already.
Birney, in response to your column in Friday's Dispatch, I did what you suggested. I drove through Burns Bottom Friday night. It was about 10:30 p.m., long after the early evening storms blew through. I got out and walked in the bucolic, rain-cooled night air.
Soccer moms and dads, before it’s too late — and it might already be too late — drive down to Burns Bottom. That’s the area just down the hill from Riverhill Chevron, the gas station/convenience store operated by Sanders Oil. At the station, turn off Main Street and go down the hill in the direction of the Hitching Lot, site of the Farmers’ Market.
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