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Partial to Home: Avoid heartbreak; get your snoots early

Posted 5/18/2019 in Local Columns

Thursday morning amid a swirl of hickory smoke Ronnie Clayton raised the lid of a well-seasoned cooker and placed about a dozen hog snoots on the grill.

Ask Rufus: Sergeant, not General, James Doolittle

Posted 5/18/2019 in Local Columns

Working on the column about my father's World War II experience last week, I came across a newspaper clipping that reminded me of one of the stories he had told me about Stalag Luft IV, the POW camp he was in.

Slimantics: A suggestion for Columbus' bicentennial

Posted 5/15/2019 in Local Columns

Pretty soon, Columbus will be celebrating its bicentennial, although no one seems to have figured out exactly when that will be.


Jiben Roy: Everything little -- enough to live on

Posted 5/14/2019 in Local Columns

The motivation experts or commencement speakers at educational institutions always tell us to think big and have big dreams. However, I believe in the opposite. A little dream will bring happiness. It's better to have a little hope and a little love in life.


Possumhaw: The extended guest

Posted 5/13/2019 in Local Columns

Our guest once lived in Starkville, having gone to college there. Later he continued his stay while working for the Extension Service. He moved away from the South for another job, came back again, then moved away again. And so it was, he came back for an extended visit but a short stay.

Partial to Home: Downtown in the pouring rain

Posted 5/11/2019 in Local Columns

Saturday afternoon, just after three o'clock, I made an ill-timed decision to walk around the corner for a coffee. I had been in my office at The Dispatch struggling with a column on books about rivers -- a favorite subject of late -- and it just wasn't happening.


Roses and thorns: 5/12/19

Posted 5/11/2019 in Local Columns


Ask Rufus: May 12, 1944, Smoky Stover Jr's Last Mission

Posted 5/11/2019 in Local Columns

Seventy-five years ago today my father, Rufus Ward Sr., then a tail gunner on a B-17 in the 337th Squadron of the 96th Bomb Group based at Snetterton Heath, England, flew his last combat mission.


Marion Whitley: A Binga Crosby Sing-Along

Posted 5/8/2019 in Local Columns

As the Munich train approached Vienna, drowsy passengers emerged from their couchettes into the corridor to discover snow. On trees still wearing their summery green.



Namaste: Recent attacks highlight fact that extremism is still strong

Posted 5/7/2019 in Local Columns

The Easter Sunday massacre in Sri Lanka, so far is the deadliest tragedy in recent time. More than a month back a similar massacre took place in New Zealand. But the first tragedy was done by one gunman where as in the second one, nine suicide bombers including one female were involved. It targeted both churches and five-star hotels.


Possumhaw: A few of my favorite things

Posted 5/6/2019 in Local Columns

In the cool of the morning, a light breeze caused the leaves in the trees to flutter ever so slightly. The soft morning light filtered through the branches. Flowers were in bloom, pinks, yellows and blues. The grass had been cut, as had the fields, so I could see all the way to the lake.

Partial to Home: The audacious Mrs. Maer

Posted 5/4/2019 in Local Columns

A while back Katherine Kerby got a phone call from a retired British soldier living in Canada. He was doing genealogical research on his cousin Susan, who he said, "had been lost to the wilds of Mississippi."

Ask Rufus: Col. Alva Temple, Red-Tailed Hero of the Sky

Posted 5/4/2019 in Local Columns

I just remember Lt. Col. Alva Temple (USAF ret.) as the owner of a Gulf service station on Highway 69 just below its intersection with Yorkville Road. I wish I had known then what I know now, for I would have loved to have talked with him.

Slimantics: The case for a new state holiday

Posted 5/1/2019 in Local Columns

Two topics have emerged recently that I have had a personal stake in.

Possumhaw: All creatures bright and big

Posted 4/29/2019 in Local Columns

There in the woods, eyes were shining back at me from the light of the flashlight when I was looking for Harry and Wilhelmina, the cats.

Partial to Home: The clunky, utilitarian, irresistible Land Cruiser

Posted 4/28/2019 in Local Columns

It began innocently enough. The Toyota obsession (or "sickness," as he calls it). In 1993 Kerry Blalock promised his nephew, Eric Mason, a vehicle if he kept his grades C or higher. Shortly thereafter Blalock found Eric a 1974 Toyota Land Cruiser at Greenline Equipment. Someone had traded it in on a tractor.

Ask Rufus: Springtime Strawberries

Posted 4/27/2019 in Local Columns

Last week Karen bought a flat of fresh strawberries at the Mayhew Tomato Farm. Besides enjoying the strawberries in a pie, on pound cake and with a scoop of ice cream, I reflected on the relationship of strawberries to local history and to Mayhew in particular.


Brett Kittredge: Occupational licenses can no longer be revoked for defaulting on student loans

Posted 4/25/2019 in Local Columns

Did you know that Mississippi has a law on the books that allows licensing boards to suspend or revoke your professional license if you default on your student loans?


Slimantics: A graduation letter to my niece

Posted 4/24/2019 in Local Columns

There are any number of things we associate with spring -- flowers, baseball, weddings, allergies, etc. But most prominent among all spring events must be graduations.

Slimantics: When it's appropriate to dress in 'black face'

Posted 4/23/2019 in Local Columns

Today, let's talk about all the situations where it is appropriate to dress in "black face."


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