• Pieces of downtown Shelbyville are gobbled up

    At about 5:45 last Wednesday morning, I saw a photograph of the flames.

    They were bright and beautiful in their red, orange and gold deadliness, these flames. They were growing and scary and mesmerizing.

    Joseph Vance, guitarist extraordinaire and downtown resident, awakened by the fearsome smell of smoke, went into the cold March morning and saw downtown Shelbyville on fire.

  • SOUDER: When a cut isn’t a cut, or Chicken Little strikes again

    Perhaps you’ve heard the old joke about the woman who received a call from her bank informing her that she had overdrawn her account. “That’s impossible,” responded the obviously offended woman. “I can’t be overdrawn – I still have checks!”

  • Are we headed to the poor house?

    As a child I sometimes heard adults talk about a place called the “poor house.”

    I didn’t know what it was or where it was, although I envisioned it somewhere near Waddy, which seemed like a place across the universe to a kid who grew up near Simpsonville.

    The poor house was amorphous, but it was also scary. It sounded dark and forbidding and where kids wouldn’t be welcome.

  • SOUDER: ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ and other impossibilities

    The great theologian G.K. Chesterton said, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” And, for what it’s worth, I believe he was right.

    Christianity is indeed difficult. Actually, I’ve found that humanly speaking it goes well beyond difficult. In point of fact, it is impossible.

  • Black History Month celebration doesn't feel adequate

    So let me get this straight: In 1976 the federal government decided that we would devote February to the celebration and development of African-American history, calling it Black History Month and expanding it from a whole week. Are we to take from that, after having spent so many centuries denying African-Americans as being whole parts of society, that 28 days each year seems a fair mortgage payment against that debt?

  • Bridging the best of our state

    If you know me and grasp that I have spent a large portion of my life in the shadows of Disney World, you might be surprised to learn that there are places in Kentucky that I have visited innumerable times and yet always have returned with a gift of something ineffable.

    To have survived the daily assault of tee-shirts and billboards perhaps left me inured to overwhelming promotion and more embracing of our state’s precious jewels, even if they are sadly too often unpolished to the sheen you see of their peers elsewhere.

  • SOUDER: Church people should lighten up and get serious

    Have you ever noticed that some people take themselves a little too seriously? (If you haven’t noticed, my guess is you are one of those people.)

    I’ve noted that three of the biggest categories of people who are often guilty of this are politicians, movie stars and certain sports fans.

  • They stole the Super show

    Watching the Super Bowl on Sunday night left me an emotional wreck. And, no, it had nothing to do with the lights-out, down-to-the-wire, officials-blown finish, however dramatic you might have considered that to be.

    I didn’t care who won between Edgar Allen Poe’s team and John Wilson Marshall’s team.

  • Dealing with some dirty business

    Now that I own acreage, I am renewing my relationship with something I’ve detested since youth: mud, the gooey stuff that just doesn’t vanish in a climate where temperatures might be 19 one day and 69 the next. The ground is muddy, then frozen, then muddy. You don’t have to be Darwin to understand that evolution.

  • SOUDER: 40 years of darkness since Roe v. Wade