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Columns

  • Don't fail to see the fall foreest for all the beautiful trees

    I absorbed the very little I know about trees from living beside them, beneath them and seeking their shade on a hot summer days, invading their fortress of darkness, where a boy could pretend he was hiding from the good guys or hunting the bad ones, and later enduring those cursed magnets that lured his errant golf balls to their deep, dark, deadly jungles.

  • 3 places every American should visit

    There are three places every American should visit – and more than once if possible. Write them down, put them on that amorphous and trendy “bucket list,” commit them to memory and take them to the bank.

  • SOUDER: When bad things happen to good people

    Perhaps no question is more misunderstood or has kept more people away from God than this: Why do bad things happen to good people?

    The implied questions are more direct: Why didn’t God keep this from happening? How could a good God allow evil, pain and suffering – particularly to “good” people?

  • Awakened by the call of the wild

    I was jostled from a questionable sleep about 3 a.m. Tuesday by the sort of cruel cacophony that makes you spring from your bed to see what was that clatter.

    I first sprinted to the kids’ room, thinking one had called out. I found those visions of sugarplums must have been dancing, because they didn’t even twitch when I opened their doors.

    But when I was returning to my bedroom, I heard the noise again, clear and loud, blaring through a third-story window opened for the cool autumn air.

  • The story of a horrible crime that just had to be explained

    You may be wondering what the heck has been going on with your newspaper these past few days.
    You may not care that Tonya Nicole Brown went into a restroom in Shelbyville more than three years ago and left behind her newborn baby, wrapped in plastic bags and dumped in a trashcan.
    You may not care that she is out of jail, barely paying for a crime to which she admitted in a court plea.
    But we, as a newspaper, had to tell you, and we hope you did pay attention and that deep down you really care.

  • SOUDER: Losing true north: America’s broken moral compass

    Little Johnny’s third-grade teacher asked, “Johnny, how do you spell crocodile?”

    Johnny thought for a moment and then began, “K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L”.

    “That’s not the way crocodile is spelled,” Johnny’s teacher corrected.

    “Maybe not,” replied Johnny, “but you asked me how I spell it!”

  • Realign our conferences but don't mess with important stuff

    One of the first things Barack Obama mentioned when he was elected president – even when he was running – was that he wanted to see college football come up with a formula to select a national champion from among its largest schools.

    Forget health-care reform, defending our nation’s something in the Middle East and finding a way to keep people working and eating and buying luxury cars.

  • About those troubled bridges over our waters

    You may recall a few weeks ago when I hand-wringingly admitted a periodic paranoia about bridges, especially those that are high and narrow or creakily cross creeks.

    So you may understand that I see terrible irony – and not simply coincidence, language fans – in the fact that we now face two similar and simultaneous problems with bridges.

    There is, of course, the historic and embraceable (work with me) Who Da Thot It Bridge here in Shelbyville and now the Sherman Minton Bridge just up I-64 at the Ohio River.

  • SOUDER: Messages of 9-11 should not be forgotten

    There are some days you don’t forget. Your first kiss. The day you got your driver’s license. Your wedding day. The birth of your child. These days are important personal milestones in our lives, and most of us can remember not just the events, but the feelings and emotions that accompanied them.

    There are some days Americans don’t forget. July 4, 1776. The Alamo (OK, that one isn’t a day, but you get the idea). Pearl Harbor. When John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King, Jr. were shot. These dates have been burned into our national psyche.

  • If you want to learn some lessons in life, make a little hay

    A  man and I were talking the other day about another lost teaching moment for young people.
    We reminisced about how boys and girls are missing out on one of those annual activities that taught us so much about the challenges of life, about how we could face them, and, well, about nature, in a roundabout way.
    In fact, of the fundamentals taught to our dubious and dumbfounded dispositions, I might suggest this endeavor had perhaps the greatest impact on our development this side of a hug or a switch, though hardly anywhere close to that personal.