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Columns

  • 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.

  • SOUDER: Buying a new family vehicle? The Price is (not) Right

    Our family is a mostly normal, middle class American family – a mom, dad, two kids and a minivan named Daphne. (If you think naming your vehicles is not normal, this is one of the reasons I used the word “mostly” in the first sentence, and you’ll have to take it up with my wife.)

    Unfortunately, Daphne is at the age and life stage where it’s hard to know how much more service we can get from her. Repairs are coming a little more frequently, and we are always afraid that the next issue could be the big one.

  • Look, up in the sky over Shelby County -- not what is it but why is it there

    There was a mysterious presence in the air over Shelby County last week.
    It hovered over neighborhoods, flew low from one end of the county to the other, and landed in the field on the back of a farm, separated from homes only by groves of mature trees.
    It seemed to hang in the air like one of Tiger Woods’ tee-shots used to do, and then sort of drift along the horizon like some oversized dragon fly.
    It drew people from their homes and toward those trees and fields. It lit up the phone lines and fired up Facebook.

  • Some gaps of fear are just hard for us to bridge

    There was a woman with whom I once worked who had a phenomenal phobia about bridges, which, living in Florida as we did, was something not easily managed.

    She had a Golden Rule about bridges: Don’t go unto them, and they can’t do unto you. She would drive to great lengths to avoid a span of any size greater than, say, a 2-lane culvert-crosser.

  • SOUDER: Are you ready for some football?

    A couple of weeks ago you could have learned a lot about a person by asking them a simple question: “I was watching the news today and was wondering, do you think they’ll reach a deal?”

    Now some people who follow the political scene would’ve likely assumed you were talking about the debt-ceiling debate going on in Congress at the time, and answered accordingly.

  • Tragic accident brings perspective about our fragile lives

    How many times has it been you? Awaken early, pile into the car and head down the road on a family vacation, excited, weary from a long preparation time, plotting a shortest-possible course across perhaps foreign territory to arrive at your destination.
    Your anticipation is racing through your veins, adrenalin pushing it like a chemical locomotive, and you keep your eye on the ever-larger dot on the map as you dash toward its fullness, following that beacon to a place of joy and wonder and happiness.

  • An example of life imitating art – or at least the ‘Andy Griffith Show’

    Those black-and-white lessons we learned from our devotion to the scriptures of the Andy Griffith Show typically seem lost in the transcendent Technicolor of today.

    The tenets taught to us by Andy, Barney and the gang too often seem maudlin and misplaced in the constant churn of our lives, when we seldom slow down to inhale the sweet fragrance of love and life and spin like another damp load cycling down in a washing machine.