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Columns

  • How about a little faith for the holidays?

    For years, when asked what I wanted for a Christmas gift, I offered the same canned but heartfelt item:
    Peace on earth and good will toward men.

    Could there be a better present than wanting the world to reach its serene and sincere summit? I mean, what could compare? A new Countess Mara (look it up) or a sleeve of Titleists or one of those hot cars so many folks in commercials seem to receive?

    No, I thought nothing under the tree could be greater – until now.

  • SOUDER: How about some ‘whirled peas’ at Christmas?

    Is it just me, or does it seem like at this time of year that city streetlights – and even stoplights – flash a bright red and green, and in the air there’s a feeling of Christmas?

    Another song (and popular consensus) says that Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year.” And what’s not to like?

  • What if we expanded the concept of Thanksgiving?

    What will you say on Thursday? What will cross your heart and your lips and spill out from your soul onto the dinner table like so much runaway gravy?

    Thanksgiving is the day when more of us express their truest, innermost feelings more openly and freely than at any other time of the year.

    We may express surprise and elation at Christmas, love on Valentine’s Day, reverence on Easter and respect on a parental day, but Thanksgiving…well, isn’t it built on our best emotions?

  • SOUDER: A Thanksgiving proclamation: Giving thanks to God, by George

    Asked to write a composition titled "What I'm thankful for on Thanksgiving," 7-year-old Timmy wrote, "I’m thankful that I’m not a turkey!"

    Maybe this Thanksgiving you feel like that little boy – that the only thing you can think of for which to be thankful is that you’re not a turkey. Perhaps your life isn’t going like you had hoped it would. Maybe your marriage is crumbling, your children are disobedient, your job isn’t fulfilling, and your car won’t start.

  • The men who failed the boys

    They gathered there, at midfield of a football stadium, before more than 100,000 witnesses. They joined hands, oversized men in black, white and red. Their loyalties and potential animosity had been deposited on their sidelines.

    Their heads were bowed, and they were praying.

  • A salute of honor from a non-vet of Veterans Day

    Veterans Day took on a new meaning for me a few years ago.

    As a child of the Vietnam Era, I admired and feared for those who took up arms for our country, but being a timid little country boy, I shamefully admit that I wasn’t real keen on participating.

    Perhaps admiration and guilt combine to form my odd interest in fiction and films about World War II, maybe they are  why I’ve read The Winds of War/War & Remembrance six times and watched the miniseries of the latter nearly that many times.

  • SOUDER: One of those indelicate discussions of politics and religion

    There are certain things you don’t talk about it polite company. Politics and religion are usually high on that list for most people (along with things like bodily functions that are only appropriately done in the bathroom or intimate details about romantic liaisons).

    However, an event happened recently that brought two of these topics – politics and religion – squarely into the spotlight.

  • A flood of memories roars out of the Fall Classic

    Here’s the first thing I recall from watching a World Series: In 1961, the Yankees were manhandling the Cincinnati Reds in five games, although I can’t recite details, not the heroes or the records or even the elation I must have felt when it was over.

    I just remember that my man Mickey Mantle didn’t play because he had an oozing sore on his hindquarters. They called it an abscess, which to a third-grader sounded like recess but otherwise meant nothing. I just knew that Mickey was hurting and that was a bummer, so to speak.

  • 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.