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Columns

  • 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.

  • SOUDER: The debt-ceiling debate: Economics according to J. Wellington Wimpy

    As I was researching today’s column concerning the ongoing debt-ceiling “crisis” in our country, I came across an item that really got my attention. Late Monday evening, Congressional leaders from both parties got together and issued a rare joint statement, as quoted in a front page story in the New York Times: “We, as leaders of Congress, wish to calm the escalating fears regarding any potential default on our debt and assure our creditors that we will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

  • You have to keep your cool during hot fun in the summertime

    Last week, while most of you were basting like a Thanksgiving turkey waiting for the oven that was about to surround you at midweek, I decided to do something really snide and snarky and sneak north for a few days, to Minnesota.

    And you know what happened: I had to wipe that smile right off my face, as my mother often told me to do.

    My first tip came when I ran into Simpsonville Mayor Steve Eden in a convenience store. He asked if I was handling the heat, and I told him I was headed to Viking country.

  • Are your athletes starting to specialize too much?

    I hear Jim Wiley has been around baseball since he helped Abner Doubleday lay out the field for a game among Gen. Sherman’s troops.

    That may not be true, but for certain he was playing fastpitch softball with the Shelby County Jets more than a couple of decades ago. I know, because my Granddaddy used to take me to see the Jets play.

  • SOUDER: Are we living in 2011or 1984?

    In 1950, when George Orwell penned his classic book Nineteen Eighty-Four, he envisioned a future where government officials communicated only through deliberately ambiguous or evasive language. Webster’s defines Orwell’s supposedly fictional future language, called “Newspeak,” as “propagandistic language marked by euphemism, circumlocution and the inversion of customary meanings.”

    I am afraid that Orwell was only a few years off with his timeline and that his scenario has arrived in 2011 America.

  • Our space program has a new goal: Staying home

    As these characters meekly appear on a computer screen, three men and a woman are flying above us in the space shuttle Atlantis, the last planned human voyage into space for perhaps this generation.

    A program that has since President Kennedy’s manifest address in 1961 explored beyond the horizons, developed medical, technological and economic solutions that benefited mankind, that brought reality to the myths of our youth, could be left to dust.

  • What we need is some independence from excesisive fireworks

    It was around 11:30 on Monday night when I was roused from my most peaceful slumber by incoming fire that must have sounded like the cacophony that careens through the ears of foxhole dwellers. The booms were loud and persistent, the echoes long-lasting. Diving under the covers did no good.
    In fact, the blasts were so thunderous I wanted to record them and play them for my Marine son to ask him if this is what it was like during his recent tour in Afghanistan.
    I’ve never been to war, but it sounded like the music.

  • SOUDER: Don’t know much about history

    This weekend, most of you will no doubt be celebrating our nation’s independence. Perhaps you will go on a picnic, watch a parade, or take in a fireworks show. Unfortunately, according to the Department of Education’s “National Report Card” released last week, several of us will not know the reason for the all the festivities.

  • Beaufort: A place in the heart, a residence of the soul

    There are places that are emblazoned into our hearts and souls as if seared there before birth, a match for us and our time that we would learn only through life’s tumultuous passage.

    Home certainly is primary, the place where we planted our roots and grew among our nourishing family and friends, but there are others, unique plots on a map to which we are drawn and driven by strands of our DNA and the forces that propel us.

  • There finally seems to be a point to Todds Point

    Three events have aligned in the galaxy these past few months to accomplish something that I thought never would happen in my lifetime:

    Todds Point is now on the sphere of relevance.

    If that sounds sort of mean and flip, I don’t mean it to be.

    Todds Point has been an enigma to me for as long as I can recall: a name on a map, a reference point for a road, a hamlet of friends and acquaintances.

    But, to borrow from Gertrude Stein, there was never any “there, there.” And she was talking about Oakland, Calif.