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Columns

  • Lifespan of a baseball fan

    A steamy Sunday afternoon in early August, 1963. Crosley Field, the old baseball park in Cincinnati, and the Pirates are in town to play the Reds in that long lost treasure called the “Sunday doubleheader.”

  • We’ve missed the story here

    Both stories appeared in the same position on the front page of the daily newspaper. The headline sizes were about the same, the impact of the stories nearly identical.

    So it takes no degree in journalism to determine that editors believed each story to be almost equal in “weight” with the other. After all, any story at the top of a front page of an American newspaper is deemed to be important simply by geography.

    Yet these two stories were hardly identical, hardly equal and hardly of the same importance.

  • The Final 4 – at last – is the best of all

    ATLANTA – Here is what you find during a Final 4: equal parts Mardi Gras, Derby infield and Times Square, mixed with an overture of basketball and warmed slightly by the fervor that only well-funded and sometimes well-oiled fans can generate.

    Here is what you will not find during a Final 4: calm and apathy.

  • The awful fall of Kevin Ware

    INDIANAPOLIS – Kevin Ware lay on the raised hardwood of a basketball court constructed in a football stadium and feeling far more pain, we would bet, than any padded professional ever had endured on a fall Sunday in that building.

    He was prone, his lower right leg dangling and useless, the shocked victim of a turn-your-head moment so awful that his teammates and coaches and even nearby journalists were left with tears, choked back words and even throats full of bile by what they had seen of this fallen basketball player for the University of Louisville.

  • Life’s lessons in basketball loyalty

    Among the many lessons of loyalty parents are required to sear into the souls of their children, right up there with God, country, family, the flag and, oh, apple pie, is what would appear to be the loftiest love of all: loyalty to your team. These are lessons that include recognizing primary colors, memorizing pithy songs, grasping base humor and understanding unfettered usages for gerunds and participles.

  • This isn’t just the 1st day of spring

    Today to you is the first day of spring, arriving on the calendar if not exactly aligned with the forecast this week of lows perhaps near the teens. Just when the daffodils start to feel welcome, they get smacked with snow, ice and more petal-numbing temperatures. Maybe this is the confernal equinox.

    But I’m not here to talk about the weather, no matter how easily that topic has been known to consume dead air, recourse dragging dinner conversations and fill the blank pages of uninspired typists. But those aren’t me.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Despite the quiet, a roar will remain

    The scene has no great artistic value, other than to galvanize one fictional man’s words with a living man’s conviction.

    Humphrey Bogart. Ed Hutcheson in the film Deadline USA. Crusading editor for The Day. He’s taking down a mobster, seeking the truth against a cunning corruptor looking to control his city. Hutcheson is winning. He is telling the truth. He is gloating.

  • A perfect first snowfall day to play

    Wasn’t that a lovely gift for Mother Nature to deliver our first real snowfall on a Saturday during a holiday break? No work for many, no school for any and no planned hootenanny.

    The snow wasn’t too deep, the temp wasn’t too cold and the landscape The Artist painted was one of great elegance, Christmas card-quality and pure whiteness. We can even forgive its arriving four days too late to give Santa safe landings.

    Ultimate beauty, moderate temperatures and mild disruption equal the perfect snowfall.