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Columns

  • The demand of the supplies

    Now that our students are safely back in their classrooms, parents all over Shelby County can wipe their brows and fall backwards into our recliners in overwhelmed fatigue. That seasonal onslaught is behind us, and we have survived once again the Battle of School Supplies.

    Are you one of us, we parents who are assailed annually by requirements that our students must arrive for the first day of school towing a small U-Haul trailer filled with everything from some stratus of computer to a certain color of pencil to be used for a chapter in a one-term geography workbook?

  • Cooler weather is heaven-sent

    If you don’t believe that the Lord works in mysterious ways – or even that the Lord is the lord – then I offer this testimony:

    This morning at my house an air conditioner surgeon is scheduled to make his or her fourth trip to triage our injured unit. That happens. We all have experienced problems with our units.

    But our H/VAC has been on some level of hiatus since, oh, July 15.

    That’s three weeks in the middle of summer with little or no cool air circulating.

  • Here's how to learn to stand and deliver in life

    The little girl with pigtails and big black eyes rushes onto the stage, smiling and even giggling. She pauses at the right moment, confronts the spotlight and sings in duet a short, sweet song in French, ignoring an audience overflowing assigned seats and every other element of her first stage performance except her role.

    She is 6 years old. She is fearless. She is calm. She amazes.

    How can one so young respond with such aplomb in such a fearsome situation?

  • A sign of the holiday weekend

    Mine was a Memorial weekend to remember, but not for the altruistic and patriotic reasons – although any father of a Marine, which I am, holds service and sacrifice with immeasurable respect – but because we made a lot of memories around our place.

    During my youth, Memorial Day was the holiday when we would visit the gravesite of my maternal grandfather, whom I can’t remember from my infancy but whose medals from World War I have been for decades part of the decor in my mother’s bedroom.

  • An overpowering storm of fear

    Tell the truth: If you are a parent, you thought twice about sending your child to school on Tuesday morning.

    You looked at the satellite images of the approaching weather system that had laid waste to miles and miles of homes in Oklahoma. You looked at the darkening skies in the west. You thought about families whose children were huddled in a school not built to withstand the right cross from nature’s most fearsome force.

  • 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.