Columnists
  • I saw her first as she descended the west staircase from the second floor. Her gaze was fixed on the middle distance, or the window above the transom and out onto the lawn. Or else she was posing and her look was only a look. She seemed to know she was generally observed.
  • Yes, we’re witty and created a successful global brand. Yes, we’re handsome and in demand for selfie shots at malls and village squares around the country. And yes, we’re wealthy, thanks to the good fortune of our efforts – but also because of many other societal factors that contributed to our wealth. But these are not good reasons for the Tax Cut Nutters in Congress to abolish the estate tax, a levy paid exclusively by multi-millionaires and billionaires. Warren Buffett once said that repealing the estate tax would "be a terrible mistake," the equivalent of "choosing the 2020 Olympic team by picking the eldest sons of the gold-medal winners in the 2000 Olympics."
  • Finding a rusty AA battery, old packets of mild Taco Bell sauce, and a picture of your aunt and uncle tossing a Frisbee, as you frantically search your glove compartment for your proof of insurance while the state trooper grows impatient.
  • It was 150 years ago that President Lincoln was shot, on the evening of April 14, 1865, and he died the next morning. Doris Kearns Goodwin, my favorite among the historians who have taught us most of what we know about our presidents, says if she had the chance to sit down with Mr. Lincoln, instead of asking him a question she would say, "Tell me a story."
  • In the run-up to a solar eclipse on March 20 of this year, European tabloids had a Y2K-style field day.
  • On the 15th of April 2015, the Vietnam War will have ended four decades ago. It is a very significant date. It is a date that may stir the emotions of those who served, but it is also a date that will not raise an eyebrow on the majority of Americans.
  • Once a movie whose title you may recall as I at present cannot featured a cartoonist who was extremely brittle. Healing from his latest broken bone he realized the culmination of a lifelong search. He projected from his own great weakness the corollary: a superhero. For an extreme at one end of the scale proves a mirror image at the other.
  • The Austin College building that was my second home for forty years celebrated its hundredth birthday last week. Sherman Hall was originally dedicated on April 8, 1915. The need for it arose in 1913 when a homesick young student from Oklahoma set fire to the principal administrative building, known as “Old Main.” Desiring to go home, he thought the way to bring that about was to destroy the building that provided all classrooms and labs, faculty and administrative offices, the chapel, and the library. Surely without those facilities, he reasoned, the college would have to shut down.
  • The stomach x-ray of the Rottweiler that ate a child’s stuffed toy produced grins in the vet's office. The picture showed a waving teddy bear.
  • Here he is sitting at a desk in a bookshop, with plenty of time on his hands. (He had convinced his stepfather to set up a book store for him to run because he liked to read but the location is his hometown, which didn't - success means doing what you love, anybody will tell you, but the particulars of somebody paying you to do what you love is left out of the equation.)
  • The menu speaks volumes: MacDaddy & Cheese, Slawdog Millionaire, and other fun and catchy names hint at the fun you’ll have in this downtown Lake Charles, Louisiana eatery long before the hot dogs are delivered to your table. photo by Russell A. Graves