Columnists
  • It's settled; I am to head up the team charged with renewing and revamping the company network. Quite a plum. I selected me for it.
  • Breathing is not an activity that most people feeling confident about right now. Covid-19 has turned us into a planet of breath-obsessed people. We worry that we might be feeling a cough coming on or some tightness in our chests. But as hard as it might be to fathom, there is a silver lining here: Breathing is a missing pillar of health, and our attention to it is long overdue.
  • Character actors are those actors and actresses who are in many movies and/or television shows but are very seldom the star. You recognize the face but it's hard to recall their name. While the story usually does not revolve around them, they definitely add to the story by being part of the cast.
  • COVID-19 is the latest, scariest and most destructive pandemic in decades to have threatened and taken the lives of people worldwide. Unfortunately it is not the first or last disaster that we will have to face.
  • For entertainment in our town back during the days when there was Positively a 4th St, we rounded the Square and cruised down the Drag (E 4th) to just past the Root Beer Stand, whereupon we turned around at Lipscomb and came back up. The allowed stops were, the Dairy Queen and the RBS, and that was it. There were four possible breaks from this carousel. Across the river for beer, south to the Park come summertime for swimming or dancing, and out along the unpaved quiet roads through the brush for love. Love was the sweetest to find, but beer the easiest and it stayed with you longer, often till death did we part.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic is an almost unique phenomenon in world history. The only precedent for its rapid spread to every continent, killing people everywhere and devastating both local economies and world trade, was the flu pandemic of 1918-19. In both cases, the germs behind the pandemic weren't especially lethal. Covid-19 and the flu both fall within the normal range of mild infectious diseases. Compared with smallpox and Ebola, they kill only a small percentage of their victims, and their person-to-person transmission isn't unusual. What sets them apart—what has made them world-wide pandemics—is modern transportation: fast steamships and railroads for the flu, and now jet airplanes for Covid-19.
  • Many of our citizens, especially among workers with low wages, have often faced the painful choice between paying for food or prescription medicines if it means postponing bills for rent.
  • Years ago in many neighborhoods there were sidewalks; I think the absence of sidewalks in today's neighborhoods makes it harder to meet your neighbors. People used to walk down the sidewalks and speak to their neighbors as they would go by. That doesn't happen in the newer neighborhoods. Another change is many years ago a lot of homes had porches where people would gather. That also doesn't happen much anymore.
  • Simply enough, because you can.
  • My recent column about my watermelon memories prompted several readers to share some of their reminiscences. Roy Riales wrote that as a youngster, he used to go with family adults to the ice plant in Mena, Arkansas. The melons were kept inside, he remembered, and they would climb the loading dock to choose one. The plant operator would "plug" their choice to see if it was sweet and satisfactory. He says the melons were sold by size and were not expensive. Part of the experience was the fact that it was very cold in the plant!
  • Here is a little Mayberry trivia. Originally, Andy was to provide the comedy on his new show. However, after he watched Don Knotts in the very first episode, Andy decided that Don would provide the comedy and he would play more of a straight-man role.


  • Ending cruel puppy mill practices is an issue most Texans want to get behind—and enthusiastically did when the state passed a law in 2011 to put an end to them. Overbreeding, inhumane conditions, and the poor health of puppies and kittens are just a few of the problems with bad commercial breeding facilities, or “puppy mills.” However, what many Texans do not realize is that the very program established to prevent this cycle of cruelty and regulate such breeders is in jeopardy of being completely revoked by the Texas Sunset Commission.