Columnists
  • Today I'm sharing a reminiscence written by one of my "Telling Our Stories" writers who wants to remain anonymous. Once upon a Depression there was a family of eight people plus one small dog that lived in a large white house. The house had been built board by board by Pa and the eldest son. Of course, since it was the Depression both of them were laid off from their factory jobs. The son was also married and living at home.
  • Before Lanny and I leave on any international trip, I pack my bag, pull it to the end of the driveway, drag it back to the house, and empty half of it. If I'm going to run through airports, lift my carry-on bag over my head in the plane, and hop on and off European trains, I need a wardrobe that is not only versatile but could fit into a gym bag.
  • A news report I read recently called to mind a whole string of memories relating to a barn that figured prominently in my childhood. When I was four or five years old, my grandfather built a big barn on the homeplace where I grew up. It still stands there today, roughly two hundred miles south of Sherman. But every square inch of it can be visited in my memory, any time I choose to. It had cattle pens and corncribs as well as a huge loft for storing hundreds of bales of hay, and it was the current price of hay that shocked me into recalling my barn experiences.
  • Who was Saint Valentine? Was he a postal employee who worked on commission? Did he operate a chocolate factory? Actually, he was a martyred saint in ancient Rome. Legend has it that St. Valentine fell in love with the jailer's daughter while he was imprisoned. Before he was put to death, he sent her a letter and signed it, "From your Valentine." And, you know what they say about the rest---it's history.
  • A favorite topic of discussion among the retirees in my lunch bunch is absent-mindedness. As one ex-professor put it, "Often I walk into the next room and ask myself, 'What was it I came in here to do?'Ē Others lament showing up for a doctor's appointment on the wrong day and having to reschedule. Worried about memory loss as a sign of mental decay, we have never discussed the benefits of forgetfulness.
  • Governmental entities and non-profit organizations currently funded with public taxpayer dollars are using those dollars to hire lobbyists to advocate against Texas Legislature bills intended to protect taxpayers.
  • From birth to about age 18 and beyond, my hero was my sister Kathy. Actually, she still is my hero. She was always the pretty one, the slender one, the smart one, and the popular one. Amazingly, she always let me tag along with her and her friends. When she and her fellow high school twirlers took a ride in our family jeep, I was allowed to accompany them. And when we ran out of gas, I was "allowed" to haul a gas can to the nearest "filling station" and back.
  • One of my early memories from childhood is how frightened I felt the first time I suffered a nosebleed. That memory came to mind as I read a recent article about the history of blood. In reviewing a new book entitled Nine Pints (which is approximately the amount of blood in a typical human), Jerome Groopman discusses some interesting facts about the evolution of human attitudes toward blood.
  • How rude of a doctor not to have reading material in his examining room. Oh sure, sometimes the wait is a nanosecond. On other occasions, however, it's long enough for me to count the fillings in my teeth with my tongue, push all ten cuticles back, and rotate both feet until my ankles pop. I guess urology is not worth a read.
  • As I began writing this column, we received our second robocall of the day. Since we have caller ID we donít answer the phone without seeing where the call is coming from. When the call is shown as originating from a number "Not in Service," that's a sure sign that it's from a telemarketing campaign.
  • Homework didnít make sense. If we worked all day in school, why would we want to work when we got home? I figured it was just that old people wanted to annoy us.
  • We are fortunate in Texas and the Southwest to enjoy a robust beef and cattle trade relationship with Mexico. At Santa Rosa Ranch, we frequently conduct business with our Mexican partners, selling live cattle and genetics.