Columnists
  • Have you ever had a disagreement with someone about whose pet was smarter? We once owned an Australian Shepherd dog that seemed to be able to read our minds and manipulate us, instead of vice versa. I have known cat fanciers who could recount anecdotes about their pet’s remarkable intelligence. Now I have read about a scientific basis for rating the intelligence of different animal species, courtesy of newly published studies by a world-class neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University.
  • US president Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki in mid-July, 2018. The mayor of Helsinki commented: “Money can’t buy visibility on this scale” in reference to the 3.2 billion euros profit for Finland.
  • "Everyone will have celebritydom for fifteen minutes," predicted Andy Warhol. Heading the list are lottery winners. There’s the couple sitting around the house doing nothing when they hear their numbers announced on TV. Within minutes, their front yard is overflowing with photographers and cameramen and bloodsucking relatives from as far away as Hawaii. Helicopters circle. Just before hyperventilating, they say into the camera, "Oh my God!" Asked if all this money will change their lives, they say, "Absolutely not."
  • The film Intruder in the Dust (1949) adapted from a novel by William Faulkner, is set in rural Mississippi in the 1940s. Lucas Beauchamp, a local black man, is found standing over the body of a dead white man, holding a pistol that has recently been fired. When he is arrested for murder and jailed, Beauchamp insists he's innocent and asks the town's most prominent lawyer to defend him. As the story develops, its major theme is one that has become prominent and controversial in American society at the present time: white supremacy. Behind the film is an interesting backstory that explains the relevance of Faulkner's story to our time. If you're interested in seeing an outstanding mystery film that will show how a proud Black man stood up to White privilege in the 1940s South, come to the Classic Movie screening and discussion at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 8, at Covenant Community Center, 322 W. Pecan in Sherman.
  • Kissing is supposed to be safe, but there are side effects. Unless you're kissing a vampire, the worst that's gonna happen is the awkward I-have-to-breathe-but-I-don't-wanna-pull-away feeling...right? Wrong. Apparently kissing can make you go deaf. That's right: a smooch can kill your hearing, and one Chinese woman recently suffered just this fate. Luckily, she'll be able to hear again in a couple of months; but for now, her boyfriend's apologies will fall on deaf ears...so to speak. According to the woman's doctor, "the kiss reduced the pressure in the mouth, pulled the eardrum out and caused the breakdown of the ear." That's one passionate smacker! Physicians in China have warned people to "proceed with caution."
  • Some sources say that George Washington may be the only man in history who refused to be a king.
  • One response to my columns about watermelons was this question: What has happened to the Pecos cantaloupes we used to count on getting every year? So I did a little research and learned a great deal about the history of Pecos cantaloupes.
  • When I was a kid, my grandmother's "homeplace" was in the Danner Community, a little northeast of town. Across the melted asphalt road, was a watermelon patch next to the home of Roy and Rene Taylor. I can still feel that soft, gooey tar in the road oozing warmly between my toes. photo by Casie Partridge
  • Our kids, grandkids, and extended family members gather at Beavers Bend each year for a long weekend family vacation. Strangely, 2018 will go down in history as the year of a plethora of maladies. The antidote? Fun! (Whiners were ignored.)
  • My recent column about watermelon season prompted several readers to share some of their memories. Bill Brown of Denison has sent me some seed for Black Diamond melons. He had an uncle who raised them near Colbert, OK, as large as 100 pounds. He said "We used to get a number 3 washtub, fill if with water and put a block of Ice in it, add a ripe Black Diamond or Georgia Rattlesnake melon; then wait overnight, and boy you talk about good eating!"
  • Talks with the Taliban should include Pakistan, which is much more than a neighbor.
  • Thirty-five or forty years ago, I wanted to move to Albuquerque. I had never been to Albuquerque, but I knew it was my kind of town. Why? Because they were loyal to their losers, and if ever there was a loser, 'twas I.