Columnists
  • I have commented before on my enjoyment of reader responses to my column, but the diversity of recent emails is extraordinary. My column on gardening elicited a scary childhood memory of potato harvesting...
  • "I'll transform this beauty into a traveling headquarters like Charlie Goodnight's chuck wagon," my dad announced, as he gazed proudly at our new 1958 Buick Estate Wagon.
  • One of my favorite words is ersatz, which refers to something artificial that is an inferior imitation or substitute, such as ersatz coffee made of chicory. In that regard I ask, is Cauliflower Rice really rice? And what about Almond Milk? Non-meat hamburgers for vegans I can understand, just don't put one on my plate. Let's talk about the fact that Americans seem to be going crazy over ersatz foods.
  • Seventy-five years ago, a courageous battle was fought and won by Allies at the beaches of Normandy. Its significance cannot be understated; the Alliesí defeat of the German forces at Normandy recast the direction of the war and set forth the campaign to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany.
  • Numerous destructive storms have passed through Grayson County, but one of biblical proportions is known as the Canaan Cyclone of 1919. It was part of a storm system which spread death and destruction from Hunt County, Texas to Ada, Oklahoma. My paper will focus on reports from Grayson and Fannin County. Since the storm caused the demise of Canaan, the history of that little community is sketchy. Probably it was named for the biblical Canaan, which earnest Bible scholars know was "the ancient region at SE end of the Mediterranean, extending eastward to the Jordan River; the Biblical Promised Land: Gen. 17:8."
  • On the afternoon of Wed., March 18, 1925, Francis (Chick) Redshaw was a seven-year-old boy in West Frankfort, IL, a mining town. He was at school when the tornado crossed the Mississippi River from Missouri into Southern Illinois. As the storm moved into town about 3:00 p.m., Chick's father was at work, making a delivery to the New Orient coalmine, and the boy knew his mother was home alone. Escaping from his teacher, he ran away from school, heading for home, when the storm struck. The winds were so strong that he was blown onto the porch of a neighboring family, where he was taken inside and kept safe. The part of town where Chick's family lived was damaged somewhat, but their home remained standing despite being "sprung" by the heavy winds. None of the doors in the house would close properly. In contrast, the northwest part of the city was almost completely demolished.
  • Memorial Day presents an opportunity for us to pause, recognize our veterans, and remember those who have fallen in service to our nation.
  • As a young reader I was naturally attracted to humor, and one of the masters of that genre was James Thurber. As well as being a humorist, he was a cartoonist, author, journalist, playwright, and celebrated wit. He was best known for his cartoons and short stories published mainly in The New Yorker magazine, such as "The Catbird Seat," and collected in his numerous books. I remember what a pleasant surprise it was to discover that the anthology of short stories we read in my freshman English class at Texas A&M included his story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."
  • Memorial Day weekend 2017 saw 21 motorists lose their lives on Texas roadways due to alcohol and/or drug impairment. All of these were 100 percent preventable crashes. "We want all the citizens of Grayson County to make it home safely this weekend. No one wins when you drink and drive or use impairing drugs and drive," said Joyce White, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agent for Grayson County.
  • According to Wikipedia, an old wives' tale is a supposed truth that is actually false or a superstition. It can also be described as a type of urban legend, passed down by older folk to a younger generation. Such tales are considered folklore or questionable claims with exaggerated or inaccurate details.
  • Sixty years ago, as a teenager visiting an uncle who raised thousands of chickens in industrial-style broiler houses, I developed a thorough dislike for factory farming. The deciding factor was observing (and smelling) the results of burning the beaks of baby chicks to prevent them from pecking one another to death. On the other hand, I have eaten a lot of chicken that was produced on factory farms, and it has become obvious to me that in recent years, chickens have been genetically engineered to grow bigger. In fact, some of today's broilers have such well endowed breasts that they can hardly walk.
  • "I rescued your mother and brought her to Texas," my dad would say. Nestled in New England surroundings, my mom grew up in Hartford, Connecticut, where meat was grilled, broiled, boiled, or baked. Little did she know what was in store for her.