Columns/Opinions

Wed
04
May

Literate, brilliant, sophisticated — loaded with talent

An ad brought her to my office. She was tall, pushing 50, red-haired, freckled and had a prominent overbite. Yet, there was something very different about the woman with the ordinary name Helen Smith.
My widely cast net in the summer of 1971 called for someone to recreate our then-labeled “society” pages in the Conroe Courier. We were looking for a talent that could brainstorm with us and change the coverage and tone of the newspaper section.
Our idea and vision of the “new” section was to reflect the diverse woman emerging from the shackles of housewifedom, swirling about looking for a challenging place in a rapidly changing social and employment world for the “fairer sex.” The section, we decided, must reflect the woman’s emergence from keeping house, raising kids and waltzing from the “ladies” garden club to the grocery store to preparing a dinner for her husband’s business clients.

Thu
28
Apr

Age, walking cane ended the fun dancing days

Age carries lots of burdens with it. Among them is “blame” for ending fun things you did as a young person. So, I have no compunction about hanging the blame turkey of “no dancing” around the neck of age and maybe lack of opportunity.

As a teenager, I got the yen to learn about dancing when I got the news of the high school junior-senior prom during my junior year. Now, I’d never danced, well except maybe a short victory jig after a ball game.

Wed
20
Apr

Insomnia resurrects past flirtation with abject poverty

A recent one-night bout with insomnia and the always-resulting thought swirls, resurrected some childhood experiences that steeled the determination already being forced into my young mind about “succeeding in life.”

My parents worked hard as beginner farmer-ranchers to successfully keep us a few meals above the starvation-poverty level. Their aim was twofold: providing a living and setting an example of “trying to get ahead.” That was the battle cry of most post-World War II families.

Wed
13
Apr

Funny how life’s twists, turns shape attitudes, goals

Most of us are or have been dreamers. As youngsters, we see or read about successful, well-known people. Everyone says wonderful things about them, so we start developing our ideas about life’s journey based on those attitudes.

Wed
06
Apr

Left thumb looks almost normal, no questions now

You know how it is when you’re a kid — especially stinky little ol’ boys — and someone has something just a little different about them, little ol’ boys will tease the dickens out of the odd duck.

Being the oldest of four boys (three at the time of this story), I was charged with keeping an eye on the others. And, of course, it was your bound and duty to prevent any harm coming their way. Sort of like an Old West movie…protect the good guys from any and all harm.

Wed
23
Mar

Museum says thanks

Dear Mayor Hill,

We greatly appreciate the assistance given to the Freestone County Historical Museum today by the Fairfield City Parks Department (Jerry Hughes) and the workers from the TDC Boyd Unit as supervised by Officer Mike Gaskin. The maintenance chores they completed are greatly appreciated and go a long way in providing for the continuing upkeep needs of our county museum's buildings and grounds. The preservation and maintenance of Freestone County history for public display and enjoyment would be difficult without this valuable support.

 

Wed
09
Mar

What makes someone a Texas barbecue aficionado?

What’s the best barbecue “joint” in Texas? (I’m a language purist and won’t use bar-b-q unless it’s part of the establishment’s name.)

Of course, I don’t have the answer. Thousands of Lone Star wannabe aficionados do not either. I can state one thing with a certainty: Texas barbecue beats Louisiana’s version all hollow.

Thu
03
Mar

Confession: Columnists can be guilty of gallows humor

It is said that confession is good for the soul. Columnists can be guilty of gallow humor. The origin of that bit of wisdom about confession is unknown to me. Perhaps it was an early pope. Or, maybe it was a fundamentalist evangelical preacher seeking souls to come pouring down the aisle, tears flowing, guilt grabbing hold, ready to pledge their life and pocketbook

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Thu
26
Feb

Prison process progresses in punishment, preparation

Over the years, several factors have influenced my interest in our Texas prison system. 
A close proximity at times to the system, some friendships and a newsman’s natural curiosity (sometimes morbid) are among those factors bringing the process into my occasional view in a six-decade exposure to news events and newsmakers. 
It has often been fascinating viewing. 
Naturally, major events — executions, prison breakout 
 
 

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Thu
19
Feb

Wichita Falls a tough magazine cover story assignment

In one of my brief departures from country newspaper editing, I spent two years as associate editor of a business association’s monthly magazine. It was merely seasoning for the much tastier livelihood of editing small town newspapers.
Texas Industry magazine was the official publication of the-then Texas Manufacturers Association, now the Texas Association of Business.
Texas Industry was a slick publication and ceased to exist years ago.
Half of the issues were devoted to specific business-industry categories such

 

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