Columns/Opinions

Wed
14
Jan

What do people learn at professional conventions?

There are all kinds of conventions and everyone who attends one has stories to tell.
We’ve all heard or read about conventions that are wild and woolly, some that are sedate and those of each kind that are filled with uplifting and informative programs.
In my three-quarters of a century of living, I’ve been to some of both kinds.
Probably the “wildest and woolliest” meetings were a couple of regional Jaycee conflabs.
Originally, Jaycees were known as the Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees for short) with membership restricted to young men ages 18-35.
Ultimately, there was a

 

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Wed
07
Jan

The Mom and I won The Dad over to our way

Written by Le Pup Savage

I conspired with The Mom to sneak a column in place of the one The Dad (aka Willis Webb, aka mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent aka The Kolyumnist) usually writes for Texas community newspapers.
The Mom sends out the columns, and she and I both are, well, smarter than The Dad.
You may note that “The” is part of everyone’s title in the Webb household.
In addition to The Parents (The Mom and The Dad), there’s The Boy (their son Weston), The Sweetie (Weston’s main squeeze, Heather) and The Puppy…that’s me.
Yeah, I know, I’m nearly

 

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Wed
31
Dec

‘Hot toddy’ for bad colds — I really hated it…at first

With the easy availability of doctors, clinics and hospitals plus the proliferation of over-the-counter drugs and medical prescriptions, one doesn’t hear much about “home remedies” anymore.
Since that topic is pretty much non-existent these days, those of us of a couple of generations back sometimes

 

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Tue
23
Dec

He didn’t get out New Year’s Eve with amateur drunks

When someone asks me what I’m going to do on New Year’s Eve, I usually tell them I’m going to be at home in my comfortable recliner watching something representative of the holiday, most likely a football game.
I’m not quite a teetotaler — I do have a glass of good white wine on occasion, generally with or just before a wonderful meal by Life Mate.
But, not since my somewhat miscreant college days have I imbibed on that holiday in a dangerous and irresponsible manner, nor any other day, for that matter.
Every year, between Christmas and the dawning of

 

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Wed
17
Dec

The way yew pernounce words yew must be frum…

Texas’ regional accents are a source of fascination. Trying to study them is difficult, probably even for an English professor.
If you’ve read my missives more than occasionally, you know I love Texas, I love Texans and I love Texas lingo.
When encountering a different sound than one you hear every day, it pays to listen. If you can identify it and reveal that to the speaker, it will often amaze them.
It’s also a great door opener with a new acquaintance.
For purposes of this bit of examination, a couple of things need to be established.
First, I’m no expert.

 

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Wed
10
Dec

Tough guy attitude: ‘Ain’t gonna hurt none of me’

Being raised in a small town where most people didn’t have much, forced many to scrape and scramble to make a living.
Pride in supporting yourself and your family was a strong motivation for most folks I knew in my growing up years.
Standing on your own two feet was the mantra of that period I am inclined to describe as “hard-scrabble” times.
This promoted an attitude, from childhood on, of “Don’t mess with me.
“I’m the Lone Ranger and I can take care of me and Tonto.”
Perhaps that’s a poor example since Tonto often took care of the Lone Ranger, but I digress.
Withstanding pain was a

 

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Wed
03
Dec

‘We shoulda been halfway to town drinkin’ a Coca…’

“Will-a—, git yo a— down off that ladder. We shoulda been halfway to town drinking a Coca Cola.”— Squibb Geppert, electrician, circa 1951.
It was the nature and intent of some adults in my growing-up years to embarrass youngsters, particularly younger teen boys.
As a 15-year-old between my freshman and sophomore years in high school, I worked for an electrician in Teague by the name of Squibb Geppert.
He was sort of loud and boisterous and kept to the code of the day — embarrassing me.
Squibb wouldn’t have done it if he hadn’t liked me, and I knew that.
It didn’t slow down my

 

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Tue
25
Nov

‘Big time’ columnist pulled wool over my young eyes

Most of us are enamored of “celebrity.”
Even those of us in the hardened press corps find big names somewhat intriguing although, after a lengthy servitude, we tend to do so with a great many reservations.
In the early years of my newspapering life, when I began my “orbit” of the Houston metropolitan area as an editor-publisher of small town newspapers near there.
Of course, I managed to read “the metros” regularly, which I found helped me produce stories from big city events that held relevance for “the country papers.”
As I mentioned last week, one of many that I followed

 

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Wed
19
Nov

Stories of Houston’s 3-newspaper era pique memories

Since I spent more than half my 70-plus years in the Texas Gulf Coast area, in or near Houston, I maintain my readership in the Houston Chronicle.
My first two years of college were spent in Huntsville, less than two hours north of the metropolis, then the final two in Houston.
I worked there a couple of years before my rural raising sparked a yen to return to those climes.
Being drawn back to my country raising derailed my goal to be the world’s greatest sportswriter onto the rail line “local” or “doodlebug” trains through small towns and weekly papers.
All aboard for Teague, Rosenberg, Cleveland,

 

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Wed
12
Nov

How competitive are you? I want to trounce Ol’ Sol’!

There’s something about Americans. We’ve convinced ourselves that we’re The Best.
I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with that.
Over the nearly two and a half centuries since we kicked ol’ King George’s tail and turned “the colonies” into the U.S. of A., we’ve developed this winner’s mentality… “We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1!” “Knock that chip off my shoulder! I dare you!”
We saw to it that Good triumphed over Evil in WW’s I and II. Never mind Korea (a truce), Viet Nam (a debacle) and lesser aberrations.
Ol’ Abner Doubleday came up with a bat and ball, so baseball has

 

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