Columns/Opinions

Wed
28
Jan

Saw it all: Kodak Brownies to ‘smart phone’ cameras

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Cameras have always been a puzzle to me.
If it isn’t a “point-and-shoot,” my ability to discuss the photo capabilities of any of those instruments is extremely limited.
After all, what can a guy do since he knows that when he says “mechanical,” he’s told you all he knows.
I mean, really, I’m supposed to be the creative sort, not some engineering miracle worker.
When the professor handed me a

 

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Wed
21
Jan

Criteria we use to define a ‘Texiz cuss word’?

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Cursing is not a flattering form of speech for the speaker and certainly not for any intended or even incidental target.
Of course, in Texiz and much of the Old South, we don’t say “cursing,” we refer to the vile verbal bile as “cussin’.”
My mother’s list of unacceptable words was endless.
On the other hand, Dad’s raising was more hard-scrabble. He was a cowboy-rancher-farmer, who was orphaned at 11 and destined to a boyhood and pre-teen years as an unwanted Depression cast-off by his relatives.
His youth knew little tenderness or refinement. His language could be salty.
However, Dad knew better

 

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Wed
14
Jan

What do people learn at professional conventions?

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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

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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

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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

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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…

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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’

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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…’

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“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

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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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