Columns/Opinions

Wed
10
Sep

John Sharp is a true down-to-earth public servant

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John Sharp is one of those people to whom you take an instant liking. ‘
He is down-to-earth but brilliant and is truly devoted to public service.
Two opportunities to view the Texas A&M University System chancellor revealed a man who seems to always be relaxed and at ease talking to anyone.  
My first introduction to Sharp came in Lockhart in 1982.
An energetic state representative, Sharp was running for the Texas Senate and, of course, did so successfully.
That intro made me a Sharp fan and I have remained an admirer

 

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Wed
03
Sep

Aluminum walking cane is high school football ‘trophy’

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“You’ve got to be a football hero to get along with the beautiful girls…” Song written in 1933
For someone who started out (at age 14) wanting to be a sterling high school football player at 135 pounds (growing to a “hefty” 150 by age 17), I didn’t want to hear about the potential for crippling injuries.
Maybe I should’ve listened to my mother and the other detractors about the dangers on the gridiron.
Peer pressure being what it has always been — do the popular, accepted thing — has led many of us

 

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Wed
27
Aug

Country and Western actually ‘divorced’ years ago

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Occasionally, you still hear someone say Country & Western in reference to a music type.
And, in a broad sense, that’s probably true.
Well past the 1960s and 1970s, it was common to hear C&W applied to a genre that was mostly performed with stringed instruments.
Realistically, the split and attempts at distinction began sometime in the 1950s.
Rock-n-Roll had a lot to do with that. There were some segments of C&W that sought to meld part of the R&R sound into country.
Pure Western music aficionados balked at that, opting for the true

 

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Wed
20
Aug

Kiln heat, aluminum cuts and gasoline fumes

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“Honest sweat and skinned knuckles never hurt anyone.” “Boy, don’t ever let me hear of you backing up to get a paycheck.” — quotes from L. Ray Webb, circa 1940s-50s
Dad was right. A lot.
Much more than he ever got credit for from me.
On occasion in more than 55 years of writing this sort of missive, I have quoted my dad, L. Ray “Son” Webb.
As a matter of fact, the second quote, about a paycheck, has led this column before.
Physically hard, tough work is good medicine. It will make you

 

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Wed
13
Aug

Canadian canoe trip taught 14-year-old not to gripe

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There are obviously lots of ways to teach youngsters not to whine and gripe but kids usually “take care” of gripey teens or at least that was my experience.
Some re-application may be required for septuagenarians like me.
There’ve been many blessings in my life. Being chosen as one of 26 Boy Scouts and two adult leaders to make a wilderness canoe trip in Canada was a real treat…of sorts.
Most guys on the trip were older and bigger. I was 14 and weighed maybe

 

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Wed
06
Aug

James Garner embarrassed me in a public setting

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One of my favorite actor-entertainers of all time, James Garner, died recently but I had already forgiven him for embarrassing me in a public setting.
Alright, you guessed it, there’s a story behind this and it goes back more than a half century.
Garner first came to my attention, as he did just about everyone’s, as the sometime hero, occasional heel in Maverick, a tongue-in-cheek

 

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Wed
30
Jul

Drive-in movie theaters disappearing from landscape

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Every time I see a news story about movie theaters in a newspaper, it resurrects memories. Small town theaters in particular evoke tales of yesteryear.
For a period of time, the theater business was a sideline and a source of income in those younger years when I tried to blend love, marriage, a career and a desperate need for enough money to support the mix.
While newspapering has always been a seven-day-a-week

 

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Wed
23
Jul

Three math whizzes are enough for one family

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Three out of four isn’t bad, huh?
As written here before, I’m the eldest of four sons in the Webb family.
Our parents came up during the Great Depression and, want to or not, they didn’t have easy opportunities to further their education.
Both were humble people, shy to a fault, in their demeanor around people.
Neither had it in them to

 

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Wed
16
Jul

‘Dr.’ Webb’s grads give him the ‘puffy chest’

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Alright, everyone is allowed a case of “puffy chest” once in awhile.  
Although I’ve been proud of most people with whom I’ve been associated, some stand out and make me think I might have made a good journalism professor.
It’s those we sort of kick-started or otherwise boosted past that

 

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Thu
10
Jul

No real convictions for nameless Internet editorialists

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Be forewarned. We’re about to get into a subject about which I have very strong opinions and I will point fingers, call names and “throw down the gauntlet of verbal and written ‘combat’.”
I want to be sure everyone knows where I’m coming from on this.
First of all, everyone in the legitimate news business is required by ethics and various rules and laws, particularly of print publications, to sign their writing, i.e., put their name on a column/opinion piece.
Often, as with my column in most publications, it carries a photo of the author.
As I’ve often half-jokingly

 

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