When I first started working for this newspaper â€” which was then known as The Benton Courier â€” one of the first assignments I drew was writing the obituaries.
In those days this was a pretty usual practice and, as far as I know, it continues today.
Obits, as a rule, aren't difficult to write. In my rookie days, we had a set style for all obits unless it was a feature obit highlighting the death of a community leader.
All things rural are hot in America right now.
Thanks to shows like Duck Dynasty, Moonshiners and Hillbilly Hand Fishing, life in the sticks is all over the boob tube these days. At any given time, on any number of channels, one can watch city folks learn how to noodle, or watch film crews look for Bigfoot. We can watch moonshine being made, or see a bunch of idiot high school kids in rural West Virginia running wild.
"What is your platform?" asked the beauty contest host of a pageant finalist. "I want to see world peace and an end to hunger around the world." came the response. With all due respect for beauty pageants, contestants or hosts, this particular venue is not the think tank that it appears. World problems are not solved at pageants.
They are solved around the beds of pickup trucks.