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Sense and Nonsense: Watching an appliance in distress is reason to wail and gnash teeth

July 17, 2012

If there's anything I hate to spend money on, it's an appliance.
Just think about it. This is not an unreasonable position to take.
Once an appliance gets to your house, no one but family members and pets will ever see it again, save for an occasional perusal from a repairman in the event of a malfunction.
I mean, it's not like you might have company for dinner and you would take time to fancy up the washing machine in case the guests should peek into the utility room.
An appliance is just there.
You can't drive it.
You can't wear it.
You can't eat it.
You can't drink it.

DAVIS: The quiet impact of a subtle message has lasting power

July 7, 2012

Subtlety is an art form that, when placed in the hands of the skilled, can deliver a message so seemingly insignificant that it is absorbed without conscious resistance. A well-worded sermon plants a seed that provides strength for the future when comfort is needed. A word of praise from a teacher will silently build confidence for that moment when everything may change for the student.

HOLLENBECK: Remembering the flamboyant glory days of a 'real wrassler'

July 3, 2012

I've never been to a live wrestling match, but I have seen the sport demonstrated on TV.
Pardon me. I'm told by male members of the Courier staff that I mispronounced/misspelled the event. Real fans, they tell me, call the sport "wrassling."
A thousand pardons.
The attention to wrestling/wrassling came into newsroom discussion because of a planned event next week in Benton. A number of wrestling/wrassling stars will be performing here in conjunction with Benton's first Freedom Fest.

Sense & Nonsense: Water ballet dreams stymied by dose of reality

June 25, 2012

When I was in third grade, Miss Erma Trice assigned us to write a paper on our ambitions.
At that juncture my heroine was Esther Williams, the movie star/Olympic swimmer that thrilled me with the water ballets I watched on the big screen at James Theatre in Cotton Plant.
There wasn't a doubt in my mind that I could be the next in line to claim her spot in stardom.
In the paper for Miss Erma, I wrote about my desire to "grow up and be just like Esther Williams."
I told about this dream with much flourish because I truly believed it.

HOLLENBECK: Pocketbook status quo for British queen and Southern mamma

June 18, 2012

Watching the newscasts of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee celebration, I'm once again reminded of the similarities between the British monarch and my mother.
Though I could address several factors to illustrate the comparison, the most obvious one is the queen's purse.
Nay. Make that her pocketbook.
Queen Elizabeth always carries a pocketbook. It may be of natural straw, patent leather, black velvet, satin brocade or the finest lace, but the style never changes. It's a double-strapped handbag that opens like a book and closes with a clasp in the center.

HOLLENBECK: Arkansas gal stumps Carson band with Driftwood song about Tennessee horse

June 13, 2012

Identifying a musical work has been a fun thing in our family for as long as I have memory.
We'll hear something on the radio or on a TV show and I can't rest until I recall the song title.
My spouse frequently said I should have gotten on the old TV show, "Name That Tune." He thought I could have won the top prize.
It's true that most of the time I can spit out the name immediately, but when I can't, it's painful.

HOLLENBECK: Language in peril: Preserving it may be harder than you think

June 7, 2012

As a lifelong grammarian, I frequently shudder at what has happened to ordinary conversation.
I grew up around two cousins and an aunt who constantly corrected any of my deviations from proper speech.
Instead of resenting this, I actually appreciated it. Their well-meaning corrections helped me to speak and write correctly most of the time.

HOLLENBECK: Reaching out to touch someone in pain is priceless gift of love

May 29, 2012

Words are my life. This has been so for as long as I have memory. But there are times when words are inadequate to express what one feels.
I'm living in such a time.
As most people know, on May 4 I suffered the greatest loss I have known. This was the final day of life for my husband of 36, nearly 37, years.
Before this happened, I thought I understood grief. I've buried both my parents and other loved ones and said the final goodbyes to friends who were as close as family. But losing a spouse? It's an experience unlike any other.
Only those who have been there know what I mean.

HOLLENBECK: And the baby's name shall be Mary, John, Susan, Henry, Ralph, Helen...

May 21, 2012

The Social Security Administration recently announced that the most popular baby names for 2011 were Sophia and Jacob.
This is the 13th year in a row that Jacob topped the list for boys and the first year for Sophia, who knocked Isabella to No. 2 after a two-year stint at the top of the female list.
Only one new name made the top 10 on either list this year. Mason rocketed to No. 2 from outside the top 10 to replace Anthony on the boys’ side.
It was also reported that Elvis has returned to the top 1,000, coming in at No. 904 on the rankings. That's good. Elvis needs to be there.

HOLLENBECK: A letter here, a letter there, and therein the trouble you'll find

May 9, 2012

For many years my minister spouse has collected what is known among the church folk as bulletin bloopers.
These are basically mistakes — some caused by typos, some resulting from misplaced words, some stringing the wrong words together that change the meaning, often drastically and embarrassingly so — but basically they're little pieces of funny stuff that weren't intended to be so.

 

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