Lucas, age 3, can â€śread.â€ť
I know this is so because he read â€śGo Dog Goâ€ť to me the other night.
Of course I was already aware that this precocious grandchild was gifted in many ways, so his â€śreadingâ€ť came as no surprise.
Truth be told â€” and I will if I must â€” Lucas has memorized this story, which is one of his favorites.
He reminded me of his cousin, Molly, now a high school sophomore, who frequently â€śreadâ€ť â€śBrown Bearâ€ť to us as a 3-year-old.
â€śBwown behr, bwown behr, what do you see? I see a wed burd looking at me,â€ť and so on to the end of the delightful story.
For my generation of adults, nothing says spring louder and with more fanfare than the beginning of baseball season. In the 1960s, baseball was â€śthe national pasttimeâ€ť long before the Super Bowl became super and the NBA gained traction. For pure nostalgia, you canâ€™t beat baseball.
A great many words have been used to describe people who have various traits. Smart people are described as nerds, geeks or brainiacs. People with various levels of cleanliness skills are called anything from slobs to bums to clean freaks. No matter how we label others, sometimes those very labels come back to bite us in a spot known as the rear, tush or fanny. No matter what you call it, the pain is the same.
When I referred to them as a group, it was by the moniker "The Magnificent Seven."
This wasn't a band of American gunmen hired to protect a small agricultural village in Mexico from a group of marauding Mexican bandits. Indeed they bore no resemblance to Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, and Horst Buchholz, who portrayed the mighty seven in the movie that was actually a western-style remake based on Akira Kurosawa's 1954 Japanese film "Seven Samurai."
Nope. This was the feline version, but they were indeed magnificent.
When President Obamaâ€™s $825 billion stimulus bill was signed into law, he promised it would save or create 3.5 million jobs and keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent. Three years later, with 12.7 million Americans looking for work and unemployment above 8 percent for 37 straight months and counting, the economic recovery President Obama promised us still hasnâ€™t happened. By any standard, the stimulus has failed and only served to dig our country deeper into debt.
The Benton School Board took a bold step this week. Not only did it take measures to complete the sports complex but it also helped chart a course, along with others in the city, to set a footprint downtown that could dramatically change the complexion of Benton.
Recently, I had the good fortune of unfettered free time. A full day or two of nothing specifically planned to do. No agenda. No deadlines. No particular place to go. And thatâ€™s exactly where I went. Nowhere in particular...at least that was the plan. Unbeknownst to me, circumstances and surroundings had been charted for me.
I spent time exploring our fine county of Saline. The only goal I had was to find places to photograph interesting scenes, objects or people.
The scenes and people were interesting, but it was the objects that caught my imagination.
Watching the Academy Awards has been a ritual for most of my life.
My enthusiasm for the broadcast has waned in recent years since I don't go to the movies the way I did in earlier years.
In previous decades, I watched every movie, I knew facts about all the actors and I could spout out personal and professional information about most of them.
Several weeks ago I wrote a column about how important the early pamphleteers were to our nationâ€™s freedom. Part of that tome also pointed to how changing technologies had rendered the need for a printing press moot and that one of the Internetâ€™s greatest boons to mankind and freedom was that anyone with access can make their opinions known.
While I'm a staunch supporter of progress â€” real progress, not just change for change's sake â€” I do find it sad to see the passing of many institutions that once were at the heart of community life. Particularly in small towns.
One such entity that is a rarity today is the women's dress shop.
Every little town of any appreciable size had a nice dress shop and a men's shop. Benton can still boast having this for the male customer in Rhea's, but places like The Fashion, The Style Shop, The Happening (and others I may not recall here) are relegated to memory.