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DAVIS: Myopia and the view of Longhills

December 8, 2011

I have had the privilege of attending city council and planning commission meetings in cities throughout Saline County. I have seen the process of government “of the people, by the people and for the people” in motion with all its glory. I have also seen the darker, blemished side. I say this not in a derogatory sense but given the nature of the statement, I could see how others may conclude as such. I say it to show there is balance in all things. Conflict is not always a bad thing. Conflict that leads to better ideas is healthful. Conflict that leads to division and mistrust is not.

HOLLENBECK: Right shoes could make the agony worthwhile

December 5, 2011

One of my favorite musicals is “Cinderella.”
A few fears back, I played the wicked stepmother in the Royal Players production of this Rodgers and Hammerstein jewel. It was my dream role.
Other than the wonderful music, the two sisters’ nastiness is the best part of the play. It typifies how ridiculous sisterly rivalry can be.
I don’t have a sister. I always wanted one and envied families that included several girls. One of my best friends had two. I thought she was the luckiest girl in the world. She would have given either or both of hers to me any day of the week.

DAVIS: We called him "The Can Man"

December 2, 2011

He walked along the roadside, scanning the ditches with squinted eye. We were never sure if he ever used sunglasses. The deep creases in his skin, etched outward toward each ear, were not created through moments of introspection or thought. They were earned through years of toil and labor, at least that's what we deduced from watching the grizzled figure we came to know as "The Can Man."

HOLLENBECK: Homemade jelly is great, but it’s not coming from my house

November 28, 2011

Pass the Smucker’s, please.
That’s a frequent comment at the House of Hollenbeck because homemade jelly doesn’t happen there.
We’re big fans of Smucker’s. We also have a close association with the folks at Bama and Welch’s.
This past summer, during one of my visits to the Farmers Market (which I do love) at the Saline County Courthouse square, someone suggested that I purchase some fresh fruit and concoct some homemade jelly.
He might just as well has suggested that I build a 30-story building. This would be just as likely.

HOLLENBECK: Try a little kindness and have a happy Thanksgiving

November 23, 2011

Except for St. Patrick’s Day — which my Irish heritage tells me I must claim for my favorite holiday — my “next favorite” is Thanksgiving.
To me, it’s a much better day than Christmas because it’s about family and friends and food and fellowship and all good things in between. I don’t feel pressured to have the perfect gift for everyone I know. I can just enjoy.
Still, if we get to the real reason for the season, Christmas should come first. That’s a no-brainer. It’s the extraneous stuff and human-made pressure that has made that event hectic and difficult and expensive and exhausting.

HOLLENBECK: There’s nothing like the wisdom that comes out of the mouths of babes

November 14, 2011

There are people who don’t like to read columns about the cute things kids say. If you’re one of them and you’re reading this, just move on down the road because this column will be about the cute things kids say. I’m one who relishes such gems of wisdom.
And some of those cute things will have been espoused by my grandchildren and those of others in my intimate acquaintance. Truth be told, the stuff said by youngsters may not be as enchanting to others as it is to kith and kin, but I’ve always liked kids — mine and other people’s — so I enjoy all of it.

HOLLENBECK: Imagination reigns supreme among the young and the old at Halloween

November 9, 2011

I always enjoy the visits from Halloween trick-or-treaters. It’s probably as much fun for me as it is for the children.
As a lifetime enthusiast of “let’s pretend,” I love seeing costumed youngsters taking on new characters.
The younger they are, the cuter they are. I could do without the adult visitors who apparently have a craving for sweets, but I don’t turn anyone away. As long as the candy holds out and the beggars are there, I gladly distribute the sweet stuff.

DAVIS: Don't like our political coverage? I'll make you an offer you can't refuse.

November 3, 2011

I'll be honest with you. About this time last year I was concerned about the direction this paper was taking, so much so that I considered no longer writing my weekly column for it. The political rhetoric was, from my point of view, beyond what the general public considered interesting. I don't say this to cast aspersions toward the previous editor and/or publisher. I say them to set a new standard of this newspapers involvement in political campaigns. To clear the air, so to speak.

DAVIS: Think Before You Vote

November 3, 2011

It doesn't matter what the election, voting with your emotions on your sleeve can be dangerous. Voter remorse sets in quickly and before you know it, the person or issue that you steadfastly supported are now the cause of that pain in your shoulders and other regions that can't be described in a local newspaper. We all have had the feeling before but sadly enough fail to recognize the signs when future ballots are placed in front of us.

HOLLENBECK: Tradition continues: Thanksgiving is approaching, so bring on the corn

November 1, 2011

It’s fast approaching the time of year when I cook.
I should clarify the statement.
We do eat at our household. We always have and more than likely we always will, but most of the time I “fix” things. I reserve cooking for people like my late mother; the Courier’s Pat Stuckey, who can cater meals to feed army-sized settings at the same time she’s doing six other things; Gail Nickerson, our Grits & Grace lady; and others who know what they’re doing when they walk into the kitchen.
I can identify a spatula in a utensil lineup, but when you get into more complicated gadgets, I’m at a loss.

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