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DAVIS: We are entering ‘The Twilight Zone’

July 18, 2011

Every year on certain holidays, one of the networks, I believe the SciFi network, runs a marathon of “The Twilight Zone” episodes. Back-to-back, hour after hour the shows continue with limited commercial breaks. By the time the fifth or sixth hour rolls around, any enthusiasm the viewer may have had tends to fall by the wayside. The novelty of the programming has faded. The anticipation that was once strong dwindles to a basic irritation. The buzz turns into a pesky gnat we swipe our hands at when we hear it humming around our ears.

HOLLENBECK: Newspaper life brings many sobriquets, but Starr is favorite

July 18, 2011

Nicknames are as much a part of Southern life as biscuits and gravy.
I ought to know. I’ve lived in the South my entire life and I’ve been the recipient of several of these after-birth monikers. The most frequent, of course, being “Red.” That’s a given for any redhead.
Jokes about the flaming tresses started early in life and still go on, even though it takes a little loving care (pun intended) to keep them that way today.
Later on, being compared to the most famous of redheads, and coupled by the fact that my middle name is Lou, I wore the “Lucy” tag for a time.

HOLLENBECK: Blueberries: When did they enter my life?

July 12, 2011

The other night I was enjoying a dish of peach cobbler that was sprinkled with some fresh blueberries. In the midst of this delightful summer dessert, it suddenly hit me that blueberries are relatively new in my life.
Blueberries now are a favorite fruit at our house, yet there’s irony there. As a kid, I don’t ever remember eating them.
Fruits — fresh and canned — were always part of our diet. Regardless of the season.
My mother saw to it that we ate healthy foods, which, of course, meant the inclusion of fruit.

DAVIS: Disagreement not required

July 12, 2011

I have worked at several places over my 53 years. Even though they were in different industries, they all had one thing in common. I didn’t see the warts until after I started working there. All of my jobs had them. But let me make one thing very clear from the start: I came to this job knowing full well what I was getting into. Warts and all. And I am loving it so get used to it. I’m not going anywhere.

HAHN: The myth of the silent rattlesnake

July 12, 2011

Urban legends have long been a favorite study of mine. Before the advent of the computer, there were fewer such stories circulating, but they were much more likely to be accepted for truth. Now most people know about the Snopes website and so they are less likely to believe such stories.
You would think that as a student of folklore and someone who knows a great deal about urban legends, I would recognized them for what they are, but I don’t. Why? Because they seem believable and they are always passed on in good faith. People want to warn others of some danger, be it large or small.

HAHN: No fireworks ban equals nervous cats

July 6, 2011

Since the city council recently authorized the use of fireworks within the city limits after a ban on them for several years, I am expecting to have three nervous cats in my lap for most of the Fourth of July celebration.
They are not as upset by fireworks as our dog Miss Brown used to be. One Fourth we got her some tranquilizers. These were ineffective in calming her fears, and they made her so drunk she kept falling down the stairs.

HOLLENBECK: Losing a longtime friend and staple of life

July 6, 2011

There’s never been a time when there wasn’t a container of Yarnell’s ice cream in my refrigerator. Make that a container of Yarnell’s VANILLA ice cream.
In recent times it’s been Yarnell’s “homemade vanilla,” but in earlier years it was just plain vanilla or maybe angel food vanilla. And sometimes its companion has been Yarnell’s black walnut, which my spouse says is the best black walnut cream around since it’s made with walnuts from the Arkansas Ozarks.
In some households, the “staples” are sugar and flour and such. At ours, it’s been the Yarnell’s.

HAHN: Growing up with Superman

June 29, 2011

Would it surprise you to know that I am a year older than Superman? I am. Superman was created in 1932 and I was born in 1931. In our household back then, there were not many books, but my father read me the daily comics in the newspaper.
I liked the way he read them over the way my mother read them. He always put in the “Bams!” “ Ahas!” and “Pows!” She skipped over all of those, and, I suspected, some of the other stuff too, but I couldn’t prove it because I couldn‘t read yet.

HOLLENBECK: Forget the pricey beauty products and pass the soap, please

June 29, 2011

On a recent day off, I spent a great deal of time on the couch in front of the TV. My main purpose was to watch old movies, but I found myself channel-surfing at times when I couldn’t find a film to hold my attention.
During that brief escape from reality, I couldn’t help but notice the number of commercials touting beauty products — mainly for women, but the fellows weren’t left out entirely.
I wish I had taken an actual count within a specific time frame, but didn’t. Suffice it to say there were many.

DAVIS: The return of the ‘Accidental Tourist’

June 24, 2011

History has proven that any member of the Davis clan who goes on vacation is destined to become involved in a mishap of one sort or another.
The curse is well known and can be documented well into previous decades. Regular readers of this column may remember the “Big Bird” incident.

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