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Columns

  • Oh, baby, that's not funny!

    “Is your refrigerator running? Well, you better go catch it!”

     No, it’s not clever, but it’s one of the many lines used by kids making prank phone calls.

     I must admit, when I was a kid, years before caller ID came along, my friends and I made our fair share of prank calls. I clearly remember our last one.

  • A doggone day

    My mom’s voice cracked, then it went silent.  I looked again at my cell phone to make sure I’d called the right number.

    “Mom? Is this you?”

    The next voice I heard was that of my older brother, Mark, speaking for Mom because she couldn’t.

  • Reflecting on Memorial Day

    Memorial Day is a significant holiday in the state of Kentucky in a variety of ways. Broadly, it is the unofficial kickoff to summer with the school year winding down, vacationers descending in droves to our lakes and rivers, and warm weather and sunshine becoming the norm. While many use this holiday as a time to travel back to their hometowns for reunions and family cookouts, others use it as a time to pay respect to their lost loved ones by taking flowers to their gravesites. 

  • Memorial Day a time to remember and appreciate freedoms we have been given

    One of our greatest presidents and Kentucky native, Abraham Lincoln, once said of our country, "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." That quote comes to mind as we gather in the coming days to honor those who have fought and died in wars foreign and domestic to continue to guarantee the freedom that makes us the envy of other nations and their people around the world.

  • Bloom like an amaryllis

    My wife, Lori, and I are not good with houseplants. When she brings home a new plant, I shake my head, knowing the plant's likely demise. I want to pull it aside and whisper, "I'm so sorry she bought you. I promise I'll pray for you."

    If plants could muster a police force, they would charge Lori and me with negligent homicide.

    So last year, when some well-meaning friends gave us an amaryllis for Christmas, I thanked them kindly.

    And as soon as they left, I knelt by their gift and offered last rites for it.

  • Racism a problem, no matter your race

    In journalism, if you need a source for a story, you talk to someone who has a point of view to share for your story. You do that regardless of the person's background, and particularly regardless of their race.

    Usually, I find myself on the side of the news story where I'm the one asking the questions. Rarely have I been the one interviewed. But Monday morning, I received a telephone call that placed me as a source for a story to be aired on television.

  • A gardner's dilema: Should I stay or should I go?

    A friend and gardening mentor told me when I first ventured into this labor of love called gardening that this hobby should be relaxing. "If it's stressful," he told me, "you're taking it too seriously."

    His words echo in my ears as I stare at the freshly plowed ground, that chore the courtesy of a friend kind enough to break up the soil for me.

    It happens every year: "Can I do this? Do I really want to start with the planting, the cultivating, the weeding?"

  • Senseless violence in Baltimore

    To be honest, I'm not exactly a tolerant person. I can't stand stupidity, and I have little patience for people who do things that I consider to be stupid.

  • Somebody's prayin'

    "Preacher," a church member said to me one Sunday, "I was driving in front of the church this morning, and I saw you standing by yourself up there at the top of the front steps. I knew what you were doing; I knew you were praying. And I just want you to know it made me feel better."

    It somehow makes us feel better knowing somebody's praying, though I can't explain exactly why.

    I've never been much of a country music fan, but I can listen to Ricky Skaggs sing,

     

    Somebody's Prayin,' over and over.

  • A young life cut short

    It's a shame to see people waste opportunities in life. They don't come around very often, and if you get a good one, you should take it and apply yourself to the best of your ability.

    Jonathan Krueger was the kind of young man who did just that. He applied himself to his studies at the University of Kentucky, and he was part of a study abroad program that took him to London, England and Dublin, Ireland not long ago.