• The class ring

    My mom had certain philosophies that were non-negotiable. Rites of passage were to be celebrated. Milestones were to be acknowledged. Traditions were undisputed. I suspect these ideas came from my grandparents, so I won’t question them.

  • Gavel Gamut: Emancipation

    Every year of my public education my classmates and I received instruction in American history. The themes were perforce the same for twelve years. 1492 was usually the date given for our “discovery”; 1776 was our birthday; and 1861 – 1865 was when we became the United States.

  • More than a little creepy

    By Grace Bingamer

    I think my computer has been taken over by a modern day Big Brother and it’s been more than thirty years since 1984. Seriously, during my formal education I was required to read, study and attempt to understand the best-selling book by George Orwell published in 1949 and titled 1984. Perhaps you did too.

  • Bank fishing is nearly a lost skill

    By Phil Junker

    Bank fishing is the way the majority of anglers pursue their sport, however there are people who say they can’t fish because they don’t have a boat.

    A few years ago, I met Jerry Phelps at Kentucky Lake. At the time, he had a relatively new bass boat, but hadn’t used it for two years. He’d rather fish from the bank, and says he catches more fish.

  • Gavel Gamut: Actions and reactions

    Dylan Roof attended a prayer meeting at the Charleston AME Church. He brought a gun. Twenty-one year old Caucasian Roof murdered nine praying African Americans. In the white heat of their grief, the victims’ families forgave Roof and prayed for his soul. The national media were shocked.

    Twenty men died committing the murders of 9/11. The national media fanned the flames of revenge against unknown someones.

  • Independence Day the founder's way

    By Grace Bingamer

  • Dog days (& nights)

    Our dog, Haley, is seventy-six years old. That is, she would be if she actually were a person as Peg treats her. Special food, multiple medications, frequent doctor visits, sweaters over her fur coat, help with climbing up stairs and into vehicles and accidents on our white carpet have replaced cute antics and usefulness, such as barking at unsolicited solicitors.

  • Saying good-bye to Bessie

    I have to laugh at the Northwestern Insurance commercial. You know the one where the characters name their cars and get all bent out of shape after an accident totals their car, and they are forced to get a replacement.

    Well…I can laugh because that’s me. I bought my Explorer in 2005. Oh the stories she could tell. About a month ago, Bessie began her rapid decent into oblivion. She no longer wanted to let oil pump through her veins. She just decided to burn it. Sure, she was high-mileage, coming in at a salty 264,000 miles, but she earned every one.

  • What makes cats crazy?

    When psychiatrists and psychologists diagnose for human mental illness they use psychometric tests and sometimes DNA factors but mainly just talk. That is, people, criminal defendants who have claimed insanity for example, are simply interviewed and their responses are analyzed. If their observed behavior plus their answers fall into certain categories, they are said to be mentally ill.

  • What is a friend?

    By Grace Bingamer

    What is a friend? There are hundreds of quotes, songs, and stories of friends and friendships, but it is defined as a person who you like and enjoy being with, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. I feel that definition is quite lacking because I think friends are so much more than those simple words. True friends are those that are not only there when times are fun but they are the ones that get you through the tough times in life.