Two weeks ago about this time, I was chilling on a beach. I was trying not to think about work. I needed a little time to unplug. I didn’t take my work laptop. I tried not to call in to the office because I needed a break.

  •  For someone who loves sports few things are as exciting as the Olympics. There’s something about the triumph of the human spirit, the breaking down of barriers and stereotypes, overcoming of obstacles and the white-knuckle grip on the edge of your seat in close games, races or matches.

  • When we reflect back on our lives, we think of major events or rites of passage (like getting our driver’s license, graduation, college, marriage, etc.) before we think of the little things like sending a thank you note or checking on a loved one when they are on our minds.

    Major events are life affirming. We think about those things as the events and moments that define us. But is that really how we should view it?

  • Just a few weeks ago, we said good-bye to editor Corey Woolsey. Last Friday, we said another heartfelt farewell, but this time it was Kelsey (Wheatcroft) Schapker that bid us good-bye.

    If it weren’t for the reasons behind their departures, I’d take it personal. For the last six months, we’ve known this day was coming. Maybe it was denial. Maybe we were hoping Kelsey would change her mind and stay. But she didn’t.

  • Think back to history class in the eighth grade. Remember Mrs. Benthall requiring you to memorize the opening of the Declaration of Independence? Remember studying the Founding Fathers in U.S. History for Mr. Grannan? Even Mr. King talked about the power of the opening paragraph of the Declaration in his famed World History class. And last but not least, remember Mr. Martin’s government class as a senior?

    We have recall of specific facts and points of interest, but how often do we really think about what we were taught?

  • I remember walking into the high school as a school-age child to watch Jeff Embrey play basketball. I grew excited as we walked towards the circle drive, seeing the Wildcat that used to seemingly guard the entrance. I couldn’t wait for my time to walk past the Wildcat like the high schoolers and play ball there.

    The Wildcat represented school spirit. There was no question what we were. Visitors knew who they were facing when they unloaded from their buses.

  • By Rachel Christian

             A reader came into the office last week and told us about how her son woke up to police cars, press vans and blocked off streets Sunday morning.

             She came to place a special tribute obituary for her husband, and, as often happens at the Democrat, a casual conversation began between a vistor and the staff.

  • Our community, much like many others, has a problem. Really, it’s more of an overall societal problem. Simply put, we lack the willingness to hold each other accountable.

    I’m told there was a time accountability took place when people went to the polls on Election Day. I’m not sure I remember a time like that, but I respect those who’ve said it, so we’ll move on. Today, money and power can buy you out of accountability.

  • Confession –the gnome on the Travelocity commercial motivated this column.

    I like background noise when I work. This often means the television is on, but basically playing to an empty room. I’d listen to music, but I have a tendency put on a concert when my favorite songs come on, which means I lose focus on the task at hand.

  • By Grace Bingamer

    Summer isn’t over by the calendar, but if you have school aged children it is definitely coming to an end. The ads are full of specials on all the necessary supplies, and parents are digging deep to pay the book rental fees and purchase everything from new clothes to backpacks to lunch bags and pencils. How can they need and want so much when school just ended three short months ago?

  • In the winter of 1991, I attended a seminar for judges in San Diego, California. When I got on the plane at 6:30 a.m. in Evansville, Ind., it was 17 degrees and grey. It was 75 and sunny in southern California at noon. There may be a rare cynic out there who harbors the ungenerous thought those two statistics were my prime motivation; how unkind. It was knowledge I sought even if I had to endure such a variation in the weather.

  • By Phil Junker

    Another sign of the anticipated upcoming change from summer to fall is the arrival of the squirrel opener scheduled for this Saturday.

    Squirrel season usually kicks off a week earlier in Indiana than Kentucky, however this year both start Aug. 15. And, despite a cold 2014-15 winter, there appear to be a plenty of squirrels for hunters

  • By Phil Junker

    Every angler has at one time or another has forgotten something in their rush to leave for a fishing trip. Once, this old writer started a fishing trip to Canada without my tackle box.

    Fortunately, my daughter called alerting me to the tackle box, and met me to save the day, even if there was a brief delay.

    A recent news release about forgetting sunglasses, caught my attention. I admit a sunglass dependency. I even wear them while driving on cloudy days.

  • You may think the Harmony Way Bridge is dead. That it has no life or purpose. That it is just rusting away with nothing or no one caring whether it remains there are not. You would be wrong. It is a haven and home for a certain creature that is beneficial to all of us. It is the cliff swallow.

    Cliff swallows are social creatures. They like to live together in colonies, diligently building gourd-shaped mud houses on the under side beams of bridges, under the eaves of the outside of a barn or on cliffs (as their name suggests).

  • If you need something important done properly and fast, ask a person with too much to do already. I called my friend Becky Higgins who, among many other volunteer duties, is President of the Posey County Historical Society. I do not know why such public-spirited people as Becky give so much of their time, talent and financial resources, but I sure am glad they do.

  • Once upon a time, I watched more than my share of ESPN. In fact, the cable company could have only provided about 10 channels, which included eight sports stations, and I would have been happy.

    In the last month, there has been a massive discussion on the meaning of the word courage. In the last several weeks, the words strength and courage have been used, and often synonymously. These words are more like word compliments-they go hand-in-hand. What I’d like to propose to you is that strength provides courage.

  • By Phil Junker

    What started out as a good spring for outdoors folks, turned into lousy weather condition in late spring and early summer.

    Rain, rain and more rain not only discouraged people from enjoying the outdoors just because of the crummy conditions, but because of high and in some cases dangerous water in streams and lakes.

    Among fishing spots that usually remain safe and dependable are farm ponds and small lakes.

  • By Grace Bingamer

    Remember the days when you pulled into your local neighborhood service station and immediately the gas station attendant in his clean, neatly starched uniform ran up to your window and after he started the pump working for your fill-up, he would check the air in all four tires, wash all your windows and open the hood to check your oil. He’d then take your payment, bring your change back to you; you never got out of your car.

  • I saw a photograph of an antique judge’s bench in the Mount Vernon Democrat along with an article in which my friend and Posey County historian, Ray Kessler, gave his opinion the bench had once been in the Posey County Courthouse.

    Mount Vernon Mayoral Assistant and my friend, Sherry Willis, was quoted as calling for ideas as to how the old item could be saved and maybe reused. It had to be moved due to the construction of a new City Hall.