• Whitlock: “Stan the man”: A living legend

    “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. Follow your heart, kid, and you’ll never go wrong.”
    — From the film, “The Sandlot” (1993)

    A great American legend, and one of my heroes, was buried last week. But “Stan the Man” Musial was more than a hero; he was and remains a legend. And legends live on, influencing those who come behind them, inspiring new acts of courage and goodness.
    Though dead, Stan Musial lives on.

  • Cole: Six cents nonsense

    Nowadays there are several things that are done by machine that used to be handled by humans. Often times when the machines “make a mistake,” it’s something that a human would have been able to understand and easily avoid.
    I bring this up because my husband recently joked with me that I needed to go back to kindergarten to learn how to write a “6.”

  • Rowell: Time to pay fire dues

    A new year has just begun and that means it’s income tax time and I’m sure all working folks are just thrilled that we’re all bringing home less money in the pay packet because of the increase in the federal payroll tax.
    But that’s not what this column is about. Folks, it’s time to get out the old checkbook and write that annual check to your local volunteer fire department. For homeowners, it’s $25 and businesses are higher.

  • Cole: Are dogs a priceless possession?

    I’m an animal lover and particularly more fond of dogs when it comes to common household pets, which is why a recent case being heard by the Texas Supreme Court touched base with me.
    A couple’s Labrador named Avery ran away from home in 2009 and was mistakenly euthanized by an animal shelter.
    The supreme court is now facing the decision of whether or not grieving dog owners should be able to sue for the “emotional value” of their dog.

  • Wells: Tom Cruise ain’t no Jack Reacher

    I am an avid reader and my favorite books are of the mystery/espionage variety. One of my favorite authors is Lee Child, the feller who has written either 17 or 18 Jack Reacher novels.
    I was excited to find out there was a Jack Reacher movie coming out. Then I found out Tom Cruise was to star in it. TOM CRUISE? Get real! Lee Child describes his hero, Jack Reacher, as being 6 feet, 5 inches tall and built, in my words, like John Wayne.

  • Rowell: Proposals to protect kids sane and scary

    Seems like this is one topic that just isn’t going to go away. Since the horrific school shootings at Newtown, seems like everybody is weighing in with opinions on how to best protect the nation’s school kids.
    President Obama took to the airways this past week with his take on the situation, calling for tightening of background checks on gun purchases and banning high-capacity magazines, among others.

  • Cole: Froggy went a courtin’

    My late maternal grandmother used to sing “Froggy Went A Courtin’” to me as a child. It has always been one of my favorites. I know there are several versions, but this is the one she sang:

    Froggy went a courtin’ and he did ride, uh huh
    Froggy went a courtin and he did ride, a sword and pistol by his side, uh huh
    He took Ms. Mousey up on his knee, uh huh
    He took Ms. Mousey up on his knee, said Ms. Mousey, will you marry me? uh huh
    You’ll have to ask Uncle Rat about that, uh huh

  • Whitlock: Finding the real deal

    “You don’t seem like a preacher, at least not a typical one. You’re ‘the real deal.’”
    The comment, coming from an inmate in jail, I took as a compliment, although I frequently ask myself if I’m really real.
    His comment was followed by a question, “How did you ever get to be a preacher in the first place? (“Do you think I should have been something else?” I am tempted to ask.)

  • Rowell: Really, Reality TV?

    An article yesterday in the New York Post about southerners watching reality TV shows confirmed what I’ve suspected for some time. We’ve sunk to a whole new low in the south.
    According to the Post, the rural south is the hottest thing in TV right now, and it’s not northerners gawking that account for the staggering ratings — it’s southerners.

  • Cole: 2013 — the year for book lovers at the theater

    I love to read and I love movies, which means 2013 is going to be a great year for me. There are so many bestselling books that have been adapted to the movie screen being released this year.
    The majority of my favorite books are sci-fi/fantasy and although no movie has ever been better than a book for me, I’m really excited for 2013’s movies-from-books.