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Dog gives his life protecting child from rattlesnake

Posted 8/15/2017 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Friday afternoon after work, Lance Dodd and his fiance Jami Harvey took their 3-year-old son, Jackson, to Lance's grandmother's place for a bit of end-of-the-week unwinding. At least, that's what they thought they were doing.


Partial to Home: To Havana and back

Posted 8/5/2017 in Local Columns

On a recent weekday afternoon, Art Mills parked his golf cart under one of the live oaks in front of the Main Street post office and went inside. The golf cart had a blue kayak strapped on top of it.


Partial to Home: Collecting the past

Posted 7/22/2017 in Local Columns

Not long ago a man walked up to me in Kroger and, in a barely audible voice, said, "My wife told me I ought to get in touch with you; I have something you might be interested in."


Partial to Home: Marion Fairchild's wonderful (racing) life

Posted 7/15/2017 in Local Columns

Late Tuesday afternoon five people are sitting in the living room of the small brick house Marion Fairchild shares with Joyce, his wife of 50-plus years.


Partial to Home: Old 'Mr. No-Shoulders'

Posted 7/8/2017 in Local Columns

The three-foot-long rat snake sprawled across the entrance of the barn like he owned the place. I could feel the hair on the back of my neck tingle. "He's here for the mice, the rats," I said to myself. "That's a good thing; he means no harm to you."


Partial to Home: Rafting down the Tombigbee

Posted 6/17/2017 in Local Columns

About a year ago, four Mennonite boys from Georgia came up with the idea to build a houseboat and motor down the Mississippi.


Partial to home: The corner of Magazine and Erato

Posted 6/16/2017 in Local Columns

The sparrows here are insistent, expectant. Before I can get the laptop out of its case, two of them are at my feet looking up.


Partial to Home: An evening with Paul Thorn

Posted 6/10/2017 in National Columns

Paul Thorn, songwriter, musician, storyteller, artist, former welterweight boxer, son of a preacher and all-around good guy, walked onto the stage of the Omnova Theater Friday evening, sat down and to a full house unceremoniously announced he was going to play a song about "back-road fornication." Thorn then launched into "A Long Way from Tupelo."


Partial to Home: Paradise garden

Posted 5/27/2017 in Local Columns

Paddling downstream on the Luxapallila about halfway between Gunshoot Road in Steens and Highway 12, you come to a cypress slough stretching back to the north in the direction of Jemison Mill Road.


Partial to Home: Fredrick Jackson steps up

Posted 5/20/2017 in Local Columns

We had been talking about his growing up in Columbus and where he went to school, when I asked Fredrick Jackson what got him into politics. He held up his hand. "First, let's talk about my wife," he said.


Partial to Home: 'Weird' pieces of pork

Posted 5/6/2017 in Local Columns

Facing a day of rain, I went to Starbucks Sunday, a week ago, and bought a New York Times. Regardless your politics, the Sunday Times can be a cornucopia of delights and -- assuming you have two hours or so to devote to it -- the best argument I can think of for hold-in-your-hands newspaper reading.


Partial to Home: Mrs. Sparrow's birdhouses

Posted 4/22/2017 in Local Columns

About 20 years ago, when the Internet was in its infancy in these parts, Betty Armstreet Sparrow joined a Yahoo on-line craft club and met a woman in Hannibal, Missouri, named Jackie. The two became best friends.


Partial to Home: Rust is a color

Posted 4/8/2017 in Local Columns

Ben Kilgore would like to sell you a school bus. Not just any school bus, mind you, a '57 Chevy 3800. Condition is, well, rough. Maybe even rougher than the pictures on craigslist suggest.


Partial to Home: A man on a porch listening to a radio

Posted 3/25/2017 in Local Columns

Late Friday afternoon on a whim I drove to Southside to see if I could find the man I'd seen earlier in the week sitting on his front porch in the pre-dawn darkness listening to a radio. The man had been wearing a white dress shirt, and I don't know why but the image had stayed with me.


Partial to Home: Table tennis, anyone?

Posted 3/18/2017 in Local Columns

What ever happened to ping pong? Do kids still play it in basements? It's a great game -- improves coordination, reflexes and provides an easy way to socialize. Table tennis, the sport, while using the same table, paddle and ball, is something altogether different. More on that in a minute.


Partial to Home: Spring is in the air ... and litter is everywhere

Posted 3/11/2017 in Local Columns

Tuesday afternoon after the rains, I had the good fortune to be sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of a just-completed small cabin at the edge of a pond in northwest Clay County. My host was Johnny Wray, a slow-foods farmer who embraces his vocation in the spirit of Wendell Berry.


Partial to Home: Willie's blues

Posted 3/4/2017 in Local Columns

The blues historian Scott Barretta has a clipping from The New Yorker tacked to the wall of the office in his Greenwood home.


Partial to Home: Icebergs as big as houses

Posted 2/18/2017 in Local Columns

Sunday morning, two weeks ago, the parking lot of the Dollar General in Eastpoint, Florida, was jumping. Beth and I had stopped for bottled water. We were headed into the interior of the Florida Panhandle for a day of kayaking.


Partial to Home: Steve Castanis' long journey

Posted 2/11/2017 in Local Columns

In 1986, the late Mike Royko wrote a newspaper column titled "Shortage of short Greeks killing us." Royko, a syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune, began by relating a bad dining experience at a cafe managed by a college graduate with a degree in hotel and restaurant management.


Partial to Home: Unclaimed baggage

Posted 1/21/2017 in Local Columns

I suppose I should thank the person who threw out the plastic bag from Unclaimed Baggage while driving through the soccer park last week.



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