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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.


Partial to Home: Our Mother Goose

Posted 1/14/2017 in Local Columns

There was something rare and ineffably sweet about the gathering at the Trotter Center Saturday evening a week ago. "Goose's Grand Gala" it was called, a party for Edwina Williams, known by many as simply, "Mother Goose."


Partial to Home: Beware the sulling possum

Posted 1/7/2017 in Local Columns

"A Mr. Ronald Crowe is here to see you." It was a receptionist in the front office, Monday morning.


Partial to Home: Possums under the house

Posted 12/31/2016 in Local Columns

There are benefits to living near a firehouse. I hope the firemen there feel the same way. We're a block away and always good for a laugh.


Partial to Home: Santa Claus revealed

Posted 12/24/2016 in Local Columns

When I was 6 years old, I had a paper route. I am sure of this because one of my customers gave my mother a handwritten note I put in her newspaper.


Partial to Home: A chance encounter with the past

Posted 12/17/2016 in Local Columns

A woman carrying a bag of cat food stopped and put a dollar in the red kettle. "Thanks," I said. "I hope you and your cat have a merry Christmas."


Partial to Home: Bluegrass memories and Christmas lights

Posted 12/10/2016 in Local Columns

In the summer 1979, after listening to high school classmates Nate Pack and Joe Shelton -- aka Big Joe Shelton -- rhapsodize about it for years, I drove to north Alabama for a bluegrass festival at a place called Horse Pens 40.


Partial to Home: Christmas party downtown, everybody invited

Posted 12/4/2016 in Local Columns

Friday evening I felt like an Olan Mills photographer. I made snapshot portraits of more than 100 people with my digital camera.


Partial to Home: The need for conversation

Posted 11/20/2016 in Local Columns

A friend walked up to me after Rotary and stuck his hand out: "I know what you've been up to this past week." We both laughed.


Birney Imes: By way of the river

Posted 11/12/2016 in Local Columns

Friday morning around 11 o'clock Dick Leike stood on the widow's walk of Riverview and gazed out over the treetops toward the river and the black prairie beyond. The sun had cleared the oak trees in the front yard of the house, and the stained glass of the cupola behind Leike glowed like neon. The cupola is as large as a two-car garage and is, like every other feature of this Greek revival treasure, majestic.



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