Last month the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscar people) celebrated the innovative special effects and technology of the 1956 movie, "Forbidden Planet." In the MGM science-fiction classic, a space crew from Earth lands on a distant planet searching for survivors of a space ship that had landed there 20 years earlier. What they found were two survivors, a robot and a strange freighting Id monster.
Like most of you, I voted a week or so ago. To be honest, I almost didn't. I got home Tuesday mid-afternoon and settled in to the comfort of the air conditioner. Suddenly, that "forgotten to do something" alarm started beeping like a smoke detector in need of a new battery. I tried to ignore it.
The "dog days of summer" is usually the most miserable time of the year, especially in the South. It is so named because, for a few weeks in July and August, we are under the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog), which contains the "Dog Star," Sirius.
Well, they didn't come down from the mountain, and I'm not Moses, but here they are, 10 beauty "commandments" for wrapping up the summer.
Several years ago someone who ought to know informed me that nowhere in Mississippi did anyone live more than one hour's drive from some kind of live theater. That information surprised me somewhat.
Humans always seem to be "hunting" for something. I don't mean just the literal hunt for game. Southerners may "hunt" for our lost keys, or a great parking spot or a new job.
My guess is that you have already heard birds singing sometime today. I am not a birdwatcher, but you don't have to be one to notice that birds fit in all around us, and there are few environments, urban or rural, that are not enlivened by birdsong.
The last few weeks have been a sort of crash course in local politics for me. I have always considered myself apolitical. In New Orleans I thought I was middle-of-the-road when it came to politics. But, here in Columbus, I seem to be the poster girl for liberals.
Everybody knew who Evel Knievel was in his heyday. He made a living doing dangerous things, and had a knack for making them into spectacles that the whole world paid attention to.
After confessing to capturing some 50-odd raccoons and possums, a nice lady approached me about helping her rid her place of nuisance critters. She kindly offered to pay. While extremely flattered, I had to decline her request, as this gets you into a whole new ballgame, when you start charging to trap critters.
We have had the occasional flare-up of mass racial violence in the past few decades. We have had nothing like the summer of 1919, when there were riots and lynchings in many large American cities, and countless episodes of violence in smaller ones.
"I have a thousand stories!" said David Shelton, when I asked him what he remembered about old Columbus. "I used to work for Sid Gardner and Kelly Myers for $4 a day. I wanted to be in the drug store business because of Mr. Sid. I'd sit on a stool at his drug store and just listen. So many people came in that I heard and learned a lot.
You already know that beauty exists across the species, although I confess I have never found anything attractive about a snake or a spider. But did you know that the desire to be beautiful also spans a number of God's creatures as well?
My sister called this week, a rare occurrence. She had received a package containing Mother's ashes. "They're in a plastic box," Victoria told me, "I remember seeing something like it at Pier 1, maybe 10 or so years ago." What a crude container for such a complicated woman. Mother would have hated it. Then she added, "The box has a sort of rattle."
About six years ago there were lots of kayaking outfitters within a few hours' drive, but nowadays it looks like most of those watering holes have dried up.
Actors are taught to understand their character's motivation. In mystery movies, the murderer must have motive. Usually that is greed, or jealousy, or maybe even passion. But without a very compelling reason, the crime is somehow hollow, and just not believable.
Few people recognize the name of Dr. William Spillman of Columbus. Even the marker is missing from his grave in Friendship Cemetery. His 1836 house still stands, but bears no historic marker or plaque. Spillman is a man lost in history.