Shades of Gray

April 27, 2011 Hysterical and thinking my parents would kill me, I bounced into the home of a young attorney who was taking a weekend nap and teary-eyed pleaded my case as if it were the death penalty that lay before me. At 16, I had just been given an official piece of paper by the most famous of state police ticket givers: Del Moad.It was my first time to meet the rather young and attractive attorney named L. Gray Dellinger, but it wouldn’t be my last.

A family cooking hierarchy

April 27, 2011 A few weeks ago I was asked by a very dear friend to make a pie.“Um,” I responded, “I’ve never made a pie before.”My friend wasn’t sure if I was kidding or not. Every good Southern gal makes pies. It’s an unwritten law or something. And, while I make cookies at Christmas, cake on birthdays, and just about any other kind of dessert throughout the year — unless you count instant pudding in a pre-made crust with a glob of Cool Whip on top — pie making was unchartered territory for me.

Incarcerated aliens in California increase sanctuary; cities to blame

April 25, 2011 A new Government Accountability Report found that the number of criminal aliens incarcerated in California rose to 102,795 in 2009, a 17 percent increase since 2003. According to federal auditors, more than one in four of the illegal immigrants imprisoned in California are locked up for drug offenses. The average inmate has been arrested a shocking seven times at an average $34,000 annual cost.

Just burn this letter

April 25, 2011 Dear President Obama:Here’s a small piece of advice. But whatever you do, please don’t cite this letter in your next speech.In fact, Mister President, please don’t mention any more letters. Ever. You’re a powerful, articulate orator. I love listening to your speeches. But the “I’ve received a letter from...” thing just isn’t working.

Big day ahead

April 25, 2011 In just a few short days Kate Middleton will be Princess Catherine. Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s first born will no longer be single and the media spotlight on the young couple won’t have ended just because the walk down the aisle has.Yet I couldn’t be more excited about Friday’s wedding between Prince William of Wales and his longtime commoner girlfriend than if I had received my very own invitation from the Queen of England herself.You’ve heard of (Justin) Bieber fever? Well, I’ve got Royal Wedding fever and I’ve given up trying to hide it.

Happy Easter

April 22, 2011 There are certain times throughout the year that lend themselves to reflecting on what has been and creating a new plan for what will come next. Easter is one of those natural defining moments for many Americans everywhere. We forgive a little more easily and wonder just what might be possible.

Arms being seized at start of war

April 22, 2011 One hundred and fifty years ago, emotions were running high and the adrenaline of the nation was apparent in examining the events that transpired following the bombardment on Fort Sumter by the Confederate artillery in Charleston Harbor. Events that occurred hundreds of miles from Arkansas would have a devastating impact on Arkansas’ willingness to remain a state in the union.

‘The Possum’ at Cash fest

April 22, 2011 The announcement earlier this month that Arkansas State University at Jonesboro purchased the boyhood home of the late country singer Johnny Cash could not have excited me more. For years I wondered why the family never tried to do something to save the home in Dyess, which for more than 30 years was privately owned, and now the news that it and the Dyess administration building will be undergoing restoration just thrills me.

Boys will be … something

April 22, 2011 “And you knew who you were then/ Goils were goils and men were men.”Those words from the theme of TV’s “All In The Family” seem appropriate for the recent brouhaha over gender identity.In case you haven’t heard, clothier J. Crew inadvertently started a pink stink with an ad campaign in which the company’s creative director (Jenna Lyons) was shown painting her young son Beckett’s toenails hot pink.

A home for Pooch

April 21, 2011 If Pooch were on Facebook, his relationship status wouldn’t just be “single.” It could be “orphaned.”Pooch almost found a home. Almost. But that almost wasn’t enough, and his “forever” home slipped out of his reach once again. Pooch is a resident at the Humane Society of Independence County, He came to the shelter in a litter of puppies in May 2007. His leg was broken and he had to wear a cast until it healed.