Calamine has colorful history

September 9, 2010 The community of Calamine in Sharp County was a booming place during pioneer times, and not just because of the silicate mineral for which it is named.In fact, the discovery of calamine, an important ingredient in zinc ore, was not made until 1856. The exact details of the discovery apparently were never recorded.

Osama may be winning

September 8, 2010 “What’s the matter, pal? You look down in the dumps.”“I can’t help it. I’ve been wondering lately — could Osama bin Laden be winning?”“Winning? Are you nuts! After he and his conspirators attacked us on 9/11, he had to flee to a cave.”“I may not be a policy expert or historian, but hear me out. Right after al-Qaida attacked, we were united. We invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban harbored terrorists.”“We rolled right through the place, too!”

Fables and tall tales part of politics

September 8, 2010 My middle son came to me with an outlandish story. One of exquisite grandeur and conquering prowess that propelled him into the role of a hero.He was so dramatic and excited as he spun his tale of heroic deeds. Finally, he came to the end and with his head cocked to the side and his toe moving make believe dirt across the floor he says to me, “Daddy, I’m just kidding.”

Fall turkey hunters take heed

September 8, 2010 If you love to hunt turkeys in the fall, I wouldn’t get my gun and camo ready, just yet if I were you. As you surely recall, the fall turkey season was canceled last year at the last minute. Meetings were held for the purpose of gathering “public input” about hunting around the state on Aug. 24.

Peter, Paul theory

September 7, 2010 Dear editor:Why so excited? Robbing Peter to pay Paul, I’m still trying to figure out why I’m supposed to be so thrilled about the call center coming to Batesville.

Respect for flag

September 7, 2010  I remember talking to some students in a grade school about the respect that should be shown to the flag of the United States of America. I asked a student why we should show respect for the flag? His answer, “There have been many soldiers die fighting for our country.”

Bugged by OCD

September 7, 2010 Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I did indeed grow up on a farm. Take my aversion to the common housefly. I can’t stand for one to be inside my house, landing on our countertops, furniture, walls, etc. I make myself crazy waiting for it to land so I can swat it. And after Gary or I have killed it, I have to get out the Lysol anti-bacterial wipes and wipe down every available surface the fly might have touched (even if I didn’t see it). If there are dishes left to dry in the sink, I’ve been known to rewash them, too.

Labor Day for real Americans

September 6, 2010 Poor Labor Day. Gets no respect. It’s the Rodney Dangerfield of celebrations. The runt of the holiday litter. Just hearing the name conjures up depressing images of a last plastic souvenir sports bottle of lemonade poured on the dying charcoal briquettes of summer. It’s the end of the bright light and the beginning of the darkness. Vacation is over and the fun has expired.

Labor reflections

September 6, 2010 This writing gig is an absolute joy, and it’s often hard to keep from feeling guilty taking money for it. For that reason, I can’t really write about this trade in reference to the Labor Day holiday. It just doesn’t apply. But, I’ve had some jobs in my life, and on this beautiful weekend here in northwest Arkansas, some of them come to mind.The first job I had, in the seventh grade, was a subcontracting partnership between me and Chris and Rosco King, down at the Dairy Queen on Harrison Street. We picked up trash on the parking lot, way early in the morning, before school.

Learning by doing

September 6, 2010 In black and white it’s hard for me to picture Clark Gable and Doris Day as a couple. Who am I kidding? Even in color it would be hard for me to picture Gable and Day as a couple on the big screen, and that’s probably what kept me from watching the movie “Teacher’s Pet,” despite having owned the DVD for nearly two years.That was until a few weekends ago.