Life without a net

March 24, 2009 Last week in my St. Patrick’s Day column I wrote about Irish immigration to America. That prompted a reader to write. Batesville native Margaret Wells lives and works in sunny Florida.

Antidote or absolution?

March 20, 2009 “I can never forgive him.”How many times have you heard that?  We all want our own mistakes to be forgiven. But how many of us truly want to forgive? Especially on the big stuff?Every time I write about forgiveness I get angry letters from people virtually shouting, “Why should he/she be forgiven? What they did was wrong.”I would never minimize anyone’s pain, but isn’t that kind of the point of forgiveness?. If they hadn’t done something wrong there would be no need to forgive them.

Religion’s virture

March 20, 2009 Ben Franklin wouldn’t care for the results of the study. Neither would G.K. Chesterton.According to the American Religious Identification Survey, more Americans have no religion these days — fewer folks embrace and practice the structure and order that traditional religion can bring.That’s not helpful to a republic.A republic is a fragile thing. Ours was designed with checks and balances to keep charlatans and rogues who slip into one branch of our government from dominating the others.

Plan, change, grow

March 4, 2009 Inspiration can come from the most unlikely places.Saturday, mine came at the intersection of St. Louis and Harrison.My daughter and I had just run into Batesville for some items, for what appears to be a never-ending remodeling job, and as usual I was on automatic pilot as I came into town. As I approached the red light and prepared to stop the lights were illuminated on the new Walgreens building and just seeing that gave me a feeling of hope.

What’s on TV?

March 3, 2009 Whoever said dogs don’t watch TV should come to my house.This weekend, my niece and nephew came to Batesville with their dachshund, Felix, who is just about a year old and full of pee and vinegar. To burn some of that youthful energy, we arrange play dates with him and our cat, Lillard, who is not quite a year old and also full of pee and vinegar.

Change in an instant

March 3, 2009 Life can change in an instant. My life altering instant arrived in the mid-morning hours of a Tuesday, Tax Day, 2003. It was a beautiful spring day in northern Illinois, sunny, warm. One moment, I was part of a traditional All-American family of four, two parents, two small kids. A moment later, I became that rarity in our society, a widowed father of school age children. I always dreaded April 15 since I usually procrastinated on filing our taxes until the last minute. Now I hate that day more than any other.


February 20, 2009 Dear editor:Support the tax March 10, 2009.The City of Batesville needs to improve/repair the city sewer system. We have factories inside our city for people (7,000 to 10,000) who work in our town and use free rest rooms. The City employs approximately 120, and over 70 live outside of the city limits.

News of Other Days

February 20, 2009 Editor’s note: This column ran previously in the Guard on March 5, 1996.73 YEARS AGOAlvin Eldon Hightower, 35, of Batesville, who suffered a skull fracture while working at a stave mill here Thursday morning, died at 10:55 Sunday morning at Trinity Hospital in Little Rock.

At the Grammys

February 19, 2009 Dennis Crouch enjoyed the recent Grammy award show more than he thought possible.Crouch not only played upright bass for the night’s biggest winners — Robert Plant and Alison Krauss — on the 51st edition of the show, aired live from Staples Center in Los Angeles, but his peeps (people) also won five Grammys. That included a Grammy in the night’s biggest category, album of the year, for “Raising Sand.”