Tall, tall trees

March 26, 2009 One of the most magnificent sights in the world is the breathtaking redwood trees on California’s Redwood Highway.Equally breathtaking is the Pacific Coast Road, which in 1971 my wife, Wanda, and I, along with her family, drove on our quest to reach the next migrant workers’ paradise — The Dalles, Ore. We had been picking Bing cherries near Linden, Calif.

Money facts 101

March 25, 2009 Many of you are criticizing certain corporations for misuse of public funds. But I’d like to call a time-out on all this whining. We’re in a crisis, people, and the last thing we need is for a bunch of tax-paying Americans to start questioning the actions of corporate executives.Did we criticize the single mother who put her son’s diabetes medication on VISA and can’t make the minimum payments on her 30 percent interest Citi card? I think not.

Lovely leading lady

March 24, 2009 It was a sad day last week when we learned actress Natasha Richardson had been a serious skiing accident in Quebec, and an even sadder day when we learned she had succumbed to her injuries.There were so many movies of hers that I enjoyed, but perhaps my favorite was the updated version of “The Parent Trap.”

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.