Old flicks aren’t cheap

May 26, 2009 I’m a dreamer. But I’m sure it didn’t take long for those who read my column to figure that out.  After my column “Cheap, old movies” ran in May 18th’s Guard, it didn’t take long for me to be made aware of just how expensive old movies are to show at places like the Melba theater in Batesville.Honestly, if I had thought about it, I would have realized that. But like I said, I’m a dreamer. (All I know is that I would love to see old movies on the big screen like they were 50 and 60 years ago.)

What makes you happy?

May 22, 2009 What makes you happy? Not happy for a few hours or a few days, but generally happy, happy most of the time?Two recent articles report on studies of happiness, a long-term study at Harvard and recent survey by Pew.These come on top of other surveys and studies, some in the new field of Positive Psychology. Not all the findings make a lot of sense, and they certainly don’t always agree. Let’s consider some of the findings and see if we can come up with Batesville’s own key to happiness.Let’s eliminate the studies that don’t make sense.

Old soldier takes a trip

May 22, 2009 I am 83 years old, and I’ve taken lots of trips. But this one would take me back nearly 65 years. Like a child, my emotions were already asking: “Are we there yet?’’  I was on my way to Washington, D.C., to see the national memorial dedicated to those who served in World War II. Already, it was bringing back those days, and emotions I thought had been erased by the passage of time. 

The Dick Cheney doctrine

May 21, 2009 I’m sick of torture. And the fact that we’re one of the countries way up there on the J.D. Powers annual “torture reliability” list makes me unwell as well. As does talking AROUND torture. What this country needs is an up-front national referendum on whether we should or shouldn’t be torturing people. Oh wait. That’s right, we did have one. Last November 4.

Mysterious stone towers

May 21, 2009 Writer Joseph A. Altsheler must have spent some time in the Southwest. Otherwise, how would he have known so much about it?In my favorite Altsheler book, “Apache Gold,” the author wrote about many unique places and things in the Southwest. Of course, the books were novels, but while reading them you had the sense that most times, Altsheler was describing locations that were real.

Unhappiness is what we need

May 20, 2009 The experts have it backward.I speak of the spate of articles, books and boob-tube psychologists who are advising us on how to be happy during the recession. An article in U.S. News & World Report offers 10 happiness tips.Tip No. 1: Spend 20 bucks on an experience instead of a material thing. Research shows that people feel better when they do things rather than purchase things. This is because, says one expert, “experiences remind us of the thrill of being alive.”

Tiptoeing through the tulips

May 20, 2009 I’ve been tiptoeing through the tulips in my front yard and I’m thinking that flowering tree has to go.It’s really pretty with its green and coral flowers, but it’s getting on my nerves because all that stuff won’t stay attached up in the air where it’s supposed to be.And, it’s huge.I’m not what one would necessarily call a tree-hugger, and I had no qualms about having a rather large, ugly cedar tree cut down, but for the most part I hate to chop down trees. Especially a pretty one.

Three stray tomcats

May 19, 2009 Since the day my mother placed the “feline curse” on me when I was 5, I’ve almost continuously had cats in my home, and life. For reasons only known to the Creator, they’ve been almost exclusively females, or queens. In fact, the only males have been strays that insisted on living with me.When I was in high school, we were actually between cats for a while. By my junior year I had a car and a job. I was Al Bundy long before “Married With Children” came on the air. Yes, I sold shoes, at J.C. Penney.

Holocaust survivor

May 19, 2009 If you were living in a Nazi internment camp in some of the most miserable conditions on the planet, would you be able thank God for even the lowly fleas that ate at your flesh day in and day out?I wouldn’t. But Elizabeth ten Boom was, and I thank God for her and her sister, Cornelia, who endured such prison life, in which every breath was torture and every torture was a blessing. Corrie ten Boom is the author of “The Hiding Place.”