Those Langston girls

February 4, 2009 Looking back on my childhood I can honestly say that in addition to a couple of good friends, I adored the Langston girls. Even though they were "considerably older" than I, both Marcia and Debbie always took the time to tote me around and treated me more like a little sister than anything else.

The sister we left behind

February 3, 2009 Such a thing would never happen today: In the early 1970s, when I was 9 or 10, we left my sister Mary at the drive-in theater. The outing started off well enough. My father spent several minutes searching for a spot (it took time to find a window speaker that worked). We got out of the car as he opened the tailgate and folded down the back seats, then got back in. We began devouring corn curls, potato chips, onion dip and pretzels, and washed them down with Regent soda pop.

Riding out the storm

February 3, 2009 I have to laugh now when I reread my column from last week, especially the final paragraph. Writing it on Monday morning, I was concerned about the prospects of one, maybe two days of closed schools, and that of being cooped up with cabin-fever crazed children. That would have been a blessing compared with the reality of the past week.

Trying our patience

February 3, 2009 Last week's ice storm was enough to try anyone's patience. After Hurricane Ike blew through last September, and Gary and I were one of the last of the last ones to get electricity again, this time I decided to be more prepared for what the National Weather Service was calling for. I pulled out every candle and flashlight I could find, even those we keep stored in our camping gear, and put them in a central location. We got coolers out, ready to transfer cold items if needed. We charged our cell phones, took all the laundry out of the washing machine this time (a lesson learned the hard way some months ago), ate all the ice cream, made sure we had gas in the van, dredged out winter clothes, laid out blankets and extra pillows in case we had to sleep in the living room by the fireplace ... I was almost obsessed with preparations.


February 2, 2009 Talk about taxes Editor: We now see that we have to protect ourselves from all levels of government. The slightest provocation will result in more taxes. We are in a severe recession, probably not far from a depression, and we can ill afford new taxes. They seem to care more for their institutions than the people who put them there.

Beebe gets political bargain

February 2, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) - In a crummy economy, Mike Beebe managed to find a pretty good bargain. For $3,238, he bought himself plenty of favorable headlines and possibly some goodwill among voters. He also bought a a fair share of private grumbling and accusations of grandstanding.

Donna was, is her name

February 2, 2009 I often wonder about Donna. Even though she is Donna Fox today, in 1959 she was Donna Ludwig. But she might have been Donna Valens. Had he lived. At 17, Ritchie Valens was the youngest one to die that night following a show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. Along with him, Buddy Holly, J.P. Richardson, "The Big Bopper," and one crew member also died that fateful night 50 years ago Tuesday when their small-engine plane crashed shortly after take-off.

Letter to the Editor

January 30, 2009 Praise for workers I just have to compliment all the hard workers during this ice storm in the last few days. I know several homes and business still do not have any power but I do know they are working hard day and night to get everyone going. They have restored a lot of power for people around this area and are still working hard. Please keep all the workers in your thoughts and prayers to keep them safe during this time. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. God Bless.

Youngest pride and joy

January 30, 2009 Saturday, my youngest granddaughter turns 1. Last year when Jan. 31 rolled around we had one heck of an ice storm and a baby on the way. Determined to be there even if we had to make the trip via an ambulance, my two daughters and I headed what ended up being a long, icy road trip to the Baxter County hospital. The roads were so bad that morning that we were the only people out and I prayed as I crossed the Norfork Dam that I would be in control of that vehicle all the way down.

Top books to read

January 30, 2009 A Lyon graduate e-mailed me a couple of weeks ago for advice. A former English teacher, she is now homeschooling her own kids. She was forming a list of up to 100 novels kids might read by the time they graduate from high school.