Stories from grandpas

May 28, 2009 Having written recently about the 1918 flu pandemic and its association with World War I got me to thinking about people who were soldiers in that war.My wife Wanda’s grandpa, the late John Brock of Alread, was one soldier who came back with a dramatic story. Since he was elderly when I met him, I don’t know for sure but I feel he probably did not tell that story much, or perhaps at all, until just a few years before his death.

Confessions of a TVoholic

May 27, 2009 I love television. I truly love it. I wept when TiVo was invented, because it meant I could watch even more of it. Sophisticated people claim to be “soooo busy” that they don’t have time for mindless TV. Or at least that’s what they’re all quick to tell whenever the subject comes up at cocktail parties. But not me, I manage to park myself in front of the tube almost every day.

Do you remember these?

May 27, 2009 I have never liked the term “Generation X.” It sounds like someone really hated this generation and thought of a really dumb term to call us, the children who came after the baby boomers. Even Generation Y got their name changed to the millennials!I recently saw a Time magazine article entitled “Gen-X: The Ignored Generation?” I think that pretty much says it all.

The things we leave behind

May 26, 2009 While Memorial Day was designed as a day of remembrance for the fallen defenders of our nation, I always reflect on my loved ones that have passed, especially my wife. I think it’s more than appropriate in her case, because a hospital Emergency Room is an ongoing, small war in itself. That war may have been what killed her. So she is, in my mind, a fallen veteran.

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.