Wanting to be a dog

July 21, 2009 Who doesn’t occasionally dream of being something they’re not?Ditto wanted to be a dog, or so he thought. He actually was a big, young tomcat living in a house with much older Queens (capital Q, thank you very much). Like all female cats, the Queens considered themselves royalty, far superior to mere toms. Young males, like Ditto, were barely allowed into their Royal Courts, and then only as jesters, since they sometimes proved to be amusing.

Landers gets religion

July 21, 2009 During a quick trip home to Batesville over the weekend, finding it necessary to make the 300 mile drive from Westside to over near Newark, where the entire city has apparently decided to relocate, me ‘n Mama took our customary vehicular stroll down Main Street on the way back — just to get a look. Imagine our surprise when we saw the gutted remains of the Landers Theater, and a sign there proclaiming it to be the location of a new church.

Pay becomes political liability

July 20, 2009 LITTLE ROCK, (AP) — Public outrage over the high pay given to the Arkansas lottery’s top officials is no longer just a problem for the games’ director and its commission. It’s now turned into a liability for the governor and lawmakers.Months after signing a bill that gave the lottery commission authority to set up and run the games, Gov. Mike Beebe has started to criticize the panel for using the power that he and legislators gave it.

Bullock’s ‘Proposal’ wins

July 20, 2009 The best actors and actresses are the ones who don’t appear to be acting at all.Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock are two of those actresses. Their popularity and earning power proves that. Each has a way of making a moviegoer believe that what they’re doing is real. Many times it’s not what they say, it’s how they say it and what they do while they’re saying it.

Excellence in education

July 17, 2009 Education. Batesville has a lot to be proud of in this realm. Though it still needs to grow, its Advanced Placement (AP) program is becoming one of many bright spots.I believe strongly in the AP program. Run by the Educational Testing Service, it has established teacher-developed national standards for excellence in many high school subjects.

Which holy days are holidays?

July 16, 2009 The latest wrangle over religion and schools is in New York City, where the City Council recently voted to add two Muslim holy days to the schools’ holiday calendar.It may not happen, because Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who gets the last word, opposes the idea. “If you close the schools for every single holiday,” the mayor told The New York Times, “there won’t be any school.”

Forgotten name recalled

July 16, 2009 Pupils of one-room and other small schools in this area (two-room, three-room, etc.) played town-ball rather than regular baseball, by their choice, according to an article by the late A.C. “Clyde” McGinnis in the July 1968 edition of the Independence County Chronicle.The differences between the two games are many, and various schools probably had variations of the rules for town-ball.One big difference is that the team doing the batting in town-ball also furnishes the pitcher.

Problem with game

July 15, 2009  The stars came out last night in St. Louis. Major League Baseball celebrated it’s 80th All-Star Game under the lights in the new Busch Stadium, home of the (shudder) Cardinals.

Chomping and chatting

July 14, 2009 I may be a pasty-faced white woman with working-class German and American roots, but I think my soul is Greek.I love this country. I’m writing from Greece, where I have discovered an entire country of people who share my values: eating and talking.I have hit the mother lode. The food is soaked in olive oil, everything is topped with crumbling feta and the people are the most enthusiastic, exuberant talkers I’ve ever met in my life.

The bike jump

July 14, 2009 Norman Rapp’s dad saved my life that day.Maybe I better explain.An article on MSNBC.com discussed how kids raised in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s are survivors. We survived chain-smoking adults, meat-and-potato diets and rough-and-tumble fearlessness of every kind.It was the Evel Knievel era, after all. Knievel became famous doing wheelies and jumping his motorcycle over cars and buses. Every kid with a bicycle sought to emulate him.