Moms get thumbs up

September 30, 2009 Forget health care and Afghanistan, the big news question is: Who’s going to replace Diane Sawyer on “Good Morning America”?Yes, there are bigger life-and-death issues out there in the world, but the person we share our morning coffee with matters, or at least it does to some of us. The person who delivers your news becomes part of your life. Or rather, they become part of your life in that weird TV I-feel-like-I-know-you-and-we’re-pals-even-though-we’ve-never-really-met sort of way.

Walk: Not for today’s kids

September 30, 2009 It was a long walk for a 4-year-old.It happened in 1966. My older sister Krissy, eager to get me out of her hair, gave me a coin she’d made from a piece of cardboard.“You can buy candy with it,” she said.Candy was a rarity in our home, but I knew where to buy some.I slipped out the back door and made my way through the woods and onto Diane Drive. It was another 200 yards to the “little store,” the mom-and-pop shop at the bottom of the hill.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 29, 2009 Stealing from the deadDear editor:My name is Diane McDougal, and I just returned from Egner Cemetery, where my nephew is buried. Monday, Sept. 21st, I took flowers there as I have done for the past 4-1/2 years, with a broken heart over the tragic loss.Today, Tuesday, Sept. 22nd, the flowers were dumped out of the vase and someone had stolen the vase. In my mind, I am trying to figure out what kind of a sick person would steal a vase off a dead child’s tombstone, or anyone else’s stone, for that matter.

Now what?

September 29, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — After years of talk and debate, this is the week that Arkansas flips the switch on its lottery. Now what?Facing a chorus of criticism and questions about the startup of Arkansas’ lottery, the games’ director repeatedly asked for some leeway as he prepared to sell the first tickets.“Here’s what I’m asking folks to give me leave on, let me flip on the switch,” Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue said earlier this year.

Remembering Granddad

September 29, 2009 I was just thinking the other day that Thursday (Oct. 1) would have been my granddad’s 90th birthday.It’s been more than three years since he died, and I miss my granddad so much. The longer he’s gone, the more I think he was the stabilizing force of our whole family. He was the head of the family, but so much more. Granddad was always so level headed, not prone to emotional outbursts. I never saw him lose his temper or have a fit. I only saw him cry once in my life.

‘Fair’ camels are a hit

September 28, 2009 I had no idea camel’s fur could be so soft until Thursday.Mention the word “camel” and thoughts of the Middle East, the hot desert, Arabian traders with silk outfits, tassels and velvet, along with gold “genie” lamps and frankincense all come to my mind. I certainly don’t think of Arkansas or a petting zoo at the district fair in Jonesboro.But there they were, along with a Zedonk (the half Zebra, half donkey), two water buffaloes, alpaca, llama, sheep and several baby goats.

Expanding political power

September 25, 2009 Today, as you read this column in your favorite newspaper, I hope that you can appreciate the irony of where I am choosing to voice my opposition to President Obama’s expressed “happiness” to look at proposals to provide federal funding to help “rescue” the struggling print segment of the Fourth Estate. Just what we need ... more of our tax dollars going to pick and choose segments of the public sector that the administration deems worthy of assistance.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 24, 2009 Politics and criticsDear Editor: It seems that the Democrats have decided that fewer people would complain about and protest the policies of the Obama Administration if the Barack Obama Administration had been the Hillary Clinton Administration instead.  No, wait.  The protest would then be because of sexism.  Dang it!  Should have gone with John Edwards.

Steamboats in history

September 24, 2009 A nifty book I picked up for about 25 cents somewhere is interesting to steamboat buffs and history buffs. “Merchant Steam Vessels of the United States 1807-1868” is a 294-page list of steamboats, including inland waterway vessels, sometimes called The Lytle List for its compiler, William M. Lytle who gathered the information from official Merchant Marine documents and other sources.The copyright on my copy is 1952.