Getting Spring fever

January 20, 2009 My mother and sister are ready for spring. This Sunday, we had dinner at my sister's in Mountain Home, which is sort of halfway for me and Gary in Batesville (well, Gainesboro, but close enough) and for my mom and stepdad in Springfield, Mo.

Soldier’s life continues

January 19, 2009 Local business roll call: McDonalds? Check. Burger King? Present. Pizza Hut? Yep. Subway? Of course! Throw in Taco Bell, assorted coffee stores, hair salons, novelty and antique stores and, of course, a department store or two and you have a nice, relaxing Saturday afternoon in beautiful Batesville, Ark, ... or your average military post in the barren deserts of the Middle East.


January 19, 2009 Thankful for gas prices Dear editor: Congratulations, Batesville. I have been going to the Heber Springs/Greers Ferry area for about 40 years. I went Wednesday to check on some things, and guess what?

We need to talk

January 19, 2009 I didn't answer it, but the question had me thinking after visiting one of my favorite blogging Web sites,, recently. "What is your first reaction when someone says 'I need to talk to you'?"

New author introduced

January 16, 2009 Last summer I discovered a contemporary novelist you may enjoy as much as I do. He's a North Carolinian named Ron Rash. I just finished his fourth and latest novel. Rash creates plots with plenty of tension, themes he allows you to see both sides of, and prose that flows so smooth and easy you're surprised how fast you read his novels. Here's a brief description of each:

Dad’s Army buddies

January 15, 2009 My dad, Alvie Stroud, never talked about his World War II combat experience while I was growing up. Many years later, after he started getting Alzheimer's disease, his mind went back to, in particular, four of those combat experiences and he talked about them then, over and over.


January 15, 2009 Dear editor: On the economic development program, all information disseminated encouraged an overwhelming vote for. I voted against the proposal. I won't criticize the panel; neither will I take part in anything other than civil diatribe. Apparently, they worked hard, with the best interests of the people in mind, but sometimes a camel built by a committee comes out looking like an elephant. Invited to join the group, I don't now want to snipe, but I believed that a new tax was the target, even during a severe recession.

Silent heroes laid foundation

January 14, 2009 It will be a moment, a moment when the entire world watches, as the United States of America inaugurates our first African-American president. There will be parties. There will be cheering. There will be speeches. I suspect a lot of people will probably start to cry.

Soldier’s life revisited

January 14, 2009 After spending a year in Iraq from 2003-2004, I had it in my head that I knew exactly what training for this mission would be like. After all, I'm a veteran with a combat patch and a Combat Action Badge! After 14 years in the U.S. Army, I'm ready for anything, right? Uh…right.

Abe awakens … part 1

January 13, 2009 "Mr. President. Abraham. Abe? Wake up." The tall, bearded, gaunt man slowly opened his eyes. He blinked twice, then slammed his eyes shut again. The light! It was blinding. "Get that light out of my eyes, for God's sake," he cried.