Music lessons

August 24, 2011 My mother was under the illusion that I had some kind of musical talent.Mothers are like that.“If you don’t use your God-given talents, they will be taken away from you,” she would say while writing out a check for my weekly singing and piano lessons and reaffirming it with the “use it or lose it” biblical lesson.I knew the parable of the talents by heart and I didn’t want to lose mine.

Truth behind the preaching

August 24, 2011 As a children’s church teacher I’ve been told, “Guy, you’ve got the preaching down. It’s just the closing part you need to work on.” I’d always taken it as a compliment, at least until last Sunday. Poor little Jimmy … I just felt terrible.

Experience to avoid

August 24, 2011 I wonder what the Great Depression was really like.All we really know about it comes from old news reports and what our older family members told us.My father’s parents must have had a great time dating during the “Roaring ’20s.” They married in 1929, one month before the stock market collapsed.My grandfather was lucky, though. He had a good job, working directly for the Mellon family as an accountant.He helped feed and clothe his sisters’ children during the hardest times, though he would die in 1937 from strep throat (penicillin was not yet available).

Schools’ lockdown drills

August 23, 2011 I remember, when I was in school, having fire and tornado drills. I honestly don’t remember having a lot of earthquake drills at Cord-Charlotte, at least until Iben Browning predicted one would cripple the New Madrid fault zone on Dec. 3, 1990, but we may have. You know the memory is one of the first things to go in old age.When my parents were in school, it was the atomic bomb drills that were all the rage; before that it was air raid drills (in certain parts of the country — we were probably safe here).

This textaholic says he’s searching for a cure

August 23, 2011 Recently, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly upgraded our lives with cell phones. Up to this time, I just assumed the cell phone was what a prisoner used.My wife and I drug our feet for a long time until we finally took the plunge. Both of us finally went to the cell phone store and signed up for cell phone service. She picked out a phone for her and then picked up another phone and turned to me and said, “I think this will suit you.”I learned long ago that when my wife is “thinking,” I should not interrupt the phenomenon.

It happens when you’re not looking

August 23, 2011 Nobody tells you it’s going to be like this.The early days of the job are exciting. There are so many new things to see and learn, each day seems to last forever. Then somewhere in the middle, a routine sets in. The days are longer, but the years are shorter. Then suddenly, it’s over.One day you’re a young upstart ready to make things happen. Then before you know it, you’re done.I’m not talking about careers; I’m talking about parenting.

Seeing my dad, as he was in the ninth grade

August 22, 2011 When I read the Facebook message from my Dad’s first wife that said, “Lacy go to and look in the 1950 class book and see your father in the 9th grade school love neva,” I didn’t know what to think. But I did what she said. I logged into, a website that was created for alumni to reconnect. Sure enough there was my dad’s yearbook from 1950 Grenada (Miss.) High School and there he, Paul Mitchell, was on page 34.

More than biscuit makers

August 19, 2011 Dear editor:During the period July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011 the 95 members of Independence County Extension Homemaker Council performed 49,511 hours of volunteer service in their communities and our county.According to the President’s Council on Volunteerism this has an economic impact value of $1,057,554.96 for our county.Yes, we’re more than biscuit makers!Sincerely,Bill HoskinsPresident, ICEHC

‘Tea’ is not ‘terrorist’

August 19, 2011 Dear editor:I cannot let the column in Friday’s Guard on August 12th titled “If the Tea Party Were Liberal” go unchallenged. It is written by Tina Dupuy, whoever she is. She calls herself a Young Turk, whatever that is.

Superman has died

August 19, 2011 My hero and friend, Randy Kemp, was killed in a motorcycle accident this past Sunday. Randy, a longtime newspaper man, was my mentor, the man who gave me a chance to do what I had only dreamed of — become a writer.