• William Shakespeare once said, “To thine own self be true.”

    Now that the holidays are over, it was time for me to select a new ring tone for my cell phone. I don’t know about you, but “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” isn’t exactly what I’d call a beloved, year-round song--no matter how much I love it.

  • Tucked away recently in a cosy English pub, nursing a pint of Old Speckled Hen beer and savouring a lively conversation with a group of merry Englishmen, I was experiencing one of those blissful Old World moments that only we Americans can seem to appreciate—that is, until my partner-in-suds across the oaken table shattered my nostalgic interlude with a heartbreaking revelation- an average of five pubs close each day in England, she said, victims of modern technology.

  • An ancient proverb once said, “All life is choice. Certain things can be stopped only if you choose to allow it to happen.”

    Several years ago when I had hair, there were two wonderful women I always went to. To this day, I have a great deal of respect for both and couldn’t ask for two better friends.

    By the way, for those who wonder where my hair went to- why don’t you ask that vindictive Mother Nature? It’s all her fault. Anyway, getting back to my story.

  • ‘As a people, we no longer know the earth we come from, have no respect for it, (and) keep no responsibilities to it’—Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America

  • Number 1. First, I resolve to make the most of 2010; to live and to do it quite well, despite where I may be in life. If my life isn’t perfect, at least no one can say I’m not living it to the best of my ability.

    Number 2. I resolve to not get too worked up if I’m having a bad day. Instead of having bad days, I’m going to step back and realize things and people aren’t worth my anger. It doesn’t have to do with me; it all has to do with them.

  • Earlier this week, my last hall was finally decked, the final Christmas present was wrapped and waiting patiently under my tree full of gold and ribbon, and the last batch of Christmas cookies and tall glass of milk awaits Santa in a huge tin next to my fireplace.  

    With everything going on, the memories of previous Christmases take me back to a happier time in my childhood. I can’t help but think how everything was beautiful and you felt like anything could happen. How awesome Dec. 25 always was.

  • Dear Santa,

    Are you still at the North Pole? Are you floating on a piece of ice with all of the polar bears because of global warming? How is Mrs. Claus?  Is she a good swimmer?  

    I’ve been a good boy all year. I live in Tennessee and I watch the news on TV all the time.  

    I’ve been told not to use the word Christmas any more because I might offend someone, so for this holiday, all I want is a copy of the U.S. Constitution. Is there still a U.S. Constitution, Santa?

  • Arlo Gurthrie sang this land is your land this land is my land.

    That is a nice concept.

    However, when it comes to changing the name of the land it really doesn’t apply.

    At Monday night’s county commission workshop a request was made to place a resolution on next week’s agenda to rename Demory Road. The new name would be the Grantsboro –Agee Parkway.

  • Three…two…one…and they’re off!

    The doors swing wide as a stampede of eager shoppers flood the stores. Bumped-up security, the hottest toys of the season that sell out within five minutes, and several sale stickers adorn the window let me know that it’s officially Christmas.

  • As we end 2009, political junkies like me are already looking ahead at what may be in store for our country and state next year. This has been a historic year, with massive deficit spending by Congress, a president looking to nationalize our healthcare system, and the Conservative movement finding its voice again in the form of Tea Parties. With all that has happened in 2009, we begin to look and wander how 2010 will look this time next year. Some have said next year’s elections may be the most important in our country. I whole-heartedly agree with that sentiment.  

  • With the currently holiday season in full swing, homes are now adorned with lights inside and out, bows on trees and little ones making their lists for Santa Claus.

    At this time of year everyone has a tradition they engage in whether it be shopping with friends, a quite lunch or a favorite charity they give to.

    For me my tradition began when I was in first grade- 30 years ago.

    My Christmas tradition is to hang a red Hallmark mouse on my mother’s Christmas tree.

  • I sit at my laptop trying to churn out yet another story for my column. I want to write something that will make the reader feel better about the world they live in; something that reflects the softer and kinder side of life that they‘ve never known before.

    I stare at the monitor and come up with absolutely nothing.

    One hour passes, two hours pass, three hours come and go, but I’m stuck with nothing but sheer writer’s block.

  • They come in every shape and size and they’re made from every material: The Christmas tree. Some are cedars, some are pines, some are paper and some are plastic; some fill up the room, and others sit on table tops.


  • Before I unintentionally stumbled into the international lifestyle that I have led for the past 20 years, and well before I received my first passport and served overseas as an officer in the United States Army, I entertained ideas typical for an untraveled person. I thought, for example, that all Germans wore leather knickerbockers and ate Sauerkraut; that French fries were invented in France; that all Englishmen sported tweed jackets and carried black umbrellas; and that all Russians suffered from addiction to vodka.

  • Author, speaker, and reality star from “The Apprentice” Omarosa Manigault Stallworth once said, “In the classroom known as life; no man’s your friend and no man’s your enemy, but every man’s your teacher.”

    Do you ever wonder why people come into our lives and eventually leave us?

  • I am a reporter and I get paid to ask questions. But  it is hard to get answers when board members don’t attend meetings. That was the situation in Jellico this past week. There I stood pen and paper in hand and nobody to talk to.

    Again, there was a lack of a quorum at the board’s scheduled monthly meeting.

    As a reporter, I get to see many of the municipalities go about handling not only day-to-day affairs, but often unexpected business as well.  But how is Jellico handling its business? To be quite honest, it appears they are not.

  • The title says it all. Sounds bizarre, huh?

    While coming up with the concept for this week’s story, I wanted to hit on more than just turkey, parades and gathering together with loved ones. Important as getting together with family is, I didn’t want to write what you, the reader, have been used to, or what you would anticipate me to write about for Thanksgiving.