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Columns

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Nerdy Laureate ponders on artifacts

    At the top of the stairs in my uncle’s house, a dusty bobcat once stood guard.
    It was stuffed — taxidermied — its lips drawn back in a frozen snarl, and its big feet braced for a fight it had already lost.
    In my growing-up years, this silent siren had the power to draw me and my cousins in fascination en masse up the staircase — and, when we were alone with it, to repel us in fear.
    Bobcats still exist in the wild, although I have never seen one.
    Some creatures simply are no more.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: ’Tis the season to be busy, fa-la-lal-la-la ....

    It seems we’re all busy people, but for me, this past week has been a full-tilt blur.
    Let me summarize — if I can remember it all:
    • Monday: Three newspaper meetings (a fourth was canceled), a quick run to the dermatologist in Knoxville for a look at a sun-damaged spot on my nose and then a CASA race committee meeting after work, followed by a post-sundown walk with the yahoos (my dogs).

  • WHEN IN ROANE: The judge wore WHAT?!? But wait till you hear what the mayor and council did

    Taking part in a scavenger hunt has always sounded like fun.

    Taking part in a scavenger hunt that breaks a world record and has the potential of winning world class trip sounds even better.

    Not only do the participants get a chance to help break the world record, which is cool in itself, but also winners will go to Rome, which for me would be my first visit outside the United States.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Skies clear, dogs and I get out of the house

    It’s the little things you take for granted — things like walking your dogs.
    After several days of soaking rain, my dogs were looking at me accusingly, as if I had intentionally flipped a switch that brought on the precipitation that kept us inside. They don’t realize I want and need the exercise as much as they do.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: To create jobs, cut retirement age temporarily

    You know, gentle reader, the longer we live the more we become convinced that the Founding Fathers should have made it one of the prerequisites of being President of these United States that all candidates there for must be foundlings.

    In our own time we have seen how John F. Kennedy’s presidency was shaped and moulded by the influence of his father, Ambassador Joe Kennedy.

  • Nuts & Bolts Terri Likens Editor: Photojournalist’s job is the cat’s meow

    Photojournalist Katie Hogin finally has succumbed to one of the hazards of her job — having a tender heart.

    After months of going to the county animal shelter to take pictures of adoptable dogs and cats, she finally gave in and took one home herself.

    Katie fell for an unusally marked kitten she has given the name of Oliver.

    The moniker suits the scrawny little fellow, although we’re sure Ollie will soon fill out and be the strong, happy feline that cats with good forever homes generally grow up to be.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Joe goes – to shores of mighty Mississippi

    My friend Joe was on the road for Thanksgiving.

    His mother died this spring, and his father died some years back, so he wasn’t spending the holiday with family.

    Instead, he headed to Memphis. Next month, he will be starting a new life as a fundraiser for a downtown hospital that sorely needs his skills.

    I have mixed feelings about this.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Let’s pass one for the Gipper – tax plan that is

    It has been our observation over the years that the readership of this column contains a rare combination of brain power covering numerous fields of intellectual endeavour.

    Thus, we have no hesitancy in posing a problem which has occurred to us in recent years and to which we have not heretofore found the answer.

  • Looseleaf laureate by Terri Likens: It’s time to list the things I’m thankful for

    With several gloomy days behind us and the calendar’s darkest month looming ahead, it’s easy to feel a little bummed about winter.

    I work to avoid the winter blues, usually with activity and sometimes with mind games.

    For instance, I remind myself that by the time Christmas gets here, the days will already be growing longer again.
    This December has a slightly gloomier edge to it.

  • Nuts & Bolts by Terri Likens: Momma makes a point – and we get it

    A photo of Randall McCain was featured in the Monday, Nov. 7, edition of Roane County News.

    However, if you didn’t know Randall, you wouldn’t have known it was him.

    The photo was used at the bottom of Page 1 to tease to a group of photos on an inside page, and it did not include caption information that would have identified him.

    While we commonly use this technique to refer to other pictures or articles on inside pages, at least one person was bothered in this instance.