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Columns

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Thanks to Foust — and maybe you?

    I’ve been pretty active this summer, often hiking 10-12 miles or more on a weekend, not counting dog walks.

    How about you?

    Are you looking to raise your activity level? Get in better shape?

    How about helping a worthy cause?

  • A View from Lick Skillet: We must not remain ignorant on Islam

    Gentle reader, there is much talk nowadays about the subject matter and the quality of our educational system.
    This talk, and more, is fully warranted by the present state of knowledge among the general population, but unfortunately this has become bogged down in a right-wing ideological morass, with the only real action being taken consisting of attacking the teachers’ unions.
    This will produce nothing other than increased rancor and ill will, leaving the coming generation to be even less well educated than their elders.

  • Impressions by Johnny Teglas: Moon walks to pro wrestling, what’s really real?

    God rest her soul, my wife’s grandmother, has long departed this world.
    But we still lovingly remember her quite often when something strikes our funny bones.
    Stella Trusley had interesting viewpoints on the world around her.
    She used to tell Junior he needed to clean up and go out and get a job.
    Junior was my father-in-law. He was a retired educator and her primary caregiver during her later years.
    I vividly recall him cooking a full breakfast for her when I’d drop Jon Clark off at his house.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Some things you don't see coming

    You can be plodding along in the routine of life and never see a week like the  past one happen.

    Killer storms swirled all around us, but in Roane County, most of us escaped the worst of the harm.

    Then a blissfully beautiful Saturday unfolded.

    My plans involved hiking at Big South Fork, but I soon expanded my itinerary to include one night of camping.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Some things you don't see coming

    You can be plodding along in the routine of life and never see a week like the  past one happen.

    Killer storms swirled all around us, but in Roane County, most of us escaped the worst of the harm.

    Then a blissfully beautiful Saturday unfolded.

    My plans involved hiking at Big South Fork, but I soon expanded my itinerary to include one night of camping.

  • A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen: President shows his leadership in action

    Some friends, knowing that we have long regarded Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” as one of the best musicals ever written, kindly gave us a copy of the programme for the current production of this work, appearing through 15 May at the Clarence Brown Theatre.
    As would be expected, the programme lists the cast members, which, if you know the story, must of necessity be unusually large, but, in addition the musicians in the orchestra are also listed.

  • IMPRESSIONS by Johnny Teglas: Warm fuzzies from gala, then pleasant dreams

    There’s something about sitting around a banquet table surrounded by old and new friends — and letting your hair down.
    Of course, you have to have some hair to do that last part. The round, gray-headed guy has closely cropped locks.
    Yet, that didn’t prevent the Teglas clan from doing exactly that Friday evening at Whitestone Country Inn.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Nervous wreck rides out storms

    Today’s column was to have been on wildflowers ... but this week’s wild weather seemed to need more attention, so I changed directions.

    I survived the brunt of the worst tornado system in recorded history — the April 3, 1974, superstorm that struck Tennessee, Kentucky and adjoining states — and killed 315 people.

    This week’s storms have come close, with sobering devastation in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi. The death toll was nearing 200 as I write this. Many more people lost homes, businesses and other property.

  • Impressions: Survey says ... well, just read on to find out

    “Gasoline prices are nearing the point where Americans are beginning to cut back.”
    That was a headline I saw many times last week during my morning media sweeps.
    Big surprise, huh?
    We all feel the pinch when we pull up in front of the pump.
    Talking heads on television tell us there really isn’t a supply problem or massive demand.
    Even the unrest in North Africa and the Middle East are only blips on the world-market radar.
    Rather, we are told those infamous “speculators” keep pushing up the price of crude oil.
    Whatever the case, it’s cutting into all of our budgets.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Ready to two-wheel the roads

    I have written about my hiking lately. Not counting dog walks and casual rambling, I logged 18 miles on the trail in one seven-day period recently.
    But I believe in diversification, which is why I’m getting my two bicycles ready for riding soon.
    I’ve been an avid cyclist since I learned to ride on my older sister’s navy-blue bicycle at age 5. I never was able to ride using training wheels, not with the classic parental hand steadying the seat.