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Columns

  • A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    The big frou-fraw the last few days has been over the “WikiLeaks” of State Department cables.
    This incident proves once again what so few seem to recognize: First, there are no secrets, government or otherwise, (if two people know it, sooner or later one is going to let it out) and second, everyone is placing too much reliance on computers and the Internet to do their business.

  • OFF THE CUFF: Say what?!? High school source of quotes passion

    I’m a sucker for a good quote.

    I often call them “quotable quotes.” And I’m not picky. I bounce from the profound to the ironic to the offbeat to the humorous to the colorful ... and then back again.

    My passion for words probably plays a big part in it. Combine that with a journalistic mind, and you have someone who is constantly milling through life looking for someone to utter memorable phrases and/or sentences.

  • IMPRESSIONS by Johnny Teglas

    Folks here at the newspaper get called some interesting names other than the ones our parents gave us.
    We accept this as an occupational hazard.
    But a couple of times a year, we don’t mind it so much.
    That’s because we turn into bonafide ding-a-lings.
    Yep, you got it. For those who might enjoy critically pointing out that we don’t have a clue, I say here’s your chance.

  • A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    Regular reader, you will recall that in the column entitled “Social Security not to blame for deficit or debt”, published 19 November, we wrote at length on the fact that the Social Security programme does not contribute to the deficit nor to the debt, and explained how the so-called “Unified Budget” caused many to be confused about this fact.

  • IMPRESSIONS: Your gift buying can be present to community

    We’re slipping, sliding and rolling headlong into the holiday season.
    Let’s make sure as many of our friends as possible grab onto a piece of the Yuletide spirit!
    Mother Nature is cooperating.
    Our recent dustings of snow certainly got me in the mood.
    Shoot, one morning I stood quietly in the parking lot well before sunrise and savored the tiny flakes falling from the heavens.

  • A View from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    Gentle reader, there comes a time when repeating oneself is no longer repetition but instead tradition.
    Thus it is with our annual holiday column about our beloved Tennessee Apple Stack Cake, also known in this area as “Fruit Cake.”
    As we have said many times before, what is being offered in some grocery stores as apple stack cake is not our Tennessee Apple Stack Cake.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Who has rocks in their head? Probably me

    When my youngest brother, Rick, was in the first grade, and I was in the sixth, his teacher tapped on my classroom door and called me into the hall.

    Rick hovered behind her.

    She opened her palm, revealing an impressive pebble. I say impressive, because she said it came from Rick’s nose.

    “He says he didn’t put it in there,” the teacher said.

    I stared at her a minute, wondering if she had rocks in her head, then pulled Rick aside.

  • IMPRESSIONS: The Shadow knows ... what gift to get his wife

    Ages ago, Santa brought me one of the most wonderful Christmas presents.
    Actually, I’m pretty certain he had some help from the cutest elf ever to work in his toy shop at the North Pole.
    Most times my darling wife, who happens to be height-challenged because she stands several snowflakes shy of 4 feet, 11 inches, would take offense to being referred to as an elf.
    But when we tear off the November calendar and start marking up December, well, she turns into one of Santa’s most energetic helpers.

  • A View From Lick Skillet: On friends and neighbors past and present

    By Gerald Largen

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Facing winter with a warm glow -- for now

    Last Sunday evening, in the warm company of friends, I realized what I like best about winter.

    Friends Steve and Helen, who live on the edge of Catoosa Ridge, had cooked up a big pot of Mexican hominy stew and issued an all-call to their friends.

    Later, on their deck, the group of us admired the bare and twisted chestnut oak that dominates their viewshed and then turned a telescope up to the heavens to marvel at the moons of Jupiter.