The eyes of the state are on 23rd and Lincoln, and there is a growing chorus of citizens, educators, business owners and more who are awaiting a permanent solution to Oklahoma’s seemingly endless cycle of budget shortfalls and failures.

Rarely do guests at funerals “buy” officiants’ claims that we “gather together to celebrate the life of ____.” You fill in the blank. We’ve all “been there, heard that.”

Every community needs a “go-to” guy. At the end of the day, however, there are far more “run-from” folks perfectly willing to let the “go-to’ers” lead the way for the common good.

Officials charged with safekeeping and maintaining order at Times Square in New York City on New Year’s Eve must have been sweating, even if the weather outside was frightful.

At their wedding 52 years ago in their hometown of Bangs, TX, Virginia and Lowell Bishop repeated “old school” vows. When she murmured the “whither thou goest” commitment, however, she gave little thought to the “whither thou stoppeth” milestone.

Rarely is “pensive” used as a descriptive for my 105-year-old Uncle Mort. In the hours unfolding from an old year to a new one, however, he grows silent. This is the claim of his bride, Maude, who repeated wedding vows with him 80-something years ago.

To some, it could be a Cinderella story. Djimonii Jackson, a Howard Payne University senior, was featured in the parade and at the football game as the 2017 Homecoming Queen. Snappily dressed and flashing a disarming smile, she charmed effortlessly. She was escorted by her godfather, Michael…

Hello Panther Nation! I hope all is well with you and you are enjoying the end of another great semester in Pauls Valley. We are very excited to finish the semester and celebrate another wonderful Christmas break.

Regarded as a sacred city to the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths, the ancient city of Jerusalem as been at the center of dispute between Palestine and Israel for decades.

Now and again, a news story piques our consciousness with greater impact than carefully prepared ads. Such was the case a few months ago when ABC News ran a story about a couple whose appreciation for a physician runs deep. They credited a doctor for saving both the mother’s life, as well as…

My Uncle Mort--described by his neighbors in the thicket as being “a couple of coats short of a paint job”--seems to be snagged on the horns of a dilemma. Or, maybe he’s suffering from delayed effects of dueling air horns blasting “back in the day” at Kyle Field.

Others may choose to “paint the town red,” but not Houston. There, they lean heavily toward another hue. In the bayou city, orange paint is in high demand. Since their Astros won the World Series, some humans--as well as a few animals--sport dyed orange hair. And, the city’s nighttime glow s…

At a time not so long ago--when smiling was a frequent response to something said or done-- we were more relaxed, feeling that much was right with the world. Sadly, smiles have pretty much abandoned faces around our shrinking world.

The current standing/kneeling/sitting controversy--played out by a sliver of our population but on the minds of most Americans--seems to have no end.

  • Don Newbury

What we knew of “isms,” during days of our youth, was limited. There were many “isms” about which we were totally unaware, and that’s still the case.

Rarely do I make promises that I do not intend to keep. I am quick to make ‘em, though, if they’re likely to be forgotten by the person to whom they’re made.

My Uncle Mort, who has called the thicket his home during his 105 years of life, has a new neighbor who may have been made in the same mold. Oh, calling him a “neighbor” may be a stretch, since his spread is over the river and through the woods from Mort’s.

This high school choir teacher maintains a high excitement level throughout the year, but it peaks with the beginning of school each fall. That’s when she’s on high alert to sign up new members.

They were called “greasy spoons,” those folksy diners of yesteryear. Printed menus were limited, but waitpersons had their slang menu “down pat.” The one I remember best had a single line of stools, and patrons typically waited in outdoor lines for weekday “lunch runs.”

It hit with the impact of “breaking news” – the kind that smacks us in the face on the front end of most newscasts. I felt faint – and my cell phone “clammy” – as my Uncle Mort’s words seared my brain.

If you were driving recently in picturesque Palo Duro Canyon, don’t think the high elevation was getting to you, hallucination had begun or that your eyes were in trick mode.

I take no joy in alleging the shortcomings of others. On land or sea, I typically choose “fluffy” topics devoid of controversy. My intent is to provide gentle humor for all readers, despite their station, religion and/or political leaning.

With so much surveillance going on in this country, it won’t be long before we’re able to spell the word, even if it is contrary to the old rule of “i” before “e” except after “c.”

It is a story from decades ago that I’ve retold countless times. Its punchline--wadded up into a few words--sums up the conundrums that hit us daily with tornadic force.

Authorities usually offer specifics when asked about origins of expressions. “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” however, is not one of them. Attempts to pinpoint its first use are baffling to some and invite “waffling” for others.

I remain a fan of the Trinity Railway Express, provider of commuter rail service between Fort Worth and Dallas. (I deserved a recent TRE tongue-lashing that resulted from my poor judgment. Further, I failed to follow my own lectern-dispensed admonitions across the years about the importance …

Not so many years ago, when children were asked to do household chores, they might register resistance with beginning letters of four words--“TNMJ.” (That’s Not My Job.)

It may be that my Uncle Mort and George M. Cohan, “the man who owned Broadway,” may not have as much in common as we’ve been led to believe. For years, Mort has claimed that he and the “Yankee Doodle Dandy” share the same birthday.

Writing about both legs of a plane trip being among life’s most memorable experiences is unlikely. A medical emergency flying out and a fire engine on the return to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport helped to make it so.

Ostensibly, my 104-year-old Uncle Mort phoned to seek my opinion on a subject about which I know little--no, strike that--about which I know nothing. He was at an active wear store, trying to decide on the color of gear he should wear when he opens his ‘goat yoga emporium,’ down in the thicket.

  • Dr. Don Newbury

Back in the 20th century, kids--as well as adults who sometimes acted like them--seemed destined to “make their own fun.” Not too much in the way of “time-passing” was in play if it cost anything, thus fertile minds were often in “creative mode,” if only in the sharing of jokes and stories.

Sometimes, a random thought crosses my mind (admittedly, it’s usually a rough crossing), and there’s no guarantee of safe arrival to the other side. Such thoughts often bob up and down like a fishing line cork that’s way too big, thus giving a six-year-old fisherperson mixed signals as to wh…

Folks given to dreaming some 500 years ago could never have imagined the many dozens of major historical occurrences linked to Galveston Island from then until now. Keep in mind that many historians believe the island was discovered in 1519, so it’s time to begin planning celebrations for th…

Horse sense--my 104-year-old Uncle Mort maintains--is much more than stable thinking. As a charter member of the “spit and whittle club” at the general store in the thicket, they weigh the world’s weightiest problems, often with wild abandon.

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