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‘Tis a puzzlement. Can anyone on the planet engage us to the degree that a 20th century icon did?

For more than 15 years, I’ve attempted to write pieces to elicit smiles--however faint--and/or to inspire. I believe a great majority of them have been “upbeat.”

If there should be an appeal for volunteers to search for innocence lost, misplaced or forfeited in recent decades, sign me up. The downward spiral has been gradual, unlike Dorothy’s sudden realization--upon her arrival at Oz’s Emerald City--that she and her friends weren’t in Kansas anymore. 

Just as “puppy love” is real to the puppy, so also are “thrill rides.” And, whether on land or sea, let’s leave it to participants to decide if such rides deserve to have the “thrill” adjective in their names. 

“You can look it up.” Late sports writing giant Blackie Sherrod was fond of using this quote. He repeated it often in a half-century of columns, attempting to keep sports in the context of a larger world.

The late Harry Truman, whom we always regarded as “unbridled” until here lately, advised folks affected adversely by the heat to stay out of the kitchen.

If ordered to stop and think, opposition to the edict would emerge quickly. There’d be protests, fist-shaking, social media barrages and other assorted demonstrations, like lines drawn in sand.

Come Friday, August 31, tens of thousands of high school football fans who’ve been in countdown mode since championship games last December will fill stadiums across Texas, cheering for their favorite teams.

Roger Summers, one of the all-time great writers for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, has long had a way with words. My late mother would have said he “wrote a blue streak.” In retirement, he still takes spells of prolific writing between periods of “hibernation.” (Or maybe it’s the other way around.)

It will be the focus of books yet to be written, and of songs yet to be sung. Rarely does drama equal that of the rescue of a dozen Thai youngsters and their coach. They were assumed lost until flashlights revealed life and fearless rescue team members shared the good news. Voices around the…

Wayne West has been “old school” for decades, long before Mary’s lamb thought about following her to school.

She’s persuasive without being pushy, soliciting Bibles with resolve like the late Clara Peller. You’ll recall how Clara continually questioned, “Where’s the beef?” in Wendy’s long-ago hamburger commercials.

“Ya can’t fix stupid.” It’s a line tossed about daily with abandon. 

Waxing biblical comes easily when one visits beautiful Colorado. If we “looketh up”--as the psalmists did--we can do them one better on the topic of elevation. In Psalm 121, they “lifted their eyes unto the hills” from which “cameth” their strength. How about gazing even higher--yea, toward …

Songs are often slathered in over-simplification. We’ve generally gone along with the musical proclamation that our smiles trigger the rest of the world to smile with us. 

In his 40-year career as a National Weather Service meteorologist, he spent most of his time predicting the near future. As a retiree, he’s studying “the far back,” immersed now in learning of a much-ballyhooed highway a century ago.

Angry “harrumphs” in our crazed, crossways world drown out “hurrahs,” hands down.

When the word “culture” is heard these days, one does well to think of buttermilk, whether or not it “does a body good.”

“One thing for sure,” a reader mentioned the other day, “most of your columns are centered on your own ‘back when’ memories.” An easy counter is that just as many pieces are written about their “back when” recollections.

A robust and modern infrastructure keeps our nation’s economy moving – literally. Investing in infrastructure is a critical component of America’s economy, which links businesses, consumers, and everyone in between.

Aunt Maude smirks often, corrects gently and forgives daily. Oh, she also looks the other way regularly to avoid getting the “shakes.”

Columns often “just happen”--devoid of both rhyme and reason. Such is the case as this 16th year of weekly “whims” begins.

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.

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