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‘Ol’ Gene’ chased, caught, his personal rainbow

July 15, 2015
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‘Ol’ Gene’ chased, caught, his personal rainbow

He was first “The Oklahoma Yodeling Cowboy;” then simply, “The Singing Cowboy.” And later, “America’s Favorite Cowboy.” And finally, just “The Cowboy.” His theme song, “Back in the Saddle Again,” was probably the best known one of any of those of the B-Movie cowboys. And, by the way, it sparked some ribald jokes along the way, too. Gene Autry established a whole new genre of Western movies, back in the 1930s. He took Western riding, action, fighting, shooting, etc., and grafted onto that template, music, both vocal and instrumental; more humor than had been common in earlier Westerns; and a connection with the America of the Great Depression that hadn’t existed in the “Wild Westerns” of the screen before. And the American moviegoers ate it up like the popcorn and candy they bought at the concession stand. Gene was the leading movie cowboy, in terms of the amount of...

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Confederate flag and our guns: HANDS OFF!

June 30, 2015
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Confederate flag and our guns: HANDS OFF!

Now that the Charleston, South Carolina, church massacre is two weeks in the past, along with the wailing, gnashing of teeth, and making lists of what things should be “banned” because of it, let’s step back and take a calmer look at the whole thing. Of course, only a moron or a savage would be pleased with the fact that nine African American churchgoers...

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Madison, Indiana CAN come back!

June 15, 2015
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Madison, Indiana CAN come back!

Whither goest thou, Madison, Indiana, my hometown? You were the biggest city in Indiana in the 1850s; you were the pork-packing capital of the world.  The most-decorated American veteran of World War I was born near here, and lived here for a time. The first publisher of your daily newspaper helped found the Republican Party. John Wilkes Booth, the Southern actor who later assassinated...

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News flash: Nobody’s all bad — or all good

May 31, 2015
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News flash: Nobody’s all bad — or all good

Anyone nowadays who knows who Ty Cobb was, knows that he was eternally angry, periodically drunk, a viciously dirty baserunner who deliberately spiked infielders at every opportunity; and — here’s the REALLY REVOLTING part: He was a “racist”! Oh,...

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Michelle Obama flaunts her anger, resentment

May 15, 2015
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Michelle Obama flaunts her anger, resentment

Michelle Obama, the nation’s First Lady, who by that fact should be the most respected woman in America, has given us yet another reason why she is viewed by many of us as just another angry, resentful, loud-mouthed black...

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Five great friends who have ‘Gone Home’

April 30, 2015
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The other day I heard an old gospel song that was totally new to me. It was called “Gone Home.” It got my mind and memory to working — because it’s about those we loved and cherished, who have...

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Hey, you haters! Lay off us Hoosiers!

April 10, 2015
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Hey, you haters! Lay off us Hoosiers!

OK, all you Hoosier haters out there! No, I don’t mean US Hoosiers, who have been the target of unlimited, unfair and vicious attacks over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which kicked up a major kerfuffle on the political...

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Anonymous attacks sully a good website

March 17, 2015
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Anonymous attacks sully a good website

Did ye ever hear the one about the Irishman, Paddy, who was taking an ocean cruise, be dad? While they was down in the South Pacific, the ship sprung a big leak and sank, with the passengers pilin’ into...

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Netanyahu speaks sense to America about Iran

March 5, 2015
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Netanyahu speaks sense to America about Iran

Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of the State of Israel, received the welcome of a conquering hero when he addressed the U.S. Congress Tuesday. And, in my opinion, he richly deserved it. Netanyahu spoke to a packed House chamber, and...

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Stan and Ollie: Our comics, and our friends

February 18, 2015
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Stan and Ollie: Our comics, and our friends

The fat guy and the thin guy. “The boys.” Stan and Ollie. L & H. They were tagged with a number of nicknames over the years, were Arthur Stanley Jefferson and Norvell Hardy, their original names. But those still...

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Politicians are faking on the tax, deficit issues

January 24, 2015
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Politicians are faking on the tax, deficit issues

Everybody who likes paying taxes, yell, “Two bits, four bits, six bits a dollar, all for big government, stand up and holler!” That’s funny; I don’t hear anybody. OK, we’re all pretty much agreed: Nobody likes having to cough...

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Muslim terrorists understand one thing: Force

January 8, 2015
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Muslim terrorists understand one thing: Force

Another Muslim massacre, another round of “expressions of outrage” about the latest raghead murders, these of (unarmed) journalists who had had the unforgivable gall to poke fun at the Muslims’ humorless and rigid views about their prophet Mohammed, and...

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Christmas is sacred, mystical and merry

December 15, 2014
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Christmas is sacred, mystical and merry

Christmas is coming! Less than two weeks away, and the usual hustle, bustle, and turmoil is hard upon us! What would we do; what would the WORLD do, without Christmas? It’s the piece de resistance of all holidays, the...

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Ginning up another helping of ‘outrage’

December 8, 2014
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Ginning up another helping of ‘outrage’

Well, I presume all the young American leftists are puffed up and proud of themselves, now that  for the umpteenth time in the last 50 years they’ve marched, chanted, “died in” (we could only hope, couldn’t we?) over the...

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Let’s give thanks for the world’s many blessings

November 23, 2014
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Let’s give thanks for the world’s many blessings

Thanksgiving is approaching — and the turkeys are nervous! Sorry. I just couldn’t resist that. Sort of grabbed your attention, didn’t it? Wonder what the turkeys are feeling thankful for right now? OK; I’ll get serious. Because after all, Thanksgiving...

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Some tales from the Halloweens ‘of yore’

October 26, 2014
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Some tales from the Halloweens ‘of yore’

When ghosts and goblins by the score, Ring the bell on your front door — And your little white house, turns GREEN! — From gheelies and ghosties, And long-legged beasties, And things that go “Bump” in the night, Deliver...

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Have we forgotten “The Hoosier Poet”?

October 13, 2014
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Have we forgotten “The Hoosier Poet”?

He was as well known as almost any American of his day. From the early 1880s, until his death in 1916, he was a much-sought public speaker, reading his poetry before many thousands of what would be called “fans”...

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Hey, gang! Let’s have a (multi-) party!

September 22, 2014
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Hey, gang! Let’s have a (multi-) party!

“I wish we could throw them all out and start over!” How many times in recent months have you said that yourself? Or heard your neighbor say it? Or your brother-in-law? Or a commentator on TV? Yes, our disgust...

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Louisiana: It’s a unique and varied state

September 12, 2014
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Louisiana: It’s a unique and varied state

Here’s a riddle for you: When is a county, NOT a county? When it’s in Louisiana, of course! In the home of New Orleans jazz, jambalaya and the Cajun people, they’re called “parishes” —- possibly traceable to the state’s...

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The racial spin doctors are busy in Ferguson

August 24, 2014
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The racial spin doctors are busy in Ferguson

It’s now two weeks since Michael Brown, all 6-4 and 292 pounds of him, was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, and the race hustlers are still milking the incident for all it’s worth. Protests,...

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Old Corporal is staying a Hoosier

August 10, 2014
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Old Corporal is staying a Hoosier

“A funny thing happened on my way to Florida …” “I just flew back from Melbourne, and boy, are my arms tired! …” “Look before you leap — especially if the leap will cost you a heap! …” OK,...

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Time for Congress to impeach Barack Obama

June 25, 2014
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Time for Congress to impeach Barack Obama

President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama should be impeached by the House of Representatives, convicted by the United States Senate, and removed from office. Pretty bald statement, you say? Well, can you give me any good reasons...

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Tony and Rubye — my Mom and Dad

June 10, 2014
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Tony and Rubye — my Mom and Dad

   There aren’t too many people still living who knew Tony and Rubye Engle. He’s been gone 30 years; she, 44. Yes, they were my folks. They were the two most important people in my life, and they didn’t...

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U.S. voters fed up with government lies, lectures

May 20, 2014
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U.S. voters fed up with government lies, lectures

It’s now two weeks since the Madison Consolidated Schools district voted down a proposed $69 million school construction project, by a margin of nearly 4-1. All of us who live here know why it sank without a trace: It...

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Bundy’s truths were painful for many Americans

April 27, 2014
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Bundy’s truths were painful for many Americans

Cliven Bundy, who was being hailed as a courageous hero for his stand against a federal power grab of his cattle in Nevada, made what passes nowadays for a fatal verbal faux pas, and is now being condemned by...

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Pete Maravich: The Mozart of the Hardwood

April 3, 2014
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Pete Maravich: The Mozart of the Hardwood

He was like Nureyev among clog dancers; like Shakespeare competing with the writers of dime novels; like the difference between Einstein and a first-year chemistry student at a small, insignificant college. Pete Maravich was that rare bird among noted...

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Vladimir the Implacable vs. Barack the Pitiful

March 8, 2014
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Vladimir the Implacable vs. Barack the Pitiful

Big, evil Russia is poised to seize the Ukraine and put it back into place as just another province of the re-constituted Russian Empire that Vladimir Putin is starting to build. Right? Well, that’s what elements of the U.S....

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Were the Beatles ‘Heaven sent’?

February 25, 2014
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Were the Beatles ‘Heaven sent’?

And so the 50th anniversary of the world’s first discovery of the greatest rock band of all time — perhaps the greatest ENTERTAINMENT phenoma of all time — has passed with suitable note and well-deserved praise for the Fab...

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‘The Day the Music Died’ — but it lives on

February 3, 2014
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‘The Day the Music Died’ — but it lives on

They died 55 years ago today — three young men who gained immortality for the music they wrote, played and sang, and for what further heights they might have reached in their careers, if only … Two Texans, Buddy...

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‘The Man With No Name’ turns 50

January 19, 2014
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‘The Man With No Name’ turns 50

Remember “The Spaghetti Western?” This is the 50th anniversary of the release of the first of three movies which became synonymous with the phrase: “The Man With No Name Trilogy.” Actually I don’t think the trilogy most people think...

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Supremes rain on Utah’s ‘gay pride parade’

January 8, 2014
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Supremes rain on Utah’s ‘gay pride parade’

The U.S. Supreme Court this week brought the state of Utah’s mad gallop into “gay marriage” to a screeching halt. The liberal minority in that most conservative of U.S. states had been huzzawing and slapping high-fives ever since a...

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From the carpenter’s hands …

December 17, 2013
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From the carpenter’s hands …

Paul Rhodes was a very smart guy. Too smart to believe in all that nonsense about an “invisible man in the sky,” or “life after death,” or “heaven and hell.” Oh, yeah; he was too smart for all that...

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The JFK assassination: We all remember …

November 22, 2013
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The JFK assassination: We all remember …

Where were you that day when our world changed forever, 50 years ago today? What were you doing when you first heard that our young, glamorous President John F. Kennedy had left us, suddenly and tragically, the victim of...

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The atheists: Arrogant, cocksure — and wrong

November 8, 2013
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The atheists: Arrogant, cocksure — and wrong

The atheists are at it again, with the U.S. Supreme Court about to consider a case that has come before it in which communal prayers recited before public meetings are targeted by the militant atheist movement, which wants those...

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‘Some Came Running’ is a drama, time capsule

October 11, 2013
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‘Some Came Running’ is a drama, time capsule

  I took a trip back into the 1950s of my hometown, Madison, Indiana, last night. As it has before, it brought back some wonderful memories. No, Old Corporal doesn’t have his own time machine; wish I did. I...

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‘Down All the Days:’ Christy’s masterpiece

September 17, 2013
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‘Down All the Days:’ Christy’s masterpiece

When you can’t do things, when you have to sit, day after day, like a potted plant, you could become angry and bitter and life-hating. Or, you could utilize the only two abilities you have that everyone else does —...

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New royal birth re-fuels tabloids’ vitriol

August 19, 2013
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New royal birth re-fuels tabloids’ vitriol

  Now that little Prince George Alexander Louis has been safely born and is “pretty loud and, of course, very good-looking,” according to his dad, Prince William, the trash tabloids in Britain and on this side of the Atlantic...

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George Zimmerman not guilty, but still a target

July 17, 2013
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George Zimmerman not guilty, but still a target

BULLETIN Florida police revealed today that George Zimmerman, and another, unidentified man, rescued a family of four from their wrecked vehicle on a Florida road last week. Meanwhile, the Sanford police have turned over their files on George Zimmerman,...

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Our regatta: Good show, even without boats

July 10, 2013
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Our regatta: Good show, even without boats

This was the Madison Regatta that wasn’t. A major hydroplane race, with no boats on the water. No exciting heats; no overall winner; no points added to any team’s season totals. But, you know, this year’s cancellation of the actual...

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Rich Berry tells of his days in old North Madison

June 7, 2013
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Rich Berry tells of his days in old North Madison

In “Growing Up in North Madison — 1945 And On”, Rich Berry tells us in rhyme about his childhood and teen years in a little town that’s no longer here. Oh, the area is still here — part of Madison, Indiana, where...

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Nazi hunters combine Shylock, Inspector Javert

May 12, 2013
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Nazi hunters combine Shylock, Inspector Javert

Look at the photo at  left accompanying this story. Doesn’t that guy look like a dangerous, evil, murderous Nazi? Can’t you just imagine him slaughtering thousands of Jews at a World War II concentration camp? Sounds silly, doesn’t it? He looks like...

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The times are bad for America — and Obama

April 20, 2013
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The times are bad for America — and Obama

Things haven’t gone well for the American people or President Obama lately. Although the most recent, most terrible problem — the murderous bombings at the Boston Marathon — ended as well as it could have, all things considered. One...

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Pope Francis a unique man with big challenges

March 20, 2013
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Pope Francis a unique man with big challenges

Jorge Mario Bergoglio had to wait 76 years for his moment in history to arrive. Last Wednesday, March 13, 2013, it did. The Argentine cardinal, elected as the new head of the Roman Catholic Church by his colleagues, is...

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Beatles lasted only a moment — but WHAT a moment

March 9, 2013
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Beatles lasted only a moment — but WHAT a moment

Some entertainment groups seem to go on forever. The Hackberry Ramblers, a Cajun music ensemble, began in 1933 in Louisiana, and had continuity and were still playing until the early 2000s, when the last two original members died, IN their...

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‘Cannibal’s Pot’ is a warning to America

February 16, 2013
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‘Cannibal’s Pot’ is a warning to America

  “We must end the terribly racist apartheid system in South Africa,” they said. “We must institute a democratic government based on the will of the majority of South Africans,” they said. “Let us institute boycotts, international condemnation, and...

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Stan Musial: What a man he was!

January 26, 2013
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Stan Musial: What a man he was!

A historic era in American sports ended last Saturday, Jan. 19. Virtually the last survivor of the great major league baseball players of the 1940s and ’50s, Stanley Frank “Stan the Man” Musial, died at his Missouri home, peacefully, surrounded...

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Happy New Year! Now hand over all your guns

January 4, 2013
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Happy New Year! Now hand over all your guns

“Never allow a tragedy to go to waste!” — Rahm Emanuel. Thus spake one of Barack Obama’s leading flacks, once upon a time. He’s now the mayor of Chicago, the world’s biggest shooting gallery (over 500 murders last year; more...

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The chest of Christmas miracles

December 13, 2012
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The chest of Christmas miracles

(Author’s note: I wrote this fantasy story for Christmas, 1997, when I was still employed at the Madison Courier. The publisher, for reasons best known to her, would not permit the editor to publish the story. So this is...

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