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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 us,  O God! Well, it’s almost Halloween again. It’s that night of the year when the kids trot — or, more likely nowadays, ride — around to the neighbors, Grandma’s house, kindly Mr. Joneses’, and so forth, suitably garbed to scare the crap out of people (adults often can be good actors on Halloween), and shout,  “Trick or Treat!” in hopes of getting a bag of goodies — well, maybe half a bag. And nowadays, the parents hope against hope that no needles, or Ex-Lax, have been cleverly inserted into the candy. I’ve often wondered why the phrase is “Trick or Treat.” Always seemed to me like it should have...

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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” nowadays. He was a “rock star” before the term was even coined. Yet today, many Americans, not to mention many residents of Indiana, have never...

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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 with Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dummer, our two U.S. political parties, has reached a level seldom seen within living memory. All our congressmen and senators do...

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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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The Winghams: What a clan!

November 30, 2012
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The Winghams: What a clan!

My only remaining uncle, Joseph “Joe” Wingham, passed away recently at age 87 in Cincinnati. He was the last survivor of a remarkable family of 13 children, whose life spans extended from 1897 to Uncle Joe’s death just before this...

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America, you blew it, big-time!

November 7, 2012
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America, you blew it, big-time!

Democratic party prankster Dick Tuck once ran for political office, and was soundly defeated. Asked by the press for a concession statement, Tuck said, “The people have spoken — the bastards!” The American people spoke yesterday, giving another four-year...

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Third debate could decide America’s future

October 20, 2012
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Third debate could decide America’s future

The third and final presidential debate for 2012 is now history. President Obama came across as much more aggressive than he had in the first debate — more so even than in the second. But at times he sounded,...

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Fooled us once! Shame on him — and them …

September 29, 2012
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"Young Narcissus"

Let’s say you were on the board of a huge, major corporation which had been slipping badly for the past four years. Let’s say you’ve been given a chance to hire a new CEO — a slightly stiff, not...

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Obama documentary a scary look at, “What if …”

September 12, 2012
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Obama documentary a scary look at, “What if …”

Who is Barack Obama — really? What does he have in mind for this country — if he wins a second term and doesn’t ever have to face the voters again? If you watch the first-rate documentary “2016: Obama’s...

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“When Jenny Lind Came to Town”

August 31, 2012
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“When Jenny Lind Came to Town”

Jenny Lind was a “rock star” long before the term was even coined. “The Swedish Nightingale” is judged to have been the greatest soprano singer of the 19th Century. Her nickname was as well known in her day as...

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Jesse and Adolf: The rest of the story

August 9, 2012
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Jesse and Adolf: The rest of the story

“Jesse Owens, the son of sharecroppers, grandson of a slave, won four gold medals in track and field at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany, exploding Adolf Hitler’s myth of ‘Aryan supremacy.’  Hitler, the most evil man in...

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The Madison Elks building: “Git ‘er done!”

July 22, 2012
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The Madison Elks building: “Git ‘er done!”

Maybe we need to invite Larry the Cable Guy to Madison to see what he could do about the Elks building impasse, which is nearing its sixth anniversary with no solution in sight. After all, Larry is always telling...

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Obamacare: Did Roberts “blink”? Or, “wink”?

June 29, 2012
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Obamacare: Did Roberts “blink”? Or, “wink”?

You’ve got to hand it to that John Roberts. The chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court managed to craft a majority opinion on the burning question of whether Obamacare is constitutional, which delighted the liberals who had detested...

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Madison: A tale of two cities

June 14, 2012
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Madison: A tale of two cities

(Photos by Nice Shots!) My hometown is Madison, Indiana. You could say that my city has a kind of split personality, as Midwest towns go. Make that split personality, squared. No, I’m not dumping on Madison when I say...

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Let’s keep our buses rolling!

May 25, 2012
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Let’s keep our buses rolling!

“Why care about Hammond’s buses?” asked the headline on an opinion piece which appeared in The Madison Courier this week. The piece was written by Morton Marcus, an independent economist, writer and speaker, and it pretty much summed up...

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‘The People’ to Lugar, Armand: You’re fired!

May 9, 2012
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‘The People’ to Lugar, Armand: You’re fired!

Sometimes people “go to the well” once too often. They “wear their welcome out.” They refuse to “quit while they’re ahead.” Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., found that out last night, when he was denied a seventh term by the...

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