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Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I guess one more column won't hurt anything (07/18/14)
I find myself with a little extra time on my hands here this last Friday afternoon with me still in the working world, so here comes one last (and I promise, final) column.
All good things must come to an end (07/11/14)
I got started in the newspaper business by writing a column for my mom and dad's Steele Enterprise when I was 5 years old.
Trying hard to understand football (soccer) (07/07/14)
I grew up playing the three standard games in America ... baseball, basketball and football. My football experience was just sandlot pickup games until South Pemiscot started a football program in 1967 when I was a sophomore.
Late start on column writing this week (06/27/14)
For some reason, I forgot to come in a little early this morning -- since Mark Brasfield is off this week I've been putting the sports pages together. Even though Aaron FitzPatrick does most of the actual sports writing, Mark actually builds the pages and when he's not here, I do it.
Finally hot enough to get on the river (06/20/14)
Last summer was cool and rainy and I only got out on the river or three or four times. For one thing, we usually rent the place out four or five weekends a year, and that limits our access (but helps the cash flow a good bit).
The times, they are a-changin' ... (06/06/14)
In last week's column, I mentioned that we're moving the Franklin Press operation from its current Broadway and Ash location to the Courier News building at Broadway and Moultrie, nine blocks north.
Wife survives busy week with granddaughters (05/30/14)
My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife made it back from Columbia, Mo., last Friday night, running a few hours behind after missing her turn off Highway 63 onto Highway 60 and driving on down to West Plains instead of cutting over at Willow Springs.
Memorial Day ... a very worthwhile holiday (05/23/14)
I personally never served in the military, barely being born during the final stages of the Korean War and not quite out of high school yet when the Vietnam War started winding down.
Time to fool with the dogs for a week (05/16/14)
I don't expect My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife to be home when I go home for lunch today ... it's time for another trip up to Columbia, Mo., where granddaughters Leah-Bo and Alexandra have a variety of weekend activities coming up that are a must-view for my better half...
Snakes do the strangest things sometimes (05/09/14)
When I was headed to the golf course on my golf cart Wednesday afternoon, I cut through Sarah Austin's yard like everybody else who lives in the Golf Links subdivision does, since it's the only way through and has a nice little paved path through her back yard to the No. 12 fairway.
AnnaBell Walker and I go way, way back (05/02/14)
Bill Walker's funeral is this afternoon, and I'll be there to bid him farewell. He'd whipped cancer a couple of different times before the effects of dementia finally took him down.
What this world needs is more truck drivers (04/25/14)
Here at the Courier News we use roughly one 18-wheeler load of newsprint every month, so we have a standard order in place at two different mills, each one sending us a truck every other month.
Maybe we're done with winter for a while (04/18/14)
The weather's been a little closer to decent the last few days -- not exactly summer yet, but a fairly good approximation of spring.
Basketball done for the year, Huskies on top (04/11/14)
Let me add a word to the headline above ... college basketball done for the year ... and it was a very entertaining NCAA Tournament with lots of close games and a final with a 7 and an 8 seed playing for the national title.
School choice easy choice for School Board (04/04/14)
If you were on the board of a successful corporation, what would you do if asked to pass an edict that would, with certainty, reduce your operational revenue by 5 percent ... by 10 percent ... by an unknown but certain percentage?
Left alone again with dogs; not even any stew (03/28/14)
Middle son Kit and Molly and granddaughters Alexandra and Leah-Bo met up with My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife and me at our place on the Current River last week for a loafing weekend.
City manager still the right move for Blytheville (03/21/14)
I heard some guys in the Country Club grill talking at lunch Thursday about how Blytheville needs a professional city manager instead of a mayor ... like they had just come up with a brilliant and fresh idea.
Memphis was pitiful, Hogs nearly as bad (03/14/14)
I watched the Memphis-Connecticut game last night out of the corner of my eye as I was finishing up one of John Grisham's books I had overlooked previously, "The Litigators."
It's time for the big thaw if you ask me (03/07/14)
Along with everybody else around here, I've had enough cold, nasty precipitation to last a lifetime. It might be a little better if we had the infrastructure around here to handle it (like a few snowplows and somebody with sense enough to operate them).
Baseball helps Dear Sweet Sainted Wife sleep (02/28/14)
Never known for her deftness of step, My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife managed to trip over her own feet Tuesday night and conk her head on the door jam of the bedroom closet.
10 percent of the world: Lots of people (02/14/14)
The big news in the sports world earlier this week was the "self-outing" of gay Missouri linebacker Michael Sam.
Too much travel ... first one coast, then the other (02/07/14)
A week after My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife and I returned from San Jose, Calif., where we went to attend her mother's funeral, we had a week off at home before taking a previously scheduled trip to Florida for a few days with middle son Kit and the granddaughters.
One flight late, wife makes it back from Calif. (01/24/14)
My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife has never been a "morning person," and I'm not really one either, especially as I get older.
California nice, but way too many people (01/17/14)
I spent close to a year living in the Bay Area right out of college, doing all sorts of interesting things to make a living such as working in gas stations and selling patio covers door-to-door.
Heading off to California funeral today (01/10/14)
I've only ever had one mother-in-law, and now I don't have one at all, at least not a living one. I know lots of people who have racked up several different mothers-in-law over time, but I've never had that opportunity (if you want to describe it as an opportunity), and I would have to say that there is virtually nothing imaginable that could occur that would add another one to my list...
January is a doldrums month for sure (01/03/14)
I can't think of anything much good about January, or February, for that matter, but let's stick to January for now.
Talk about writing a column on deadline ... (12/27/13)
I must be getting forgetful in my old age, here it is 11:45 Friday morning and I just now remembered to start writing this column. Normally editor Andy Weld reminds me, "Are you having a column this week?" but he's off in Iowa or someplace, off for a few days, so since I've been picking up most of his work and messing with the dogs and running all over the country doing Christmas stuff, I just plain forgot...
Let's see ... what can I gripe about this week? (12/20/13)
OK, let's start with the BHS football and basketball programs. Baseball could stand a little improvement also, but football and basketball are the big spectator sports, so let's concentrate on them.
Ice was a problem but power was appreciated (12/13/13)
The baby ice storm of late last week cost the community a few days of school and a few days of getting around town without slip-sliding away, but it was a breeze compared to the big mess in 2009.
I got the toughest one right, anyway (12/06/13)
The way Saturday's Alabama-Auburn game ended was certainly a little bizarre, or maybe a lot bizarre, but any way you look at it, Auburn won it fair and square.
Thanksgiving goes off without a hitch (11/29/13)
I have to give My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife credit, she can cook up a storm. She gets a little frantic sometimes when things don't proceed exactly to plan, but this year everything went off as smooth as can be.
I admit ... I flaked out on Sunday's golf game (11/22/13)
The weather forecast was pretty nasty for last Sunday, 80 percent chance of rain, and when I finally pried myself out of the bathtub and away from my latest Frederick Forsythe novel around 11 a.m.
Bivens relates stroke, retires to his dogs (11/15/13)
Lots of folks around Blytheville remember former sports writer Mark Bivens; he was here at the Courier News back in the '70s and '80s working under sports editor Ron Chrisco when Hank Haines was still the publisher.
It's amazing how many veterans are out there (11/08/13)
Thanks to a little research from editor Andy Weld, I can announce with some degree of certitude that there are only about 1 million veterans of World War II left alive in the United State of America.
Poor Cardinals go quietly in World Series (11/01/13)
The Red Sox didn't hit much in the 2013 World Series, but the Cardinals hit less. Therefore they got beat in six.
No sweep for Boston this time around (10/25/13)
Many Cardinal fans were a no doubt a bit disheartened by their sad performance in Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday night, but I was not one of them.
Wife takes Texas trip, leaves me the dogs (10/18/13)
Don't get me wrong, I sort of like the two worthless mutts My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife has adopted into our home over the last few years. I really liked old Jake, the Yellow Lab, but he's been dead now for a while, after a couple of leg operations let him last till he was pushing the age of 20...
Topsy-turvy city finances hard to figure (10/11/13)
I try to read all the various news stories and columns in the paper that deal with city of Blytheville business, but I must admit, there have been a few times I was just plain too busy with some print job or special section project and just didn't get it done.
Here, there and everywhere last weekend (10/04/13)
For the second or third time in a little over 20 years, I was not in the office on a Friday last week, taking advantage of a lull in my usual commercial printing responsibilities to escape up to Van Buren, Mo.
Pork chops and meat loaf: Big improvement (09/20/13)
As I alluded to in last week's column, My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife returned from a month of granddaughter-assisting duties in Columbia, Mo., which coincided with the return from Vietnam/Morrilton of Grandma B.
Changing mind costly in Pigskin picking (09/13/13)
When I first turned in my Pigskin picks to Brasfield last week, I had EPC over Rivercrest and BYU over Texas. Then I did a little research and changed my mind on both of those, changed my picks, and lost them both which pushed me down to the bottom of the pile of last week pickers...
Jeffrey eyeing river place for California friends (09/06/13)
It seems summer has just arrived as the sun seemed to stay behind rain clouds for most of July and August while the temperatures rarely made it out of the 80s.
I guess it's time for another football season (08/30/13)
I came to the conclusion referenced by the above headline Thursday morning when managing editor Mark Brasfield came in my office and politely mentioned that it was past time to fill out my Pigskin Payoff pick 'em sheet.
Leah-Bo takes the bus to kindergarten (08/23/13)
Thursday was granddaughter Leah-Bo's first day of kindergarten, and even though Grandma B was still in Vietnam and both mother and father were already at work, My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife was on hand to make sure her backpack was done up right and lunch packed (I guess) and all the other details of a first day at school were taken care of
My birthday, Elvis' death day ... today (08/16/13)
Twenty-five years separate my birthday (Aug. 16, 1952) from Elvis Presley's death day (Aug. 16, 1977).
Granddaughter season extended for Grandma (08/09/13)
My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife left Tuesday for Columbia, Mo., where she will spend three weeks or so helping get granddaughters Alexandra and Leah-Bo off to school (and otherwise entertained as required) while both their parents have already trudged off to work.
Granddaughters in town keep things hopping (07/26/13)
Sure enough, My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife and I left My Dear Sweet Sainted Mother and Carl after the ball game Sunday in St. Louis (they were on their way to Ft. Wayne, Ind., for some genealogical research, then on to Michigan), said goodbye to their father and aunt Karen and headed home with granddaughters Leah-Bo and Alexandra for a week which has so far been mostly a week of swimming in the Country Club pool...
Missing King Cotton, but gaining Cardinals (07/19/13)
I have an odd history with the King Cotton Golf Classic, held in July at the Blytheville Country Club for more than 50 years now.
Violence can be a matter of perspective (07/12/13)
One of the headlines this week (more than one, actually) has dealt with the murder last Sunday night of 25-year-old Daniel Goodwin, down on E. Cherry Street.
Fourth of July has come and gone, again (07/05/13)
Yesterday marked an even 60 Fourth of Julys I have experience on this earth and it was a fairly typical example of the last 35 or so of them ... play a golf match in the morning then attend to details relating to a big meal for the late afternoon.
Grandma again in company of granddaughters (06/28/13)
It took little over a week this time, but hey, it's summertime, and My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife dearly loves hanging out with granddaughters Leah-Bo and Alexandra when there's no school going on and a variety of water to float on, swim in or just hang out around.
Routine returns ... granddaughters gone home (06/21/13)
After a nice weekend at our Current River place outside Van Buren, Mo., my Dear Sweet Sainted Wife headed out from there Monday with granddaughters Leah-Bo and Alexandra to return them to their home in Columbia, Mo.
Nothing like having granddaughters around (06/14/13)
My two granddaughters, Leah-Bo, 5, and Alexandra, 8, have been in town well over a week now; as a matter of fact, as you read this, they are gone already.
Granddaughters showed up Tuesday night (06/07/13)
After stalling around in Columbia, Mo., and St. Louis for an extra day or two, My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife finally made it back to Blytheville Tuesday night with granddaughters Leah-Bo and Alexandra.
Another weekend, another stained deck (05/31/13)
The place I have up on the Current River is not a shining example of modern construction. It's big enough to sleep 18 on real beds and comfortable enough for 8 or 10 to root around without being too crowded, but it was built in the early '70s and is really more like a motel unit than a cabin.
This has been another one of those weeks (05/24/13)
The first thing that went wrong was the gnats. I've never been one to be particularly susceptible to insect bites; when I was a kid I used to catch honey bees in my hands and battle yellow jackets with a badminton racket -- just for fun.
Memphis has come a long way since the Tams (05/17/13)
The Memphis Grizzlies may not make it past the San Antonio Spurs to the NBA Finals, but I wouldn't bet too much on that if I were you.
She got 50 yards farther than I did (05/10/13)
Thursday afternoon was winding down in sort of a normal fashion with me in the process of running graduation pictures through Photoshop to end up with a standard size and acceptable resolution.
It's always a blast to play with John Rose (05/03/13)
If ever there was an individual who has failed to develop a basic comprehension of a game he's played most of his life, it's John Rose when it comes to golf.
My political mentors are all in the grave (04/26/13)
On the 5-minute drive to work this morning, I got to thinking about local politics, I guess as a result of Wednesday's rather surprising story about pay increases for various city employees.
Mom is home now, with few corrections (04/19/13)
When I rambled on about the demise of my various old-timey relatives in last week's column, I knew I had some of it mixed up but since I didn't know what was mixed up and what wasn't, I kept writing. That's one of the convenient things about a column, it doesn't guarantee much in the way of journalistic research...
Time of reckoning: Colonoscopy day is here (04/12/13)
If it wasn't for my big lug-head buddy Bruce, I probably wouldn't have done this. But since he came down with colon cancer, which he is battling on a successful basis (the best I can tell), I went ahead and scheduled this routine procedure.
Easter weekend featured lots of driving (04/05/13)
My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife took off Tuesday last week, headed north to Columbia, Mo., to squeeze as much time as possible out of granddaughters Alexandra and Leah-Bo's spring break.
Two chargers at the river; one dead golf cart (03/29/13)
It's hard to explain the complications adequately, but my upcoming weekend will need to include a trip through Van Buren, Mo., to pick up at least one golf cart charger so that the cart I keep in my garage at home will have a chance to make it around Wednesday afternoon should weather permit a trip to the course.
Lure of spring break, granddaughters in the air (03/22/13)
My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife is making plans to spend several days in points north during the granddaughter Alexandra and Leah-Bo's spring break next week, and I think she has plans for me to join her at some point in time. The most likely reunion location is opening day of Six Flags St. Louis next Saturday, particularly if I can swing a few press passes and the weather turns out to be decent...
I'm glad my press isn't connected to phone lines (03/15/13)
Some of you have no doubt noticed that the Courier News e-edition disappeared sometime yesterday afternoon, and if you happen to be one of those who keeps it up and running, you might have noticed that it had a couple of glimmers of life through the night.
In baseball, it ain't over 'til it's over, Herb (03/08/13)
Herb Smith popped his head in my office early this morning and started (I guess you could say) bragging about how much better the Blytheville High School baseball team is looking this year in comparison to recent years.
Florida trip was fast, furious ... but fun (03/01/13)
When you drive five hours to catch a $150 round-trip flight to Orlando, Fla., and have only two full days and two half-days on the ground down there, it's kind of hard to get everything in you'd want to but we tried.
Auto insurance seems lucrative nowadays (02/22/13)
As I have previously related on numerous occasions in this column, watching commercials on TV is not one of the things for which I have much of a predilection.
In one week's time ... two gone from family (02/15/13)
My Dear Sweet Sainted Mother relayed to me through My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife that her big sister, Evelyn, who everybody in the family called "Gee," passed away earlier this week in Washington state.
Big River Steel 'Superproject' will have some problems (02/08/13)
The recent news about John Correnti and friends' decision to locate the new Big River Steel Mill project just south of Osceola is certainly a strong positive for the south county and by extension, all of Mississippi County and the surrounding counties as well.
Late Thanksgiving, Christmas in Texas (02/01/13)
My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife is due to return to Blytheville later today after spending a week going to, coming from, and staying in Austin, Texas, where youngest son Zach currently resides.
I'm going to Disney World! (I think) (01/25/13)
You know how all the pro athletes who win big games get to stand up before the cameras and shout, "I'm going to Disney World."
Lonely week: Bad weather, no wife, no dogs (01/18/13)
I'm not sure, but I think this last weekend was the first time My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife ever abandoned me to go off on one of her trips to the realm of granddaughters and took the dogs with her as well.
Dogs slowing learning what a hole is (01/11/13)
I completed the "great storm door installation project" Wednesday afternoon (and only hung it backwards once). It was too drizzly and cool to get out on the golf course anyway, and I'd put off doing it long enough as it was, so I finished it up. My Christmas present to My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife this year (we've been married long enough that gifts of practicality are, well, practical) was a fairly high-dollar storm door that sported a large "dog door" in the bottom third of it, a big enough hole and flap that our half-Lab, half-Shepherd dog "Bosley" (who weighs in the neighborhood of 100 pounds) could get in and out with ease.. ...
Another year comes and goes -- quick-like (01/04/13)
I remember when a year used to take a long time to come and go. Not so anymore. I've got a feeling that this one we're in now won't last any longer than last year did, if it lasts that long.
Christmas turned into a long holiday this year (12/28/12)
In years gone by, Christmas has often been an occasion for a day off with all spare time leading up to the actual day used up on Christmas shopping and other pre-holiday necessities.
Granddaughters missed the snow in Columbia (12/21/12)
My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife made it back to Blytheville with granddaughters Leah-Bo and Alexandra Wednesday night, only a day behind schedule, which is pretty good, I guess.
Somebody should still be held responsible (12/14/12)
It's so really very sweet and nice that the city of Blytheville and the IRS have agreed on the mechanics through which the IRS will so graciously accept the city's money owed from unpaid back payroll taxes. But there is still the question is, "How much money?"
Long break from meaningful college football (12/07/12)
I've griped about this before, and I can't resist griping about it again. It's an annual thing for me.
Is a three-year committment too optimistic? (11/30/12)
I guess the biggest news this week was John Ed Regenold's election as chairman of the Arkansas State Highway Commission.
Another Thanksgiving comes and goes (11/23/12)
We have a particularly odd schedule at the Courier News when Thanksgiving rolls around. There are so many inserts for "Black Friday" sales that we feel obligated to advertisers to have papers on Wednesday and Thursday, not skipping a day for the holiday. ...
Thanksgiving seems a little early this year (11/16/12)
I don't know about you, but for some reason the Thanksgiving holiday seems to be a little ahead of schedule this year. Maybe it's just because time flies a little faster as you get older, or maybe because Nov. 22 is a little earlier than usual for the actual holiday.
Election Day 2012 in the past, thankfully (11/09/12)
I've always considered myself something of a cynic when it comes to politics. In simple terms, that means I don't trust politicians as far as I could throw them. None of them. I never have, and I never will. This attitude of mine is not restricted to Republicans, or to Democrats, or to Independents, but applies more or less equally to any and all party affiliations, groups, sects or whatever...
Zachary talks about the strangest things (11/02/12)
Youngest son Zachary was involved in a fender-bender earlier this week that rendered his 10-plus-year-old Nissan Altima incapable of delivering pizzas around the University of Texas campus in Austin; therefore he was out of a job 'til he got some more wheels.
Today's a dreary day to write a column (10/26/12)
I've never been one to take the weather too much to heart; it is what it is. I'm not particularly afraid of storms or anything like that. But this morning I woke up about 5, a couple of hours earlier than necessary.
I'm (not) so sad to see the Yankees swept (10/19/12)
If the Cardinals manage to blow their 3-1 lead in the National League Championship series against the Giants, it will still be a good year in baseball because the Yankees got swept by the Tigers and are gone from World Series contention. My Yankee enmity probably goes back to 1964 when the Cardinals and Yankees played in the World Series ... ...
Cards stay in "stomp or get 1-runned" mode (10/12/12)
I lead this column off with my usual Cardinal segment because tonight at 7:30 they play the Washington Nationals in the final game of their 5-game National League Divisional Series (NLDS) game to see who advances against My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife's previous favorite team, the San Francisco Giants.
Columbia trip meets most expectations (10/05/12)
It's a longer drive than I usually like to squeeze around one weekend, but it was worth the trip to see the granddaughters and get in a round of golf with my two oldest sons, both of whom are in the golf business.
Football off to a whacky start this year (09/28/12)
The biggest headlines have been about the incompetence of the NFL replacement officials and the handful of last-minute blown calls that caused such a stir on Monday Night Football.
Work at Current River place hits a snag (09/21/12)
Several years back I bought a place up at the Current River outside Van Buren, Mo., that's really like a mini-motel complex. 60 feet long, 30 feet deep, with an 8-foot deck running all along the front and down both sides of the building to the rear.
Missouri Tigers eat up Columbia hotel rooms (09/14/12)
My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife and I were considering heading up to Columbia, Mo., this weekend to (among other things) watch youngest granddaughter Leah-Bo's second ever soccer game.
'What's up with the weather,' NG asks (09/07/12)
One of my favorite magazines is National Geographic, referred to in the headline above as "NG." My Dear Sweet Sainted Mother has been buying me a subscription to it for a Christmas present for years and years (along with a bag of underwear).
"Neither a borrower or a lender be ..." (08/31/12)
The headline of this column doesn't have a thing in the world to do with what I'm writing about, it's just one of my favorite sayings.
Southard likes to stay busy, retired or not (08/24/12)
It's been a few years now since Jim Southard retired from the Red Ball (barber shop), but I think he still sneaks up there occasionally to cut a few heads of hair that need cutting by Jim his own self.
Hitting the 'Big 6-0' no big ripple so far (08/17/12)
Yesterday was my birthday, and I have now reached the magic age of 60. Actually, I can't tell you what's all that magical about it ... it feels just like 50 or 40 to me but maybe it's just the sound of it.
Last summer session with granddaughters here (08/10/12)
At some undetermined point in time this evening, My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife should show up back in Blytheville with granddaughters Alexandra and Leah-Bo, after having driven up to Columbia, Mo., Thursday and absconded with them.
A look back at the old YMCA days (08/03/12)
Who remembers Mark Bivens? He's the guy who took my column spot last week, and may do so again one of these days (or somebody else's spot, depends on how things go). We chit-chat occasionally via email and came up with the idea that whenever he comes up with a column that's about his "old home place" we'd run it in the Courier News...
Summer proceeds: Another shift with granddaughters (07/20/12)
Granddaughters Alexandra and Leah-Bo showed up Saturday night, just in time to give me a good excuse to stay off the golf course Sunday (bless their hearts).
Granddaughter time approaches again (07/13/12)
Communication between My Dear Sweet Sainted wife and the mother of granddaughters Alexandra and Leah-Bo is somewhat discombobulated at times, so I can't really tell you if the granddaughters will be here Saturday or Sunday or Monday or Tuesday, but on their way they are.
David Tennyson
David Tennyson is publisher of the Blytheville Courier News.
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