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I was driving through town the other day and started to think about all the places in town that aren’t what they used to be.

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Here in Alabama, we love football.  Good games, bad games, ugly games.  None of that matters when our teams take the field.  If it is fall, it is time to play some football.

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In my job as an education reporter, I frequently hear from parents and teachers complaining about overcrowded classrooms. These days, that usually means 25 or more students at a time. I don't argue the point. The smaller the class size, the better, in every way.

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I was grabbing a couple of sausage biscuits and witnessed a couple of old codgers arguing over their coffee. One was a bit on the heavy side, with wild hair and a loud voice. The other was silver-haired, more soft-spoken, and would occasionally seem to lose his train of thought. 

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I had my first Saturday morning out and about in town in as long as I can remember this weekend. It may have been the first one this year. I was excited for it because I haven’t been clothes shopping for little sister in an actual store since she was born

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An open letter to the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties: We're giving you four years notice.

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Some Americans have spent the last two weeks watching their respective parties hold political conventions to officially nominate their candidate of choice.  Now the business of voting can begin.

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2020 has been the Edsel of years. For those who are too young to understand that ancient reference, it has been the New Coke of years. Am I still going back too far? Okay, it's been the Google Glass of years. There, I've covered every generation who may read this column. For all of us, the common thread is anger. 

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I sat down with Ron Latimer earlier this week to talk about how things are going. It still feels a little strange walking in the Scottsboro Police Department and not seeing or shaking hands with Ralph Dawe.

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Nearly a decade ago, I guess it was, that I first heard Kathryn Tucker Windham telling a story on the Sundial Writers Corner on WLRH.

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“No one saw this coming.” “Who knew it would be this bad?” “Who could have predicted this?”

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Up until a few days ago I’d been living in a fog that rarely lifted for several months. Just before COVID made its way into our lives here in the United States, my thyroid troubles returned.

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I like to point out how often I have been wrong in my career. It humbles me. Lord knows, we reporters have been humbled often recently. When we make mistakes, our readers point it out on social media within seconds. I am okay with that. We get a little high and mighty, so it never hurts to get taken down a notch or two.

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I tried to write a column last week, but I said a lot of things that maybe weren’t nice so I decided I’d take the week to see if I could cool off a little.

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When I was a little girl, I remember wanting to do everything my brother did.  Not anything that involved dirt, of course, because that is taking it too far.  But I noticed he got to do things my two sisters and I did not get to do.

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Congratulations Tennessee, you're getting national attention. Out of all the states holding elections this year, you are holding “The Nastiest Primary in the Country,” according to Politico.

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I walk in, and Luke is sitting by a computer, playing video games. When I ask him how his day has been, I get the same reply each day: “it’s been a lazy day,” he says.

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One of my favorite quotes about parenting is from an unknown author.  It reads, “the trouble with being a parent is that by the time you are experienced, you are unemployed.”

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Tuesday ended qualifying for those planning to run in a city or town election throughout the county.

I applaud each person, in each city or town, who had the courage to put their name on a voting ballot and hopefully the heart and desire to better his or her city or town.

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My, my, my. Look at this mess we've gotten ourselves into.

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Almost 4 million people have contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus and over 141,000 people have lost their lives in the United States.  In Alabama, we have almost 68,000 confirmed and 1180 probable cases.

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Sometimes I think back on news stories that have bothered me over the years. There was one in Mobile and one in Huntsville, where the city council was trying to decide how many chickens people could have in their yards, and whether or not they could have a rooster at all.

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Longtime Chattanooga TV news anchorman Bob Johnson passed away last week following a 14-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 73.

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With the dawning of each new day, I worry about you. And, as the sun goes down on those days, I worry a little more.

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During a debate with Walter Mondale, the question of age was raised with Ronald Reagan. Reagan quipped, “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

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In my continuing quest to write about something that doesn't include the word “pandemic,” I'd like to explore how kids are spending their time during this...uh...event.

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It is always difficult for me to write about my personal life.  I would rather hang glide, and I am afraid of heights if that tells you anything.

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Independence Day falls on Saturday this year, giving most folks at least a three day weekend. Hopefully the weather will cooperate, and we can all enjoy it.

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I’ve lost track of which stage of grief I’m at when it comes to losing my old way of life. At any rate, I definitely am not feeling accepting of the situation anymore.

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What a country, right? As we celebrate America’s 244th birthday this week, let’s pause and list a few reasons to love America.

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We have been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic since March.  We watched as our schools closed, businesses and churches were shut down and shortages of certain every-day items created anxiety.

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While doing some research on an upcoming book project, I was looking through some 1930s era newspapers. One theater proudly advertised, “Coming Distractions!” I don't know if that was a typo, or if they were indeed offering people “distractions” from the Great Depression. 

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Across America, a slow -moving wave is rolling through.  It is the wave of enlightenment of people to the systematic acts and symbols of racism in our country. Nationwide protests are being viewed as a wakeup call for some and as a nuisance to others.

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Last week my wife said, “Remember when we used to go to the movies?” It really hasn't been that long ago, but it sounded like one of those horse and buggy chats from the olden days. “Movin' pictures? Like in one of them there aero-condition thee-a-ters?”

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Do these names mean anything to you? Zayre. Miller Brothers. Loveman’s. Proffitt’s. Hill’s. G.C. Murphy’s. Gibson’s. Woolworth's.

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Like many of you, I have worked from home for the past three months, and it has given me a chance to familiarize myself with my new surroundings. It turns out that this place I've slept and watched ballgames on weekends for thirty years needed a few repairs. My wife says she has informed me about these problems in the past, but I was apparently distracted by the Braves and SEC football.

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As a nation watches the disturbing video of a police officer using violence against a citizen that leads to the man’s death, I am reminded of why we are so fortunate to live where we live.

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There have been many times throughout my life when I have felt left behind.  Mostly by friends at one time or the other, either they went off to a different college than me or got a job and made new friends and there I was just still hanging around doing whatever.

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We all have them, tucked away in our memory bank. The songs that make us smile, often many decades after we first heard them. In many cases, we heard them when we were growing up.

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Most of us have no idea. We can imagine, but we still don’t know the reality of being thousands of miles from home, stuck in war, wondering if we will live to see the next day much less if we will get home.