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The second Saturday in August is special. It’s reunion day for former members of Company B 151st Engineer Combat Bn. who served in Korea during the Korean War. 

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I saw an article earlier in the week that gave me pause. It took me back 25 years to a time when I was younger and dumber and would do just about anything to please the little girl in my life.

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I had a brief but interesting discussion with a longtime friend of mine Saturday.

After a little small talk, our conversation turned to politics. He leans to the left politically while I lean to the right. We don’t always agree but that has never stood in the way of our friendship.

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Next week is Sunshine Week, a national initiative used to highlight the importance of open government and freedom of information, in a republic.

The perception is that government often operates behind closed doors. Maybe that’s because there is generally little public debate in open meetings covered by the press and attended by, at best, a handful of concerned citizens. It often seems like the decision has been made before a vote is taken on many issues.

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“Hey lady. Yes, you, the one who was on the cell phone and almost rear-ended me three times in less than one quarter of a mile on my way to work Tuesday. Pay attention.”

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Small acts of kindness are hard to beat. Kindness invokes a smile, sometimes a tear and always appreciation for the thoughtful act.

That’s happened at our house a lot recently but one act by a group of public servants stands out above all the rest. Three members of the Scottsboro Fire Department working at Station No. 3 came to our aid Monday morning in a have to situation for the Bonner’s. We needed help from trained people.

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Is America dumbing down? Is this once great country doomed to mediocrity?

Have we forgotten our civics lessons from days gone by?

Do the average Joe and Jane comprehend what they read?

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The headline on an Associated Press article earlier this week peaked my curiosity.

I quickly peeked down the list of airlines and their on-time ratings. Nestled in at No. 5 was US Airways. I snorted until I saw the company’s percentage for on-time departures stood at a mere 78.3 percent.

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The National Weather Service in Huntsville earlier this week described January as very cold and dry.

When I read that headline on the NWS webpage I thought, “duh.” I didn’t need the NWS to tell me that January was cold. However, I do appreciate the efforts of meteorologists to bring it into perspective and their daily work to keep us informed and safe.

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I hate to belabor the point but the cold has been uppermost on most people’s minds over what seems like the entire month of January. It’s been cold. I can’t remember a similar winter when a true arctic blast blows in each week dropping temperatures into the single digits.

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It’s almost Super Bowl time and lots of storylines are coming out about the big game featuring the Seattle Seahawks versus the Denver Broncos.

There’s the Peyton Manning angle, the Richard Sherman subplot, the likelihood of it being a cold weather battle for the NFL Championship and the cost of a 30-second ad. Some have even gone so far as to dub the game “The Munchie Bowl.”

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It’s getting almost ridiculous. With each passing day it seems a new app makes its debut. Many are worthwhile but others just make you want to shake your head.

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It’s relative.

Alabamians feel like the early part of this week was cold. Let’s face it; it was with temperatures dropping into the lower teens two mornings and to single digits another. Strong winds plunged the feels like temperature into the minus 10 degree range chilling people who had to be outside for more than a few seconds to the bone.

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It’s cold outside.

If forecasters were correct, that’s probably what most Jackson Countians thought when they got out of bed and stepped outside this morning.

Everywhere I went Thursday, it seemed the topic was the approaching cold weather. There was a sense of dread in the conversations I heard and participated in. Before the day was out the wind had picked up from the north and temperatures were dropping as a reminder that it is wintertime and the coldest weather of the season is almost at our doorstep.

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It’s been a hectic but busy couple of days for several of us here at The Daily Sentinel as we prepare for the annual Letters to Santa section that will be published on Christmas Day.

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Christmas seems to be slipping up on me in a flash.

To be honest, that’s nothing new but it somehow feels like it’s getting here quicker this year. I wanted to chalk it up to old age until a friend reminded me that Thanksgiving fell later in the month this year and took a whole week away from the Christmas season. That’s got to be it. I’m just a year older than I was last December.

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I’ve been nothing more than an amused bystander to most of the back and forth Alabama and Auburn banter prior to the Iron Bowl and since Auburn’s miraculous win less than a week ago.

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I’m with Jason.

In his column this week, Sentinel sports editor Jason Bowen wrote, “Thanksgiving (Day) has become (little more than) a speed bump on the road to ‘Black Friday.’”

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Well, it ‘Tis the Season’ yet again. It seems to roll around faster as the years go by. But, nothing much changes once one reaches adulthood.

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In recent days, we’ve been talking a bit about Veterans Day in the office.

The day is one I look forward to more with each passing year. It’s a chance to thank those who have served this nation well. I always feel a sense of appreciation and pride when I attend Veterans Day programs and see those, young and old, who have worn the uniform of the U.S. Armed Forces.

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At 7-2 and playoff bound, the Scottsboro Wildcats still have much to play for Friday night at Madison County High School in Gurley in the regular season finale for both teams.

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Maybe there is some good news out of the federal government shutdown. At least, that’s my take on a report I read late last week. (Who knows? But, by the time you read this the crisis may have been averted.)

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He’s not as well known as the actor with the same name but Alabama’s Steve Martin is becoming a household name across the state.

While some may laugh at Martin’s achievement as a frivolous pursuit, everyone must at least give him a thumbs up for reaching his goal. After all, it took 50 years to accomplish.

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I got a kick out of an article I read last week about millennials.

For those of you that don’t know — I wasn’t exactly sure either — the millennials designation is used to describe people born between 1982 and1994.

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Hats off to Union High School (Utah) football coach Matt Labrum.

Labrum recently suspended nearly every player on his 80-man squad for lack of character.

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“Hello Mr. Ken.”

The little green hummingbird seemed to be saying just that earlier this week as I sat on the deck enjoying the cooler air minutes before sunset.

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Like Christmas, it’s come and gone.

Our daughter, Amanda, was married going on three weeks ago now. Unlike Christmas at the Bonner house, the planning for the wedding took months — almost nine to be exact. Still there was the last minute hustle and bustle, the little things that had been forgotten or pushed aside, and the desire to make the day perfect that made the process more hectic than expected after all that preliminary work.

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Monday’s CBS nightly newscast took me back in time, 50 years to be exact. Normally, I don’t get to see a network newscast but I did on this day since it was Labor Day.

 

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Well, it’s here. The day many people have been looking forward to for months has finally arrived.

High school and college football season officially kicked off last night with an abbreviated slate of games. The high school season begins in earnest tonight and colleges follow suit tomorrow.

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A friend made one of those funny off the cuff remarks earlier this week that is likely to stick with me for years to come. When he was finished, I had a good laugh and thought, “Man you’ve got a great idea.”

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As I was watching the 10 p.m. television newscast one night earlier this week a back-to-school commercial caught my attention. 

 

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Give me a break.

Technology is way out of hand. Rapid advancements have been made in the last 20 years. Heck, something new pops on the market one week only to be replaced by the latest and greatest a week later. 

 

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Most evenings around the Bonner household are fend for yourself nights when it comes to suppertime.

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It dawned on me Wednesday night as I stood in downtown Stevenson taking in a memorial service for five Stevensonians who died in the crash of TWA Flight 800 on July 17, 1996. 

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It’s just been one of those weeks. 

I need to get the yard mowed and can’t. You’ve all had weeks like that when at every turn your best efforts to get something done are thwarted for some reason.

 

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It happened last week. 

“What?” you probably thought immediately.

“My tomato plant started producing red ripe tomatoes,” I answer.

Yes, that’s right. I got the first fresh from the pot tomato a little more than a week ago. Immediately, I enjoyed a Southerner’s delight — a tomato sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise slathered all about.

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I always think about my dad when Father’s Day rolls around. I guess everyone does in some way. But, as the special day nears this year I have begun to think about my role as a dad.

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Raise your hand if you like the IRS.

Much as expected, I didn’t see many hands go up affirming the Internal Revenue Service. 

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Some days are better than others. Just ask me and I’ll tell you.

Out of necessity, I had to write a column today. My day is normally Friday but at 5 p.m. Wednesday, I learned it was my time.

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I read with interest two sports related stories last week. One made me sad. The other made me glad.

Harris County officials are considering tearing down the Astrodome. The Houston, Texas facility opened in 1965 and became the world’s first fully-air conditioned domed stadium. 

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It has been a picture perfect week for golfers competing in the National Junior College Athletic Association Men’s Division II Championship at Goose Pond Colony Golf Course.

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It’s by far the best commercial I’ve seen on television is a long time. 

The Publix Mother’s Day ad clearly portrays the value of mothers. It tells a wonderful story without much ado and will likely go down as one of the best feel good spots of the year.

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What to write about?

That question crossed my mind early in the week as I thought about my column for today. I also considered what my topic would be for the one Our Voice I write per week.

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Just after having a discussion with some of the guys at the office about the cost of gasoline one day earlier this week, I received an email from a friend that brought a smile to my face. It was the second time on the same day that after a conversation about a particular subject I received an email that was eerily similar.

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It’s that time of year again.

The azaleas should be in full bloom. Amen Corner will be lined with loud and raucous, yet courteous, fans.

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Have you ever seen anyone bring their own bread to a restaurant?

I didn’t think so. Me either. 

A Tuesday breakfast meeting started off normally. That is until we began to order our meals. 

“Here, use this,” the last person to order said as he passed a Ziploc bag down the table to give to the waitress.

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The calendar said it was spring.

It didn’t look like it outside. And, it certainly did not feel like a new season had officially arrived.

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When do people really grow up?

You know, when is a person truly mature? 

At some point in life, people accept responsibility. For some, accountability begins early in life. Others take much longer and some just never quite seem to make it. But, are we every truly “grown up?”

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It’s official.

I passed a test — or flunked it depending on one’s point of view — sent by email earlier this week.

“The result?” you ask.