Columnists
  • Being a spouse of a member who struggles with mental health issues is the hardest thing I have walked through. There are days where I feel completely powerless, completely alone, and completely at the mercy of what if. These words are painful to type, but are absolutely true.
  • It was the poor relative that never graced our kitchen garden in my childhood. But now the sweet potato has become the ingredient you can’t escape. Kellogg’s has added it to waffles. Green Giant is launching a pasta made from it. Conagra put it in pizza crust.
  • A good friend of mine and also one of my high school classmates is Daryl Talbot. If I remember correctly, four of my classmates were very artistic, but Daryl Talbot and Ron Speed are the only two I know of that turned their artistic talents into full-time careers. I've heard that if you can have your job be something you really love then it won't seem like work at all, that must be the case with Daryl and Ron. This column will be about Daryl; Ron is recovering now from a recent surgery, but later on I hope to be able to get some information from him so I can write another column about his artistic talents.
  • Slaid Cleaves performs in The Listening Room at That Guy's Coffee in Paris, Texas. photo by Allen Rich
  • When the news broke about the first coronavirus case in the New York metro area of New Rochelle, the news camera (probably on a drone) slowly moved over the New Rochelle outdoor high school football stadium as the reporter emphasized the seriousness of the situation by saying: "Even sports have been postponed!"
  • The recent celebration of the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe reminded me that one of the original members of the Telling Our Stories group that formed in 1990 was a WWII veteran who was being held in Germany as a Prisoner of War when the war ended. Willis Hastings of Sherman became one of the most active participants in our writers’ group, and his reminiscences of his wartime service and especially the ordeal of being a POW for nine months were greatly appreciated by all. He passed away in 1998, more than 20 years ago, but I want to make this column a tribute to him as a representative of all those men and women who served our country so courageously during WWII.
  • The outpouring of support and kindness that I have received over these last two weeks has been overwhelming. I have connected with spouses, parents, and service members grappling with suicide in the military, as well as professionals in the mental health field who have launched non-profits to address these issues. It can be lonely being married to a depressed or suicidal military (or civilian) individual. If that is you, you are not alone; there is a multitude of people standing with you.
  • It's been said that high school class reunions are slowly disappearing; I hope that's wrong. Some of our best lifelong friendships are with people we first met while we were in school.
  • The author, Aleha (Michaud) Landry, grew up in Fannin County. She was home schooled and graduated from Michaud Christian Academy. She was very active in politics and Fannin 4-H. Her late father, Michael, would have been very proud of her!
  • Many diseases have challenged human life on this planet before and after the most deadly of all so far: the bubonic pandemic in the 1300s killing over 100 million people.
  • One of my most dedicated reminiscence writers, Carl Roegner, sent me a story illustrating the fact that writing and collecting personal stories can lead to discoveries about the origins of character traits or passions. His wife has a penchant for acquiring and then refinishing antique furniture. He recalls that her hobby was fueled by his father, who gave her an old rolltop desk, and an uncle who restored it to "like new" condition as a belated wedding gift. He "blames" them for setting his wife on a pathway that has resulted in their home being filled with beautiful antiques that she has lovingly restored.
  • This Sunday, May 10 will be Mother's Day, not a national holiday but still one of the most meaningful observances we celebrate. There are some discrepancies as to how Mother's Day actually got started, however Anna Jarvis is most often credited with the founding of Mother's Day in the United States. Anna wanted to honor the many sacrifices mothers made for their children.