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I’d say it was probably three or four weeks into quarantine when I put my finger on the extreme sense of déjà vu I’d been having for weeks. The emotions, exhaustion and anxieties I’d been experiencing since that fateful weekend in March when we’d all been thrust into a new life defined by Co…

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All my life, in work and in leisure, I’ve depended on the U.S. Postal Service. 

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My how things have changed. And, I think many of the changes have not been for the better.

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Alabama’s election is finally here. Election primaries will be Tuesday, the 14th, and the general election will be in November. Topping the ticket will be the presidential election, although President Trump is not expected to be seriously challenged in our state.

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Do you know what it's like to get a song "stuck" in your head? You hear it 24/7 until, for some unknown reason, it disappears as quickly as it appeared. This happens to me quite frequently when I get up in the middle of the night to visit the bathroom. Most of the time it's a song that I kno…

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In a vote that raised eyebrows nationwide, the Mississippi Legislature voted to remove the Confederate battle emblem from its state flag this past weekend. 

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When my mother and father bought a home in Dothan and moved from Geneva, it was the winter of 1967. I also purchased a car from the lady who had sold her house to my parents. (Car No. 1) If my memory serves me correctly, it was a 1961 Buick Special. I thought it would be a terrific car for c…

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Closing the gap between rich and poor is not primarily about the economy, rather it’s a matter of political will. And, unfortunately with the present administration, it’s just not there. 

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In Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream speech," he said "There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, 'When will you be satisfied?' We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality ... No, no, we are not sati…

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Every year, my dad attended the annual Civil Defense sale somewhere near Geneva. I'm not sure whether it was a straightforward sale or an auction. All I know is that daddy would come home from the sale with all kinds of stuff he'd bought at ridiculously low prices.

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Four decades ago, I thought the issue of the Confederate battle flag and public buildings in Alabama was coming to an unceremonious end. 

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In David Blight’s remarkable biography of Frederick Douglass, he recounts how Douglass grew up an orphan. He never knew who his father was, and that haunted him all his life. He had only one faint memory of his mother, which he cherished and expanded with his vivid and personifying imagination. 

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I grew up in hills of suburban Southern Indiana, but, when someone asks where I’m from, my answer is usually Louisville, Kentucky. I was shaped by the relatively progressive and liberal culture of the city and became the person I am today because of it. But life in Louisville is not perfect,…

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Dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic over the past few months has been difficult for everyone — doctors, frontline healthcare workers, grocery store employees, parents and children — and devastating for many who have lost loved ones or seen their jobs vanish overnight. 

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So this is the way we see it as we sit and wait: the coronavirus spreads like a dense San Francisco fog, law and order goes haywire, riots erupt in the major cities due to the same stupid mistakes, widespread looting gets underway, and the people in charge spin in circles.

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For as long as I could remember, there had been a framed poem hanging in my mother and father's house. The last place it hung they both passed was on the wall between my mother's desk and her stereo.

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Someone once said that “the past is the best predictor of the future.” If this is true, then we may all need to buckle our seat belts for the second half of 2020, for we might be in for a bumpy ride!

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“We have seen an abscess arise in Minnesota   A black man’s life was extinguished  

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You know it was a boring week when the most important story originated in Minneapolis. But that was the case this week when the killing of a handcuffed black man, George Floyd, by a white police officer sparked protest all across the nation. Not even the officer’s arrest on murder/manslaught…

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Amid the tragic circumstances of riots in cities across the U.S. and the uncertainties of Covid-19 pandemic, there is some encouraging news for our conversation this week. The U.S. is back in space ... where it belongs. 

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The emergence of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) as a global pandemic has implications that are highly complex. That the country is in for difficult months and possibly years ahead is a foregone conclusion as virus cases increase and the U.S. economy is disrupted. Is there a way to respond in…

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Everyone has preferences: I generally prefer Coke products, but if you’re a Pepsi person, it’s probably not something we’re going to come to blows over. I don’t like potato salad, but I don’t think any less of you if you do (unless you try to force me to eat it!).

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Memorial Day was Monday, our day of national gratitude set aside to remember and honor the brave soldiers, sailors and service people who put it all on the line for our country. And for the freedoms their sacrifices have enshrined for us. 

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In ancient Israel there were three major feasts: Passover or Unleavened bread, Weeks, called in Hebrew, Shavuot, and Booths (see Exodus 23:14-17, 34:22, and Deuteronomy 16:16). The Feast of Weeks occurred over seven weeks or 50 days after Passover and celebrates the end of harvesting grain. …

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Let's play a game. The rules are simple: put on your best guess thinking cap and have at it. The game has just one question with lots of answers. Are you ready? Here goes...

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According to CNN, banana bread is having “a moment.” 

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There’s a spiritual writer and philosopher by the name of Edith Stein who once wrote that “An infinite world opens up something entirely new when you begin to live in the interior world instead of the exterior world. All prior realities become transparent … Previous conflicts become trivial.” 

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What word is defined as "a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain?" I'll give you a little time to figure this one out. OK ... if you came up with the word "fear," give yourself a gold star! Our conversation today is an expansion of a person-to-person chat I had with my …

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Solutions are a key component of land-grant institutions’ identity, and that’s why Auburn quickly shifted focus when the COVID-19 pandemic began its rapid spread across the United States. We never changed or turned away from our mission of instruction, research and outreach, but as Winston C…

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Rabbi Simeon ben Eleazar (2nd century C.E.) is known for saying, “Be pliable like a reed, not rigid like a cedar.” Other cultures have similar expressions. When the wind blows, bend rather than be uprooted. A lesson we can apply today: adapt within constraints. 

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Here lately we've had an abundance of time to ourselves as we shelter in place and ride out this nasty virus, Covid-19. As for me, a nice-sized chunk of this free time gave me a chance to do what I used to do each day at work — editing news copy at WSFA-12. I find myself still listening and …

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With National Nurses Week beginning yesterday and running through May 12, it's a good time to recognize the nurses who continue to go above and beyond for our loved ones, who make sacrifices daily and put themselves at risk to serve our community. 

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Whenever things in our world seem uncertain, disappointing, daunting, impossible, and frustrating ... what do we do? How many of us over-think, over-eat, over-spend, over-drink, or over-sleep? How many of us under-eat, under-sleep, under-pray, or under-function?  Do we constantly compare our…

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Some thoughts on our planet as Earth Day celebrated its 50th anniversary on April 22:

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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has taken a more cautious, measured approach to reopening Alabama's economy compared to neighboring states like Georgia. 

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What are you doing to pass your free time here in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic? If your neighborhood is anything like ours, you've spent a lot of time making your yard look beautiful. I've never seen as many crepe myrtle and tree limbs piled at the curb waiting for the city to dispatch…

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The effects of COVID-19 can hardly be overstated in terms of the economic and public health discussion. Yet one of the fascinating things to observe as a pastor is how people have responded to this fresh encounter with their own mortality. Our susceptibility to death (indeed, the inevitabili…

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It was a beautiful spring Sunday morning when a friend of our boys named Jerome Johnson was being hurried along by his mother to be ready to make it to church on time. The young boy, who had just turned 10 years old, was resisting — as much as he thought he could get away with — considering …

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As a 6-year old child, we kids would parrot this ditty, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Boy, were we wrong. After receiving my Ph.D. in theology from the University of Munich and named a full professor at Auburn University, my Dad told a close friend “I…

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The Covid-19 pandemic hit our community quickly and has affected us in many ways. As I write this, we are starting to see encouraging signs and hear about potential roadmaps to bring us back to some sense of normalcy, but, Auburn, it is more crucial than ever that we continue to take precaut…

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Forty two years ago on a Sunday morning, life in Auburn changed. On that cold January morning, the people of Auburn were jarred by the sound of an explosion at the Kopper Kettle, the restaurant located on the corner of Gay and Magnolia in downtown Auburn. The explosion was devastating. It wa…

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Thanks to the COVID-19 virus, most of us who do not work essential jobs have had a lot of free time thrust upon us. Such was the case last week when Paula and I were sitting out on our patio passing some of that free time. We had admired the blooming plants Paula had strategically placed aro…

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Ticking clocks used to keep us on the ball, telling us when it was time to begin, time to end, time to meet, time to eat, time to show up, time to relax, time to sleep. Now, we have nowhere to go, nothing pressing. So ticking clocks just tick.