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Columns

  • Walking in another's skin

    In the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Atticus Finch tells his daughter: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

    In the past several weeks, I had a chance to do a little walking around in another’s skin. A co-worker and I have been working on a series of stories about poverty in Hardin County.

    I talked to homeless people, others living in low-income housing and just trying to keep their heads above water.

  • Looking for personal magic thanks to a movie moment

    It’s been quite a summer for movies: I was hijacked to Bangkok by "Hangover II," thankful for the bad bosses I haven’t had in "Horrible Bosses," reminded that women can be just as flat-out stupid-crazy as men in "Bridesmaids" and glad I’m not anyone but me in "The Changeup."

    But my favorite film of the summer is one that catapulted me back in time to another era, a golden age. 

  • Shared experiences define us

    We all are a product of experiences. I was reminded of that this week on Facebook.

    Message after message have been posted describing kindly school janitors, inspiring teachers, shopping experiences and cruising parking lots as teenagers. The sharing continues today as folks fondly recall bygone days.

    Between Tuesday night and the completion of this column Saturday afternoon, 8,340 posts have been filed under a heading called “You’re so Hardin County if...”

  • Smokin' hot is in eye of beholder

    “Lord, I want to thank you for my smoking’ hot wife…”

    No, I didn’t say it! (My wife warned me if I prayed that publicly it might be my last prayer.)

    Those are the words of the Rev. Joe Nelms, pastor of First Baptist Church of Lebanon, Tenn., praying at NASCAR’s Federated 300 Nationwide Series Race in Nashville recently. Pastor Nelms became an instant star on the internet with comments about his prayer ranging from “the greatest prayer ever” to “blasphemous.” 

    It is neither.

  • Unification talk raises issue about county’s role

    It’s good to consider new ways of doing business. Rather than accept things as they are, let’s consider how they could be — or even how they should be.

    An extensive study of consolidated government in other cities and a year’s worth of research, interviews and consideration has led Hardin County United to recommend that unification of government be considered locally.

  • Empty rooms filled with sweet memories

     “All that had been used to make it a dwelling place, by my folks on back, by Grover and me… all the memories of all the lives that had made it and held it together, all would come apart and be gone as if it never was.”

    ---from Sold, a short story by Wendell Berry

     

    The rooms were empty by the time I arrived. Except for a few heaps of trash here and there and some stuff no one wanted, it was finished, done.

  • Life lessons are taught by example, not by words

    Stooped from ailments of old age such as arthritis and the impact of years walking rooflines as a carpenter, Uncle Shelby moved with head bowed seemingly in a constant state of contemplation or perhaps even prayer.
    Growing up, we lived next door to one of my grandfather’s older brothers. Each summer, he tended a successful vegetable garden in the unforgiving red clay so common in Hardin County.

  • Jack Harris: My father, my hero

    By Susan Smith
    Guest columnist
    I walk into my Dad’s office and I see the numerous plaques and awards hanging seamlessly on the walls. Then I look at the man behind them all who wouldn’t brag or boast or take credit for any of them.
    Today, I wanted to let everyone know how proud I am of my hero, Deputy Chief Jack Harris, who is retiring after 29 years from the Elizabethtown Police Department.
    The final few weeks have brought back so many memories as we browse through photographs and letters of thanks throughout his career.

  • Community met the BRAC challenge, too

    By Col. Rick Schwartz

  • Kentucky Speedway fails to impress

    The race started at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Leaving Elizabethtown at 1 p.m. should provide plenty of time to reach the Kentucky Speedway and NASCAR’s Sprint Cup debut in the Bluegrass State.

    At 2:15 p.m., we were 19 miles from the track on Interstate 71.

    That’s more than five hours before the white flag.

    At 8:45 p.m. — 75 minutes after the race began — we pulled into the main road leading to the track, still three miles away. That’s 16 miles in 6 1/2 hours. That’s a snail’s pace, not a NASCAR race.