• “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

    William Faulkner wrote that. I’m not sure I know what the line means. Faulkner’s mind was complex and his words nuanced and layered. But he was born in Mississippi in 1897 where the Civil War could break loose at the turn of a prepositional phrase over supper most any night of the week. And I was born in Owen County, Kentucky, where we identify the names of fields on our farm by the names of men a century dead.

  • For the most part, I have been one of those people who sees the main significance of  Memorial Day as being the start of summer.

    For me and a lot of others, whether or not they would admit it publicly, Memorial Day has been little more than a nice three-day weekend – a good time to sleep in late, get outdoors, grill some brats and maybe have a family reunion or go for a swim.

    I know the history of Memorial Day.  Somewhere, squirreled back in the file cabinet of my brain, I recall hearing people call it Decoration Day. 

  • As I was driving to Frankfort one Sunday afternoon, May 17, I saw two groups of dedicated people picking up trash on the side of the road.

    I would like to say a huge thank-you to those people for caring enough to take the time to help make our country a better place for everyone. I’m sure that they were not the ones who put the trash there, but yet they took the time to clean it up.

  • I think it is great that Mr. and Mrs. Runion have started this karate program here in our community. It does give the kids who don’t want to play sports like football or baseball another thing to do.

    But I don’t think it was fair that they act like they are the only martial arts program in Owen County.

    I have had several students of the Owen County Judo team come to me today and ask why the Runions act like the judo club doesn’t exist.

  • My book club was planning to read Barbara Kingsolver’s new book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” – the one about eating locally grown foods exclusively and only those in season – and so the discussion leader turns to me, and says, “And so Georgia, why don’t you make Kingsolver’s ‘Month of May’ recipe for Rhubarb Crisp on page 89 for our refreshments next month.”

  • Where do you stand on officeholders who switch parties?

    For me, these people should be forced to sit out a year.

    When a 19-year-old college basketball player decides it would help his career to transfer to another school, there are all sorts of penalties including the possibility of sitting out a year.

    But if a politician decides it will advance (or continue) a career, they are allowed to turn their backs on the voters who put them in office and the party platform they agreed to support.

  • Growing up in the 1990s, there were cigarette ads everywhere. I can plainly recall the dazzling young women who showed off the fact that they were smoking a Misty Light on the back of my mother’s endless supply of home and garden magazines. I remember Joe Camel at the pool, playing a mammal who wore sunglasses and was always suavely dressed. And oh, how I remember the Marlboro Man – that handsome guy on horseback who just happened to always have his picture taken in the middle of he desert – firing one up.

  • I face a conundrum next week. You see I am a baseball fan and I am not sure how I should feel at this time of the year.

    The season opens up next week. It should be a time when I and other fans stop and celebrate what a great game baseball is. There is no question that the game itself is special. It is the only sport that is not timed. It is one of the few sports where the defense has possession of the ball before each play.

  • There is a lesson to be learned in the firing of University of Kentucky Basketball Coach Billy Gillispie.

    If you don’t succeed at your job, you will be fired.

    With the failure to reach the NCAA tournament, Gillispie’s fate wasn’t hard to guess. There have been rumblings around the Big Blue faithful for weeks that Gillispie’s time should come to an end.

    Everyone has an expectation of success. Some teams would be excited to make it to the National Invitational Tournament but none of those teams are headquartered in Lexington.

  • Robert C. Haydon, 83, died March 30, 2009, at Golden Living Center.

    He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Nelba Bourne Haydon.

    He was a member of Graefenburg Baptist Church since 1972. He retired with 33 years of service as an engineer with Blue Grass Energy.

    He was a World War II Army veteran, serving two tours of duty overseas, and was an avid hunter and fisherman.

    He was preceded in death by his son, Dan Haydon.

  • Although I consider myself current with pop culture, this is the first season I’ve watched “American Idol.”

    In years past, I’ve seen the last 15 minutes of some of the final shows to see who wins, but not knowing who’s who, I didn’t really care one way or another.

    This season, mostly because I hate being left out of the water-cooler conversation, I decided early on to watch every episode – from first auditions to finale – and I even hope to buy tickets to see the Top Ten Idol contestants when they go on tour this summer.

  • Maybe I’m old or just plain grouchy, but I don’t get Twitter.

    For those of you who may have not caught up with the latest internet fad, Twitter is an Internet-based, social-networking service that allows the user to send short messages to a group of friends. Since the messages can’t be larger than 140 characters, it’s designed to give friends just a little taste of what’s going on in your life.

  • The Commonwealth of Kentucky threw its annual party last week in Lexington.

    Sixteen teams from around the state earned the right to take part in the National City/Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena.

    The tournament tipped off Wednesday afternoon and concluded on Saturday night with the Holmes Bulldogs cutting down the nets after defeating Louisville Central in double overtime in the Championship Game.

  • Tough times require us to think of ways of saving and getting the most out of what we have.

    As you may know, the month of April is when the law requires the delinquent tax bills to be sold at the courthouse steps. The tax sale in Owen County will be held April 29. After the tax sale, all the delinquent tax bills are turned over to the County Clerk’s Office.

    At this time the tax payer will be faced with an increase in the amount due. However, if your tax bill is purchased from the clerk’s office by a third party, the price grows more and more.

  • I am sure that when most people see that I am writing a column about getting ready to dance they will assume I am referring to March Madness – otherwise known as the “Big Dance.” The tournament is one of my favorite times of the year.

    But I am not writing this about basketball. In fact, I write this column at the expense of my manhood.

    OK, who I am trying to kid? And you can stop giggling.

  • One of my mentors-at-a-distance was Carl Sagan. I watched his now-famous TV show, Cosmos, read some of his books and read his articles in the popular media. His words in a Sunday magazine article, though written over 20 years ago, blazed off the paper and have stuck with me through the years. Carl saw the training he received as a great gift, one that the son of an immigrant would never have received except for this wonderful confluence of time and space – here and now and in America.

  • When I was younger, it was always a treat for me to get to come to Owenton.

    It may not be the biggest city, it may not have big fancy restaurants, a Wal-Mart or a plethora of clothing stores, but there was always something about Owenton that appealed to me.

    As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed something about Owenton that is drastically different from other cities I’ve visited. The courthouse sits at the center of downtown, and the downtown area thrives right around the courthouse.

  • In a society where so much emphasis is being placed on winning, it seems there is not enough being placed on how to act when you do. Not only can you be a poor sport when you lose, it is not uncommon for someone to be a sore winner.

    That is not the case in Owen County.

    The basketball teams made history this season when both the varsity girls and boys won a District Championship. The boys even advanced to the semifinals of the 8th Region Tournament.

  • As most of you probably know, on the morning of Jan. 22 my daughter was in a horrific car accident. She had left, as she did every morning, wondering if I liked her shirt, if her hair looked OK and could I grab her a snack for breakfast. In less than five minutes after she left, a friend of hers called me and said, “Katey has been in an accident.” It took me seconds to be out the door and to her.

  • For the last month I have been living two very different lives. One as a newspaper reporter and the other as a student at Lexington Theological Seminary. I have realized I cannot do both and do them both well.

    It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to leave the staff of the News-Herald. While I am looking forward to this new path in my life, it is sad to see my time as a reporter come to an end.