Author’s Note: This will be the last original column that I currently plan to write.
Folks may remember that my husband Kenneth died three years ago. I am getting married soon to a wonderful man, Fred Barnes, and I’m moving from Azle.
We plan to travel a bit, and I won’t have much time to do the research and writing that is necessary for the column.
However, Mark Campbell, the editor, has agreed to dip back into the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s and print reruns of my column for at least a couple of years until June 2018.
The last week of June that year would then reach my goal of appearing in the Azle News for 50 years.… Read the rest
When I was 22 and living in Austin, I decided I was done with college and ready to go into newspaper work full-time. So I went down to the American Statesman and applied for a job.
To my dismay, I learned they had two requirements before they would even consider me: a college degree in journalism or English (check!), and two years’ experience at a daily newspaper. (AAUNGH!)
As I was walking away, I asked the nice lady how someone is supposed to get daily newspaper experience if a daily newspaper won’t hire them without experience. She said to start at a smaller paper.… Read the rest
Yoda: “Always with you it cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say? You must unlearn what you have learned.”
Luke Skywalker: “Alright, I’ll give it a try.”
Yoda: “No! Try not! Do or do not. There is no try.”
One of my recent reads is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Two concepts captured my attention. I’m still processing – here’s your backstage pass to some of it.
One concept is the “Habit loop” – the cycle of cue, routine, and reward that results in the formation of habits.
The second concept is “Keystone habits” that create a chain reaction; changing and rearranging your other habits as you integrate the habit into your life.… Read the rest
On a unanimous vote of 8-0, the U.S. Supreme Court on April 4 affirmed that states may continue to draw legislative districts based on total population.
In the Texas case, Evenwel v. Abbott, the question presented to the high court on appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas was whether the one-person, one-vote principle of the Fourteenth Amendment creates a “judicially enforceable right ensuring that the districting process does not deny voters an equal vote.”
Court documents explain the basis of the case this way: “In 2013, the Texas Legislature enacted a state Senate map creating districts that, while roughly equal in terms of total population, grossly malapportioned voters.… Read the rest
Other than last week’s tribute to my dear old friend, Vancil Trammell, I haven’t had a column in this newspaper in almost five years. The last one, published Dec. 29, 2011, was a heartfelt farewell, evoking the image that leaving a newspaper job is like jumping off a train.
Sure enough, the train kept on rolling – and so did I.
For the record, I did not retire. I took a little time off to fix stuff around the house, then went to work for a buddy of mine at a nearby newspaper. My job was writing the kind of longer, more in-depth stuff I didn’t have time to write when I was publisher.… Read the rest
Adolph Zukor, a Jewish immigrant to America, traveled West – as far as one could go – to California. He was no pioneer in a covered wagon, though, but a 20th century pioneer in his field.
Through the years I have noted various famous people who attended, for business reasons, the Columbian World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893. It was organized to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of the New World. Yes, Columbus landed in 1492, but the planners of the exposition were pokey and it didn’t open until 1893.
Others who attended that I have written about include Milton Hershey, Georges Vuitton (son of Louis), Lt.… Read the rest
Let’s face it: Everybody’s pretty sick of politics – and we’ve got so far to go.
(It’s humorous to hear pundits and the Everyman say this is the most important political election in history, that the very essence of what it means to be an American is on the line this time! That platitude has been expressed every four years since George Washington. Every election is the one where the wrong decision will destroy our beloved country!)
Aside from endless political barrages, there are terrorists, cancers, car wrecks, wars, and a ton of other bad things to bring you down.
Sometimes you just have to turn the world off and take a break.… Read the rest
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission will have some $6.7 billion to fund the state’s behavioral health services efforts during the 2016-2017 fiscal biennium.
Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson, at a March 30 meeting of the committee, confirmed the $6.7 billion, using figures provided by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the 10-member Legislative Budget Board. In the 2014-2015 state budget the amount for behavioral health funding was an estimated $6.2 billion.
One of the legislative interim charges assigned to the committee by the lieutenant governor is to monitor the state’s progress in coordinating behavioral health services and expenditures across state government.… Read the rest
It’s baseball season! Who doesn’t enjoy a day at the ballpark and cheer when the home team knocks it out of the park?
Just like baseball fans love home runs, so do churches and service organizations. I’m sure you’ve heard people say things like:
• “Boy, the pastor hit a home run with that sermon!”
• “That fundraiser event was a home run!”
• “Our contributions have been down lately. We really need to knock it out of the park with our next emphasis!”
Sometimes we act like only home runs matter. Why would we ever be satisfied with a little old single when we should be swinging for the fences?… Read the rest
Theodore Van Horn, Jr. loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend passed away Tuesday, March 29, 2016.
Graveside service was held at 1 p.m. Friday at Azleland Memorial Park under the direction of White’s Azle Funeral Home.
Theodore was born July 9, 1942 in Fort Worth to Theodore Van Horn, Sr.
and Lillie Sarah Wyninger Van Horn.
He loved being outdoors, quail hunting, fishing, water skiing and bowling. Theodore dearly loved his family and helping others.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Larry Van Horn.
Survivors include wife, Jan Van Horn; daughter, Angela Anderson and husband, David; sons, Kelly Smith and Allen Smith; stepson, Robert Ellis; granddaughter, Whitney Van Horn, and fiance; Curtis Johnson; great-grandson, Cayden Jase Van Horn; brother, Dennis Van Horn; sisters, Pat Dumas and husband, Rob and Carol Crumbaker and husband, Doug; several other grandchildren, nieces and nephews; extended family of The Stewart Street Group.… Read the rest