Tom Stafford

Tom Stafford has worked at the News-Sun and lived in Springfield for 30 years, covering most of the newsroom beats. For 28 years he has written a weekly feature column and for about 15 years has explored the area's history in a weekly feature called Looking Back. A graduate of Wittenberg University, his personal interests include playing music, in-line skating on area bike trails and reading.

Latest from Tom Stafford

Springfield men bring new life to old engine
 “Only in America,” said Roger Vaglia’s superbly written obituary, “could the grandson of barely educated European immigrants, son of a father who quit school after eighth grade to work in the mines, end up at Harvard and then see both his children get Master’s degrees in their chosen fields.” Vaglia&rsquo...

Posted: a day ago

“Only in America,” said Roger Vaglia’s superbly written obituary, “could the grandson of barely educated European immigrants, son of a father who quit school after eighth grade to work in the mines, end up at Harvard and then see both his children get Master’s degrees in their chosen fields.” Vaglia&rsquo...
Stafford: Cold weather leads to conflict
 At this time of year, when the furnace runs continually and the air dries up, I sometimes wake up in the morning with a little dry particle that seems to be clinging to the inside of one of my nostrils like a bat in a cave. Stafford: Advice on how to survive a pre-schooling When I draw air in, the bat’s wings rub against the edge of...

Posted: 8 days ago

At this time of year, when the furnace runs continually and the air dries up, I sometimes wake up in the morning with a little dry particle that seems to be clinging to the inside of one of my nostrils like a bat in a cave. Stafford: Advice on how to survive a pre-schooling When I draw air in, the bat’s wings rub against the edge of...
Stafford: Advice on how to survive a pre-schooling
 It’s one thing to get schooled. It’s another thing to get pre-schooled — to be humiliated by a goofy kid wearing crooked glasses and footed pajamas with bear paws all over them and a zipper that runs from ankle to neck. Well, welcome to my just completed holidays, which I emerged from feeling like I’d been stepped...

Posted: 15 days ago

It’s one thing to get schooled. It’s another thing to get pre-schooled — to be humiliated by a goofy kid wearing crooked glasses and footed pajamas with bear paws all over them and a zipper that runs from ankle to neck. Well, welcome to my just completed holidays, which I emerged from feeling like I’d been stepped...
Stafford: Think now about restoring historic bridge to 1871 original
 This New Year’s Eve, while many of us are pondering the year to come, a part of Douglas Bailey’s mind will have wandered off to 2062. That’s the year the historic Enon Road Stone Arch Culvert — saved five years ago during a half million dollar project and celebrated last month with a posting of a historic marker &mdash...

Posted: 21 days ago

This New Year’s Eve, while many of us are pondering the year to come, a part of Douglas Bailey’s mind will have wandered off to 2062. That’s the year the historic Enon Road Stone Arch Culvert — saved five years ago during a half million dollar project and celebrated last month with a posting of a historic marker &mdash...
Stafford: Time slips by fast as another holiday rolls in
 Since it’s Christmas Eve, I’ll make this short. Stafford: Wittenberg teaching job leads to new perspective We’ll probably see one another later on in the grocery anyway. Look for me in frozen foods and if I don’t move, give me a little shove. Yeah, it’s the usual at our house. The Boy Child is in town. He moved...

Posted: 29 days ago

Since it’s Christmas Eve, I’ll make this short. Stafford: Wittenberg teaching job leads to new perspective We’ll probably see one another later on in the grocery anyway. Look for me in frozen foods and if I don’t move, give me a little shove. Yeah, it’s the usual at our house. The Boy Child is in town. He moved...
Stafford: Wittenberg teaching job leads to new perspective
 I don’t know how well I do it, which is one reason I’m not sure whether I’ll be doing it again. But I’m glad I’ve been teaching this fall: It has made me look not only at students but at everyone in a slightly different way. From mid-August until tomorrow, when I turn in grades, I’ll have been an adjunct...

1:00 PM Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017

I don’t know how well I do it, which is one reason I’m not sure whether I’ll be doing it again. But I’m glad I’ve been teaching this fall: It has made me look not only at students but at everyone in a slightly different way. From mid-August until tomorrow, when I turn in grades, I’ll have been an adjunct...
Stafford: Gifted friend will never know how much he was valued
 A week ago Saturday, on a day I should have been reading a Facebook notification asking me to help Jason Hurst celebrate his 51st birthday, I instead stood with others in a room at the V.F.W. Post on East Main Street in Springfield remembering his life. Like most obituaries, the one I’d read online a few days earlier listed some of...

1:00 PM Saturday, Dec. 09, 2017

A week ago Saturday, on a day I should have been reading a Facebook notification asking me to help Jason Hurst celebrate his 51st birthday, I instead stood with others in a room at the V.F.W. Post on East Main Street in Springfield remembering his life. Like most obituaries, the one I’d read online a few days earlier listed some of...
Stafford: Christmas carols need updating for current scandalous era
 “If Joseph and Mary had showed up at Trump Tower, the Bible would be different. Better. There would have been room at the inn, which Obama never provided. And they’d have been able to afford to pay on the installment plan because of the massive middle class tax cut … BEST EVER … “… Their baby’s...

1:00 PM Saturday, Dec. 02, 2017

“If Joseph and Mary had showed up at Trump Tower, the Bible would be different. Better. There would have been room at the inn, which Obama never provided. And they’d have been able to afford to pay on the installment plan because of the massive middle class tax cut … BEST EVER … “… Their baby’s...
Stafford: Familiar breakfast on the road feels like home
 If you ever find yourself on McCormick Avenue beside the Skokie/North Shore Sculpture Park north of Chicago, you’re not far away. Head south, find Oakton Street and take a right. READ MORE BY STAFFORD: Christmas season should wait its turn When you see the Chicago Transit Authority car repair shop, you’re about there. Sparky&rsquo...

12:00 AM Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017

If you ever find yourself on McCormick Avenue beside the Skokie/North Shore Sculpture Park north of Chicago, you’re not far away. Head south, find Oakton Street and take a right. READ MORE BY STAFFORD: Christmas season should wait its turn When you see the Chicago Transit Authority car repair shop, you’re about there. Sparky&rsquo...
Stafford: 99-year-old war of words over ‘fake news’ sounds familiar
 Ninety-nine Novembers ago, Springfielders and other Clark Countians were primed to celebrate the end of the bloodiest war to that date in human history and breathe a sigh of relief over the fate of homegrown boys who had been exposed to bullets, bombs and mustard gas in muddy foreign trenches. Just as peace was about to arrive, however, a...

3:00 PM Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017

Ninety-nine Novembers ago, Springfielders and other Clark Countians were primed to celebrate the end of the bloodiest war to that date in human history and breathe a sigh of relief over the fate of homegrown boys who had been exposed to bullets, bombs and mustard gas in muddy foreign trenches. Just as peace was about to arrive, however, a...
Stafford: Christmas season should wait its turn
 It’s a wonder to me that his wife puts up with it. He’s been doing the same thing at the same time of year for so many years that news of it tends to go in one ear and out the other, and I tend to notice it only if it dislodges a little earwax. RELATED: All the Black Friday sales you should be jumping on now But as I stood in...

3:00 PM Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017

It’s a wonder to me that his wife puts up with it. He’s been doing the same thing at the same time of year for so many years that news of it tends to go in one ear and out the other, and I tend to notice it only if it dislodges a little earwax. RELATED: All the Black Friday sales you should be jumping on now But as I stood in...