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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 families continue fall color trips for 80 years
 Bob Hulsizer was 4 years old in 1937 when his parents, Lou and Theodore (called Thee) started their annual fall color trips to the hills of Southern Ohio with Mae and Paul Ballentine and Stanley and Rose Bedford. “It was always around Dad’s birthday, which was in late October,” Hulsizer recalled. He has a more vibrant memory...

Posted: 5 days ago

Bob Hulsizer was 4 years old in 1937 when his parents, Lou and Theodore (called Thee) started their annual fall color trips to the hills of Southern Ohio with Mae and Paul Ballentine and Stanley and Rose Bedford. “It was always around Dad’s birthday, which was in late October,” Hulsizer recalled. He has a more vibrant memory...
Lawrenceville company recognizes worker for 55 years on the job
 Freshly graduated from high school that spring of 1962, Ron Bright was washing and waxing his 1955 Chevy street rod at his home just outside of Christiansburg that October when a friend dropped by with a question. “Are you looking for work?” “Not really,” came Bright’s reply, “but I’ll go to work...

Posted: 12 days ago

Freshly graduated from high school that spring of 1962, Ron Bright was washing and waxing his 1955 Chevy street rod at his home just outside of Christiansburg that October when a friend dropped by with a question. “Are you looking for work?” “Not really,” came Bright’s reply, “but I’ll go to work...
Springfield city clerk retires after 30 years, focuses on writing
 For most people, getting up and starting work at 4 a.m. on the first official day of retirement would be a nightmare-come-true. But after 30 years as clerk of the Springfield City Commission — a job she said “I was born to do” and did longer than any of her predecessors — Connie Chappell rose in the dark on Monday...

Posted: 19 days ago

For most people, getting up and starting work at 4 a.m. on the first official day of retirement would be a nightmare-come-true. But after 30 years as clerk of the Springfield City Commission — a job she said “I was born to do” and did longer than any of her predecessors — Connie Chappell rose in the dark on Monday...
Stafford: Group marks 20th year of funding literacy projects
 For the past 19 years, the Springfield Literacy Sting has given adults the rare opportunity to publically humiliate themselves by misspelling words in a crowded room, while at the same time raising $150,000 for a crucial community cause. »MORE: 
            
               Songs can recall history, predict future Much of this multi-tasking...

Posted: 27 days ago

For the past 19 years, the Springfield Literacy Sting has given adults the rare opportunity to publically humiliate themselves by misspelling words in a crowded room, while at the same time raising $150,000 for a crucial community cause. »MORE: Songs can recall history, predict future Much of this multi-tasking...
STAFFORD: Local artist may have hit breakthrough after years of work
 Keith Skogstrom knew it before a performance artist struck her elegant pose in front of the 12-by-52-foot work the Urbana artist had installed on the exterior wall of a trend-setting speakeasy in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. But when her fingers and toes came together behind her back in front of the Violet Hour, she seemed to...

12:00 AM Saturday, Sep. 16, 2017

Keith Skogstrom knew it before a performance artist struck her elegant pose in front of the 12-by-52-foot work the Urbana artist had installed on the exterior wall of a trend-setting speakeasy in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. But when her fingers and toes came together behind her back in front of the Violet Hour, she seemed to...
Stafford: Conversation the real social medium
 Rumors once seemed so polluted to me. It was impossible to know if they were true, which made me feel I somehow was being unfaithful to the people being spoken of just by listening. That was especially true when I knew the people involved. While being made privy to the rumors, I also suspected the conversations should have taken place in...

12:00 AM Saturday, Sep. 09, 2017

Rumors once seemed so polluted to me. It was impossible to know if they were true, which made me feel I somehow was being unfaithful to the people being spoken of just by listening. That was especially true when I knew the people involved. While being made privy to the rumors, I also suspected the conversations should have taken place in...
Springfield community garden provides lessons for amateur gardeners
 As Labor Day arrives, the plots are not thickening at the Jefferson Street Oasis Garden. They are thinning as gardeners reap their final harvests of beets, broccoli, cabbage and collard greens; cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers and green beans; kohlrabi and okra; and potatoes, tomatoes, watermelon and zucchini. MORE: 
            
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12:00 AM Saturday, Sep. 02, 2017

As Labor Day arrives, the plots are not thickening at the Jefferson Street Oasis Garden. They are thinning as gardeners reap their final harvests of beets, broccoli, cabbage and collard greens; cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers and green beans; kohlrabi and okra; and potatoes, tomatoes, watermelon and zucchini. MORE: ...
Stafford: Songs can recall history, predict future
 Somehow, when we get the feeling we’re in a special moment, our senses sharpen and we latch on to a smell, a taste, a sight or a sound in the world around us. As though by magic, that moment and that taste, smell, sight or sound bind together and harden like an epoxy into a memory that stays with us forever. READ MORE: Springfield business...

12:00 AM Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017

Somehow, when we get the feeling we’re in a special moment, our senses sharpen and we latch on to a smell, a taste, a sight or a sound in the world around us. As though by magic, that moment and that taste, smell, sight or sound bind together and harden like an epoxy into a memory that stays with us forever. READ MORE: Springfield business...
Stafford: Blunder during island trip provides time to reflect
 Most of my mistakes either turn out badly or make me laugh at myself. But every often, I have blunder I’m really proud of. And last week, in this space, I may have made — thank you very much — my Best Blunder of 2017. MORE:
                Spending time with grandchild special The column was about my walks around the block...

12:00 AM Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017

Most of my mistakes either turn out badly or make me laugh at myself. But every often, I have blunder I’m really proud of. And last week, in this space, I may have made — thank you very much — my Best Blunder of 2017. MORE: Spending time with grandchild special The column was about my walks around the block...
Stafford: Spending time with grandchild special
 Our 4-year-old grandson Atticus and I are in the full heat of fierce combat. He’s about to come to full giggle while locked in a vice grip from which I tell him he can never escape – and in which his ribs are ripe for the tickling, not that I’d do such a thing. At such a crucial juncture in the struggle, I could say &ndash...

12:00 AM Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017

Our 4-year-old grandson Atticus and I are in the full heat of fierce combat. He’s about to come to full giggle while locked in a vice grip from which I tell him he can never escape – and in which his ribs are ripe for the tickling, not that I’d do such a thing. At such a crucial juncture in the struggle, I could say &ndash...
Urbana artist paints ‘skyscapes’
 URBANA — From habit, we call them landscapes. In truth, the wheat fields, corn fields and pastures, the churches, barns and railroad crossings, the school buses, largely empty roads and grain bins, make mostly cameo appearances in Leigh Ann Inskeep-Simpson’s paintings now on display at TeaBaggers Coffee, Wine and Tea on North...

4:00 AM Saturday, Aug. 05, 2017

URBANA — From habit, we call them landscapes. In truth, the wheat fields, corn fields and pastures, the churches, barns and railroad crossings, the school buses, largely empty roads and grain bins, make mostly cameo appearances in Leigh Ann Inskeep-Simpson’s paintings now on display at TeaBaggers Coffee, Wine and Tea on North...