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Latest from Tom Stafford

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Stafford: Helping a friend and looking into the future
 If Clark State Community College awarded honorary degrees in mechanical ineptitude, I would have asked my wife to hang mine over the fireplace for me by now. You’ve heard of Mr. Handy? I’m so unhandy my nickname should be “Wrists.” So a couple of weeks ago when my friend Denny recruited me to help bleed the air from...

Posted: a day ago

If Clark State Community College awarded honorary degrees in mechanical ineptitude, I would have asked my wife to hang mine over the fireplace for me by now. You’ve heard of Mr. Handy? I’m so unhandy my nickname should be “Wrists.” So a couple of weeks ago when my friend Denny recruited me to help bleed the air from...
Updated Clark County Fair logo weaves family, fair history together
 Twenty-five years have passed since the Clark County Fair logo was created so the time seemed ripe to wash it down, brush it off and groom it like an animal headed for the show ring. That the groomer is artist Jerid Smith, who raised the fair’s Grand Champion Hog in 1990, seems fair, in both senses of the word. That he used his favorite...

Posted: 2 days ago

Twenty-five years have passed since the Clark County Fair logo was created so the time seemed ripe to wash it down, brush it off and groom it like an animal headed for the show ring. That the groomer is artist Jerid Smith, who raised the fair’s Grand Champion Hog in 1990, seems fair, in both senses of the word. That he used his favorite...
Clark County shooting club works to gain new members, grow sport
 Bob Fralick, president of the Clark County Sportsman’s Club, says skeet shooting is generally on the wane. But the club at has been tuning up target trajectories in three skeet fields reasoning that night-time shooting — skeet under the lights — might attract a summertime following. The wobble stand is a bit of a novelty...

Posted: 8 days ago

Bob Fralick, president of the Clark County Sportsman’s Club, says skeet shooting is generally on the wane. But the club at has been tuning up target trajectories in three skeet fields reasoning that night-time shooting — skeet under the lights — might attract a summertime following. The wobble stand is a bit of a novelty...
Springfield church to close after 129 years
 The Order for Closing a Congregation to be followed in services today at Springfield’s Fifth Lutheran Church is mercifully brief and relatively straightforward. As the appropriate words are spoken, the candles and vases are removed, then the altar book and missal stand. Next come the paten, chalice and communion cups and the pulpit...

Posted: 14 days ago

The Order for Closing a Congregation to be followed in services today at Springfield’s Fifth Lutheran Church is mercifully brief and relatively straightforward. As the appropriate words are spoken, the candles and vases are removed, then the altar book and missal stand. Next come the paten, chalice and communion cups and the pulpit...
Stafford: Springfield High School reunion to celebrate classmate
 Jim Ingledue isn’t an objective judge. Nor does he claim to be when he argues that Dick Shatto “was probably the finest athlete ever to matriculate through the Springfield system.” MORE: Stafford happy to be grounded Ingledue, after all, was not only the late Shatto’s teammate on the Wildcats football, basketball and...

Posted: 22 days ago

Jim Ingledue isn’t an objective judge. Nor does he claim to be when he argues that Dick Shatto “was probably the finest athlete ever to matriculate through the Springfield system.” MORE: Stafford happy to be grounded Ingledue, after all, was not only the late Shatto’s teammate on the Wildcats football, basketball and...
Stafford happy to be grounded
 I didn’t know it Thursday as I was driving south on Fountain Avenue, crossing the tracks at the Heritage Center and making a left into the parking lot next to the Hollenbeck-Bayley Conference Center. But for the first time in years, I was about to be grounded. MORE: Stafford: Distractions can turn thoughts in new directions The grounding...

Posted: 29 days ago

I didn’t know it Thursday as I was driving south on Fountain Avenue, crossing the tracks at the Heritage Center and making a left into the parking lot next to the Hollenbeck-Bayley Conference Center. But for the first time in years, I was about to be grounded. MORE: Stafford: Distractions can turn thoughts in new directions The grounding...
Stafford: Distractions can turn thoughts in new directions
 I sat at one of my usual column-writing spots, feeling a little weary. Make that weary and distracted. It was a mood I was treating in the usual fashion, with warm caffeine, when a bearded man sat down at the nearby piano and started playing. RELATED: Stafford: Appreciating the beauty that life has to offer I expected further distraction...

2:00 PM Saturday, Jun. 17, 2017

I sat at one of my usual column-writing spots, feeling a little weary. Make that weary and distracted. It was a mood I was treating in the usual fashion, with warm caffeine, when a bearded man sat down at the nearby piano and started playing. RELATED: Stafford: Appreciating the beauty that life has to offer I expected further distraction...
Springfield astronomer shares secrets of the stars
 He is tall, friendly and ever-helpful. That may be why I think of Dan Fleisch as the person who is to my understanding of the universe what the Man in the Yellow Hat is to Curious George’s understanding of life. RELATED: Professor learns by making podcasts When I ask him a question, he considers my monkey curiosity and level of understanding...

10:00 AM Sunday, Jun. 11, 2017

He is tall, friendly and ever-helpful. That may be why I think of Dan Fleisch as the person who is to my understanding of the universe what the Man in the Yellow Hat is to Curious George’s understanding of life. RELATED: Professor learns by making podcasts When I ask him a question, he considers my monkey curiosity and level of understanding...
Stafford: Appreciating the beauty that life has to offer
 Finnegan, the latest addition to the Stafford gene pool, took his time in making the transition through fussy-tired into sleep. One reason is that he’s in his first month of life. Another is that during four years since his brother’s arrival, grandpa has grown a little rusty on his infant skills. I tend to rush the transfer from...

2:00 PM Saturday, Jun. 03, 2017

Finnegan, the latest addition to the Stafford gene pool, took his time in making the transition through fussy-tired into sleep. One reason is that he’s in his first month of life. Another is that during four years since his brother’s arrival, grandpa has grown a little rusty on his infant skills. I tend to rush the transfer from...
Stafford: Springfield school named for Civil War general
 This Memorial Day, Clark Countians may need to be reminded that Gen. J. Warren Keifer’s last name rhymes with Michelle Pfeiffer’s last name and isn’t pronounced like Kiefer Sutherland’s first. It also would bear mention that the man for whom Springfield’s public alternative high school is named commanded a brigade...

2:00 PM Monday, May. 29, 2017

This Memorial Day, Clark Countians may need to be reminded that Gen. J. Warren Keifer’s last name rhymes with Michelle Pfeiffer’s last name and isn’t pronounced like Kiefer Sutherland’s first. It also would bear mention that the man for whom Springfield’s public alternative high school is named commanded a brigade...
Springfield native distinguished himself in Civil War battles
 By the evening of May 5, 1864, in the Union field hospital on the Orange Turnpike in Orange County, Va., amputated arms and legs were stacked like “piles of stove wood, the blood only excepted,” according to an observer quoted in historian Gordon C. Rhea’s book on the third and fourth days of the Battle of the Wilderness...

2:00 PM Sunday, May. 28, 2017

By the evening of May 5, 1864, in the Union field hospital on the Orange Turnpike in Orange County, Va., amputated arms and legs were stacked like “piles of stove wood, the blood only excepted,” according to an observer quoted in historian Gordon C. Rhea’s book on the third and fourth days of the Battle of the Wilderness...
Stafford: Finding the right book can offer clarity, fresh air
 At first, nobody wanted to be a number – a known quantity, a kind of widget interchangeable with every other widget-human on the planet. Next came the fear of being a statistic, which brought with it the shadow of the grim reaper. If being a number meant being depersonalized, being a statistic meant being dead – and not gratefully...

12:00 AM Saturday, May. 20, 2017

At first, nobody wanted to be a number – a known quantity, a kind of widget interchangeable with every other widget-human on the planet. Next came the fear of being a statistic, which brought with it the shadow of the grim reaper. If being a number meant being depersonalized, being a statistic meant being dead – and not gratefully...
An elder raptor’s lament: Even change has changed
 If you had stopped into the mall hobby shop where I worked in 1970, bought something for, say, $2.37, and given me a $20 bill, you’d have heard me say something like this: Two-thirty-seven plus three is 2.40, a dime makes fifty, seventy five, three dollars, and two is five and five is 10 and 10 is 20. Thanks and have a nice day. During...

12:00 AM Saturday, May. 13, 2017

If you had stopped into the mall hobby shop where I worked in 1970, bought something for, say, $2.37, and given me a $20 bill, you’d have heard me say something like this: Two-thirty-seven plus three is 2.40, a dime makes fifty, seventy five, three dollars, and two is five and five is 10 and 10 is 20. Thanks and have a nice day. During...
South grad reflects on 30 years with highway patrol

2:00 PM Saturday, May. 06, 2017

In 1986, when the then Tammy Getz took her entrance exam for the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s dispatcher cadet program, her late stepfather, Danny Campbell, drove her to the patrol academy because “I was terrified to drive to Columbus,” she said. On Tuesday, the now 48-year-old Tammy Getz-Wright will retire from the patrol...
Stafford: Learn about cancer while applauding survivors
 OK, class, I know it’s late in the school year, but Mr. Stafford needs you to settle down and take your seats. We’re starting today with a little quiz. Save your groans. The torture won’t last long this time. Just three questions, true or false, easy-peasy. But there’s a catch, a reason you might want to put down your...

2:00 PM Saturday, Apr. 29, 2017

OK, class, I know it’s late in the school year, but Mr. Stafford needs you to settle down and take your seats. We’re starting today with a little quiz. Save your groans. The torture won’t last long this time. Just three questions, true or false, easy-peasy. But there’s a catch, a reason you might want to put down your...
Stafford: Imperfect traffic leads to pefect day debate
 I used to think of a perfect day as a day on which nothing goes wrong. That began to change for me not long ago in one of the region’s most imperfect of places: Southbound I-75 just north of the exit at Edwin C. Moses Drive. As anyone who travels Ohio 4 to I-75 and heads south during rush hour knows, somewhere north of the exit, traffic...

2:00 PM Saturday, Apr. 22, 2017

I used to think of a perfect day as a day on which nothing goes wrong. That began to change for me not long ago in one of the region’s most imperfect of places: Southbound I-75 just north of the exit at Edwin C. Moses Drive. As anyone who travels Ohio 4 to I-75 and heads south during rush hour knows, somewhere north of the exit, traffic...
Stafford: Recalling a father’s kindness, steadying influence
 If he had lived another week, my father would have turned 89. I’m glad he didn’t. I could hear the evidence of his suffering in my mother and brother’s voices when I talked with them on the phone during his last week. Then, when I visited the funeral home and told my brother I was relieved to have seen Dad’s body because...

4:00 PM Saturday, Apr. 15, 2017

If he had lived another week, my father would have turned 89. I’m glad he didn’t. I could hear the evidence of his suffering in my mother and brother’s voices when I talked with them on the phone during his last week. Then, when I visited the funeral home and told my brother I was relieved to have seen Dad’s body because...
Springfield Civil War Symposium returns
 During the 1850s, Southern settlers migrated across the Ohio River into parts of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois south of present-day Interstate 70, causing all three states to have what historian Nicole Etcheson describes as “very divided feelings” at the outbreak of the Civil War. The Alexander M. Bracken Professor of History at...

2:00 PM Saturday, Apr. 08, 2017

During the 1850s, Southern settlers migrated across the Ohio River into parts of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois south of present-day Interstate 70, causing all three states to have what historian Nicole Etcheson describes as “very divided feelings” at the outbreak of the Civil War. The Alexander M. Bracken Professor of History at...
Clark County group’s 75th shows ties that bind us, Ohio State
 As Buckeye football players link arms after a game and join fans in the singing of Carmen Ohio, trumpets mimic the sound of chiming bells to underscore the importance of the tie between student and alma mater against the rush of time. Last month, I sensed a touch of what may even be a stronger human tie when so many women I’ve come...

3:00 PM Saturday, Apr. 01, 2017

As Buckeye football players link arms after a game and join fans in the singing of Carmen Ohio, trumpets mimic the sound of chiming bells to underscore the importance of the tie between student and alma mater against the rush of time. Last month, I sensed a touch of what may even be a stronger human tie when so many women I’ve come...
Springfield group dies into archaeological secrets
 The Standing Stones of Stenness, Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar sound like names written in runic type on maps J.R.R. Tolkien drew for his Lord of the Rings trilogy. They are, in fact, ancient archaeological sites on the Orkney Islands off the northern coast of Scotland, and what researchers are learning there may be changing the map...

5:00 PM Saturday, Mar. 25, 2017

The Standing Stones of Stenness, Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar sound like names written in runic type on maps J.R.R. Tolkien drew for his Lord of the Rings trilogy. They are, in fact, ancient archaeological sites on the Orkney Islands off the northern coast of Scotland, and what researchers are learning there may be changing the map...
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