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Latest from Tom Stafford

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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...

Posted: 19 hours ago

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...

Posted: 8 days ago

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...
Stafford: Little ones are magical, no matter the era
 Thirty years ago, when our kids were small and we visited Young’s Jersey Dairy on weekends, I developed the habit of reaching into my pocket and dropping loose change into the small, unused ashtray attached to the back seat of our Corolla. Stafford: J.D. Vance talk a chance to reflect on ‘Springtucky’ We called it our Goat...

Posted: 16 days ago

Thirty years ago, when our kids were small and we visited Young’s Jersey Dairy on weekends, I developed the habit of reaching into my pocket and dropping loose change into the small, unused ashtray attached to the back seat of our Corolla. Stafford: J.D. Vance talk a chance to reflect on ‘Springtucky’ We called it our Goat...
Stafford: J.D. Vance talk a chance to reflect on ‘Springtucky’
 It doesn’t roll off the tongue like Springtucky. But Middletucky, the Middletown variation, speaks to the kinship of communities whose factories were filled by Appalachian migration that began filling Midwest factories after World War I and accelerated when the Midwest was transformed into thrumming manufacturing dynamo during and after...

Posted: 23 days ago

It doesn’t roll off the tongue like Springtucky. But Middletucky, the Middletown variation, speaks to the kinship of communities whose factories were filled by Appalachian migration that began filling Midwest factories after World War I and accelerated when the Midwest was transformed into thrumming manufacturing dynamo during and after...
Stafford: Drive to Springfield a moment to learn from missed details
 I’m a person who has learned from his mistakes. I’ve learned to make more of them. To paraphrase Star Wars, the farce is strong in me. DETAILS: Springfield city clerk retires after 30 years, focuses on writing Now in my seventh decade of stumbling around the planet, I’ve come to fancy myself as a Yoda of foul-ups. Wanting...

Posted: 30 days ago

I’m a person who has learned from his mistakes. I’ve learned to make more of them. To paraphrase Star Wars, the farce is strong in me. DETAILS: Springfield city clerk retires after 30 years, focuses on writing Now in my seventh decade of stumbling around the planet, I’ve come to fancy myself as a Yoda of foul-ups. Wanting...
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...

2:00 PM Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017

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...

2:00 PM Saturday, Oct. 07, 2017

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...

10:00 AM Saturday, Sep. 30, 2017

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...

1:00 PM Friday, Sep. 22, 2017

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: 
            
            ...

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...
Springfield business owner remembered as tough, but with a soft side
 Cassandra Guyton and her sisters wanted a concrete truck to lead their father’s July 11 funeral procession for an obvious reason. Concrete is what Cleo Guyton had always done, she said. For his part, Jack Littlejohn, manager of the Ernst Concrete plant on Mitchell Boulevard called providing one of the cleanest of the company’s...

10:00 AM Saturday, Jul. 29, 2017

Cassandra Guyton and her sisters wanted a concrete truck to lead their father’s July 11 funeral procession for an obvious reason. Concrete is what Cleo Guyton had always done, she said. For his part, Jack Littlejohn, manager of the Ernst Concrete plant on Mitchell Boulevard called providing one of the cleanest of the company’s...
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...

12:00 AM Saturday, Jul. 22, 2017

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...

3:15 PM Friday, Jul. 21, 2017

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...

2:00 PM Saturday, Jul. 15, 2017

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...
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