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Latest from Tom Stafford

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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: an hour 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...

Posted: 6 days ago

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...

Posted: 13 days ago

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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Posted: 20 days ago

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...

Posted: 27 days ago

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...
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...

12:00 AM Sunday, Jul. 09, 2017

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...

4:15 PM Saturday, Jul. 01, 2017

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...

2:00 PM Saturday, Jun. 24, 2017

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...
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