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Latest from Tom Stafford

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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...

Posted: 7 days ago

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...

Posted: 14 days ago

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

Posted: 20 days ago

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...

Posted: 27 days ago

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...
Stafford: Anthropologist remembers Springfield colleague
 On March 31, Ph.D. Michael Blakey will visit Wittenberg University to tell students about the history he and other archaeologists found written in the bones unearthed, examined and reburied at the historic African American Burial Grounds National Monument in Lower Manhattan. Earlier this month, the scientific director of the project and the...

2:00 AM Sunday, Mar. 19, 2017

On March 31, Ph.D. Michael Blakey will visit Wittenberg University to tell students about the history he and other archaeologists found written in the bones unearthed, examined and reburied at the historic African American Burial Grounds National Monument in Lower Manhattan. Earlier this month, the scientific director of the project and the...
Springfield tied to the mother of modern CSI work
 Benjamin Warder left Springfield a lovely library on a prominent hill, and Asa Bushnell’s stately stone mansion stills stands on High Street. But John Glessner, the third partner of local manufacturing giant Warder, Bushnell & Glessner, moved to Chicago in 1870 to represent the company’s interests, then went on to become an officer...

4:00 PM Saturday, Mar. 11, 2017

Benjamin Warder left Springfield a lovely library on a prominent hill, and Asa Bushnell’s stately stone mansion stills stands on High Street. But John Glessner, the third partner of local manufacturing giant Warder, Bushnell & Glessner, moved to Chicago in 1870 to represent the company’s interests, then went on to become an officer...
Stafford: Communication complex, but kindness can alleviate anxiety
 For people my age, the term audio-visual conjures up memories of metal Bell & Howell movie and film strip projectors being pushed around hallways by fellow students who seemed to be headed either nowhere or to what would become Silicon Valley. So I raised an eyebrow the other day when I double-clicked on an Internet clip in which the eminent...

4:00 AM Sunday, Mar. 05, 2017

For people my age, the term audio-visual conjures up memories of metal Bell & Howell movie and film strip projectors being pushed around hallways by fellow students who seemed to be headed either nowhere or to what would become Silicon Valley. So I raised an eyebrow the other day when I double-clicked on an Internet clip in which the eminent...
A walk through a D.C. neighborhood
 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Waiting at the crosswalk on Columbia Road NW at 18th Street, in the heart of Washington’s Adams-Morgan neighborhood, I heard two young men engaged in one of those early 20s arguments that, to the compromised ears of this 62-year-old drummer, sounded a bit like toddlers arguing over which Mutant Ninja Turtle...

10:00 PM Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Waiting at the crosswalk on Columbia Road NW at 18th Street, in the heart of Washington’s Adams-Morgan neighborhood, I heard two young men engaged in one of those early 20s arguments that, to the compromised ears of this 62-year-old drummer, sounded a bit like toddlers arguing over which Mutant Ninja Turtle...
Stafford: Health care coverage costs concerning
 This may not be sweet. It will be short. You likely have seen the commercial. It’s one of those, “What’s in your wallet?” ads for Capital One and has the usual message. Dear Consumer: If you’re piling up bonus cash while using your charge card, you shouldn’t be cheated by some company that places all kinds...

1:00 PM Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017

This may not be sweet. It will be short. You likely have seen the commercial. It’s one of those, “What’s in your wallet?” ads for Capital One and has the usual message. Dear Consumer: If you’re piling up bonus cash while using your charge card, you shouldn’t be cheated by some company that places all kinds...
Stafford: Service served as reminder of News-Sun colleague
 Most time capsules try to encapsulate a single moment. Tucked into building cornerstones, they’re filled with newspaper clippings, yearbooks, photos and maybe a program from a building’s dedication day. They’re passed on as a kind of keepsake in hopes of giving future generations some feel for the community that came together...

10:00 PM Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017

Most time capsules try to encapsulate a single moment. Tucked into building cornerstones, they’re filled with newspaper clippings, yearbooks, photos and maybe a program from a building’s dedication day. They’re passed on as a kind of keepsake in hopes of giving future generations some feel for the community that came together...
Stafford: Letting go to become fluent in music
 I try not to obsess about our 4-year-old grandson. I check out the occasional Facebook post with picture and sometimes scan the photos attached to his pre-K class teacher’s email thinking about what roles he and his classmates might play in a present-day production of the Little Rascals. Similarly, I don’t worry about the progress...

5:00 PM Saturday, Feb. 04, 2017

I try not to obsess about our 4-year-old grandson. I check out the occasional Facebook post with picture and sometimes scan the photos attached to his pre-K class teacher’s email thinking about what roles he and his classmates might play in a present-day production of the Little Rascals. Similarly, I don’t worry about the progress...
92-year-old Springfield woman still swimming, takes life lap at a time
 Clear-eyed and energetic, Springfielder Jean Braun turns 92 on Sunday. She swims half a mile three days a week and, come April, plans to complete her 30th annual mile-long swim to raise money for diabetes prevention and care. It’s worth underscoring that she began this lengthy tradition at age 62. These essentials of Braun’s story...

11:00 AM Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017

Clear-eyed and energetic, Springfielder Jean Braun turns 92 on Sunday. She swims half a mile three days a week and, come April, plans to complete her 30th annual mile-long swim to raise money for diabetes prevention and care. It’s worth underscoring that she began this lengthy tradition at age 62. These essentials of Braun’s story...
Stafford: News-Sun morgue alive at Heritage Center
 The morgue is alive again. It’s not alive in quite the same way it was when I habitually slipped in and out of it on the third floor of the News-Sun Building. Still, in the roughly 100 boxes shelved in the Clark County Heritage Center library, the largest body of its material is available to the public. Those who aren’t arthritic...

3:00 PM Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017

The morgue is alive again. It’s not alive in quite the same way it was when I habitually slipped in and out of it on the third floor of the News-Sun Building. Still, in the roughly 100 boxes shelved in the Clark County Heritage Center library, the largest body of its material is available to the public. Those who aren’t arthritic...
Husbands, time to plan your annual spousal performance review
 This column is for husbands only. I can cite no study, of course, but I’d still claim that first sentence is virtually guaranteed to swell the readership of this week’s column among wives – and maybe even more among ex-wives. Given their commitment curve, the line could even draw a few millennial readers. They likely would...

1:00 PM Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017

This column is for husbands only. I can cite no study, of course, but I’d still claim that first sentence is virtually guaranteed to swell the readership of this week’s column among wives – and maybe even more among ex-wives. Given their commitment curve, the line could even draw a few millennial readers. They likely would...
Springfield resident finds comfort playing piano
 Her memory isn’t what she’d like it to be. Her glasses don’t seem to work as well as they once did. And there are those pains that arrive with the cold fronts. At age 92, none of that prevents Irene Davenport from having a following. They find her at four places in Oakwood Village: The dining room of the care center, where...

1:00 PM Saturday, Jan. 07, 2017

Her memory isn’t what she’d like it to be. Her glasses don’t seem to work as well as they once did. And there are those pains that arrive with the cold fronts. At age 92, none of that prevents Irene Davenport from having a following. They find her at four places in Oakwood Village: The dining room of the care center, where...
200 items
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