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Latest from Tom Stafford

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Springfield fatherhood book says it is OK to fumble

4:00 AM Saturday, Jun. 18, 2016

The Greek word pronounced uh-GOP-ay refers to a greater love of others than of self – the kind of self-sacrificing, unconditional love many associate with the love of God. Its spelling in English is the same as the word agape, as in a mouth that’s gaping open in wonder over the jaw-dropping power this kind of love has to transform...
Fred Leventhal, business and civic leader, dies
 Far flung friends who had planned to celebrate Fred Leventhal’s 95th birthday next Wednesday at the Mills Park Hotel in Yellow Springs will instead celebrate his life at 11 a.m. Monday during services at Springfield’s Temple Sholom. Leventhal, considered by some as the last member of a golden generation of Springfield business...

4:29 PM Friday, Jun. 17, 2016

Far flung friends who had planned to celebrate Fred Leventhal’s 95th birthday next Wednesday at the Mills Park Hotel in Yellow Springs will instead celebrate his life at 11 a.m. Monday during services at Springfield’s Temple Sholom. Leventhal, considered by some as the last member of a golden generation of Springfield business...
Stafford: Corner lots cause yard problems
 Three things. One: Never buy a house on a corner lot. It exposes you to two streets of neighbors, which means they’ve got you coming and going. Two: The way you can tell good neighbors from bad is simple — the bad ones make your problems worse. As it happens, my most persistent neighbor problem is from the side street, not the...

9:00 AM Sunday, Jun. 12, 2016

Three things. One: Never buy a house on a corner lot. It exposes you to two streets of neighbors, which means they’ve got you coming and going. Two: The way you can tell good neighbors from bad is simple — the bad ones make your problems worse. As it happens, my most persistent neighbor problem is from the side street, not the...
Cincinnati Zoo incident raises animal v. human debate
 Toledo is known as the Glass City, of course. Whether that had anything to do with the Toledo Zoo’s decision to use glass barriers to separate many of its animal residents from zoo visitors, I don’t know. In a story the Toledo Blade published following the shooting of a gorilla in Cincinnati over the Memorial Day weekend, the...

2:00 PM Sunday, Jun. 05, 2016

Toledo is known as the Glass City, of course. Whether that had anything to do with the Toledo Zoo’s decision to use glass barriers to separate many of its animal residents from zoo visitors, I don’t know. In a story the Toledo Blade published following the shooting of a gorilla in Cincinnati over the Memorial Day weekend, the...
Researchers track down 4 WWII Springfield vets family members
 In many American cities Memorial Day parades will wend their way through streets lined with lawn chairs, gathered families and the fresh colors of a regenerating spring, bound for cemeteries like Ferncliff and ceremonies as powerful for the heavy sound of flags flapping in the silence as for anything said. Since last year’s ceremonies...

4:00 PM Sunday, May. 29, 2016

In many American cities Memorial Day parades will wend their way through streets lined with lawn chairs, gathered families and the fresh colors of a regenerating spring, bound for cemeteries like Ferncliff and ceremonies as powerful for the heavy sound of flags flapping in the silence as for anything said. Since last year’s ceremonies...
Stafford: Simple tasks often simple out of control

4:00 AM Saturday, May. 21, 2016

Cleaning a dried, smeared bird dropping off a storm window at sunset? Ordinarily it’s not this cowboy’s idea of a satisfactory end to the day, much less a spring weekend. That’s particularly so when the prelude to the crunchy household task is a presentation, by a spouse, of a wet paper towel with which to perform the deed...
Stafford: Springfield history holds lessons for future generations

4:00 AM Saturday, May. 14, 2016

A long time friend and actor confessed some slight misgivings about saying a few lines I included in a play I’ve written. I understood her concern immediately. There’s no question the lines are tinged with ethnic derision nor that they were uttered in a bitter spirit. Nor is there doubt that they are historically accurate. They...
Finding community, catalysts for change in Springfield improves health
 By virtue of the way the fur swirls around her hips, Phil and Nancy Calland’s veterinarian tells them their golden-coated cat Sunshine is a “2 percenter,” meaning it’s a very special animal. The only indoor cat they’ve ever had — and the smartest — she seems to radiate health like a sun radiates warmth...

2:00 PM Sunday, May. 08, 2016

By virtue of the way the fur swirls around her hips, Phil and Nancy Calland’s veterinarian tells them their golden-coated cat Sunshine is a “2 percenter,” meaning it’s a very special animal. The only indoor cat they’ve ever had — and the smartest — she seems to radiate health like a sun radiates warmth...
Freedom School prepares for another summer

4:00 AM Saturday, Apr. 23, 2016

This summer, a South Side Springfield church will again help local children learn skills in order to help them combat some of the obstacles those growing up in disadvantaged and troubled neighborhoods face. Covenant United Methodist Church will open its doors to host a six-week session of the Children’s Defense Fund’s (CDF) Freedom...
Mom: Support of family, friends key as son battled cancer
 On a mid-April Sunday much like this in 2002, a shocked and reeling Love Poling-Taylor sat in Dayton Children’s Hospital as its medical staff ran tests to confirm what they suspected: That her son, born the third day that April, had cancer. Last week, Poling-Taylor drove now 14-year-old Charles Taylor to a Springfield shop to be fitted...

4:00 AM Saturday, Apr. 16, 2016

On a mid-April Sunday much like this in 2002, a shocked and reeling Love Poling-Taylor sat in Dayton Children’s Hospital as its medical staff ran tests to confirm what they suspected: That her son, born the third day that April, had cancer. Last week, Poling-Taylor drove now 14-year-old Charles Taylor to a Springfield shop to be fitted...
Father, son recovering after kidney surgeries
 Brian Yontz expects to return to his Springfield home Friday and expects his father, Rick, to return to his own home Sunday or Monday following the successful transplant of Brian’s right kidney into his father’s right side. The tandem surgeries to remove and transplant the organ were performed Tuesday at the Comprehensive Transplant...

8:14 PM Thursday, Apr. 14, 2016

Brian Yontz expects to return to his Springfield home Friday and expects his father, Rick, to return to his own home Sunday or Monday following the successful transplant of Brian’s right kidney into his father’s right side. The tandem surgeries to remove and transplant the organ were performed Tuesday at the Comprehensive Transplant...
Springfield event a rare glimpse with expert into world mystery
 Springfielders will have the rare chance Tuesday to take in the latest theories about one of the globe’s most mystifying sites when the principal researcher of Stonehenge delivers a free lecture to the Springfield Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America. Professor Mike Parker Pearson will speak at 7 p.m. in the Shouvlin Center...

3:00 PM Saturday, Apr. 09, 2016

Springfielders will have the rare chance Tuesday to take in the latest theories about one of the globe’s most mystifying sites when the principal researcher of Stonehenge delivers a free lecture to the Springfield Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America. Professor Mike Parker Pearson will speak at 7 p.m. in the Shouvlin Center...
Springfield family hopes transplant story encourages others to donate
 This week, 39-year-old Brian Yontz donated a kidney to his 67-year-old father, Rick Yontz, at the Comprehensive Transplant Center of Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. But the Springfield father and son clearly aren’t the only Yontzes being touched by the Yontz family transplant. The first operation — the one...

7:01 PM Wednesday, Apr. 06, 2016

This week, 39-year-old Brian Yontz donated a kidney to his 67-year-old father, Rick Yontz, at the Comprehensive Transplant Center of Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. But the Springfield father and son clearly aren’t the only Yontzes being touched by the Yontz family transplant. The first operation — the one...
Civil War Symposium speaker a Springfield native

4:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 26, 2016

To Steven Wilson, a historical artifact is the hub of a conceptual wheel whose spokes fan out into the vast territory of the past. As the curator and assistant director of the Lincoln Memorial University museum in Harrogate, Tenn., the 66-year-old South High School graduate is responsible for tens of thousands of such artifacts. He&rsquo...
Springfield couple died just hours apart after 65 years together
 Alberta Dean Secrist held her dying husband’s hand at 4:01 p.m. March 13 when death parted them after 65 years and eight months of marriage. A mere 28 hours and 36 minutes then passed before Roy David Secrist reached from the beyond, “took Mom’s hand and said, ‘Come with me, you have to see this!’” as the...

12:00 AM Thursday, Mar. 24, 2016

Alberta Dean Secrist held her dying husband’s hand at 4:01 p.m. March 13 when death parted them after 65 years and eight months of marriage. A mere 28 hours and 36 minutes then passed before Roy David Secrist reached from the beyond, “took Mom’s hand and said, ‘Come with me, you have to see this!’” as the...
Stafford: Consider the context of American ideas about liberty

4:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 19, 2016

When I was younger and knew a lot more, the introductions of books seemed like the pieces of white paper they now slip between slices of packaged cheese. The only purpose they served was to keep me from sinking my teeth into what I was really after. As I saw it, I’d picked up a book to learn from the author, not to spend time with some...
Clark County bell dispute outlives champion

5:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 12, 2016

It’s a contradiction in terms, I know. But if it’s possible to be extraordinary by being ordinary, William S. Glass pulled it off. The late long-time Clark County Auditor wasn’t a plain shoe, to be sure. A considerable intelligence showed itself in a sense of humor that, at times, left gaping, lingering silences between...
Stafford: Never too old for ‘Hockey Stink’

1:00 PM Saturday, Mar. 05, 2016

At first glimpse, some things are too weird to take in. But as anyone who has paused to ponder a live shot from the Cleveland Browns’ Dawg Pound knows, loyalty is a human trait sometimes difficult to fathom. For a time I thought the Washington Redskins’ Hogs – a cadre of burly men who cross-dress as female pigs – had...
Champaign County fire volunteer steps down after 50 years
 Three years ago, at age 65 and while sidelined with a broken ankle, Harold Zerkle weighed his choices. The longtime captain of the Christiansburg Fire Company knew he wasn’t getting any younger or more nimble, and, fully aware that others might need him to come to their rescue at a fire scene, “I didn’t want to get anybody...

10:00 PM Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016

Three years ago, at age 65 and while sidelined with a broken ankle, Harold Zerkle weighed his choices. The longtime captain of the Christiansburg Fire Company knew he wasn’t getting any younger or more nimble, and, fully aware that others might need him to come to their rescue at a fire scene, “I didn’t want to get anybody...
New habits life affirming for local man

5:00 AM Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016

At this time three years ago, about midway through the 11 months between his wife Kimberley’s diagnosis with colon cancer and her death, Stan Spitler got a tap on the shoulder from her oncologist, Dr. Stewart Merrill. Heavy for years, Spitler had gained 25 to 30 pounds in the course of her illness, pushing his body weight to 500 pounds...
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