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Tom Stafford

Tom Stafford has worked at the News-Sun and lived in Springfield for 30 years, covering most of the newsroom beats. For 28 years he has written a weekly feature column and for about 15 years has explored the area's history in a weekly feature called Looking Back. A graduate of Wittenberg University, his personal interests include playing music, in-line skating on area bike trails and reading.

Latest from Tom Stafford

Commentary: Book about Springfield pastor sprung from the love of a 3-year-old
 In 1924, as she wore her best dress to watch her beloved Aunt Maud Hoyle board a train in downtown Springfield to begin the trip back to a United Brethren Church mission in Sierra Leone, 3-year-old Dorothy Hoyle had little sense of the time that would pass before her aunt’s return or the nearly 10,000 mile round-trip. But as an adult...

Posted: 3 days ago

In 1924, as she wore her best dress to watch her beloved Aunt Maud Hoyle board a train in downtown Springfield to begin the trip back to a United Brethren Church mission in Sierra Leone, 3-year-old Dorothy Hoyle had little sense of the time that would pass before her aunt’s return or the nearly 10,000 mile round-trip. But as an adult...
Commentary: Founder of Springfield church served as 1920s missionary in West Africa
 “When the word of my appointment … came, I was filled with great joy, and now, as I go, I have the assurance that God is guiding and that He will protect (me).” Pastor Maud E. Hoyle, 1921 In 1920, the United Brethren Board of Missions had a policy that women entering the field “not be less than 25 or more than 40...

Posted: 9 days ago

“When the word of my appointment … came, I was filled with great joy, and now, as I go, I have the assurance that God is guiding and that He will protect (me).” Pastor Maud E. Hoyle, 1921 In 1920, the United Brethren Board of Missions had a policy that women entering the field “not be less than 25 or more than 40...
Commentary:Stained glass in Springfield church inspired woman to tell story of its courageous founder
 On July 15, 1958, Michele Cash Russo was attending her great aunt’s funeral in the sanctuary of the Evangelical United Brethren Church on Columbus Avenue in Springfield when her eyes fell on a stained glass window with Maud Elizabeth Hoyle’s name on it. To Russo, not quite 8 at the time, this was confirmation that others in attendance...

Posted: 16 days ago

On July 15, 1958, Michele Cash Russo was attending her great aunt’s funeral in the sanctuary of the Evangelical United Brethren Church on Columbus Avenue in Springfield when her eyes fell on a stained glass window with Maud Elizabeth Hoyle’s name on it. To Russo, not quite 8 at the time, this was confirmation that others in attendance...
Stafford: Springfield North grad produces documentary on well-known conductor
 Under extraordinary circumstances, while exploring a brilliant composition, an inspired conductor can marshal the collective power of instruments and voices in a way that not only expresses the feeling of a moment in history but also touches the human spirit in a way that moves us to tears. Kiki Follrath Wilson was a participant and a witness...

Posted: 24 days ago

Under extraordinary circumstances, while exploring a brilliant composition, an inspired conductor can marshal the collective power of instruments and voices in a way that not only expresses the feeling of a moment in history but also touches the human spirit in a way that moves us to tears. Kiki Follrath Wilson was a participant and a witness...
Stafford: Reflections on gravity and ‘relative’ humidity
 With school underway, it struck me. If I’d started taking science classes a little later in life, I would have taken them a little more seriously. That’s because I would have taken them personally. It’s also possible that, at a later age, I might have been wise enough to fill in for myself what the teachers didn’t...

12:00 AM Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018

With school underway, it struck me. If I’d started taking science classes a little later in life, I would have taken them a little more seriously. That’s because I would have taken them personally. It’s also possible that, at a later age, I might have been wise enough to fill in for myself what the teachers didn’t...
Stafford: ‘I’m not sure I’ll ever really make up my mind’
 It was after the British Invasion of the early 1960s, so men’s hair was getting longer when an American group called the Lovin’ Spoonful rose to popularity. Its lead singer and songwriter was a handsome guy with joyous eyes and lamb chop sideburns named John Sebastian. TRENDING ONLINE: In memory of Sara: Graham student’s...

3:00 PM Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018

It was after the British Invasion of the early 1960s, so men’s hair was getting longer when an American group called the Lovin’ Spoonful rose to popularity. Its lead singer and songwriter was a handsome guy with joyous eyes and lamb chop sideburns named John Sebastian. TRENDING ONLINE: In memory of Sara: Graham student’s...
Lake visit after long absence sharpens view of time spent with family
 My sister-in-law, Ingrid, keeps her late mother’s tradition of writing in the diary on days she’s at the Sponberg camp that’s a short walk through the pines and beach grass from a sandy beach on Lake Superior just west of the Upper Peninsula’s queen city. MORE BY TOM STAFFORD: Stafford: My job is a continuing education...

11:00 AM Sunday, Aug. 05, 2018

My sister-in-law, Ingrid, keeps her late mother’s tradition of writing in the diary on days she’s at the Sponberg camp that’s a short walk through the pines and beach grass from a sandy beach on Lake Superior just west of the Upper Peninsula’s queen city. MORE BY TOM STAFFORD: Stafford: My job is a continuing education...
Stafford: My job is a continuing education in my own ignorance
 My brother, Bill, put me up to it. I was maybe 10 at the time, which would put him at 13 and put everyone around us in the mid-1960s. Although we had both by then learned in our classrooms late on a Friday afternoon that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas, the rest of that turbulent 60s had yet to unfold. »RELATED: 2018...

11:00 AM Sunday, Jul. 29, 2018

My brother, Bill, put me up to it. I was maybe 10 at the time, which would put him at 13 and put everyone around us in the mid-1960s. Although we had both by then learned in our classrooms late on a Friday afternoon that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas, the rest of that turbulent 60s had yet to unfold. »RELATED: 2018...
Springfield man dreams of recreating childhood memory, paying tribute to his hometown
 In 1969, with auto sales going as crazy as the times in Manson-Hippie-Jim Morrison-Bobby Kennedy assassination California, the Credit Life Insurance Co., which insured scads of car loans, tapped Dick Giles on the shoulder and suggested he go west to manage the office there. MORE FROM TOM STAFFORD: Springfield couple married 50 years keeps...

3:00 PM Sunday, Jul. 22, 2018

In 1969, with auto sales going as crazy as the times in Manson-Hippie-Jim Morrison-Bobby Kennedy assassination California, the Credit Life Insurance Co., which insured scads of car loans, tapped Dick Giles on the shoulder and suggested he go west to manage the office there. MORE FROM TOM STAFFORD: Springfield couple married 50 years keeps...
Springfield couple married 50 years keeps the surprises coming. The golden year was one of the best.
 Between 6 and 6:30 p.m. on June 9, beneath a soggy tent at the Simon Kenton Inn north of Springfield, I witnessed a wondrous transformation. Having been shown various places indoors where tables weren’t available on a busy Saturday night when there was a wedding reception in full swing, Helen Martin, a woman I’ve known for decades...

12:00 AM Sunday, Jul. 15, 2018

Between 6 and 6:30 p.m. on June 9, beneath a soggy tent at the Simon Kenton Inn north of Springfield, I witnessed a wondrous transformation. Having been shown various places indoors where tables weren’t available on a busy Saturday night when there was a wedding reception in full swing, Helen Martin, a woman I’ve known for decades...
What do you get a guy turning 64? This one got something very usual and something VERY unusual
 At the end of a long phone conversation last Sunday, our son reminded me to check my email, and I found there the birthday present he usually sends in a link to a $50 gift card for a music store. It’s something I always use and that will always remind me of our common love of music. It reminds me to remind him that I hope his work someday...

12:00 AM Sunday, Jul. 08, 2018

At the end of a long phone conversation last Sunday, our son reminded me to check my email, and I found there the birthday present he usually sends in a link to a $50 gift card for a music store. It’s something I always use and that will always remind me of our common love of music. It reminds me to remind him that I hope his work someday...