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

The fascinating 19th century history behind a Springfield school namesake
  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...

Posted: 2 days ago

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...
Stafford: I thought it was just a cute nickname, but it meant much more
 Meg has long worked at a deli I often visit. The other day, to add a little formality to her name, I called her Megalith, a name I thought added a slight ring of Celtic royalty. Although I don’t think she was offended, like many of my acquaintances, Meg has developed a keen sense of when to ignore me and focus on others around her....

Posted: 3 days ago

Meg has long worked at a deli I often visit. The other day, to add a little formality to her name, I called her Megalith, a name I thought added a slight ring of Celtic royalty. Although I don’t think she was offended, like many of my acquaintances, Meg has developed a keen sense of when to ignore me and focus on others around her....
Bra shopping with mom expands world view
 Some of you may have missed the Kohl’s bra sale a couple of months back. I didn’t. Being my first, it was memorable. It also proved to be another instance in which being my now 90-year-old mother’s occasional shopping companion and chauffeur has expanded my world view. »STAFFORD: North High grad photographs the world...

Posted: 11 days ago

Some of you may have missed the Kohl’s bra sale a couple of months back. I didn’t. Being my first, it was memorable. It also proved to be another instance in which being my now 90-year-old mother’s occasional shopping companion and chauffeur has expanded my world view. »STAFFORD: North High grad photographs the world...
Rabbi to share sage advice on aging, love at Springfield stops
 An email I punched up about a month ago reminded me of why I have come to so like rabbis. The reminder sprang out from the first half of the title Rabbi Richard Address of Jewish Sacred Aging, a sort of spiritual think tank on the subject, chose for the overarching theme of four talks he will deliver when he visits Springfield on Tuesday...

Posted: 17 days ago

An email I punched up about a month ago reminded me of why I have come to so like rabbis. The reminder sprang out from the first half of the title Rabbi Richard Address of Jewish Sacred Aging, a sort of spiritual think tank on the subject, chose for the overarching theme of four talks he will deliver when he visits Springfield on Tuesday...
North High grad photographs the world, new film looks at Guatemala
 After being robbed five times and losing a vehicle in Costa Rica, 1976 North High School graduate Brent Winebrenner left in 1998 swearing he’d never return to Central America. Then, three years ago, Elsie YiDonoy, founder of Bella Guatemala Travel, made him an offer the freelance photographer whose work has been published in National...

Posted: 24 days ago

After being robbed five times and losing a vehicle in Costa Rica, 1976 North High School graduate Brent Winebrenner left in 1998 swearing he’d never return to Central America. Then, three years ago, Elsie YiDonoy, founder of Bella Guatemala Travel, made him an offer the freelance photographer whose work has been published in National...
Stafford: Musicians never-ending source of bad jokes
 Q. How can you tell if the porch is level? A. The drool is coming out of both sides of the drummer’s mouth. As a drummer, I have mixed feelings about writing anything that casts drummers in a bad light. So I know some drummers won’t be happy about me telling another drummer joke later on in the column. READ MORE: Springfield church...

12:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 24, 2018

Q. How can you tell if the porch is level? A. The drool is coming out of both sides of the drummer’s mouth. As a drummer, I have mixed feelings about writing anything that casts drummers in a bad light. So I know some drummers won’t be happy about me telling another drummer joke later on in the column. READ MORE: Springfield church...
Springfield Civil War event shows how soldiers faced down disaster
 Half of the men of the 20th Maine were down and the other half bloodied on July 2, 1863, when the latter fixed bayonets on mostly unloaded weapons and, in a formation that advanced like a swinging door, swept Confederates off the slopes of Little Roundtop. How could a unit that had been disgracefully undisciplined and woefully unprepared...

11:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 17, 2018

Half of the men of the 20th Maine were down and the other half bloodied on July 2, 1863, when the latter fixed bayonets on mostly unloaded weapons and, in a formation that advanced like a swinging door, swept Confederates off the slopes of Little Roundtop. How could a unit that had been disgracefully undisciplined and woefully unprepared...
Stafford: Aging isn’t pretty
 When I wore them in the ’70s, distressed jeans were a do-it-myself project. I’d buy a new pair of jeans and wear them until my Mom and Grandma showed obvious signs of distress that my Dad hadn’t burned them yet. RELATED: Stafford: J.D. Vance talk a chance to reflect on ‘Springtucky’ By then, the jeans were accessorized...

5:00 PM Saturday, Mar. 10, 2018

When I wore them in the ’70s, distressed jeans were a do-it-myself project. I’d buy a new pair of jeans and wear them until my Mom and Grandma showed obvious signs of distress that my Dad hadn’t burned them yet. RELATED: Stafford: J.D. Vance talk a chance to reflect on ‘Springtucky’ By then, the jeans were accessorized...
Springfield Civil War Symposium will focus on war’s aftermath
 In the first sentence of his Gettysburg Address — and in a climate in which Americans in the North and South were increasingly sickened by the ungodly body count of a hideous war — Abraham Lincoln argued that the North must continue the fight in the name of those who already had died for the bedrock principal on which the Founding...

1:00 PM Saturday, Mar. 03, 2018

In the first sentence of his Gettysburg Address — and in a climate in which Americans in the North and South were increasingly sickened by the ungodly body count of a hideous war — Abraham Lincoln argued that the North must continue the fight in the name of those who already had died for the bedrock principal on which the Founding...
Stafford: After 20 years, Springfield woman has prayers answered
 In an interview last June after she was honored by the Springfield Foundation’s African-American Community Family of Funds, Springfield Realtor Lula Cosby told News-Sun columnist Tom Stafford she’d considered writing her life’s story down but hadn’t because it seemed too much like Maya Angelou’s “I Know...

1:00 PM Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018

In an interview last June after she was honored by the Springfield Foundation’s African-American Community Family of Funds, Springfield Realtor Lula Cosby told News-Sun columnist Tom Stafford she’d considered writing her life’s story down but hadn’t because it seemed too much like Maya Angelou’s “I Know...
Black History Month: Springfield woman overcame workplace barriers
 In an interview last June after she was honored by the Springfield Foundation’s African-American Community Family of Funds, Springfield Realtor Lula Cosby told News-Sun columnist Tom Stafford she’d considered writing her life’s story down but hadn’t because it seemed too much like Maya Angelou’s “I Know...

1:00 PM Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018

In an interview last June after she was honored by the Springfield Foundation’s African-American Community Family of Funds, Springfield Realtor Lula Cosby told News-Sun columnist Tom Stafford she’d considered writing her life’s story down but hadn’t because it seemed too much like Maya Angelou’s “I Know...