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Latest from Tom Stafford

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Stafford: Springfield’s Sonny Young lives the life his name dictates
 With his 74th birthday nearing, Sonny Young is both A Bluetooth receiver rests on his collar. An active smart phone fills his pocket. And his clothing, while informal, is neat and fresh. All say the same thing the 73-year-old Sonny Young says about himself: “I’m trying to live up to my last name.” I’m not one to argue...

Posted: 6 days ago

With his 74th birthday nearing, Sonny Young is both A Bluetooth receiver rests on his collar. An active smart phone fills his pocket. And his clothing, while informal, is neat and fresh. All say the same thing the 73-year-old Sonny Young says about himself: “I’m trying to live up to my last name.” I’m not one to argue...
Welcome to the modus of elasticity
 As a child, I learned about the Straits of Mackinaw. Later, I became acquainted with the Islets of Langerhans, which aren’t in Michigan but do show up on maps of the human pancreas. Then last month, I stumbled into the modulus of elasticity. It sounded to me like a place on the far side of the Neutral Zone - the kind of place where...

Posted: 13 days ago

As a child, I learned about the Straits of Mackinaw. Later, I became acquainted with the Islets of Langerhans, which aren’t in Michigan but do show up on maps of the human pancreas. Then last month, I stumbled into the modulus of elasticity. It sounded to me like a place on the far side of the Neutral Zone - the kind of place where...
Stafford: Experience the beauty, mystery of a country drive
 Basements play a special role in my life. They’re the place I can go whenever I need to forget things. Things like why I went to the basement. Well, last Sunday, after breakfast in Cedarville with friends, my car turned into a kind of auxiliary basement — with a double whammy attached. By the time I buckled in and turned the key...

Posted: 20 days ago

Basements play a special role in my life. They’re the place I can go whenever I need to forget things. Things like why I went to the basement. Well, last Sunday, after breakfast in Cedarville with friends, my car turned into a kind of auxiliary basement — with a double whammy attached. By the time I buckled in and turned the key...
Lincoln scholar to address Springfield Civil War Symposium
 W. Emerson Reck has been gone for 25 years now. So, like his memorable, red-haired wife, Hazel, he is largely forgotten here. But were Reck still around, he’d consider March 7 a red-letter day in Springfield history. It’s the day Harold Holzer is coming to town. Frank J. Williams and Kent Masterson Brown will return to the Heritage...

Posted: 27 days ago

W. Emerson Reck has been gone for 25 years now. So, like his memorable, red-haired wife, Hazel, he is largely forgotten here. But were Reck still around, he’d consider March 7 a red-letter day in Springfield history. It’s the day Harold Holzer is coming to town. Frank J. Williams and Kent Masterson Brown will return to the Heritage...
Commentary: Patience, hugs help on physical rehab journey
 At present, the “other woman” in my life is Penny McKean. Whenever I’m downtown at United Senior Services in Springfield, I stop by her desk to collect a hug. So far, I haven’t been able to collect $200. But because Penny seems to have a soft spot for me, when I stop by her desk I intend to start asking for the amount...

7:00 PM Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020

At present, the “other woman” in my life is Penny McKean. Whenever I’m downtown at United Senior Services in Springfield, I stop by her desk to collect a hug. So far, I haven’t been able to collect $200. But because Penny seems to have a soft spot for me, when I stop by her desk I intend to start asking for the amount...
Commentary: Beware of the temporal goo of January nights
 It’s been dark for some time, and your body tells you it’s time for the 11 o’clock news. But a check of the digital clock says it’s 8:19 and you remember: It’s January again. Time has slowed to the point in the time-space continuum known as the temporal goo – that state in which you feel as though you&rsquo...

7:16 PM Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020

It’s been dark for some time, and your body tells you it’s time for the 11 o’clock news. But a check of the digital clock says it’s 8:19 and you remember: It’s January again. Time has slowed to the point in the time-space continuum known as the temporal goo – that state in which you feel as though you&rsquo...
Commentary: Some people only have ‘this little shred of family’
 Before Pa strung it up, the bream (a fish) flopped around in the boat bottom and Kya had to watch a distant string of pelicans, study the cloud forms, (do) anything but look into the dying fish eyes …. But what it cost her and what it cost that fish was worth it to have this little shred of family. Perhaps not for the fish, but still...

5:00 PM Saturday, Jan. 04, 2020

Before Pa strung it up, the bream (a fish) flopped around in the boat bottom and Kya had to watch a distant string of pelicans, study the cloud forms, (do) anything but look into the dying fish eyes …. But what it cost her and what it cost that fish was worth it to have this little shred of family. Perhaps not for the fish, but still...
Stafford: Waitress shows why there can be hope to bridging differences
 She wore orange nail polish bright as traffic cones. Her long-sleeve sheer white blouse revealed modest undergarments and a series of tattoos that ran down her arms. What set her apart, though, was a smile genuine enough to make me feel welcome in her world. I don’t recall her name. But judging from overheard conversations, she was...

7:00 PM Wednesday, Jan. 01, 2020

She wore orange nail polish bright as traffic cones. Her long-sleeve sheer white blouse revealed modest undergarments and a series of tattoos that ran down her arms. What set her apart, though, was a smile genuine enough to make me feel welcome in her world. I don’t recall her name. But judging from overheard conversations, she was...
Phone scammers want to take you on a Sleigh Ride
 Santa resisted going to North Pole Primary Care this year for the drugs that help when anti-depressants aren’t quite enough. But news of 2019 clearly had brought him down. And after months of patient reasoning, Mrs. Claus looked over the top rims of her glasses as he looked over the tops of his and said: “Dear, the elves all understand...

9:00 PM Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019

Santa resisted going to North Pole Primary Care this year for the drugs that help when anti-depressants aren’t quite enough. But news of 2019 clearly had brought him down. And after months of patient reasoning, Mrs. Claus looked over the top rims of her glasses as he looked over the tops of his and said: “Dear, the elves all understand...
Champion City Crow welcomes visitors to Springfield-themed shop
 Springfielders from near and far who flock to Champion City Guide & Supply each year for Springfield-themed Christmas gifts will make their way to a new location this year. And above the entrance at 137 N. Fountain Ave., they will find the logo of the new Champion City Crow. In one way, the image is merely part of a branding update undertaken...

7:00 PM Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019

Springfielders from near and far who flock to Champion City Guide & Supply each year for Springfield-themed Christmas gifts will make their way to a new location this year. And above the entrance at 137 N. Fountain Ave., they will find the logo of the new Champion City Crow. In one way, the image is merely part of a branding update undertaken...
Commentary: Movie brings new focus to decades-ago meeting with Mister Rogers
 Second of two parts Those who have seen “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” know the Mister Rogers movie it does not focus on beautiful days. Set inside and outside of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, it is the tale of a long troubled and alienated family, the Vogels. It’s true that the family makes peace by film&rsquo...

7:00 PM Saturday, Dec. 07, 2019

Second of two parts Those who have seen “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” know the Mister Rogers movie it does not focus on beautiful days. Set inside and outside of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, it is the tale of a long troubled and alienated family, the Vogels. It’s true that the family makes peace by film&rsquo...
Stafford: Meeting Mr. Rogers was one of the ‘richest experiences of my life’
 First of a two-part series I was munching popcorn and lounging in a leather seat in the back of a movie house last Sunday when a scene opened on the screen and I was hurtled back in time and space as through a wormhole. Instead of being 65, I was 29 again. And instead of sitting in a Miamisburg theater, I was wide-eyed in the WQED Studios...

5:00 PM Sunday, Dec. 01, 2019

First of a two-part series I was munching popcorn and lounging in a leather seat in the back of a movie house last Sunday when a scene opened on the screen and I was hurtled back in time and space as through a wormhole. Instead of being 65, I was 29 again. And instead of sitting in a Miamisburg theater, I was wide-eyed in the WQED Studios...
Stafford: Who would you cast in the movie version of the impeachment inquiry?
 I have to apologize. I haven’t been able to focus on this Sunday’s column as I usually do. I’ve been lost in reality TV. Reality with a small-r. The capital-R Reality TV usually isn’t about reality - or at least not of a sort worth serious attention. It’s the sort of production showman P.T. Barnum might be producing...

5:00 PM Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019

I have to apologize. I haven’t been able to focus on this Sunday’s column as I usually do. I’ve been lost in reality TV. Reality with a small-r. The capital-R Reality TV usually isn’t about reality - or at least not of a sort worth serious attention. It’s the sort of production showman P.T. Barnum might be producing...
Springfield organization in 65th year of serving Thanksgiving meal
 Dorothea and Edwin Mills married on Nov. 26, 1931. But they seldom celebrated an anniversary on that date. Because Thanksgiving fell on the 26th that year, said their daughter, Bonita Mills, “whenever Thanksgiving came, that was their anniversary.” The holiday’s giving spirit still defines the Millses nearly 20 Thanksgivings...

3:00 PM Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019

Dorothea and Edwin Mills married on Nov. 26, 1931. But they seldom celebrated an anniversary on that date. Because Thanksgiving fell on the 26th that year, said their daughter, Bonita Mills, “whenever Thanksgiving came, that was their anniversary.” The holiday’s giving spirit still defines the Millses nearly 20 Thanksgivings...
Stafford: That was a nasty fall
 The man who performed surgery on my leg wore monkey socks. This sentence: a. Is a coded message sent by the CIA to an operative days before the Bay of Pigs invasion and recently appeared in a book about the Cuban Missile Crisis. b. Appears on the page of a study sheet that Inspector Jacques Clouseau’s butler, Cato, is using to improve...

5:00 PM Saturday, Nov. 09, 2019

The man who performed surgery on my leg wore monkey socks. This sentence: a. Is a coded message sent by the CIA to an operative days before the Bay of Pigs invasion and recently appeared in a book about the Cuban Missile Crisis. b. Appears on the page of a study sheet that Inspector Jacques Clouseau’s butler, Cato, is using to improve...
Stafford: ‘Spiritual giant’ spreads comfort through music in final days
 She sent it to me as a column idea. But the tail end of Lou Ann Horstman’s text raised a question in my mind - one I would not have taken seriously had it not been raised by a woman I’ve known for nearly 40 years. What might a person who can be described as “a spiritual giant” - no, that someone I trust actually describes...

4:00 PM Saturday, Nov. 02, 2019

She sent it to me as a column idea. But the tail end of Lou Ann Horstman’s text raised a question in my mind - one I would not have taken seriously had it not been raised by a woman I’ve known for nearly 40 years. What might a person who can be described as “a spiritual giant” - no, that someone I trust actually describes...
Stafford: Ridgewood School, a force in Springfield, turns 100
 Tim Noonan thinks aloud, talking his away into and around ideas like a person making his way through a Halloween corn maze. At the end of a Monday conversation that ambled through the 100-year history of Springfield’s Ridgewood School (celebrated that afternoon), the author of an upcoming book on his alma mater emerged with a clear...

2:00 PM Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019

Tim Noonan thinks aloud, talking his away into and around ideas like a person making his way through a Halloween corn maze. At the end of a Monday conversation that ambled through the 100-year history of Springfield’s Ridgewood School (celebrated that afternoon), the author of an upcoming book on his alma mater emerged with a clear...
Stafford: How Springfield man challenged with health issues maintains his spirit
 Some guys can’t catch a break. Doug Gibson can’t seem to avoid one. In September, the now 60-year-old Springfielder added six or seven more breaks to his total. Four were to bones on the top of his left foot, which the drummer calls his “hi-hat foot” to distinguish it from his right foot, which operates the bass drum...

2:00 PM Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019

Some guys can’t catch a break. Doug Gibson can’t seem to avoid one. In September, the now 60-year-old Springfielder added six or seven more breaks to his total. Four were to bones on the top of his left foot, which the drummer calls his “hi-hat foot” to distinguish it from his right foot, which operates the bass drum...
Preservation group working to restore historic Clark County school
 NEW CARLISLE — At 11:30 a.m. Saturday, the Olive Branch School Preservation Society will unveil a sign that speaks to the historic importance of the “Little Round Building” in front of the Tecumseh schools. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., members will host an open house to provide a glimpse of their vision for a path toward the...

4:00 PM Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019

NEW CARLISLE — At 11:30 a.m. Saturday, the Olive Branch School Preservation Society will unveil a sign that speaks to the historic importance of the “Little Round Building” in front of the Tecumseh schools. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., members will host an open house to provide a glimpse of their vision for a path toward the...
Influential Ohio Federation of Women’s Clubs turns 125, celebrates in Springfield
 Springfield’s Thursday Oct. 25, 1894, Weekly Republic praised the women who had arrived in Springfield the day before as being “endowed with the richest graces of culture and refinement, in a handsome and distinguished body representative of the best and highest type of womanhood.” But those who came to the city to found...

4:00 PM Saturday, Oct. 05, 2019

Springfield’s Thursday Oct. 25, 1894, Weekly Republic praised the women who had arrived in Springfield the day before as being “endowed with the richest graces of culture and refinement, in a handsome and distinguished body representative of the best and highest type of womanhood.” But those who came to the city to found...
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