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Latest from Tom Stafford

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Stafford: These modest historic items have a new home at a rare Springfield Underground Railroad site
 A relationship that traces back at least to May 12, 1863, when 41-year-old Addison White and 25-year-old Charles Gammon began service with the storied 54th Massachusetts Regiment, was renewed a week ago Saturday when White’s descendants handed over two items connected with him for permanent display in Gammon’s one-time Springfield...

12:00 AM Sunday, Jun. 24, 2018

A relationship that traces back at least to May 12, 1863, when 41-year-old Addison White and 25-year-old Charles Gammon began service with the storied 54th Massachusetts Regiment, was renewed a week ago Saturday when White’s descendants handed over two items connected with him for permanent display in Gammon’s one-time Springfield...
Stafford: This friend weighs the odds on everything
 My friend Doug Andrews is a statistician – a data science guy. That means he obsesses over numbers and has been doing it for 29 years with students at Wittenberg University. He does it to the extent that if we’re on a bike ride, he asks whether I’d rather take the route to the left or the one to the right on the way back...

12:00 AM Sunday, Jun. 17, 2018

My friend Doug Andrews is a statistician – a data science guy. That means he obsesses over numbers and has been doing it for 29 years with students at Wittenberg University. He does it to the extent that if we’re on a bike ride, he asks whether I’d rather take the route to the left or the one to the right on the way back...
Juneteenth celebration approaches
 History begins at a different moment for each of us – the moment we realize we have been dropped onto its timeline. Springfield’s Gammon House will try to stretch our awareness of history’s reach when it celebrates Juneteenth from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at its 620 Piqua Place address. This marks the museum’s 12th...

2:00 PM Saturday, Jun. 09, 2018

History begins at a different moment for each of us – the moment we realize we have been dropped onto its timeline. Springfield’s Gammon House will try to stretch our awareness of history’s reach when it celebrates Juneteenth from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at its 620 Piqua Place address. This marks the museum’s 12th...
Tom Stafford: Springfield man to be honored for work with former inmates
 When Bobby Mims returned to prison in 2003, it was as a social worker, not an inmate. But having been incarcerated on a 10-year sentence for armed robbery in the 1960s, he said, “The slam of those doors shook me for about the first month.” MORE FROM TOM STAFFORD They have a racing team, a driver and a logo. It’s all fake...

12:00 AM Saturday, Jun. 02, 2018

When Bobby Mims returned to prison in 2003, it was as a social worker, not an inmate. But having been incarcerated on a 10-year sentence for armed robbery in the 1960s, he said, “The slam of those doors shook me for about the first month.” MORE FROM TOM STAFFORD They have a racing team, a driver and a logo. It’s all fake...
Tom Stafford: History continues to teach lessons
 Junius and Brutus are distinctive enough first and middle names to make theater and history geeks recall the British-born Junius Brutus Booth, one of the pre-eminent actors of the 19th century American stage. With a lengthy list of acting credits, his most infamous credit was bringing Abraham Lincoln’s assassin into the world and then...

11:00 AM Saturday, May. 26, 2018

Junius and Brutus are distinctive enough first and middle names to make theater and history geeks recall the British-born Junius Brutus Booth, one of the pre-eminent actors of the 19th century American stage. With a lengthy list of acting credits, his most infamous credit was bringing Abraham Lincoln’s assassin into the world and then...
Rabbi: Aging well, and loving long
 When he spoke last month in Springfield, Rabbi Richard Address cited half a dozen passages from Genesis and Deuteronomy in addressing how religious traditions can guide their adherents to more meaningful and healthy experiences of older age. But he also cited the spiritual teachings of Snoopy; gave those who correctly answered his questions...

2:00 PM Saturday, May. 19, 2018

When he spoke last month in Springfield, Rabbi Richard Address cited half a dozen passages from Genesis and Deuteronomy in addressing how religious traditions can guide their adherents to more meaningful and healthy experiences of older age. But he also cited the spiritual teachings of Snoopy; gave those who correctly answered his questions...
Springfield man’s bassoon mistaken for a weapon by 911 caller
 In April, 22-year-old Eric Barga arrived Covenant Presbyterian Church in Springfield waiting for a music practice to begin, but he was early. He took out his bassoon, sat on his car and started playing. Springfield police received a 911 call shortly after with concerns there was a man sitting on his car with a weapon. Police responded...

4:40 PM Saturday, May. 12, 2018

In April, 22-year-old Eric Barga arrived Covenant Presbyterian Church in Springfield waiting for a music practice to begin, but he was early. He took out his bassoon, sat on his car and started playing. Springfield police received a 911 call shortly after with concerns there was a man sitting on his car with a weapon. Police responded...
They have a racing team, a driver and a logo. It’s all fake (except the fun).
 The Minnesota city on the west edge of Lake Superior is now known for a clothier whose bewhiskered, manly advertisements radiate a bearlike comfort and warmth, if not scent. But in January of 1988, as Jim Ingledue, Ed Gyenes and their displeased wives migrated north through a snowstorm to the relocated offices of the Beckley Cardy Co., their...

12:00 AM Saturday, May. 12, 2018

The Minnesota city on the west edge of Lake Superior is now known for a clothier whose bewhiskered, manly advertisements radiate a bearlike comfort and warmth, if not scent. But in January of 1988, as Jim Ingledue, Ed Gyenes and their displeased wives migrated north through a snowstorm to the relocated offices of the Beckley Cardy Co., their...
Someone called 911, but this man’s maple instrument wasn’t a gun. It was a bassoon.
 On the afternoon of April 5, after giving three lessons at his alma mater, Kenton Ridge High School, 22-year-old Eric Barga drove to Covenant Presbyterian Church for practices of the bell choir and arrived half an hour early, at about 6 p.m. Although the temperature was in the mid-50s, after years spent in claustrophobic practice rooms while...

10:00 AM Saturday, May. 12, 2018

On the afternoon of April 5, after giving three lessons at his alma mater, Kenton Ridge High School, 22-year-old Eric Barga drove to Covenant Presbyterian Church for practices of the bell choir and arrived half an hour early, at about 6 p.m. Although the temperature was in the mid-50s, after years spent in claustrophobic practice rooms while...
A doctor’s efforts to fight a particular type of cancer will be featured at this Springfield event
 In the 13 years since Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham founded Downtown Dermatology in Columbus, her efforts to diagnose a deadly form of skin cancer at earlier stages in African-American women have been increasingly helped by referrals from trichologists, which are cosmetologists who specialize in issues of hair loss and other skin-related problems...

12:00 AM Saturday, May. 05, 2018

In the 13 years since Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham founded Downtown Dermatology in Columbus, her efforts to diagnose a deadly form of skin cancer at earlier stages in African-American women have been increasingly helped by referrals from trichologists, which are cosmetologists who specialize in issues of hair loss and other skin-related problems...
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...

8:00 PM Sunday, Apr. 22, 2018

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....

2:00 PM Saturday, Apr. 21, 2018

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...

12:00 AM Saturday, Apr. 14, 2018

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...

12:00 AM Sunday, Apr. 08, 2018

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...

2:00 PM Saturday, Mar. 31, 2018

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...
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