How many times did we tell our children to “Pay attention!”? We are told in Scripture to pay attention. Jesus instructed in Matthew 6 to “Look at the birds of the air.” The late great poet Mary Oliver gave us pointed details:

She never asked for much, and would likely have been happy to see her kids grow up and do well for themselves. She might have hoped they’d get more education, have more opportunities than she and her husband had had. Maybe, instead of a lifetime of backbreaking work growing tobacco, their fu…

One of the great, if not the greatest, essayists in the English language was Charles Lamb, born in London in 1775. Lamb published his “Essays of Elia” in 1823. Of all of his essays, one of my favorites is “A Dissertation on Roast Pig.” Lamb’s essay would not be appealing to vegetarians and v…

Clutching a cup of coffee and scowling at the world in general, I wonder why I ever agreed to judge a high school speech tournament on a grim Saturday morning in February. I long for the peace of home, the New York Times, and the solace of my fuzzy slippers, but instead I enter Murray High S…

My thanks to Dr. Winfield Rose for sharing his thoughts in this column these past few weeks while I was away. I always appreciate his intellect and capable commentary.

If Russell Baker had a fan club, I would be a card-carrying member. I’d been a Baker groupie since high school, when I started reading his weekly essays in the Sunday New York Times.  Last week, upon learning that he’d died, I went searching for a letter he wrote to me at the beginning of my…

Climate change in the form of global warming is said to be a serious crisis which threatens the continued existence of life on earth if not stopped and reversed. This is due to the release of “green house” gases caused by the burning of fossil fuels by humans. According to some authorities, …

In pre-Revolutionary France, a “Great Princess” heard that the peasants had no brioche, a rich bread with lots of eggs and butter. She allegedly uttered, “Let them eat cake,” showing her disregard for the peasants and their troubles.

For me it is a humbling and inspirational experience to sit all alone in an empty classroom — empty of students, I mean. Before I retired from teaching, I often sought out one of my classrooms at Murray State University after the end of a term or before the beginning of a new semester. I tri…

Thirty-one years ago, before moving to Murray, I checked out the public library because, to me, it is one of the most important places in any community. Back in 1988, Margaret Trevathan headed up the operation with visionary leadership, a firm hand and tireless grace. It was clear that she a…