There have been a few departures in my life that have saddened me greatly.

Fay Brown left this world about a month ago. Miss Fay was a landmark in this community; a cornerstone of the writing enclave that has been nurtured here. I have referred to her writings often, as she was a pivot of the famous 1959 edition of the Banner-Tribune.

Miss Fay also wrote Franklin Through the Years which is one of my most prized books.

She was always kind and gracious to me, and complimented my work, a nod I did not take lightly.

She goes to join a cadre of local area writers who have gone to their hereafters such as Bernard Broussard, Fielding Lewis, Ella Mensman, Nora Lewis and others. I hope they’ll welcome me into their very exclusive club when my time comes to join them.

Last week, Carolyn Burgess Savage also departed to the Creator of All Things.

Miss Carolyn attended Haskell Indian College in Lawrence, Kansas. Following college she worked in Washington, D.C. for the Department of State. Later in life she taught Chitimacha Culture and Language for the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana until retiring due to declining health.

One of . . . → Read More: Partings

Perspective in Tragedy

Wade Michael Page, the dead man accused of the killings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, “was eyed by federal investigators ‘more than once’ because of ties to white supremacist and extremist groups, the Los Angeles Times reports, but federal officials “determined there was not enough evidence of a crime to open an investigation.”

They had been tracking Page since 2000, and he had public neo-Nazi ties.

James Holmes’ psychiatrist was treating him at the University of Colorado and told a police officer she was worried about his behavior, and she also was part of the university’s threat assessment team that was concerned with Holmes. This was before he dropped out of college and massacred a dozen people and wounded almost six times that many in Aurora, Colo.

Yet gun-control advocates scream for tighter controls for all of us, most notably Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, a long-time supporter of gun regulation. There’s many more.

So did the University of Colorado and the Feds drop the ball on Holmes and Page?

Absolutely. And the gun control advocates believe that means we should all give up our second amendment rights.

Here’s some information for the informed:

–Roughly 16,272 . . . → Read More: Perspective in Tragedy

Small Towns

Well, I was born in a small town

And I live in a small town

Prob’ly die in a small town

Oh, those small communities

(John Cougar Mellencamp)

We do still have many advantages in rural communities. Don’t mistake me. Compared to some sprawling urban concoction of  high-rises, cloverleafs, six-lane highways and sinister things looking out from dark alleys, things ain’t so bad here.

Not that we don’t have problems. The thugs and hooligans in our small towns imitate the thugs and hooligans in cities.

There’s always been bad people. There’s always been bullies. Problem is there weren’t so many of them.

Still, we rural people, whether in unincorporated areas or towns under 10,000 in population, are better off in many ways. At least, when I drive home from work, I get to see trees that aren’t planted in a little green square within an ocean of parking lot. I can look out over an expanse of healthy sugar cane, or a tepid bayou of green-black water. I got nearly two acres to roam at home.

There’s the nicety of knowing people, too. We don’t know everyone, of course. But pretty much any trip to the store or a . . . → Read More: Small Towns

Go Outside

“You never get to point at a meadow full of browsing mule deer and say, ‘You know, all this was once condos.’” (John Gierach)

Still on a rant. It’s crawling around up and down my spine and making me itch crazily.

I know this is a lot about how I look at the world in my particularly off-kilter way. But largest place I ever lived was Slidell. It was a nightmare, and that was in the mid-1980s. I remember feeling claustrophobic and short of breath; worse, I lived in an apartment and that was sheer torture. In the end, and in hindsight, I realize I made excuses: My father had been diagnosed with heart disease and a touch of emphysema while I lived in Slidell, and I latched onto his failing health to flee the concrete, steel and throngs of harried, scurrying people.

And violence? My God. The violence of cities leaves me aghast. Even if I were never mugged, attacked by a mob of vicious thugs or carjacked, I’d die of anxiety. Nope. Not for me. No job over there pays enough. No teaspoon-sized yard can hold enough green, and no locked door is strong enough.

Look at . . . → Read More: Go Outside