In response to a November 2011 column in which railroad artifacts were discussed and pictured, Eugene Carl Griggs of Lugoff called to say he enjoyed it very much. Gene is a retired former employee of the Seaboard Railway. Little did this columnist know our conversation would lead into some very interesting and little known areas of World War II history.
(Columnist Clarence Page is on vacation. In his absence, Robert Koehler, an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer, is featured today.)
Let's start with some good news:
Unless you've been holed up in a basement somewhere for the past few years -- if you seldom read a newspaper or watch a news broadcast on television -- you are aware of global warming and the catastrophic effects it could have upon our planet.
Even without knowing the intricate details of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), many have come across a teacher or two who says that their creativity and long-term effectiveness in the classroom has become limited since the implementation of NCLB. Consequently, it is honorable that the state of South Carolina has been motivated to submit a request for flexibility in NCLB requirements early next year and requests the input of the "community" of South Carolina.
Ah, a New Year.
(Columnist Kathleen Parker is on vacation. In her absence, Ruth Marcus, a columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group, is featured today.)
Only once since my foolish adolescence do I recall actually feeling fortunate to be a smoker, a truly insidious addiction that I have since kicked. It was the slightly chilly Washington evening on which I was joined during a smoke break at a friend's birthday party by Christopher Hitchens, one of the few people who can be called a journalist-intellectual without it sounding like a punch line.
Imagine a place where jobs are plentiful, and the housing market is thriving. A place where even low-playing service jobs come with signing bonuses and other benefits.
Last week, I named Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews as my 2011 Person of the Year. Inevitably, any thoughts of law enforcement bring me thoughts of crime. Sometimes reading crime reports can be the most enjoyable part of the day.
WASHINGTON -- The Republicans' final debate preceding the Iowa caucuses is suddenly uncompelling. There is nothing to do but write about Christopher Hitchens, whose death has made the world immeasurably less interesting.
Choosing a career in the media makes me a willing martyr. Although I am drawn to the glossy covers of magazines and daydream about seeing my 10-point byline in publications nationwide, making a living as a reporter means continuously living in my most vulnerable state.
A conservative Christian group has launched a boycott against "All-American Muslim." The TLC reality TV show about Muslim families in America fails to live down to the group's narrow-minded stereotypes. Their gripe, in my view, makes about as much sense as boycotting "The Cosby Show" because it doesn't mention black street gangs.
WASHINGTON -- Callista Gingrich has done something she might come to regret -- succumbed to the Twitter fairy and opened the door to unwelcome scrutiny.
A long, long time ago... oh, wait, that's another pop culture reference.
It started accidentally. Some good ideas and memorable moments are like that. They aren't planned. They're born, bringing with them an ability to nudge a way naturally into our lives and become a tradition.
As a part of writing this column, I go to lots of meetings, community events and conferences all across the state in my never ending search to find out about the people, businesses and community groups that are doing good and important things to make our state better.
• "Glenn," writes my friend Waylon Fortenberry of Chesterfield County, "I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people. I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem work itself out."
WASHINGTON -- News that Pope Francis will visit the U.S. next year for the triennial World Meeting of Families brings elation to Catholics, excitement to pope watchers -- and perhaps a little chagrin to some who too soon interpreted Francis' broad compassion as a precursor to doctrinal changes related to marriage.
This space in the Friday edition of the Chronicle-Independent each week is where I am allowed to share my personal stories, opinions and basically whatever is on my mind as I write this column. I know I complain about a lot of things and, eventually, the time may come when I have covered everything that aggravates me and the rest of the columns in my career won't be the kind where you can imagine me pounding my fist on my desk as you read them. But, if that day ever does come, it's a long way off.
In 2008, a group of graduate students from the University of South Carolina's Public History Program produced a study entitled, "The Camden African-American Heritage Project." It was the product of a student group assignment conducted in 2005-06. The students were assisted by many Camden residents in their search for the history of African-Americans in Camden from the Colonial period through the era of civil rights. Though able to spend only one semester researching and writing, the students pulled together an admirable overview of the lives of African-Americans here. In their final recommendations they suggested, among other things, that an ...
I try to live life as a journey full of unknown destinations. And I do believe it is the journey that matters most. During the last year, I was blessed enough to experience a journey throughout our wonderful state of South Carolina. A campaign for governor is a journey through the hearts and souls of many people and places. A statewide campaign is sometimes brutal and sometimes joyful, but never dull. I treasure that journey and thank my friends in Camden and Kershaw County for letting me experience it.
WASHINGTON -- Millennials are foolhardy spendthrifts. But young people basically always are, and that's probably OK.
I used to have high and/or specific expectations for everything. I was never cynical. As a matter of fact, I was the most optimistic person I knew.
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