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Today's Opinions

  • Decorating the tree brings back memories

    Last Thursday my son, Ethan, and I put up our Christmas tree. It was fairly simple – fit tab A into slot B and so forth. I’ve never had an artificial tree before, so this was a new experience.

    After the metal pieces had been slotted, we stood back and Ethan said, "Mom that doesn’t look like the box." I assured him that the metal branches extending from the metal trunk could be covered with cuttings from our cedar tree outside – not to worry.

    I was worried. It looked like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

  • Merry Christmas!

    The decorations are up, the cards are sent, the carols are being played, the holiday goodies have been baked and – unless you’re a world-class procrastinator – the gifts have been purchased.

    It’s nearly Christmas time!

    As we approach Christmas Day this Friday, it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the many things for which we are thankful. Family, friends and health come to mind easily.

  • Grandma's long-distance love affair

    Grandma (Berniece Meyer Davidson Spires) first met Eddie Spires in 1928, when she was 16 years old. Eddie had accompanied his buddy, Ed McNutt, to Bingham to visit Ed’s girl, Lenore Harrison, who lived there. Ed and Lenore later married.

    Both men lived east of Ramsey – Eddie Spires in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. For Eddie, it was love at first sight, although Berniece did not know this. Distance and lack of transportation kept them from meeting again – until after World War II.

  • Generosity sets Fayette County apart

    Perhaps more than any other time of the year, the Christmas holiday season brings out the generous spirit of the people of Fayette County.

    Though we’ve come to expect acts of selfless generosity from area residents, this year has produced more than normal, it seems.

    Everywhere one turns, another group has taken on another project to help those less fortunate, to support someone through an illness or to brighten the Christmas season for the needy. It is, indeed, a heartwarming thing to witness.

    A sampling:

  • Wintery blast brings memories of past

    As the first blast of winter hit this week, the memories of past winters – when we had mounds of snow – came to mind. This year, according to the persimmon seed, with its telltale spoon, we should expect to have our snow shovels at the ready.

    The winter of "eighteen hundred and starve-to-death" in 1831, was not the first big freeze experienced in Illinois. An earlier freeze, about 1813, was known as the "year without a summer."

  • City must avoid Motown debt

    It was an impressive array of vendors and contractors that was assembled by Motown Technology for Monday’s meeting with the Vandalia City Council. Participants included representatives of Wyndham Hotel Group, IBM, Select Contracts, Hunt Construction Group, TSI Global and several other design and construction companies.

    One by one, at the invitation of developer Kenneth Bardwell, those representatives told of their expertise and the part they would play in the creation of a proposed $300 million sports and entertainment complex in Vandalia.

  • Don't ride Motown horse too long

    Vandalia’s city administrator last Tuesday night rolled out a number of budget cuts that he was proposing in light of shrinking surpluses and decreasing revenues.

    With that in mind, we hope that the city council takes a long, hard look at the request for an extension being requested for the proposed $300-million sports and entertainment complex.

  • Nurse Mary tells her Civil War stories

    “As a small child, I remember looking up at her and thinking that she was as tall as a tree, especially since she wore long dresses.”

    This comment by her great-granddaughter, Joyce Hamilton, added to the aura of Mary Wren Sharp, who chose to be with her husband during the Civil War, and joined the Seventh Illinois Cavalry as a nurse.