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Mine Creek Revelations: Keeping Traditions

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YES, I AM STILL HERE peeking out of the newspaper’s window on Main Street and I still smiling because of the memories of the children at Breakfast with Santa, the annual project of Nashville’s chapter of Junior Auxiliary. It was a wonderful and well-attended event.

And I am smiling because of Sunday’s open house at the Howard County Historical Society’s museums.

Events like this don’t just happen. It takes a lot of work and planning.

The newspaper was glad to assist in promoting both events.

It is important to a small town that museums and Santa breakfasts thrive. We are becoming a stay-at-home society. Not good, in my opinion. The work falls upon the shoulders of the few. In our community, wonderful folks answer.

So, my sincere thanks to the members of Junior Auxiliary and of the historical society for keeping our traditions and our culture alive.

And especially to the young women of JA — thanks for laughing at my lame wisecracks about serving Bloody Marys to the elderly.

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COINCIDENCE? On Thursdays when I go to the courthouse to thumb through records, I always stop in front of the monument which lists those from our community who have died in armed conflicts. I like to stop and read at least one name. I think about that hero and what might have been.

Last week among the dead of WWII I noticed the name of Roy Elder. He was killed at Pearl Harbor. His son, my classmate Tommy Elder, was born three months after his father was killed. When I got back to the office I looked up Tommy on Facebook and discovered that he had died just days earlier. And his wife had died just days before that. Growing up in Nashville, Tommy was a Boy Scout, played a saxophone in the Scrapper band. After graduating from Ouachita Baptist University he became an electronics technician on a US Navy nuclear submarine. After his Navy stint he had gone to work (with all that training) at Arkansas Nuclear One.

RIP, Tommy, and all names on that monument.

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THE CANCER PROJECT.  It’s high time I got around to reporting on the project which gives $20 gasoline vouchers to cancer patients to help with their expenses going to doctor appointments, x-ray, lab, blood transfusions, etc. — all of the bad experiences which the patients and their families and caregivers must endure.

As of last week I figure we have been able to provide about $85,000 in the vouchers since the latter months of 2007 when the project was launched.

The project has endured with the help of some regular donors who just take it on faith that their donations find the way to gas tanks of the cancer patients or their drivers. Thank you for your trust.

Cancer patients just need to come to the newspaper office when we’re open, and say they need a gasoline voucher. The voucher can be exchanged for gasoline at Road Mart which graciously participates with us in the project.

The number of persons using the vouchers has declined since patients have been able to take ‘chemo’ in a specialty clinic at Howard Memorial Hospital. But they still have to make trips related to their disease, and we want to help.

God bless cancer patients, caregivers and researchers.

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MUSIC TO MY EARS. I was never more than a piddling musician even up until I put my instrument away for the last time at Texarkana Junior College, but I have always been appreciative of persons who can read music and play an instrument.

None more so than persons who have the ‘ear,’ and discipline to play the organ, the most difficult of all to learn to play. I do love church music played on an organ. I admire the person sitting at that complicated keyboard, shuffling feet among the bass pedals.

Randy Sides, who was buried here last week, learned to play the organ while he was a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Ashdown. When he moved back to his hometown, he did not sit at the keyboard again at St. Martin’s because of advancing disability. But you could hear his voice over the others during hymns and you knew that in his mind he was accompanying that hymn with his fingers on the keys and stops of an imaginary organ.

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WORD GAMES. Here are some more words that we often hear used together in some context: Track and Field. Relates back to the original Olympic Games. Not to be confused with ‘Field & Stream,’ a magazine for sportsmen and sportswimmen.

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THINGS I LEARNED by opening the email: “As I watch this generation try and rewrite our history, one thing I’m sure of ….. it will be misspelled and have no punctuation.”

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HE SAID: “I believe in reincarnation. In my last life I was a peasant. Next time around, I’d like to be an eagle. Who hasn’t dreamed they could fly? They’re a protected species, too.” Lee Trevino, witty professional golfer

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SHE SAID: “Through books and photographs, I saw a world that was not my own — and I realized that there was another world. That’s why I’m concerned about education, because it helps our children see other worlds.” Bette Middler, entertainer

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SWEET DREAMS, Baby

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