Lifestyles Columnists

Jul. 04, 2015 @ 06:55 PM

Kenneth Burns: Newspaper comics are why I'm here today

Charles Schulz is the reason you're reading this.

Jul. 05, 2015 @ 08:13 AM

Charles Mackem: A fair share isn't always fair

One of the downsides of being a chef is being expected to cook whenever friends or family come to visit me. I do actually love to cook, and I thoroughly enjoy making people happy with a good meal, but the assumption that I will always cook dinner for my guests can get on my nerves at times.

Jul. 04, 2015 @ 02:49 PM

Public Pulpit: What lurks in the darkness of your heart?

My grandmother, having suffered a stroke, was cared for 24/7 by my mom. Since Grandma could not walk, she was confined to either her bed or chair. During my quiet times, she was my companion as she read the comics to me and we listened to the radio together.

Jul. 02, 2015 @ 06:17 PM

Carl Mays: Celebrate freedom for one nation under God

Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, brings to mind many things, but should always have its major focus on the important basic fact that it is a national holiday in America commemorating the July 4, 1776, adoption of the Declaration of Independence  from Great Britain. John Adams, one of the five drafters of the document, wrote to his wife Abigail that this action would:

Jun. 20, 2015 @ 03:21 PM

Charles Mackem: Summer means the return of Caprese salad

My tomato guy came through again a few days ago, and this time he came through in a big way – six gorgeously ripe homegrown tomatoes. Most ended up in between a couple slices of bread, but the two largest were destined for a different fate: my first Caprese salad in more than nine months.

Jun. 19, 2015 @ 11:37 AM

Public Pulpit: Seeing Jesus in a new light

What picture from scripture, art, or music do you have of Jesus? Let me share some possibilities.

Jun. 18, 2015 @ 02:52 PM

Carl Mays: I thank God for my father

Mark Twain (like Yogi Berra and others) has received credit for many quotes. Whether Twain, Yogi or anyone else actually said all the attributed statements – or was even the first to say them – we don’t always know for sure. However, I do know that one of the quotes attributed to Twain is, “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”

Jun. 13, 2015 @ 10:29 AM

Charles Mackem: Welcome to the time of the tomato

Sometimes there are no good choices. Take tomatoes, for instance. For eight or nine months a year, we're all faced with a dilemma – choosing between abstaining completely, or settling for a so-called tomato that pulls off the seemingly impossible feat of being hard and mushy at the same time, and whose taste bears no resemblance whatsoever to those we grow ourselves.

Jun. 11, 2015 @ 03:48 PM

Carl Mays: To move forward, focus on what is inspiring

Much like me, old friends and fellow speakers Don and Kathleen Thoren from Tempe, Ariz., are in the business of encouraging people in the areas of human relations, communication and teamwork. I have been receiving from them for several years an occasional publication titled “Engaged Living,” which promotes living life to the fullest. This past week Kathleen wrote an article about doubts. I think it is a good one and I want to share a part of it with you.

Jun. 06, 2015 @ 02:41 PM

Kenneth Burns: Take it from Tony: Live theater is powerful

The Oscars are boring. The Grammys stopped being an awards show. The Emmys? Forget it.

Jun. 06, 2015 @ 12:19 PM

Charles Mackem: Musings from the Smoky Mountain Gourmet

I'm guessing I have about three weeks before my first tomato is ripe; seems like an eternity away. Still, I do love fried green tomatoes (bonus recipe: dredge them in flour heavily seasoned with salt and pepper, pan fry them to dark brown in two parts bacon fat to one part olive oil), so at least I've got that going for me.

Jun. 06, 2015 @ 12:05 PM

Public Pulpit: We must battle our inclination to sin

"There are things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind." So says Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Jun. 04, 2015 @ 01:33 PM

Carl Mays: Enjoy Friday, while helping others do the same

Good news for all doughnut lovers! Especially is it good news for those who have to pass by doughnut shops or display racks, look and lust at these tasty treats and then keep on driving or walking without looking back, knowing that your days of chomping into one of these sumptuous delights without feeling guilty, sinful and heavier are past memories. The good news is that Friday, June 5, 2015, is National Donut Day – and it may be your patriotic duty to consume one!

May. 30, 2015 @ 02:53 PM

Charles Mackem: Some restaurant experiences are best forgotten

As I'm unable at the moment to contact my attorney, no names will be mentioned – to protect the guilty. A couple of weeks ago, I had a visit from some family and, despite my expressed feelings of unease, a decision was made to go out for dinner. These are my impressions of that evening.

May. 30, 2015 @ 01:21 PM

Upland Chronicles: Middle Creek Methodist was established in the early 1800s

Soon after the first white settlers arrived around 1784, and Robert Shields constructed a blockhouse known as Shields’ Fort, circuit-riding Methodist preachers began holding services in the Middle Creek community. Folks from the community and beyond traveled on horseback or in wagons to gather for week-long revivals.

May. 30, 2015 @ 12:50 PM

Adriana Zoder: Experience history at Asheville's palatial Biltmore

You have, no doubt, heard the saying, "Wherever you go, there you are." As locals in a tourist town, we know this to be true. We see people coming here to relax, only to notice they are still plugged into their life at home with their phones, tablets and laptops. Then, of course, we also see those who relax too much and set safety aside. Wherever you go, there you are. We cannot change who we are by changing our surroundings.

May. 30, 2015 @ 11:43 AM

Public Pulpit: The love you have been looking for

Being truly loved unconditionally for oneself is a treasure. We were created to give and receive love. One of the two commands of Jesus was to love the Lord your God with your whole mind, soul, and strength and your neighbor as yourself.

May. 29, 2015 @ 01:37 PM

Jake Old: Weird tales from band practice

There are many things I've missed about being able to regularly play music with two of my best friends. The creative process, the camaraderie, the experience of playing live.

May. 28, 2015 @ 01:55 PM

Carl Mays: Crises are a part of our very being

Last December I bought a T-shirt as a birthday present for our grandson Trey that reads, "Zombie Outbreak Response Team." I had seen the words and logo on the back window of a truck. I couldn't resist going online and finding a shirt with the same words and logo. Trey and his dad Carl II are big fans of "The Walking Dead" television series. And, yes, Trey now has his mother Beth watching the series with them. Since past seasons can be viewed, Jean and I watched the first show – which was also our last. Not our cup of tea.

May. 22, 2015 @ 03:48 PM

Public Pulpit: We look to God for forgiveness and stability

Thank you, Lord, for the rain. It has been quite some time since we’ve had more than just a few drops here in Pittman Center. The air now smells so fresh and clean, and all the pollen has been washed away for a time.

May. 22, 2015 @ 03:47 PM

Charles Mackem: There's a curry for everyone

I’m really fond of curries, and one of the main reasons is the nearly infinite variety of dishes that fall into this category. There are yellow curries from India, and red curries from Thailand. There are ginger curries from Malaysia, and curried noodle dishes from Singapore. I once had a curried goat and potato pizza on Union Island in the Caribbean, sold to me by two Rastafarians named Evol (that’s ‘love’ spelled backwards) and Elvis. It was delicious. There are thousands of dishes throughout the world that can reasonably be called curries.

May. 22, 2015 @ 04:40 PM

Carl Mays: There's a lot to be said for keeping calm under pressure

Several years ago, when I led in a conference for Kansas University students, the title of the conference was "Discovering the Foundations of Leadership," so named by the students themselves. The students were representatives from the student council, athletic teams, fraternities, sororities and other campus groups. All participants were given a colorful T-shirt that featured their Jayhawk mascot wearing a Sherlock Holmes hat and looking through a Sherlock-like magnifying glass at a quote by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Von Nagyrapolt: "Discovering consists of seeing what everybody else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought."

May. 16, 2015 @ 01:06 PM

Classic dishes are classic for a reason

In many ways, I'm a traditionalist. Classics are classics for a reason, and if they are to be changed or altered in any way whatsoever, there had better be a very good reason.


May. 16, 2015 @ 12:53 PM

Adriana Zoder: A royal English butler visits Gatlinburg

The first week of May, I attended an afternoon tea at the Buckhorn Inn. It featured a speech by a royal English butler, who retired as high host at Harris Manchester College, Oxford University. I would have gone just because it was afternoon tea at the Buckhorn Inn, you know what I mean? But when the invitation mentioned this modern-day Carson – if you watch "Downton Abbey," you know of whom I write – I canceled our son's piano lesson that afternoon to make room in our schedule.

May. 14, 2015 @ 04:43 PM

Carl Mays: For what are you most thankful?

Whenever I pick up my grandson Trey from school, I usually ask him questions regarding the most interesting thing that happened that day, or the most unusual, or the most challenging, or the best, or what he liked most – or something along these lines. I also like to ask, "For what are you most thankful today?" When our family is gathered around the dinner table, sometimes for the pre-meal blessing, I like to ask each member to mention what he or she is most thankful for that day. I don't believe we can ever cover all the things for which we are thankful – things from God, family, friends and others. No doubt, even when it seems things are going wrong for us in various ways, there are always many things – and people – for which to be thankful.