How do they afford those things?

By Joe Rector Money—it’s something that most of us are short on. It is the means by which we can gain things that we need and want. What amazes me is how prices of things have gone up so much over the years. I often wonder how folks manage to pay for the items they […]

Older is better

By Joe Rector Okay, I’m about to pour out some of my “gray panther” rage. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s one used to identify us of the older generation. Not all are senior citizens are retired; some gray panthers still are alive and well in today’s workforce. It’s for those folks whom […]

Photographs and memories

By Joe Rector Amy and her cousins met on a recent Sunday in Cookeville. They shared a wonderful spread of fried catfish, hush puppies, and French fries, accompanied by sweet tea and banana pudding. After all pushed back from the tables and patted full bellies, they attended to the business of the get-together: sharing family […]

The end

By Joe Rector One of my classes read poems by Emily Dickinson. Some were light-hearted while others were much more serious. Students decided that Dickinson was obsessed with death; I didn’t disagree with them. However, her obsession caused these young folks to think about death and the things about it. I could see them considering […]

Small woman, large contributions

By Joe Rector Nellie West passed away Sunday, October 1, 2017. No, most folks won’t know who she was, but her family certainly will. The following day, Tom Petty, rock legend, died after suffering full cardiac arrest. Probably, millions knew of him. Which death is more devastating? I keep hearing when persons of fame die […]

Paying what we owe

By Joe Rector In Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience,” he says that he meets the U.S. government once a year in the form of the tax collector. He refused to pay those taxes as a means of protesting the Mexican War, which he said enlarged the Southern lands that promoted slavery. I’ve always admired his […]

Escape is futile

By Joe Rector The announcement just came over the intercom, “Teachers, the Internet is going to be disconnected. Don’t panic!” I laughed to myself and thought, “How ridiculous is that?” The smile on my face lasted only a brief time. Then, the feelings of discomfort creeped in until I, too, fretted over having no connections. […]

Nature is the boss

By Joe Rector The end of August and the beginning of September haven’t been the kindest of months to many folks in the country. Hurricanes in the east and infernos in the west displace families and destroy business. Our feelings go out to all who have suffered such losses, and in the American spirit, volunteers, […]

Remembering some old folks

By Joe Rector I’ve been reading J.D. Vance’s book “Hillbilly Elegy” the last couple of days. Putting it down is difficult. While I’m not from the hills and backwoods of Kentucky, our families have similarities, and his words spark plenty of memories of my childhood with extended family members. The most important person in Vance’s […]

Not so fast

By Joe Rector Well, I’m sure of it. We’ve lost our minds and our ability to use common sense. If anyone doesn’t believe it, just look at what is going on in our country. We don’t need to act so fast sometimes. Knee-jerk reactions never help situations. In Charlottesville, Virginia, groups go after each other […]

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