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Moments with the minister — Dealing with Illness

My 30-something sister-in-law sat on the examination table after hearing the doctor tell her, “You have cancer.” Her response: “Well, that sucks!” While that may be a word you consider to be vulgar, it was an accurate assessment of her situation. Illness is a problem we all have to face, and we are almost never prepared for it. It might be something chronic or it may be a diagnosis of something terminal. Either way, it can knock you down to the depths of despair.

Denison likely to be filled with DHS alumni Wednesday

Fifteen years ago, a group of former Denison High School students got together in Denton and formed an informal group that became known as the Denton Lunch Bunch. On Wednesday, that group and many other former DHS students will be coming home to Denison for their first-ever Lunch Bunch meeting in their home town.

To kill or not to kill that is the question

In the decades I have spent covering murder trials for the Herald Democrat , I have heard many tales of horror-filled, painful deaths. Recently I read, with some dismay, about a group of attorneys who are suing to find out the maker of drugs used in administering the death penalty in Texas. The lawyers say they need to know who is making the drugs so the convicted killers can be sure that their deaths, from those drugs, won’t be so painful that they rise to the level of cruel and unusual punishment.

A “Month” to forget

A decade ago in another job in another state, I was hired to write gubernatorial proclamations. By the nature of a proclamation, it was the least-important job in the office by quite a stretch, which explains why it was entrusted to a barely-out-of-college kid.

Moments with the minister — Made in His image

Have you ever noticed how much kids reflect their parents in word, deed, and of course looks? I have four girls, and each one looks like they have been brought forth from the same factory (and they have). Their appearance marks them when they stand next to me and my wife. They are Taylor girls, and I couldn’t deny them, even if I wanted to. Their personalities are very different.

JIM HIGHTOWER: Wall Street’s bonus inflation

Not too many years ago, any news story about bonus money would’ve been about some 20-year-old baseball player — an up-and-coming superstar getting $100,000 or so on top of his salary as an extra incentive to join the Yankees, Giants, or whatever team.

House Committee examines area related to tourism, culture

This week I will discuss the interim charges recently issued to the House Committee on Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. Interim charges are the issues that the Speaker asks committees to study during the time between regular legislative sessions in order to make recommendations for legislation for the following legislative session. The charges are good indicators of what legislation the legislature will take up during the next session. Legislators rely on public input when crafting legislation, and it is important that they hear from people during the interim.

More colorful Denison residents remembered

Recently we wrote a column on the “bad guys” who inhabited Denison for short periods of time. But not all of the colorful characters around town were bad. Some of them were just plain “colorful.” Some of these characters were still around entertaining the citizens with their antics well into the 1960s.

Repairing our dysfunctional government

The U.S. Congress is a disgrace to all who have even the foggiest notion of how our constitutional democracy is designed to function. Not even the most conservative partisan can claim the premeditated plan of congressional Republicans to say “No” to anything put forth by the president, is acceptable.

Markets never die

We all have our issues with “other people.” Each of us has a list of things we find objectionable or morally questionable or downright reprehensible that we wish other people just would not do. I, for example, find veganism to be an insult to the farmers and ranchers of the Heartland. I think smoking cigarettes is a narcissistic habit with no upside for society. And I’m pretty sure the music of U2 is playing on loop in some circle of Hades.

Little bits of Denison history

Brief, one paragraph bits of information were often used as “fillers” in newspapers in the “olden days” before I was working full time at The Denison Herald. Some of them were very interesting, but left you wanting more information about the subject.

Political certainty certainly isn’t

When the whole Western world was mourning the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman a few weeks ago, blogs and obituaries all mentioned films like “Boogie Nights” and “Capote” and “The Master,” but very few mentioned my personal favorite among the actor’s roles: cantankerous CIA operative Gust Avrakotos in “Charlie Wilson’s War.” He’s self-loathing and foul-mouthed and a joy to behold — a master class in acting, really, especially compared to Julia Roberts’ sleep-walking performance and Tom Hanks’ Texas accent that sounds more like Transylvanian.