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Columns

  • On the Side| Brad Hicks

    Warning: This might be a bumpy ride.

    Just a reminder, folks – you have a right to your opinion, but you don’t have a right to force others to accept law changes to accommodate your opinion. Let me recommend a really good Don Henley song to you…

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    I needed only a few buns.

    While passing through produce, I noticed a young girl – probably under 10 years old – eating grapes from one of the bags offered for sale. A store employee was nearby. I’m sure he saw her, but let it pass.

  • Miner Queries | Cherie Miner

    As I engage in political discussions in various forums, accusations of laziness often come up in relation to poverty. Those of us in financially stable positions take the action (or inaction) of others less financially anchored as laziness. But as I regularly caution, we also usually don’t know the full story, and everybody has a story. 

  • On the Side| Brad Hicks

    Here’s your pop quiz for the week: Who gave the commencement address at your high school or college graduation and what was the topic?

    Quickly...

    Time’s running out...

    If you cannot remember, you are probably in the majority. As speeches go, commencement is generally not the time to make giant policy initiatives known, or offer the same kind of encouragement given by parents day-in and day-out. I know, Dad, geez....

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    I met Jim Skahill years ago but knew him only because of August Werner. 

    Werner, a one-time Red Oak resident, was alleged to have flown a heavier-than-air machine 17 years before the Wright brothers. Some felt history should have recognized him, but did not. 

    Skahill wrote a book about Werner’s flight, which I used in a 2006 column. That was the last I thought of Skahill until one day last week. 

  • Past & Present | The Express

    The annual Wales-Lincoln Alumni Banquet is Saturday, with a focus on the Class of 1947 holding its 70th year reunion, the Class of 1957 holding its 60th year reunion, and the Fuller family receiving the alumni recognition.

    Additionally, it was 100 years ago, in 1917, when the first Wales-Lincoln Consolidated schoolhouse was built, after a consolidation proposal passed by a single vote. The school opened in 1918, according to information published in this year’s alumni reunion program, compiled by Eddie Barnett of Red Oak.

  • On the Side| Brad Hicks

    Red Oak, Montgomery County, and southwest Iowa in general are at a critical crossroads in history.

    The economic base that fueled this area for decades is rapidly changing, and has spawned what has the potential to be a vicious circle of declining population and decreasing opportunities.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    In a barber shop years ago, I heard two old men talk about hunting mushrooms. One said he’d found a nice bunch of ramps. I had no idea what a ramp was, and asked. “You wouldn’t like ‘em,” he said, and went back to mushrooms.

  • Miner Queries | Cherie Miner

    I’ve been having flashbacks again – to the 70s when my father and grandfather argued about the deeds of President Nixon. No matter what new information was unearthed, Grandpa refused to admit Nixon broke the law and abused the powers of his office. No wonder dad saved his copy of the Des Moines Register with the headline, “Nixon resigns.”

  • On the Side| Brad Hicks

    For those of you attending the Red Oak High School graduation Sunday afternoon, I’ll be the guy intruding on all facets of the ceremony, shooting photos of speakers, graduates receiving diplomas, people crying, people cheering, people marching, singers singing, and band members playing. Plunging waist deep into a graduation photo spread has become old hat for a newspaper guy, but sort of strange, too, in that I almost missed my entire high school graduation.