• 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. 

  • 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?


    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....

  • Guest Opinion | Larry Foreman

    Editor’s Note: Larry Foreman of Red Oak wrote the following poems and wanted to share them with readers of The Express. Foreman is a U.S. Navy veteran and served in the 1960s during the Vietnam War.

    As the blood flows from the soldier’s wounds, he looked up and said, “Am I going to home soon?”

    The medic said, “Yes son, I’m afraid you’re going to die but you’re going to your home in the sky.

    The angels are coming. I hear their chariots’ roll. Don’t be afraid, they have come to take your soul.

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Montgomery County History Center | Dave McFarland

    It was late morning as the old man walked slowly out the front door of Artz Drug and started west across the street when he suddenly stopped. Directly in front of him lay the park, Fountain Square Park. Strange, he thought, what a compelling place Red Oak had been. He had not been born here, and he had even left once for the greener pastures of Des Moines. But when his old Guard unit had been called up, he had returned. Now he knew he would stay here forever.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    A chicken hatching a duck is not important news, but it had not happened in my presence and never to this particular chicken or this duck which, according to what I’ve read, may look like a duck and walk like a duck but isn’t actually a duck. The experience has been a learning curve for us all, especially the chicken.

  • 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.

  • Miner Queries | Cherie Miner

    “Something is broken.”

    Ya think?

    As I was listening to NPR’s Morning Edition last week, I caught a story about the House Transportation Committee grilling airlines over recent service nightmares, including the infamous United episode in which a passenger was dragged from the plane.

    What caught my attention was a statement by Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA) who said: “something is broken” with U.S. airlines and “the obvious divide between passengers and the airlines needs to be addressed.”