Editorial

Do you remember playing washers?

By P.J. Gossett
General Manager
HAMILTON — “When I was in school, we played washers.” This statement I overheard in Hamilton a couple of weeks ago brought back my own childhood memories of playing the game in our front yard. It made me think about the history of the game, if it is still played today and if the younger generation knew what it was.
A quick search revealed not only is it known today, but there are actually “official” boards one can buy to play the game. There are official rules, though they are nothing like what I played in the mid-1980s.

Many still miss John Denver after 25 years

It was 25 years ago today when the world was shocked by the plane crash and death of 1970s star John Denver. On Oct. 12, 1997, his experimental plane crashed into Monterey Bay in California.
The most people usually hear on the radio these days are just three of his songs: “Annie’s Song,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and “Rocky Mountain High.” There was much more to the man, and he was on many committees such as conservation and hunger. He was a pilot, father, son, actor and his songs still stand up in today’s time as much as they did when he wrote them.

Senator Tuberville: Foreign investors own millions of U.S. acres

Harvest season
is here, and farmers across the state are looking forward to reaping the rewards of their labor. They will spend many early mornings and late nights in the fields harvesting crops to be enjoyed across the country and the world. We could not survive without their work. That’s why protecting their ability to produce is one of my top priorities in the U.S. Senate.

Inside the Statehouse: Buck’s Pocket is a real place

For decades, losing political candidates in Alabama have been exiled to “Buck’s Pocket.” It is uncertain when or how the colloquialism began, but political insiders have used this terminology for at least 60 years. Alabama author, the late Winston Groom, wrote a colorful allegorical novel about Alabama politics in the 1960s and referred to a defeated gubernatorial candidate having to go to Buck’s Pocket. Most observers credit Big Jim Folsom with creating the term.

When did Halloween carnivals become fall festivals?

I'd like to talk about the Halloween carnival Winfield doesn't have.
I have been gone from Winfield many years now, but I still keep my finger on the pulse here. Back in the 60s and 70s, we always had a Halloween carnival at the armory with cake walks and a haunted house, which was put on by the high school science club. A "box" was borrowed from Miles Funeral Home, and I laid in that coffin myself and would rise up with fake blood flowing from my eyes and scare the bejesus out of whoever walked in.

Michael Brooks’ Reflections: On second chances

It was a fearful time in 2006 when a number of rural churches were burned in Alabama. I remember a deacon's meeting in which we discussed whether we ought to take night shifts at our church to protect our property. One of our deacons dismissed the idea: "We'd probably end up shooting each other," he growled.
A short time later three college students were arrested. The FBI tracked them down, quite literally, by their tire tracks. That tire treads can be as effective as fingerprints or DNA is still amazing to me. All of us who belonged to rural churches breathed a sigh of relief.

Know how to save a life

Thanks to training and quick action in Winfield on March 30, a choking death was prevented. Devin Smith, a pharmacist, performed the Heimlich maneuver on Todd Fetter after food became lodged in Fetter’s windpipe.
According to the National Safety Council, an average of 5,000 people die each year from choking. Many of those deaths could have been prevented with the right knowledge and training, the kind of knowledge and training that both men possessed.