September 25, 2019
Stories this photo appears in:
I still remember one of the houses that my parents almost bought back in 1970.
“An allergy season so bad you don’t need allergies to feel miserable,” blared the headline in the Wall Street Journal.
Folks, “last one in is a rotten egg” applies to more than swimming pools.
I just heard about a local business losing a major customer over a trivial misunderstanding.
Who needs forensics and gunfire? My wife and I have been catching up on episodes of “The Mysteries of Laura,” the 2014-16 NBC series starring Debra Messing.
Not everyone does Valentine’s Day well.
It’s an amenity that most consumers take for granted. It’s an amenity that most retailers and professionals grudgingly accept as a cost of doing business.
I won’t hazard a guess as to whether it achieves immortality like “grassy knoll” or “hanging chads,” but surely the phrase “bomb cyclone storm” will remain in the public consciousness of those who endured its cruelties.
As I write this year-end essay about 2022 trends in food and dining, I must confess that I’m playing catch-up.
When writing advertising copy, I sometimes find myself desperately searching for a zinger of a tag line — and settling for trite admonitions such as “Make this the best hunting season ever” or “Make this the best summer vacation ever.”
It has been years since my family last dealt with the “pictures with Santa” pageantry, but Saint Nick impersonators remain an integral part of Christmas for Americans.
Please pardon me, but I am always overcome by mawkish sentimentality at this time of year.
Perhaps it’s partly because my mother owns a huge antique desk from Milky Way Farm (the former estate of Franklin C. Mars, founder of Mars Candies), but I pay keen attention to the annual flurry of “filler” news items about Halloween candy.
“Were you raised in a barn?” I never had the legendary Mrs. Montgomery as a teacher; but she was a senior class adviser and I needed her input on a school program script, so I made the rookie mistake of assuming her wide-open door meant I could forego the formality of knocking.
So, having earned an associate’s degree from our local community college, my son Gideon is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mechatronic engineering from my old alma mater.
My family made a recent day trip to a neighboring state, so I decided this week’s column should be a tip of the hat to those oases of the interstate highway system, the state welcome centers.
According to the National Gardening Association, the number of households growing their own vegetables, fruit and other foods has tripled since 2008.
You’ve probably seen the screaming headlines about a Gallup survey revealing that Americans’ belief in God has hit an all-time low.
“Did you know that your rear passenger tire is a little underinflated?”
Did you get your copy of “Queen Elizabeth II: Reign in Pictures” in time for Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee ceremonies?
You may recall that — in October of 2019 — I wrote a column denouncing the proliferation of confusing, dimly lit scenes in movies and TV shows.
I haven’t run away and joined the circus, but I am nearing the age when a financial safety net admittedly has the allure of the Sirens of Greek mythology.
If you could be the proverbial “fly on the wall,” what Biblical event would you most like to witness?
After the Academy Awards incident between Will Smith and Chris Rock, I started wondering how many of my gentle readers have resorted to physical violence in their adult life.
A tiny portion of my “day job” at a farm-and-home cooperative involves writing radio commercials and on-hold phone messages.
Valentine’s Day and other time-sensitive topics delayed my writing about this, but a few weeks ago marked the 50th anniversary of the death of my grandfather, Carl Spencer Tyree.
From time to time, I attempt to make this column more interactive — soliciting reader comments on burning questions such as “Which songs make you cry?,” “What was your favorite summer vacation?,” “Does this font make me look fat?,” etc.
I’m not seeking sympathy, but I’m writing this on the eve of my annual physical exam.
I distinctly remember what I ate for supper on Christmas Eve 50 years ago. Not the entrée perhaps, but certainly the vegetable.
Last year the media went into a frenzy over the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s arrival in North America, but the festivities were just beginning.
When my high school classmates obtained a driver’s license, it was not uncommon to hear a teacher opine, “Oh, they must be having a sale at Sears.”
If you don’t like my opinions this week, you can take a flying leap…into a pile of festive autumn leaves.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the fledgling online gambling industry is poised to explode in popularity. This season, the NFL for the first time is permitting sports-gambling companies to advertise during games.
According to CNN, pandemic fears and enhanced unemployment benefits have left the nation facing a serious shortage of qualified school bus drivers.
The Tyree family recently took advantage of our state’s eagerly anticipated annual sales tax holiday on school supplies, clothing and electronics.
A 1986 Pantene commercial carried the tagline “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful.” Similarly, I must ask my readers, “Don’t hate me because I’ve heard a rooster crow.”
While in Santa Claus, Indiana, to cool off at Holiday World, the Tyree family took a side trip to tour the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in nearby Lincoln City.
My family took the easy way out — again.
“You load 16 tons and what do you get? Disability payments and not a Corvette.” — with apologies to Tennessee Ernie Ford.
“Buffets Are Back — With New Policies and Gloves,” blared the headline recent on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. That was welcome news for my pandemic-weary family.
Prospects of a long, hot summer bring pet peeves to the surface.
My new supervisor anticipates being a first-time father in a few months. I hope he doesn’t become one of THOSE fathers.
With the school year ending and the economy slowly reopening, let’s reminisce about the illustrious history of summer jobs.
By the time most of you read this, my son Gideon will have marched across the gymnasium floor and received his high school diploma.
Misery loves company, but it’s cold comfort that many of you — like me — still haven’t filed your 2020 income tax returns.
Since you asked, my niece Claire is expecting her first baby in August. Her sister Emma is expecting her second child in October.
As graduation looms, my son Gideon has been named both salutatorian and Wittiest Boy of the Cornersville (TN) High School Class of 2021.
Tree huggers, are you contemplating a Zoom meeting with Mr. Elm instead?
Did I ever tell you about my late Uncle Vernon and the time his slanderous lies about a respected business got unceremoniously debunked?
My wife and I would never have met, except that her family fled a densely populated state when she was 11.
There was certainly nothing trivial about the events of that first Easter Sunday, but that hasn’t stopped magazines from cranking out baskets of Easter trivia year after year.
First off, Louis Armstrong was right about it being a wonderful world. And I realize many people suffer far worse troubles than mine.
Sure, it made the rounds of the “News of the Weird” columns when a Nashville businessman left $5 million in a trust fund for his beloved border collie Lulu. But such gestures aren’t as eccentric as you might think.
The relentless airbag recall notices concerning my mother’s old truck have progressed from a mailbox-clogging nuisance to a grim reminder that our unresponsiveness has felled more trees than Paul Bunyan in his prime.
Yes, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Feb. 20, 1971 — but it’s still hard to believe that Granny Tyree (my father’s mother) has been gone for 50 years.
Whether you read these words before or after Presidents’ Day 2021, be advised that I’m already thinking ahead to Presidents’ Day 2071.
Although the bar has been set remarkably low during some epochs (“Dearest, you’ve survived to produce seven more viable male heirs than my second wife”), society has always expected couples to use terms of endearment to grease the wheels of their relationships.
There’s no middle ground with middle names.
It has been a bittersweet experience seeing the mailbox flooded with college recruiting brochures addressed to my son Gideon.
Reminiscing with one of my mother’s photo albums, I encountered a snapshot of a long-deceased neighbor (a dear, sweet man) who is still summed up by the phrase “He never met a stranger.”
My son Gideon certainly had a high-octane understanding of the THEORY of driving last winter.
In case you (expletives deleted) missed the marketing campaign, on January 5 the noble public servants at Netflix will launch a six-episode series, “History of Swear Words,” hosted by actor Nicholas Cage.
“Hello. I’m Grandpa.”
We all know Santa Claus as a “right jolly old elf,” but the man carries a well-stocked bag of regrets.
It may be the sort of birthday where someone shouts, “50 candles blazing on the cake?
Are you a faithful Christian who is concerned about empty pews — and the steadily decreasing impact of Christianity on the social fabric?
As your host, I have gathered a cornucopia of genuine Thanksgiving trivia, thanks to “Good Housekeeping” magazine and other sources.
Veterans Day parades? Veterans Day school essays? Veterans Day ceremonies on the courthouse lawn?
I was trying to clear the cobwebs from my mind, and all I could find was random thoughts about Halloween (a.k.a. Hallowe’en, a.k.a.
This is a year of double milestones: my mother’s house turns 75 and (as of Oct. 30) she will have been living there for 50 years.
My son Gideon has now finished both his ACT and SAT college entrance exams (scoring at an impressive percentile somewhere between “It’s …it’s…go ask my wife” and “Never you MIND what his father’s score was”), but I wonder if the tests will still be relevant when HIS hypothetical kids reach college age.
What were you doing the night of Saturday, March 19, 1977?
What were you doing the night of Saturday, March 19, 1977? Like 21.2 million other Americans, I was watching the final episode of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
For most of us, Labor Day will be an occasion for relaxation and contemplation.
When I was a carefree lad watching “Lost in Space,” the Robinson family’s high-tech hydroponic garden sounded neat.
“Shower the people you love with love/ Show them the way that you feel.” — James Taylor With all due respect to the five-time Grammy Award winner, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain and I’ve seen sunny days when I wished people would put their advice where the sun DON’T shine.
Much of the nation is experiencing a prolonged heat wave, so of course your humble columnist counterintuitively conjures up warm memories to comfort himself.
What spoils even more evening meals than robocalls? How about newscasts with their endless stream of titillating revelations coyly attributed to “reliable sources,” “people close to the matter,” “people familiar with the situation,” “people who thought the situation was a cast member of ‘Jersey Shore’,” etc.?
Dear pandemic-battered readers, as you try adapting to the New Normal, just hope no diehards are waiting to confuse you with a plethora of ADDITIONAL configurations.
Speaking as a father (“What – am I made of money? Go ask your mother! When you have your own roof, you can make your own rules! No, my abs aren’t flabby, they’re just meditating…”)
One of the most awkward, self-conscious incidents in my life occurred when I was shopping with a group, and one of my companions blithely continued browsing long after the store doors were locked.
One of my biggest pet peeves: people who can’t hold up their end of a conversation.
“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” – C.S. Lewis
I hope the document remains locked away unused for many years, but my brother and I finally got around to meeting with a lawyer and helping our mother make out her last will and testament.
Just because a mentor starts unconsciously humming Motown tunes during a heart-to-heart talk with you about temptations, that doesn’t mean his advice is irrelevant.
Did you realize that Jan. 19 marks the 100th birthday of that indefatigable advocacy group the American Civil Liberties Union?
Do I owe someone an apology for not taking a more active role in the iconic cultural, technological and political developments of the 2010s?
Most of my Christmases have become hopelessly blurred together, but Christmas 1969 holds a special place in my heart.
The words weren’t aimed directly at me, but I was recently flummoxed by an unexpected undercurrent of animosity. In an online post, a military veteran refused to confine his anger to people who spit on veterans or ignore veterans. He vented about citizens who actually pause to ACKNOWLEDGE the contribution of former service people.
I’m not proud of it, but I haven’t visited the now-disheveled cemetery on the hillside behind my late father’s childhood home in more than 40 years. Willie Nelson was right when he mused, “Ain’t it funny how time slips away?”
What can you say about the eavesdropper wannabes who sigh, “I wish I could be a fly on the wall for that conversation”?
“If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a perfect kid. And six of ‘em, yecch!” — Ann B. Davis as housekeeper Alice Nelson.