At about the time this photograph was taken, a person with a little more sense would have been indoors...where it might have been fairly safe. Instead, shortly after a tornado warning siren had sounded, a downpour began in our neighborhood. So, of course, I had to go outside to take a picture...

It was a dark and stormy night...and some other stuff

Please Read This...

Good grief...it was the 21st day of April and we’re looking at a frost advisory...

Meanwhile...

Once again this week...so many things to ponder...and so little time and space...

It was a dark and stormy night...really...it was...

Last Thursday night, The Other Half and yours truly were watching all sorts of exciting weather unfold in the region around us, thanks to our “friends” on the local television stations...

Until about 9:30 p.m., the big news was about a tornado, or tornadoes, in Southeast Missouri. Then, all of the sudden, we were having our very own tornado warning. Moments after an alert was sounded on the tellyvision, the tornado warning siren about a block northeast of our humble abode began to blare...

Since the tornado warning siren had sounded in our hometown, and we were being urged to take cover, I did the only reasonable thing...

I went out on our front porch to see what was happening. Overhead, in a cloud covered sky, lightning was flashing. Off in the distance, I could hear what I’m pretty sure were the sounds of tornado warning sirens in Anna...which is about 6 or 7 miles away... 

Oh...as near we could tell, we did not experience a tornado in our 

Meanwhile...

The Journey Through Life during the past week or so seemed like it was extra special...crazy weather notwithstanding...

On Wednesday evening, April 17, I attended a talk by Scott Simon which was presented in the student center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Simon is an award-winning broadcaster, commentator and author. And, for whatever it might be worth, he is part of the Journey Through Life early on most Saturday mornings, when we like to listen to Weekend Edition on NPR. 

Simon and John Shaw, the director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIUC, discussed the challenges facing American journalism. For this writer, those challenges have been up-close and personal in recent years, particularly in the local newspaper business. 

But, as Mr. Simon shared during his talk, one of the fascinating things about journalism is that “we always have something to do.” Listening to his talk actually gave me a boost about being a journalist. And I was grateful when he shared a special story about an author and the author’s cat... I was also grateful to meet Mr. Simon...

Last Saturday afternoon, it was off to Stinson Memorial Library in Anna, where I was able to spend some time with Mary Todd Lincoln. You know...President Abraham Lincoln’s wife. Well, I sort of spent some time with her.

Debra Ann Miller of Chicago portrayed the former First Lady in a presentation titled “Mrs. Lincoln’s Salon.” In her presentation, the downstairs auditorium at Stinson Library was transformed into the Blue Room at The White House in Washington, D.C., on April 4, 1865. The Civil War was coming to an end. Mrs. Lincoln’s husband would be assassinated 10 days later.

Miller’s presentation as Mrs. Lincoln was based on letters written by the 16th president’s wife. She offered personal insights into the life a woman who faced unique and unprecedented challenges...including the deaths of three children and the murder of her husband, the first president of the United States to be assassinated. Mrs. Lincoln’s life was very hard...but through it all there was love, Miller shared. Can’t ask for more than that.

Sunday afternoon, I paid a visit to the Historic St. Anne’s Church on South Main Street in Anna. The fine folks at PAST welcomed the local group Back Porch Company to the church for “A Concert of Irish Music.”

The concert included a few songs with a banjo, which, by itself, was worth the trip to the big city on a sunny Sunday afternoon. 

Sunday evening, I decided to go for a ride in the country, just to see what kind of critters might be out and about. The Other Half had a prior engagement, so my journey was a solo adventure. 

Turned out the “usual” critters (white-tailed deer) were out enjoying the evening. So were some turkeys (boy, did they move fast), a kingfisher (which also moved fast) and an owl, which had some sort of furry critter in its beak (the furry critter was not moving at all...so it definitely wasn’t fast food)... 

An opportunity to hear an award-winning journalist...a chance to spend some time with Mrs. Lincoln...banjo music...critters...thank goodness there’s “nothing to do” in our little corner of the world...or so I’ve heard...

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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