EVERY MAJOR NEWS STORY has a Montgomery County connection. 

That's what my friend and fellow reporter Doug Hunt believed. Many, many times he was able to find someone who was an eyewitness to history or who knew someone who could give a first-hand account of what was going on with a major news story. 

This week we commemorate the death of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. And, yes, Doug's belief holds true for even that historic event. 

Doug and I worked for Editor John Hinshaw for a few years. John had moved back to Crawfordsville from Colorado where he worked for a newspaper owned by Freedom Newspapers, the company that owned the Journal Review from the 1970s until 1999.

John told me one day about visiting the home of a photographer for the Colorado paper. On a table in Bob Jackson's living room was a clear, Lucite cube. Inside the cube was a negative. When John picked it up, he realized it was a negative of the defining moment of the 1960s. It was a negative of that famous Pulitzer Prize winning photo of the moment Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. 

Naturally, questions arose in John's mind and he didn't mind asking Jackson about the negative. 

Jackson had worked for the Dallas Times Herald in 1963. He was the young reporter assigned to cover Kennedy's trip to Dallas in November. 

He was the photographer who amazingly tripped the shutter on his camera when Ruby pulled the trigger, firing the shot that killed Oswald. 

Doug was right. If you look hard enough, someone in Montgomery County is just two degrees away from every major news story. 


WE WERE DRIVING THROUGH DEERS MILL Saturday night, on our way to the chili supper at the Alamo firehouse when I couldn't help but notice all the dead wood on either side of S.R. 234 as we passed through the breathtaking scenery. I still remember the first time I discovered that area in 1975.

Why don't we let people go in for a weekend once a year and pick up all the firewood they can use? I understand conservationists say we need to rebuild the ground cover but isn't it also important for people to be warm this winter? I am not suggesting anyone collect firewood for the poor, just that people who are out of work and use wood heat be allowed to collect wood to heat their homes so they can save their money for food, clothing and a few luxuries like candy for their kids at Christmas. 


SPEAKING OF THE CHILI SUPPER, one of the ladies at our table had not heard the story of stone soup. It goes like this: Once, a few centuries ago, a traveler approached a village. He stopped to pick up an interesting stone he found on the road and put it in his pocket. When he came to a house near the center of town, he asked the lady of the house if he could borrow a kettle and some water. He wanted to make some stone soup. 

The lady complied and he dropped the rock into the kettle and proceeded to heat the kettle over the fire. When the water began steaming, he took a spoon and tasted the broth. 

"Mmm, that's good," he said. "But it needs something."

The lady, who was transfixed, offered some suggestions. Carrots? Onions? Peas? 

"Yes, vegetables always help," the man said. 

"I don't have much but let me see what I can gather," she said. 

Soon, the house was filled with curious neighbors who brought their vegetables and even some venison to flavor the broth the traveler said was already quite tasty. 

The group had a fine time and a fine community meal, eating stone soup. 

Soon, the traveler was on his way. At the edge of town, he took his "magic" stone out of his pocket where he had carefully placed it after drying it off and tossed it on the ground. 

To paraphrase Mark Twain, anyone who tries to find a moral in this story will be prosecuted.

Have a great week!