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Monday, August 19, 2019
  • Wednesday, August 14, 2019 4:00 AM
    Notes scribbled on the back of a Friz Freling for President (of Merrie Melodies) button . . . 
    Regardless of whether you are for Joe Biden or a’gin him, how is his comment on Parkland survivors being viewed as just another one of his gaffes?
    Don’t know about you, but when Mr. and Mrs. Timmons raised their boy in a house off an Indiana gravel road, they were pretty adamant about stories that don’t have a shred of truth to them being called, let’s see, what was the word? Oh yeah! Lies.
    It wasn’t a gaffe. No chance at remembering wrong. If I told a story with the level of details that Biden included, my posterior was in, shall we say, a world of hurt.
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, August 7, 2019 4:00 AM
    I’ve written this before in the aftermath of other shootings.
    The madness has to stop.
    I was wrong.
    Clearly, it does not. It has not. The violence, the killings, the slaughters keep happening and happening and happening. The latest (at least I pray that no new ones happen in the few hours between when this is written and it goes to press) came, as you know, in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Thirty-one more people have senselessly lost their lives.
    Thirty-one.
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019 4:00 AM
    I miss Harlow Hickenlooper. The man who so many of us older kids remember from Saturday morning (black-and-white) TV was well known for so many things – getting a pie in the kisser, hamming it up with his good buddy Curley Myers and of course introducing the Three Stooges. On days like today, I really miss his perfect rendition of the birthday song.
    Happy birthday to The Paper
    Happy birthday to The Paper
    Happy birthday dear Paper!
    Happy birthday to yooooooouuuuuuuu!
    That’s because today is indeed the birthday for the little paper that could. On July 31 in 2004 we were born when documents were filed and the state took the first of many payments! Yes Sir and Ma’am, we are officially 15 and on the path to Sweet 16. If the first 15 years are any indication, can you imagine what we’ll be like when we get our license?
    But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For those who don’t know the story, let me pull out the slideshow and reminisce. Feel free to grab some extra strong coffee as I beg your indulgence for a few minutes. 
    This all started the way most things do, a spark of a thought floating around in gray matter. That evolved into more of a concrete idea that got drafted onto a piece of paper. A few years later, it turned into printed words on paper, The Paper . . . in 2004, to be exact. A year or so later we added Judy Todd’s wonderful Weekly of West-Central Indiana. Then we bought the daily newspaper in Noblesville, The Times – a paper that’s been around since 1904. Then the owners of the Sheridan News – a publication that got its start in 1896 – entrusted our company to keep the News going. And we added a web-based publication called the Hamilton County Sports Daily.
    2 comment(s)
  • Sports still the best job in business
    Wednesday, July 24, 2019 4:00 AM
    Like a lot of you, my career started a long time ago. It’s strange how I used to be the youngest pup in the room and now I’m the oldest. It’s even stranger, and more than a little humbling, to remember how I used to think I knew everything and now I realize how little I truly do.
    No worries to the regular eight or nine of you who follow these ramblings. This is not a maudlin march through memory meadows. If anything, I’m playing the part of Uncle Sam today. You remember the image . . . Uncle Sam on a poster, looking very serious, his right hand in front with the index finger pointing straight to your heart – I want YOU!
    1 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, July 17, 2019 4:00 AM
    I heard him coming a mile away. John Hammer is not a small man, and from the sounds of the stomp-stomp-stomp I was hearing, he was in a hurry, on a mission . . . or both.
    If you don’t know the man they call Hammer, he’s as big as a battleship and has enough common sense to fill one. His neck is red, his hands calloused and he doesn’t suffer fools well. It’s one reason why the elected folks get under his skin so quickly.
    “Timmons, did you hear the different mayors and even our speaker of the House telling illegal aliens how to avoid arrest?” he boomed, shattering the peace and quiet of an early Saturday morning in a (mostly) empty office.
    “Now hold on, John,” I started. “They weren’t exactly trying to-”
    “Bull puckey!” he shouted. “That’s exactly what they were doing and these people are elected representatives of our government. I don’t give a damn if they are municipal, state, federal or dog catchers!”
    3 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, July 10, 2019 1:25 AM
    Like a lot of you, I remember July 20, 1969 pretty well. A bunch of folks gathered to watch the historic event unfold on TV. Sure, the picture wasn’t that great, but TVs weren’t either back then. Didn’t matter. We watched. And beamed. Man had taken a giant leap. My grandfather, who was born in the 1890s, joined a small group of people who could say they saw transportation go from horse and buggy to spaceships that landed on the moon.
    It was something.
    Now, with that historic event just days away from its golden 50 year anniversary, I wonder what it would be like if that took place today instead?
    Let’s see, it would start with President Donald Trump giving a speech. “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because I want to do them, and let me tell you, it will be the greatest thing you’ve ever seen. That I can tell you.”
    3 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, July 3, 2019 12:01 AM
    Happy Birthday, America! Long may your flag wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave.
    Before all the festivities start tomorrow, if I may, I’d like to ask you some questions. You certainly don’t have to answer. But with a small mob of people climbing all over each other for the opportunity to sit in the oval office it seems an appropriate time to wonder down a red, white and blue path – and yes, I meant wonder and not wander. It feels like we’ve wandered far enough off the path already.
    Let’s start with socialism. Nah, scratch that. Let’s start with tempers.
    Why is it that the mere mention of a word causes the shields to come up and weapons to be raised? What word? Take your pick – socialism, Trump, borders, walls, abortion, gay, guns, right, left . . . And that’s just on a national level. Right here in your county, we’ve got wind turbines, zoning and more.
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, June 26, 2019 3:23 AM
    If you are one of the eight or nine regular readers of these dribblings and you happen to be a farmer then I have good news. You don’t need to spend any time here this week. Turn the page and see what Mallard Fillmore has to say.
    ’Cause there’s nothing I’m going to say that you don’t already know. Deeply. Painfully.
    If, on the other hand, you’ve wondered why some fields aren’t planted yet, then read on. Because I’m no expert in agriculture, and I may not be the smartest guy in the world, but I’ll take a shot at this one.
    It’s bad.
    Bad with the potential to be catastrophic.
    In a county like ours, an awful lot revolves around farming. So when we hear that the yield from the corn crop is going to be down this year because of the wet weather, we understand that’s not great. But hey, it’s farming right. Some may not get their crop in at all while others might switch to a corn with a shorter gestation period (and lower yield). Still other might turn to beans or wheat or something else.
    So what?
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, June 19, 2019 4:00 AM
    The Strawberry Festival was super hot on June 18, 1983. I couldn't tell you the exact temperature, but I was sweating.
    I mean really sweating.
    No, no, not the hot-and-humid-Indiana-June-day kind of sweating. This was the hot-and-humid-Indiana-June-day-and-I'm-getting-married kind of sweating.
    Makes a difference.
    Big difference.
    Although it wasn't our idea, my wife and I got married on the courthouse veranda during the Strawberry Festival in 1983. And while I was scared to death at the time, it has made it a lot easier to remember the anniversary ever since.
    1 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, June 12, 2019 7:51 AM
    If you aren’t an Internet expert, like me, then perhaps you did not know that there are about a bazillion places online where you can listen to music.
    Specific music.
    Like spring of 1964 music.
    Like George Jones music.
    Top hits of 1971 music.
    You get the idea.
    It’s one of the reasons why I love Saturday mornings in the office. I can select something to go with whatever mood I’m in and next thing you know, viola! I’m be-bopping along with the Big Bopper and wondering exactly what Chantilly lace is when –
    BAM!
    A giant fist hit my door sending shock waves from the top of the ceiling to the lower valve on my aorta.
    “Just checking to see if you’re awake, Timmons,” rumbled the deep voice of the mountain of a man named John Hammer. Somehow, this giant manages to make his way into a locked office and scare the living Crayola’s out of me.
    1 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, June 5, 2019 2:04 PM
    Notes scribbled on the back of 1948 The Buck Stops Here, Harry Truman for President poster . . . 
    Reporter Joe LaRue is working on a story for us that should be out this week. He’s asking some of our community leaders about the fact that there have been five police shootings in a little over eight months. Now don’t get the wrong idea, Joe is not pointing any fingers or assessing blame – although some folks in our county seem quick to do so. The approach Joe’s taking is to ask various people in leadership positions their thoughts about an unusual situation – five police shootings in 250 days.
    After all, it does seem a reasonable question, doesn’t it?
    Joe will gather all the reactions and put them into a story. It’s taking a little longer simply because a few have been hard to reach and we want to give them the chance to respond.
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, May 29, 2019 3:00 AM
    Notes scribbled on the back of a “Let’s Get Two” postcard . . . referring to 1959’s addition of Alaska and Hawaii to the USofA and not a baseball double-play or Cubbies twinbill . . . We’re only 16 days away from one of my favorite MoCo events, the Strawberry Festival. For those keeping score at home, it’s also the 36th anniversary since the better half of the household stood on the courthouse steps and said she did to a newspaper guy who ended up wearing out Weejuns from North Carolina to California and back home again to Indiana
    * * *
    THANK YOU to the anonymous (well, I know who you are) reader who stopped me on the street last week. She gave yours truly hell – and that’s putting it politely – when your favorite Montgomery County daily made the switch from paper to protons (not sure if that is scientifically correct, but it sounds good) back in January. Back then she informed me in no uncertain terms that she would never read the Online Edition in her e-mail inbox at 4 a.m. each day. She said she didn’t care about the ginormous Sunday Edition. She might have added a few more choice words. Last week, she smiled and told me she was taking it all back. The Sunday Edition is now her favorite. She told me she curls up with a tablet and coffee on her comfy couch Sunday morning and spends an hour reading all the articles. She also said that she might have a reason to enlarge the page as she reads (no worries, I’ll never tell anyone your age) and that instead of grabbing the cheaters to read the printed-on-paper version she just uses her thumb and forefinger and makes it bigger on her screen. Thank you, Mrs. H! Your words mean a lot more to me than you know!
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, May 22, 2019 4:00 AM
    Notes scribbled while watching Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson on the best version of the Tonight Show (although Jack Parr was awfully good) . . . 
    The Paper has some new and not-so-new folks that I’d like to introduce you to. Joe LaRue is a rising junior at Wabash College and is working as a news reporter at the worldwide HQ this summer. Codey Emerson is a graduating senior from Ball State University who interned here a couple of summers ago. He is returning as our brand new sports reporter.
    In addition, many of you already know Stacey Baschwit. Stacey has been in our news department for a couple of years. She’s the friendly face you see at various events all over the county. Stacey usually has camera in one hand, notepad in the other and a smile on her face. If I had a dollar for everyone who told me how nice she is, well, we could probably buy most papers within a 50 mile radius! Stacey will continue to be-bop around towns, but now she’ll be writing a weekly column about her travels every Monday.
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, May 15, 2019 2:42 AM
    Most years around this time I sit by the phone, well, OK, it’s in my back pocket so I always sit beside (or on) it. This is the month where I am waiting on schools to call and invite me to wow soon-to-be graduates at their commencement ceremonies. I have wisdom accumulated from wearing out the soles of countless pairs of Weejuns at newspapers from one coast to another . . . and I am willing to share.
    Most years that phone never rings. Well, OK, it did last year. And I hope the graduates and those in attendance at Diapers to Diplomas Daycare Graduation 2018 enjoyed the talk as much as I did.
    However, the clock is ticking and it appears another year is going to go by without a call. Why do I bother? You see, about 45 years ago I proudly became part of the 100th graduating class from Noblesville High School. I gave a speech then. Some 350 or so students and a whole lot of Moms and Dads and Grandmas and Grandpas listened to yours truly wax poetic about John F. Kennedy, hopes, dreams and yadda, yadda, yadda. My point? Not only can I share knowledge gleaned from a lifetime in newsrooms (mostly playing poker in the darkroom) but I have actual experience . . . on stage . . . at a microphone . . . talking to graduates.
    3 comment(s)
  • Sunday, May 12, 2019 4:00 AM
    Years ago, one of the greatest newspaper columnists of the 20th century wrote a book entitled, Don’t Forget to Call Your Mama . . . I Wish I Could Call Mine. Lewis Grizzard penned a lot of books with great names – Elvis is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself, They Tore My Heart Out and Stomped That Sucker Flat, If Love Were Oil I’d Be About a Quart Low and my favorite, If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I’m Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground. The man had a way with words like few others.
    I’m thinking about Lewis today because today is the day we set aside to praise, honor and remember our moms. That book came out in 1991, two years after his mom passed. Like many southern boys, Lewis spoke of her with deep reverence. Like many boys everywhere, he spoke of her with unbridled love.
    Maybe the love hasn’t changed, but almost everything else has.
    0 comment(s)
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media 
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Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933

 

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