Daddy Had A Worm Farm

Daddy Had A Worm Farm Tom Poland Posted 5/28/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThe towns sounded distant, not as miles go, but as memories. Hazlehurst, McRae, Baxley, Soperton, Alma, and Tifton. Tifton meant trouble.I was studying a map for a six-day trek into South Georgia in August. Near a place called...

Mystery Plant! #776

Mystery Plant! #776 John Nelson Posted 5/28/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comWe’ve had a number of  mysterious pine tree species in this column, and here is another. There’s always a new pine species to learn about: after all, there are about 100 species worldwide.This one is growing in a small park not far...

Fallen but not forgotten

Living on Purpose: Fallen but not forgotten Dr. William Holland Posted 5/28/24By Dr. William HollandThis week we honor those who died while fighting for our country. There was a time when society seemed to be more sensitive and compassionate about casualties of war, but today there are so many distractions...

Hemingway’s Pocket

Hemingway’s Pocket Tom Poland Posted 5/21/2024By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netWe give little thought to our pockets until one gets a hole in it. When it does, it becomes a liability. Well, what’s the history of pockets? When did these bags sewn into pants and jackets become handy for stuffing our...

Monsoons, Dogs, & Drought

Monsoons, Dogs, & Drought Tom Poland Posted 5/20/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netA spring long ago … It rained and rained. And then it rained some more. The rain gauge brimmed and our yard turned quagmire. It rained so long our Boston terriers couldn’t walk. We thought they had tick fever....

Mystery Plant! #775

Mystery Plant! #775 John Nelson Posted 5/15/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comIt’s not a grass, and it’s not a sage. It’s a “sedge”.This week’s column is devoted to a certain plant family, and especially a certain genus within the family. This would be the family named “Cyperaceae”, an enormous group, in terms of...

Cicadas’ Rise & Fall

Cicadas’ Rise & Fall Tom Poland Posted 5/14/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netA spring or summer day isn’t quite Southern without singing cicadas and it seems our annual cicadas love the heat of day come summer, singing best during sultry hours. To me, the singsong rise and fall of cicadas, a...

Robert Ariail, Cartoonist

Robert Ariail, Cartoonist Tom Poland Posted 5/14/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netIn the beginning, there was the urge to draw—and inspiration, Saturday morning cartoons.“I’d drawn since I was a boy, spending hours with crayons, pencils, manila paper, and an Etch A Sketch to render dinosaurs and other creatures. In junior high,...

Christ is interceding on your behalf today

Living on Purpose: Christ is interceding on your behalf today Dr. William Holland Posted 5/8/2024By Dr. William HollandSome individuals are healthier than others, but the uncomfortable facts reveal the human body is generally frail and vulnerable. I occasionally joke around with my Son-in-law about him being from another planet because...

Mystery Plant! #774

Mystery Plant! #774 John Nelson Posted 5/8/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comHow could anyone not love this lovely little plant?Its graceful stems are adorned with beautifully scalloped, bright green leaves. Rub the foliage and sniff: you’ll detect a charmingly spicy “earth odor”. Its little stems are perfectly square in cross section…so fun to...

Fly Down Hill

Fly Down Hill Tom Poland Posted 5/7/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI reached deep into my sense of place and reckoned the road ought to come out near Anthony Shoals Road, and it did. My parents drove me over that road when a boy. It was a dirt road then, and...

Mystery Plant! #773

Mystery Plant! #773 John Nelson Posted 5/1/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comI remember a costume party once several years ago, it was Halloween, of course. There was a crazy guy there, very tall, with wild hair and a frizzy beard, both dyed bright yellow (how did he do that?), and then he was...

Troubadour Of The Night

Troubadour Of The Night Tom Poland Posted 4/29/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThree a.m. I looked out my bedroom window to see eyes aglow with foxfire. I could not see its head, its mouth, but from it came the sweetest, most melancholy song. Just like that I was so lonely I...

Mystery Plant! #772

Mystery Plant! #772 John Nelson Posted 4/24/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comWhatever humor this little plant might have must be truly tasteless. Well, its fruits are tasteless, anyway.The fruits are gorgeous, brilliant red, and are dead ringers for the cultivated strawberry. Bite into it, though, and you'll get a watery flavor, and not...

Brian Brown’s Vanishing Georgia, Part II

Brian Brown’s Vanishing Georgia, Part II Every state needs a Brian Brown Tom Poland Posted April 19, 2024By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netGeorgia’s a big state and the road from home can be long and winding. Brian Brown knows it well.“Being invited to stay in some of the historical homes I...

Brian Brown’s Vanishing Georgia, Part I

Brian Brown’s Vanishing Georgia, Part I Every state needs a Brian Brown Tom Poland Posted April 19, 2024By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThere’s another Georgia out there—a weathered, sun-bleached, fading Georgia. It nonetheless possesses the “beauty of decay” as one photographer put it. People caught up in the hectic rush pay...

Mystery Plant! #771

Mystery Plant! #771 John Nelson Posted 4/17/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comBehold this lovely flower! Now it’s spring--glorious spring!...and you can’t hardly go anywhere without seeing flowers. Lots of flowers.This flower is commonly seen on the ground, after it has been blown out of the tree from which it comes. It is an...

Mystery Plant! #770

Mystery Plant! #770 John Nelson Posted 4/17/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comAre plants wimps?There they are, growing with their little leaves, their roots in the ground, the little delicate flowers smiling up at the sun…and being eaten, trampled on, mowed down, dug up, burned, sprayed with herbicides, hardly ever putting up a fight....

It’s good to be a Gamecock

It’s good to be a Gamecock Aïda Rogers Posted 4/15/24By Aïda Rogers I’m a graduate of the University of South Carolina, and it may be that the greatest lesson it taught me was how to lose. Gamecocks know what I mean. It doesn’t matter where I am, whenever I meet another...

Mystery Plant! #769

Mystery Plant! #769 John Nelson Posted 4/3/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comWhen you look closely at our Mystery Plant, you can rather easily tell that it belongs to the bean family. Each flower is what we call “papilionaceous,” and in a fanciful way, butterfly-shaped. Five petals are present, all a beautiful pink or...

Mystery Plant! #768

Mystery Plant! #768 John Nelson Posted 3/27/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.com"Now 'tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted; Suffer them now, and they'll o'ergrow the garden And choke the herbs for want of husbandry."                        [Shakespeare, Henry VI (part 2)]Watch out for the weeds, both the annuals and the perennials! Even in Shakespeare's...

A person is only as true as their word

Living on Purpose: A person is only as true as their word Dr. William Holland Posted 3/20/24By Dr. William HollandWe live in an age that tends to shrug its shoulders when confronted with spreading information that is not true. Instead of asking, like Pilate, “What is truth?” the postmodern man...

Mystery Plant! #767

Mystery Plant! #767 John Nelson Posted 3/20/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comAlthough spring has sprung, it is still a bit cool on these Southern mornings. As a botanist, I understand that many of my colleagues, botanists, that is, have been suffering through bouts of cabin-fever during the dark winter months, and now that...

Pulling down strongholds within our minds

Living on Purpose: Pulling down strongholds within our minds Dr. William Holland Posted 3/18/24By Dr. William HollandThe Human experience includes the standard requirement to choose right and wrong and has always been accountable when it comes to good and evil. Each of us has the free will to choose how...

Mystery Plant! #766

Mystery Plant! #766 John Nelson Posted 3/18/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.com            I hereby decree that spring has arrived, along with its fragrant wisterias, brilliant jessamine, and charming crimson clover. Finally! And to celebrate, let me offer one of the most attractive of the spring-blooming Southeastern species...and a...

Mystery Plant! #765

Mystery Plant! #765 John Nelson Posted 3/18/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comPicture yourself in Bavaria in the spring, in a friend’s back-yard, admiring the view of the Alps in the distance. Your host, showing you around, spots this little weed, and exclaims, “Schau mal, Erdrauch!” (translation below…)            Our little plant is common...

Mystery Plant! #764

Mystery Plant! #764 John Nelson Posted 3/18/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.com“Life’s a beach.” That’s what they say.This is a species of an oceanic, or “marine”, algae. It is indeed, one of the many species of "seaweeds", a very non-technical term, but a term that is useful. Botanists consider the true seaweeds to...

Predicting The Weather

Predicting The Weather Tom Poland Posted 3/8/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netSeems the TV weather guys get it wrong more often than right. Nor do they predict the same forecast. As one fellow put it, “If you don’t like the weather forecast, try another station.”I bring up radar of the Southeast...

Being tempted to let down our guard

Living on Purpose: Being tempted to let down our guard Dr. William Holland Posted 2/26/24By Dr. William HollandYears ago I worked in a department of five people and one day our director was replaced with someone new. The new leader of our team brought a small radio into our office...

Mystery Plant! #763

Mystery Plant! #763 John Nelson Posted 2/21/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.com¡Guacamo-le! Guacamo-le! Me gusta el guacamo-le!                                                                                       --a kids’ songThere are two basic reasons why you should make, and eat, guacamole.First, it tastes great. Guacamole, of course, comes from the avocado plant, which is native to warm semitropical forests of the New...

It’s time to do some spring cleaning

Living on Purpose: It’s time to do some spring cleaning Dr. William Holland Posted 2/19/24By Dr. William HollandDo you believe there is such a thing as good and evil, God and Satan? When something good happens do you thank God because you believe He blessed you? What about when something...

Mystery Plant! #762

Mystery Plant! #762 John Nelson Posted 2/14/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.com"In an early spring we see the appearing buds;Which to prove fruit, hope gives not so much warrant as despairThat frosts will bite them."                                King Henry IV, Part 2: I: 3.I'm just like Lord Bardolph, who was afraid that just as soon...

Remembering Cale Yarborough

Remembering Cale Yarborough Tom Poland Posted 2/14/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThe breaking news alert held just 29 words.“Cale Yarborough, a NASCAR great, dies at 84. Known for his fierce toughness and grit, Mr. Yarborough won the Daytona 500 four times and the Southern 500 five times.”His death brought back memories...

A New Backroad Magazine

Backroad Portfolio A New Backroad Magazine Tom Poland Posted 2/12/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.net You cannot raise your ancestors from their grave, but you can appreciate how they lived. Just take a backroad deep into the countryside and perchance turn onto a dirt road. You’ll see old farms and their...

First Taste of Blackstrap Molasses

First Taste of Blackstrap Molasses Tom Poland Posted 2/9/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netMid 1950s, early morning on the farm, it was. Rivers of gold ran down the stack of pancakes on the old oak table. Butter pooled higher and higher and I expected it to spill onto the old table...

Broomstraw Brooms

Broomstraw Brooms Tom Poland Posted 2/7/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI call it broomstraw. Others broomsedge. Whatever you call it, it doesn’t kill my memories of my grandmother’s homemade brooms. About a yardstick long, they stood in corners throughout the house. That made them handy. They were simple. They were effective....

Mystery Plant 761

Mystery Plant! #761 John Nelson Posted 2/7/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comIt's so Fly-Day, Fly-Day Chinatown…                                                                Yasuha, 1981This song came out 40 years ago, or so, and of course I wasn’t “hip” enough then to quite understand what it was all about. It was a rather popular song, though, in a good many...

When the Border Boys Were Young

When the Border Boys Were Young Tom Poland Posted 2/5/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netBefore the photos, Robert Clark had been photographing architecture for ten years. I had been writing scripts for documentaries. Much earlier, during a teaching stint, I submitted a paper to an academic journal. That earned me an...

Grace that is greater than all our sin

Living on Purpose: Grace that is greater than all our sin Dr. William Holland Posted 2/5/24By Dr. William HollandSince you were conceived God has wanted your attention. He has never neglected or ignored you. If you were to write down all the blessings and victories He has given over the...

Bonham House—Last Of Its Kind

Bonham House—Last Of Its Kind Tom Poland Posted 1/31/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netIn Saluda County an old homeplace sits on brick piers. It’s as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar, but that wasn’t always the case. Some refer to the old homeplace as Flat Grove. Some the Bonham House. If...

Mystery Plant 760

Mystery Plant! #760 John Nelson Posted 1/31/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comOne of my favorite trees here at the University grows right behind the herbarium. It’s been there for years (the building was constructed about 1974), and is now about 25’ tall. (I’m terrible at estimating heights of trees…but let’s just say that...

Long Lost Lisbon

Long Lost Lisbon Tom Poland Posted 1/31/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.net“The oak was so big, five men could link hands and not reach around it.” On a clear December day I walked where about eight feet of water had retreated. Perhaps I walked where that oak’s roots reached deep into...

The Million Dollar Quartet

The Million Dollar Quartet Tom Poland Posted 1/29/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI go back now, back to August 1, 2012. That’s the day the University of South Carolina Press published Save The Last Dance For Me. Strange circumstances united me with the Society of Stranders, those dedicated shaggers. Together, we...

A novel for now

Everything and Nothing: A novel for now Aïda Rogers Posted 1/26/24By Aïda RogersIt’s December 1916, and along the coast of South Carolina, things aren’t right. In the swamps and rivers around Georgetown, turtles and alligators sun themselves. Snakes and fish cavort in open waters. Weirdly warm, rain is long overdue.In town,...

The joy of the handwritten letter

The joy of the handwritten letter Reba Campbell Posted 1/24/24By Reba CampbellWhen I was growing up, the family mailbox was a magic chamber that delivered cards with good wishes, postcards from interesting places and an occasional gift from a far-off relative. Today’s mailboxes, however, often are more of a torture...

Mystery Plant 759

Mystery Plant! #759 John Nelson Posted 1/24/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comNot many flowers to see about this time of year, and certainly not those of woody plants. There are a few: you may know of Cornelian cherry with its very early yellow flowers, and then there a few varieties of “winter cherry”...

Do we love sin more than God?

Living on Purpose: Do we love sin more than God? Dr. William Holland Posted 1/22/24By Dr. William HollandA few weeks ago, we talked about a man named Achan and how his secret sin was not a secret to God. The book of Joshua in chapters 6 and 7 reveals this...

If A Photo Is Worth 1,000 Words …

If A Photo Is Worth 1,000 Words … Tom Poland Posted 1/22/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netWhy do we need cutlines? Simple. To better serve the reader. A cutline needs to be right. Long after the writer is gone, his work will be there for others to read. Come with me,...

Mystery Plant 758

Mystery Plant! #758 John Nelson Posted 1/19/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comIf you are a cocker-spaniel, you may not want to look at this picture!            Here’s a plant with a kind of midwinter brutal beauty, the drying leaf stalks topped with a constellation of brown, spiny burs. You might have a feeling...

Surprise At Surrender Rock

Surprise At Surrender Rock Tom Poland Posted 1/19/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netA Sunday before Christmas it was. With the gifts all wrapped, I had a bit of time. I wanted to see the monument where Mayor T.J. Goodwyn surrendered Columbia to Sherman on February 17, 1865. I set out for...

Mystery Plant! #757

Mystery Plant! #757 John Nelson Posted 1/19/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.com            The Father of plant taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus, probably had had a run-in with his editor, while working on his monumental Species Plantarum, in which he attempted to describe all the known plant species of his day....

2024 LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW FOR THE MEDIA

2024 Legislative Preview for the Media Posted Jan. 8, 2024 The Honorable Dennis C. Moss: Chairman, House Invitations and Memorial Resolutions (R-Cherokee) The Honorable Bill Sandifer: Chairman, Labor, Commerce & Industry (R-Oconee) The Honorable Dennis C. Moss: Chairman, House Invitations and Memorial Resolutions (R-Cherokee) The Honorable Bill Sandifer: Chairman, Labor,...

2024 LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW FOR THE MEDIA

2024 Legislative Preview for the Media Posted Jan. 8, 2024 The Honorable Brad Hutto: Minority Leader (D-Orangeburg) The Honorable Shane Massey: Majority Leader and Chairman, Senate Rules Committee (R-Edgefield) The Honorable Brad Hutto: Minority Leader (D-Orangeburg) The Honorable Shane Massey: Majority Leader and Chairman, Senate Rules Committee (R-Edgefield) The Honorable...

2024 LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW FOR THE MEDIA

2024 Legislative Preview for the Media Posted Jan. 8, 2024 The Honorable Tom Davis: Chairman, Labor, Commerce and Industry (R-Beaufort) The Honorable Thomas Alexander: Senate President and Chairman, Interstate Cooperation (R-Oconee) The Honorable Danny Verdin III: Chairman, Medical Affairs (R-Laurens) The Honorable Greg Hembree: Chairman, Education (R-Horry) The Honorable Tom...

2024 LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW FOR THE MEDIA

2024 Legislative Preview for the Media Posted Jan. 8, 2024 The Honorable Chip Campsen: Chairman, Fish, Game & Forestry (R-Charleston) The Honorable Katrina Shealy: Chair, Family and Veterans’ Services (R-Lexington) The Honorable Thomas Alexander: Senate President and Chairman, Interstate Cooperation (R-Oconee) The Honorable Chip Campsen: Chairman, Fish, Game & Forestry...

2024 LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW FOR THE MEDIA

2024 Legislative Preview for the Media Posted Jan. 8, 2024 The Honorable Danny Verdin III: Chairman, Medical Affairs (R-Laurens) The Honorable Greg Hembree: Chairman, Education (R-Horry) The Honorable Tom Davis: Chairman, Labor, Commerce and Industry (R-Beaufort) The Honorable Thomas Alexander: Senate President and Chairman, Interstate Cooperation (R-Oconee) The Honorable Chip...

Mystery Plant! #756

Mystery Plant! #756 John Nelson Posted 1/3/24By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comWhen clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks;                When great leaves fall, the winter is at hand.                                                Shakespeare, Richard III: II, 3. Can we talk about leaves?Your botany professor probably waxed on and on about leaves, and how important they are for...

What does standing for God mean to you?

Living on Purpose: What does standing for God mean to you? Dr. William Holland Posted 1/3/24By Dr. William HollandIt’s the New Year and everyone is celebrating a fresh start and making resolutions. However, simply wishing that our lives would change for the better, is nothing more than a fantasy or...

Running With Ghosts

Running With Ghosts Tom Poland Posted 1/3/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI dreamed I was in a football game again. Then I awoke. Such disappointment. Other than playing in a game again, the next best thing would be watching my old game films, an impossibility. Properly stored 16mm film can last...

The Light Dessert

The Light Dessert Aïda Rogers Posted 1/3/24By Aïda Rogersaidarogers27@gmail.comThe request seemed simple enough. “A light dessert,” my neighbor Sharon texted. She’d invited us for a soup supper just before Christmas. Always happy to be invited, we accepted, and I’d asked the requisite question of what I could bring. “A light dessert”...

Mystery Plant! #755

Mystery Plant! #755 John Nelson Posted 12/28/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comI remember several years ago listening on the radio in my car…YES, the RADIO… to a public interest story about the benefits of eating compost: fresh, warm  compost, straight from the garden, so full of healthful benefits, including a variety of useful...

A Way To Receive And Give Back

A Way To Receive And Give Back Tom Poland Posted 12/20/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netYou reach a point in life where you look backwards a lot. I recall my days studying Journalism at the University of Georgia. Turns out I chose the wrong discipline. I should have chosen Editorial but...

Mystery Plant! #754

Mystery Plant! #754 John Nelson Posted 12/20/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comAs of the writing of this essay it is not quite winter, at least on the calendar, but it’s cold, for me anyway. No more flowers to enjoy…well, not that many. Nevertheless, there are plenty of reasons for taking a walk in...

The Golden Gloved Artist

The Golden Gloved Artist Tom Poland Posted 12/18/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netDuring my not quite 10 years at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources I worked among talented illustrators, filmmakers, designers, photographers, and artists. I watched as they used pen and ink, paper, raw film, non-photo blue pencils and...

Understanding why we need a Savior

Living on Purpose: Understanding why we need a Savior Dr. William Holland Posted 12/18/23By Dr. William HollandThe author of this story is unknown and it has been told by many people throughout the years. The gentleman to whom I’m going to introduce was not a scrooge, but a kind, decent...

Bring Back Honest-To-Goodness Screen Doors

Bring Back Honest-To-Goodness Screen Doors Tom Poland Posted 12/13/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netWith winter knock, knock, knocking on their door, people are thinking of storm doors and weather stripping. Well, drafty old screen doors occupy my mind. Recent back-road expeditions have taken me across vintage screen doors—the original air conditioning—that...

Mystery Plant! #753

Mystery Plant! #753 John Nelson Posted 12/13/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comWhen I was a kid, our family would make an annual summer trip to visit relatives in Hanover, Virginia. This was before interstate highways, and well before air-conditioning in the car, so we'd always leave early in the morning, well before dawn....

There’s Just Something About A Barn

There’s Just Something About A Barn Tom Poland Posted 12/12/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netOn Highway 378 between Lincolnton and Washington, Georgia, stands a barn. I say a barn. It’s a home built to look like a barn. Or maybe it’s a barn converted into a home. I’m just not sure,...

Mystery Plant! #752

Mystery Plant! #752 John Nelson Posted 12/6/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comOne of the nice things about moving to a new neighborhood, like we did recently, is taking new walking adventures. There’s always something to see: maybe a hidden garden behind someone’s house, or maybe a winter-time water feature, complete with late season...

Mystery Plant! #751

Mystery Plant! #751 John Nelson Posted 11/29/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comIt's a member of the tomato family, and it doesn't matter which way you pronounce it. The tomato family is also quite properly referred to as the potato family, as well, and again, don't worry about pronunciation. The take-home here is that...

Feathers Fit For A King

Feathers Fit For A King Tom Poland Posted 11/29/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI wanted to hunt birds when a boy. Problem was no one would take me hunting. Dad tried but hunting wasn’t in his blood. And so my hunting adventures lay between the covers of magazines and books where...

Capture A Country Store Christmas Feeling

Capture A Country Store Christmas Feeling Tom Poland Posted 11/27/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netSigning back-road books at Mast General has become a tradition. For four Christmases now, I’ve signed books at Columbia’s Mast General. This Christmas makes five. This store, rich with memories, is down on Main Street, as Bob...

Mystery Plant! #750

Mystery Plant! #750 John Nelson Posted 11/22/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comAn oak tree is just an acorn’s way of making more acorns.                                                            --an old sayingAll of the 400 or so species of oaks in the world belong to the genus Quercus, and North Americans are blessed with about 100 of them. You...

One View, Two Civilizations

One View, Two Civilizations Tom Poland Posted 11/22/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netOn a November Saturday, I drove to the geographic heart of Georgia. The cool breath of autumn and a blue-sky day had pulled people outdoors. I rolled past yard sales and a classic car show into my first stop:...

The Luck Of The Draw

The Luck Of The Draw Tom Poland Posted 11/20/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netDecember 1, 1969, was no ordinary Monday. It was a day when your birthday was your destiny. In Athens, Georgia’s Benton Apartments my roommates and I were glued to the TV. CBS correspondent, Roger Mudd (His name really...

Mystery Plant! #749

Mystery Plant! #749 John Nelson Posted 11/20/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comThe other day I was getting a bit philosophical…or at least introspective, I suppose, thinking about how things change, especially people. Can it be that during our lifetimes, each of us goes through a number of identities as we age? Well, sure....

Ordering Please, One Big Boy

Ordering Please, One Big Boy Tom Poland Posted 11/8/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netDaddy set me straight. “If you want some spending money, get a job.” Thus did I work two jobs while going through college at Georgia. I delivered flowers for Carolyn’s Flowers, where I learned a bit about that...

Mystery Plant! #748

Mystery Plant! #748 John Nelson Posted 11/8/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comDuring my first semester in college, a few years back, I had a class every Saturday (true!) at 8 AM. It was a real ordeal getting there on time, and fortunately, I think, we don't have things scheduled that way now. But...

Folk Artist Leonard Jones—Giving Old Tin New Life

Folk Artist Leonard Jones—Giving Old Tin New Life Tom Poland Posted 11/8/23By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netDuring my school days the yellow bus rolled me past chicken houses. In 1972, when I taught creative writing in Lincolnton, Georgia, I’d pass those houses each day on the way to class. At the...

Mystery Plant! #747

Mystery Plant! #747 John Nelson Posted 11/1/23By John Nelsonjohnbnelson@sc.rr.comI knew it would happen: it’s gotten cold here in central South Carolina, definitely sweater-weather, at least on these brilliant, clear mornings. I managed to get in one more botany field trip last week just before it got chilly. You might say...