I found them in the corner of the basement, hidden like Easter Eggs underneath a blue tarp which was itself partially obscured by a couple of discarded boxes. Our basket of baseballs. I cannot recall exactly when or why we started keeping a dozen or more baseballs in an old Easter basket — most likely because it was handy and I couldn’t lay my hands on a bucket just then — but for the past several years, when spring rolls around and chases the frost out of the yard, I make my annual descent into the basement to fetch the baseball basket.
By Paul Strop • Guest Columnist
Last summer when we returned to this country, the presidential election was in full cry, and almost every day (it seemed) we heard, “lock her up,” and “build a wall.” The first, I assume referred to the candidate’s opponent, and the second, I assume, referred to the rally-goers’ demand for protection.
Walls have been built for centuries by kings, sultans and dictators for the purpose of protecting their territories and their royal cities from marauding armies who would pillage and destroy these cities. Moulay Ismael in the 17th century built walls to protect his royal city of Meknes. Today, thousands of visitors travel to Morocco to marvel at these structures which still stand. The Great Wall of China was built hundreds of years ago for protection against raiders from Eurasia. Millions of tourists every year walk on these existing walls.
By Joseph Trisha • Guest Columnist
So who else is tired of negative politics and the constant negative President Donald Trump reports every time you turn on the news channel? The news media should just stick to the facts — whether good or bad — without the spin or half truths.
Wouldn’t it be great no matter who was in office if the representatives would just concentrate on helping the people who placed them there? Wouldn’t it be nice if the news outlets would just cover the news with truth and without the constant negativity focused on those who are opposite of their party?
It was July or August of 1999, best I remember, and the Swain County Commissioners at that time were meeting in a cramped boardroom in the Administration Building. I’m not sure if anyone from a newspaper other than The Smoky Mountain Times covered these meetings, but we had published the first issue of our upstart newspaper in June of that year. As its only reporter at that time, I was finally getting around to one of Swain’s meetings.
I was a little out of sorts as I wandered in unannounced. I found an empty chair against the wall that was so close you could have touched the commissioners. They all greeted me as I told them who I was and what I was there for.