So how far have we come?

Each year as summer dawns, when children begin counting the days until shoes become something they just have to keep track of and not wear, I continue a tradition started on June 2, 1999. That was the date the first issue of The Smoky Mountain News was published.

Paddlers will not do damage to the Chattooga

By Bruce Hare • Guest Columnist

In response to your article (“Tug of War over the Chattooga River,” May 31 Smoky Mountain News), I would like to thank you for reporting on an issue that is important to me and I think your coverage was balanced and fair.

Gibson case highlights larger problems

When the jury came back with a not guilty verdict in the case against Michelle Gibson, many across the country let out a collective sigh of relief. Gibson had been charged with second-degree murder after her 8-year-old son died from heat exhaustion in a car while she worked a double shift at a Sylva nursing home.

Making Jennings Randolph proud

Jennings Randolph does not leap from the pages of history. Perhaps he should. His likeness is not found on any T-shirts, but perhaps it should be, especially of those graduating from high school.

No, Jennings Randolph was not a founding father, but a 20th century figure. He was a long-time member of Congress from West Virginia, first as a member of the House of Representatives and later a senator. He did something in 1941 that he continued to do methodically for 30 years until he was successful. His photo might be depicted as an example of persistence and/or commitment.

Personal heart therapy with Homer Harris

I have found that not being able to hear in a crowded room is a constant frustration. Usually, when people talk to me in an earnest fashion, I take the path of least resistance and pretend to understand. That is what happened last week in the lobby of the physical therapy building at Harris Regional Hospital.

The art of the graduation speech

A few years ago, I was asked to give the keynote speech for an area high school’s graduation ceremony. At first, I thought one of my so-called friends must be playing a joke on me. Why would anyone want a local newspaper columnist/college English teacher to address a group of graduating high school seniors? What would I be expected to say? “Esteemed graduates, you face many problems and challenges in the world you are about to enter — skyrocketing health care costs, our dependence on foreign oil, the scourge of terrorism — but when all is said and done, if you do not finally get a grip on comma usage, I swear I will track down every last one of you and write nasty little comments with a red pen on everything you ever write from now on. If you do not learn the difference between ‘their’ and ‘there’ I will haunt you from beyond the grave. Now go forward and prosper, but do not let your participles dangle.”

The test, and nothing but the test

I don’t bash public schools. My wife’s a teacher, my children have gotten a great education at these schools, and we’ve been able to solve every major problem that ever arose with a teacher.

Selling the library out for all the wrong reasons

Back last fall, about the time the Jackson County Library controversy mutated into an issue with all of the appeal of a dead mule in doorway of the Town Hall, I decided to give up my role as “gadfly.” I was bitterly opposed to the proposed site (Jackson Plaza), but eventually I began to feel that I was a single whining voice in the wilderness. The rest of Jackson County either approved of the site, or worse, simply didn’t give a damn.

An encore for mama

By Joanne Meyer • Guest Columnist

A soft, spring breeze wafted through the open window, sending a sheer, cafe curtain dancing across the strings of a mandolin leaning upright against the back of a chair. The sound the instrument produced had a startling but enchanting allure. It spoke to me in a voice I had not heard in a long time.

Tammy deserved better

Mother’s Day was probably not everything Tammy had hoped for.

She may have had visions of sleeping in until 9 or even 10 a.m., then being served breakfast in bed: cinnamon and apple muffins, a western omelet, a medley of fruit, piping hot coffee, and a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.