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As I took a glass of ice chips out of the convenient dispenser on my refrigerator recently, I found myself thinking about those days when I would have to use an ice pick to get ice chips off of a … more
Did you know that if you are renovating a kitchen, everything has to come out of the kitchen?  And then it has to go somewhere? We have discovered this over the past 10 days, as the kitchen redo … more
It seems as though almost everywhere I go I see a sign that reads something like this: “Please be patient as we are currently understaffed. Our faithful employees are working hard to fulfill … more
In the early years of the 20th century, state and federal programs to assist the poor and sick did not exist. Social Security was many years in the future, as were unemployment payments, … more
For nine years of my priesthood, I was the vocation director for the diocese of Jefferson City. That means I was blessed and honored to travel across 36 counties in rural Missouri to all Catholic … more
With COVID in retreat, many Americans are looking forward to a traditional summer vacation, which brings back memories of road trips I took with my family.We usually headed toward beaches in the … more
The Missouri Supreme Court giveth, and the Missouri Supreme Court taketh away.Let’s start with the “giveth” part. Years ago, the Missouri Legislature, in all its wisdom — … more
The word “fan” is short for “fanatic,” and the behavior of people at sporting events the past couple of weeks has provided a sad reminder of that fact.During recent NBA … more
Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult for most of us to make an apology? I recently watched a TED Talk by Robert M. Gordon entitled “The Power of an Apology.” If you have an … more
Author’s note: The promised column about the June 1922 school bond issue fell victim to a research glitch and so will appear in a later column.  The 1882 History of Pettis County notes … more
On Tuesday I had one of those “I don’t want to do this/I’m glad I did this” kind of days. I have been summoned for the current circuit court jury pool, and Tuesday was my … more
Maybe it’s the weather, or that we have returned from sunshine and 80-degree days. Maybe it’s that I am at my Continuing Legal Education seminar on line because I’m not comfortable … more
My grandfather is responsible for my love of the dead.  One sunny, humid Memorial Day weekend, he piled us into the car and drove us to a valley,  where up on a high hill, hundreds of … more
Memorial Day is fast approaching and our society needs to remember what it means. Throughout our history in America, men and women have placed their lives on the line to pay for our freedom and … more
The National Education Association was formed in 1857 to “advance the dignity, respectability, and usefulness” of the teaching profession. Over the years, the association promoted the … more
I was putting my groceries in my trunk at the big box store last week when I heard someone say, “Hi! Have a nice day!” I turned to see if the person was talking to me and to my … more
Short takes and random thoughts: • People love history, they just don’t want to pay for it. The Sedalia City Council has awarded a contract for the demolition of the building at 321 E. … more
If you have been attending church for any time at all then you have met and gotten to know a certain group within the church. Every church has them. People who talk the talk of Christianity but fail … more
As I was driving around Sedalia the other day, I began to think about that simple activity, and how big of a deal it was when I was a kid. Cars were not nearly as plentiful in those days, and when I … more
Remember our neighbor, Ruby? She distressed my mother by hollering, “Joe Dan Johnson, get in here right now, or I’m gonna whip your butt!”  Mother thought “butt” … more
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