April 24, 2014

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Local Columnists

'Fly like an eagle'
Wednesday, May 01, 2013 3:25 PM

By Jim Langham

Those of us who are still stuck in 1970’s popular music have no problem capturing the tune of the hit, “Fly Like an Eagle,” in our minds with the mere power of suggestion.

Saturday, April 27, that song became reality under the most unique circumstances. I was attending the dedication ceremonies at the Limberlost State Historic Site in Geneva, Ind., the home of famed author, Gene Stratton-Porter, famous for such children’s books as, “The Song of the Cardinal,” “Freckles,” “The Harvester,” and “Girl of the Limberlost.”

In her books, Porter built heartwarming stories on the countryside of the late 1890’s and early 1900’s, based on birds, critters and wild flowers in a large swamp area known as, “The Limberlost,” a sister swamp across the border very similar to the Great Black Swamp of our area in northwest Ohio.

The 'Grandma" flowers
Wednesday, May 01, 2013 3:24 PM

By Kylee Baumle

Petunias, marigolds, ditch lilies, red salvia, Ageratum, Portulaca, geraniums. What do these flowers have in common? Your grandmother probably grew them. Maybe your mother, too.

When you walk into a garden center, do you stop and ooh and ahh over them? Or do you do like I do and give them a cursory glance and walk right past them on your way to the “more interesting” plants and the new introductions?

Somewhere along the way, petunias and marigolds became boring. Ditch lilies got taken for granted. Red Salvia and purple Ageratum became cliché. Portulaca, or moss rose, perhaps bears too much resemblance to its cousin, that persistent weed, purslane. (Although purslane is a delicious salad edible!) Geraniums, which aren't really geraniums at all, but pelargoniums, have just graced one too many window boxes and garden borders.

Hands Down
Wednesday, May 01, 2013 3:24 PM


One of the most important parts of our body is our hands. Stop and think of all the different things we do with our hands.

A mother’s hand can stir up sugar cookies, make pies, wash dishes, dust, mend clothing, and peel potatoes. Her hands can rock a cradle, burp a colicky baby and soothe the brow of a sick child.

A dad’s hands can plant fields, harvest, work with tools, drive a truck, work on cars, mow the lawn, start a fire and build a house.

We use our hands everyday and it is almost impossible to imagine our life without them. Our hands have been used as a way of protecting ourselves since time began. Hands can actually be considered a weapon when clenched into fists. Open hands can be used to slap someone.

The Croods and grandkids taught me a lesson
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 1:42 PM

By Joe Shouse

The Croods and grandkids taught me a lesson

A couple of weeks ago my grandkids asked me if I would go with them to see the latest animation movie to hit the big screen – “The Croods.” Now, I love my grandkids, but first of all, going to the movies really isn’t my thing. Going to the movies to see a cartoon is not my thing. Buying popcorn and a drinks at highway robbery prices certainly isn’t my thing; so what is a grandpa supposed to do? Well, I will tell you what I did.

Do we have too much news available?
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 1:41 PM

By Nancy Whitaker


How things have changed in the past 50 years. Growing up in the country in the 1950s era, I know we did not have access to the news like we do now.

Back in those days, we would gather around the radio to listen to the news or perhaps subscribe to a weekly newspaper. We also had those “party line” telephones and each time the phone rang someone's ring, we would sneakily take the receiver off the hook and listen in to find out what was new.

The wonder of music
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 1:40 PM

By Jim Langham

In the midst of the turmoil and fear of the last week, a very peaceful occasion occurred to a man who may have touched as many lives as anyone in our time, at least through the mode of music.

At age 104, George Beverly Shea, the stirring gospel singer for over 50 years in Billy Graham crusades, passed away in his home, located just one mile away from the home of his good friend, Graham, near Montreat, N.C.

Finally, in the life of this godly, humble man, the words of one of his favorite songs, “Until Then,” became reality.

“But until then, my heart will go on singing, until then, with joy I’ll carry on, until the day, my eyes behold that city, until the day God calls me home,” Graham would sing.

Mad for tulips
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 1:39 PM

By Kylee Baumle

The anticipation of spring and its delay in arriving this year made us embrace it with more enthusiasm than usual. That makes it hard to believe that we’re already past snowdrop, crocus and reticulated iris season. We’re into daffodils and tulips now and our gardens have exploded in glorious rainbow colors.

Tulips are an interesting lot. Originating in the mountains of Turkey (it’s their national flower), the cultivated tulip that comes to mind for most of us has been hybridized from a much smaller species. We have many hybrid tulips in our landscape, but my favorites by far are the sweet little species tulips.

Miniature anything usually has a cuteness factor and tulips are no exception. But beyond that, species tulips are known to be much more reliable about coming back year after year and even naturalizing, than their hybrid cousins.

Introducing Herb Monroe
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 2:02 PM


By Ron Lane • Guest Columnist

Introducing Herb Monroe

Good fortune has given me any number of wonderful tasks to perform. I have had a very lucky life. A real treat for me was years ago when I was asked to introduce a speaker at the senior center. He was about to make a presentation to an assembled group of really good people.

When you present someone who is going to speak, you need the proper balance of building them up, but not over promising. I remember thinking about it, but it came to me quickly, decent respect but not over done.

Here’s how it went, “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my honor to present to you the nicest man God ever made, ‘Herb Monroe.’”


These past few months, thanks to great Paulding people who earnestly work for the betterment of our community, Herb is being rightfully honored. The beautiful park that is named for this wonderful man is uppermost in people’s minds and will be a great addition to our town.


It’s as though Herb is still with us in some ways. You can’t help but see him extend his hand, know your name, your husband’s or wife’s name and enough about you to make you feel completely comfortable. In this way, Herb continues to be a warm part of any day.

So what do we take from this? None of us is ever going to be another Herb Monroe. Everyone that knew him misses him. When we go to his park, maybe we can be a little more like him. Let’s try.

When you’re in the park, think about what it would be like to enjoy people, seemingly all people. What it must be like to actually remember people’s names. If we would do this we would smile more often, like Herb did.

Let’s honor this park. Be in a good mood when you visit it. If you should have an unpleasant thought while there, take a walk and come back when you can smile.

Ron Lane is a guest columnist for the Paulding County Progress.

The opinions stated are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.


It is here!
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:39 PM

By Nancy Whitaker


It is amazing how much better we feel physically and emotionally when the sun is shining. After what seemed to be a long, dreary winter, the appearance of sunshine has improved our moods, eased our aches and pains and made us feel good all over. At least we know that the elusive sunshine is paving the way for a nice hot summer.

In addition to birds chirping, flowers blooming and the appearance of those pesky ants, I look at some more things going on that lets me know, “Spring is in the air.”

Living by nature
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:28 PM

By Kylee Baumle

When asked for directions to a certain place, some people will say, “Go one mile to 127, turn left, and go three miles north,” while others will say, “Go down the road until you get to the high school, turn left, and go until you see the big church on the left.”

Both sets of directions will get you there, in spite of them being quite different; one uses miles, the other, landmarks. As I drove to Fort Wayne today, and knew very well how to get there, I found myself looking for landmarks all the same.

Some things change over time, while others stay the same. For the most part, we expect buildings such as schools, churches, and courthouses to be around for a very long time. But, there are other things that remain constant through the years too. I’ve come to expect sights and sounds peculiar to each season.