Local Columns

Those !!?#@#!X# cornflakes

The story is told of two young brothers who decided they were old enough to swear. At bedtime one night they agreed that the next morning they would begin swearing. They even chose the cuss words they would use. At breakfast the next morning, their mother asked the oldest boy what he wanted ...

Documenting ones life

In one of the first writing classes I took as a journalism major in college we learned how to write an obituary. I don’t know if that’s still the progression of things. Maybe that’s why I read obituaries in the newspaper now. I just like to learn about how people lived, where they ...

First ice panfish

I was at an ice-fishing Open House at a retail tackle shop recently. There some anglers there who had been looking at a long range weather forecast. According to this forecast, cold weather is headed to the upper Midwest, and these anglers were guessing that they would be on the ice in north ...

There are good people everywhere

Here in Iowa we pride ourselves on being friendly and helpful and supportive of others. Some of us call it Iowa nice. Maybe it is the media that encourages us to believe that we are the good guys while the folks who live in urban areas are impolite, cold, and uncaring folks who live isolated ...

A contribution to international relations

During a layover at the Denver airport some years ago I heard a commotion just a few yards away. Two teenage boys, accompanied by a handful of other teenagers, were boisterously greeting one another. Not an uncommon sight at airports, except these young men were speaking in German. After a ...

To leave or not to leave

Looking to avoid raking leaves this fall? Leaving excessive amount of leaf matter on the lawn can cause problems going into winter, and is bad for several reasons. Leaves can smother the grass and if not removed by very early in the spring, the growth will be inhibited. A mat of ...

Establish a pattern for more fish

It’s that time of year when some anglers are starting to think about ice-fishing, but there are still a good number of anglers who are open water fishing. Regardless of how or where or when we fish, anglers want to catch fish. To do so, we need to figure out where the fish are, what they ...

Thank you for your service

When I was a small boy there was a middle aged man in our community who suffered from an obvious and unusual physical affliction. I remember asking my father about the man and Dad explained he was injured in a gas attack during the First World War. That discussion is one of my first memories ...

Observations from a trip out East

Another time I realized I wasn’t in Iowa any more while I was traveling out East early this month was when we were driving in six lanes of pretty solid traffic in the Boston area. I was thankful not to be behind the wheel of our rental car. My traveling companion lives in Atlanta and deals ...

Paying the kindness forward

Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. -Princess Diana I’m always amazed by some of the acts of kindness I see in our community. People step up, share their talents, express their generosity, ...

Wrap it up

Fall nights with freezing temperatures have returned, and while some gardeners welcome wrapping up garden chores for the winter, it is not time to relax yet. Now is the time to wrap young and newly planted trees for protection against sunscald or injury from deer, rabbits, rodents and other ...

All the news from Cornfield, Iowa

(In observance of National Newspaper Month, I have asked Buford P. Inkster, publisher/editor of the Cornfield Weekly Sheller, to write a guest column. Mr. Inkster is reputed to be Iowa's oldest active newspaper publisher.) What a year 2018 has been, folks! Why, I can’t remember a harvest ...

On the road to adventure

“I’m not in Iowa anymore,” I thought last week as I sat on the middle deck of a ship enjoying a leisurely afternoon cruise on Lake George, the longest inland lake in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. We motored along at a steady pace that allowed plenty of time to see ...

Going green

Around the country last week, 4-H club members and volunteers celebrated National 4-H Week. Beginning more than 100 years ago, 4-H has become one of the nation's largest youth development organization. The 4‑H idea is simple: help young people and their families gain the skills needed to ...

Fall memories

I’m very fortunate to have been able to fish in a lot of different places during the past several decades. I’ve got lots of memories of outstanding fishing trips with wonderful people. Many of those memorable fishing trips occurred in the autumn. The fall months are a great time to be ...

Panic or procrastinate?

With the deluge of rainfall we have received, many gardeners are feeling pressured and worry about getting fall garden work completed. But don't panic, some garden chores can wait until drier weather. Working wet garden soils can compact the soil, so don't play in the mud. Delay until ...

Cold water fishing gear

It seems like it’s getting colder earlier this year. While we’ll probably get some warmer weather before ice covers the lakes and ponds, the cold weather is a good reminder of what’s coming. Temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s can encourage the fish to go on the bite, and the ...

Walleyes at night

Fishing after the sun goes down is a foreign concept to a lot of anglers, and there’s good reason for that. An angler certainly can’t see as well as night as they can during the day, so simple tasks like tying on a new lure gets a little more complicated. There are lots of reasons why an ...

Pour another cup of coffee

It’s National Coffee Day today! Time to celebrate! With a cup of coffee, of course. I am always amazed at how good that first cup of morning coffee tastes every single day. Somehow, I think that after so many of those mornings a cup of coffee would lose its appeal, but for me it ...

If we don’t laugh, we’ll cry

While listening to the radio recently I heard a commentator observe that we are living in a “highly charged political environment.” Wow! Talk about understatement. Now, I can’t say too much because I am an opinionated guy myself and have probably ignited as many political firestorms as ...