Between the Lines

The “Mom and Pop Store” is an institution in small town America. Families working from dawn ’til dusk to operate a small business and service their community are a familiar sight in places like Oneonta and other towns in Blount County. They are often the backbone of these cities and towns. Now I have my favorite national retail stores that […]


Sean of the South

On the 28th anniversary of your suicide I climbed a mountain. Not figuratively. Literally. I hiked to the top of Mount Cheaha, the way you might have done. I was in town for a writing gig. Traveling solo. My wife was back home, cleaning up dog poop, giving dog baths, and feeding our dogs so they could continue to make […]

From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, September 19, 1935

Where to find a mate Statistics are generally pretty dull reading, but to a man or woman in search of a mate in the community where unmarried persons of the opposite sex are few, a recent publication of the Department of Commerce may be of interest. It is shown that the real happy hunting grounds for women seeking husbands should […]

Recipe Corner

Don’t add any water or broth to this. It will make enough liquid as it cooks. It’s also good to add a few quartered potatoes and a large handful of baby carrots to it when there is 1 to 2 hours of cooking time left. -Jenna Wood Mississippi Pot Roast 1 (3-4 lb.) chuck roast1 packet ranch dressing mix1 packet […]

Time, neglect take their toll on the stately building

History Calls
Part 3

[Parts 1 and 2 introduced readers to Blount County’s Community House (pictured above). This final part addresses the building’s last days with additional memories and a touching memorial.] The house comes down While the building had received landmark status in 1990, it had not enjoyed careful attention. After receiving the property deed in 1988, the City of Oneonta used the […]


I know a lady who lived on a hill She sat there quietly with nary a frill Her stance never changed as time stood As the lowly old lady watched from the hill. Her colors muted, her face like stone Her heritage and age most likely unknown She was scorched in Summer, Winter chilled to the bone All days she […]

Out and About

PALS - the letter

If you regularly read the Out and About column, you know I support wholeheartedly the statewide organization PALS (People Against a Littered State). I want to share verbatim a “letter” from the 2022 Winter PALS Newsletter written by Jeff Helms, the chairman of Alabama PALS. I found many lessons in his message. “Every day I am reminded of the importance […]

Write baby write

Sean of the South

Dear Young Writers, You know who you are. You are a true writer. You’re reading this on your phone, computer, tablet, or maybe a soggy newspaper you found in a gutter. Maybe you’re in college or in high school. Maybe you’re a middle-schooler with an exceptionally grandiose vocabulary. Maybe you’ve written to me for advice. God help you. Either way, […]

From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, September 12, 1929

Editorialby F.G. Stephens Opportunities for young men are greater today than they have ever been before – opportunities to become useful citizens, opportunities to become criminals. There has never been such a great demand for honest young men in business, in places of honor and trust. There has never been a time when temptations were more inviting to lead youth […]

Recipe Corner

I prefer to steam my broccoli and onions and then put them in the skillet with other ingredients. This dish is quick and easy. I call this “Mean, Green Broccoli” because it gets attention. Nothing mean about it – unless you add hot peppers! -submitted by Janice Caudle Graves Mean, Green Broccoli 1 onion, chopped½ stick butter1 to 2 lbs. […]

Category Pages are limited to 90 days. Please use the archive page or the search box to find older articles.