• My grandparents tuned in regularly to a radio segment called "The Swap Shop". For 15 minutes every day, people called in to offer something they had -for free or less than $20 or they called in to ask for items they needed.

    It was the old-fashioned bartering system upgraded to the modern 20th century. With little or no money, you could get the products or services you needed in exchange for something you could offer up.

  • What's the deal with Brett Favre, anyway?

    Has he taken too many blows to the noggin? Is senility or early signs of Alzheimer's settling in?

    Back in March, he said he was retiring. Then a month later, he said he wants to still play. The Packers are ready to welcome him back, then he says he doesn't want to play.

    Now, he wants his release from the Packers.

    The Pack say no way. The last thing they need to see is Favre in an opposing NFC North team's uniform.

    They reason the least he can do is hold a clipboard and mentor Aaron Rodgers.

  • As I have interviewed interns and reporter candidates over the last few weeks, one resounding theme kept coming up when I tell them what I think is the best part of working for a small town paper: the interesting people you meet.

    Of course there are the obligatory meetings that must be covered, the birth announcements and wedding news that need to be shared, but by far, the best thing for any reporter is getting out and meeting people who have done things that you only dream or have been places you've only read about.

  • I never thought my father and I had much in common despite my mother's ever-constant lament, "You're just like your daddy."

    Back then I scoffed at the idea.

    But then in 1993, my father died suddenly one week after his 62nd birthday and in the 15 years since, not a week has gone by that I don't somehow recall him, his words and his actions.

    He wasn't an affectionate man. He grew up in an era and place where children were begat to work. He didn't know much about tenderness or bonding. His way of showing love was through providing and sacrificing so his family was secure.

  • While I have great respect for Gov. Crist and his continued commitment to preserving the environment, I feel that his intent to veto HB 7059 has been made without fully understanding the wide-reaching scope of this good environmental legislation. This legislation has many valuable components that seek to improve and strengthen the protection of our state's precious natural resources.

  • My life is good. I have a job that supplies my needs. Children who love me. Friends who support me. A man who understands real partnership.

    Yes, indeed, my life is good and it takes a lot to get me riled.

    I've mellowed a lot in my old age.

    I once stressed about everything and now seldom stress about anything-though perhaps there are some things I should worry about.

    When considering relationships, I weigh the good they do/are against the bad and if there are more positive things, I cling.

    If they're negative, I cut my losses and move on.

  • This is a big weekend for many young people in Levy County, as they leave high school and move on to the next phase of their lives.

    Graduation ceremonies are scheduled for most Levy County schools this weekend, a landmark day for a few hundred young adults who are ready to venture out into the world.

    This graduating class has been through a little more than many of us.

  • Over the last decades, scores of men and women have fought and died in wars to preserve the ideals and beliefs we hold most dear. Many of the ones who paid the ultimate price for those ideals were youths barely in the bloom of adulthood. The crowded cemeteries bedecked with white crosses bear mute witness to their supreme sacrifice.

  • Judging from the amount of traffic on I-75 this past weekend, motorists are oblivious to the fact that gasoline isthisclose to being $4 a gallon.

    Or perhaps those motorists are like me.

    They know that we are a nation that moves on four wheels-or 18-and to get from Point A to Point B, you have to get in a motorized vehicle and drive, whether you want to pay the price at the pump or not.

  • I am not at all the maternal type. I'm too selfish, too distant, too "suck it up and move on"-like to be called a nurturing pillar of motherhood.

    And yet I have three children.

    Like many of you, I grew up watching Donna Reed, Harriet Nelson and June Cleaver (in reruns, mind you) as they set the example for future generations what a woman's role was in the home.

  • "All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his."

    -Oscar Wilde

    "Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother."

    -Lin Yutang

    All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."

    -Abraham Lincoln

    "A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie."

    -Tenneva Jordan

  • When Gail Osteen told me last week that she had no history of any kind of cancer in any of her family, I was more than surprised.

    I didn't know any such person existed, because it seems for as long as I can remember cancer has been a very real, and very unwelcome, facet of my life.

  • Congratulations are in order for the men and women who make up the Levy County Sheriff's Office Drug Task Force.

    In the past month the task force has been able to bring about the arrests of dozens of alleged drug dealers. Many of those arrests came on the heels of investigations that lasted months and required countless man hours and dedication.

    We also tip our hats to the Chiefland City Commission for having the foresight to set aside money in its budget that allows the city to be a member of the task force.

  • Take a look around you. Count three people. Stand back. Think. Statistically one of these three people will contract cancer. One of those three could be you.

    And scarier still is that some 1,500 people die from cancer each day.

    This Friday night at Chiefland High School, people dedicated to eliminating cancer and finding cures will come together to celebrate a year of fund-raising.

    But the work doesn't stop there.

  • Do you remember that poster from the 70s that said "A friend is someone who knows everything about you and still likes you anyway"?

    We're fortunate if we can find such a person in this life-someone who accepts you for who you are, doesn't try to change you and knows your deepest, darkest secrets and never passes judgment, loves you unconditionally and makes every moment you spend together an adventure.

    I've really been blessed to find a friend like that in Denise Matthews.

  • For years we have pointed fingers at the residents of cities and counties for not being more proactive in local government.

    Apathy is often blamed as the reason people don't get involved in what's happening in their communities.

    While that may be true in part, I think another reason may be it's just too darn confusing for the average person who has to sit and sift and then leave wondering, "What happened in there?"

    It's been a while since I covered a Chiefland Commission meeting. About 18 months, in fact.

  • Kay and Luther Drummond were more than surprised Tuesday night when the Greater Chiefland Chamber of Commerce named them its Citizens of the Year.

    They shouldn't have been.

    For decades the Drummond name has been synonymous with giving back.

    The couple has been on the frontline of helping build a better community through their civic leadership and generous financial giving.

    The Drummonds have been instrumental in raising money for Haven Hospice through their Fall at the Farm event, last year securing more than $30,000 in contributions for the agency.

  • I must be a real party animal. This past weekend I had about 60 beers, stayed up all night, caroused with total strangers, wore the same clothes for two days and crashed and burned immediately when I got home.

    How can this be?

    Well, I didn't drink 60 beers. Remember a few weeks ago when I said that missing one hour of sleep is equivalent to drinking two beers?

    This past weekend I had more than my share without ever popping a tab.

    It started innocently enough.

  • Even though qualifying for county and district political offices doesn't begin until June, already many candidates are out stumping for votes.

    The Chiefland Citizen wants to ensure that all candidates are treated equally during the months ahead.

    Following are a few notes worth mentioning as we launch into what promises to be a full depiction of the American electoral process.

  • I am ashamed. Eight girls, eight young girls who are three, four, even five times younger than I am have shown me just how incompetent I am in an area where women are, by tradition, supposed to excel.

    Of course it's sewing and when it comes to the fine art of stitchery, I am all thumbs. The gals of the Suwannee River Fair have accomplished more in their short lives than I have in four decades.

    My grandmothers were seamstresses, but of course, back in the day they had to be out of sheer necessity.

    I grew up with feedsack dresses trimmed in rickrack.