Opinion

A mostly-fantastic voyage

Before pulling our new-ish travel trailer to Springfield, Missouri, for the season’s final camping trip last weekend, I asked my friend Matt Old to take a look at my 2000 Chevy Suburban, which at 212,000 miles and counting, had a few issues that needed to be addressed—including an exhaust leak that made the old Family

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I need to get out more

When Bethany and I moved from urban Columbia to our home in the country outside of Hartsburg almost twenty years ago, the idea was to have a peaceful reprieve from the tens of thousands of people who make city living a crowded and often stressful ordeal for folks like me who prefer the quiet and

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My Babies are no longer babies

When the new school year begins next week, I will be the proud parent of two middle-schoolers and a senior in high school. This means that for the first time in twelve years, there will be no Naughtons in SoBoCo’s primary or elementary schools. Of course, I’ll still be subbing at the primary school every

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In Loving Memory of Sam Schiltz

I feel reasonably confident in asserting that prior to the funeral I attended last Saturday, very few eulogies in the long history of mankind have ever included an anecdote about blowing up a toilet. My son Alex and several of his friends had, in fact, blown up a discarded toilet several years ago at their

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Welcome to Ashland

Dear Stacey, On behalf of everyone in our cozy, growing community, I would like to welcome you and your family to Ashland. I think you’re really going to like it here. When I read your post on Facebook’s “Ashland/Hartsburg Swap Shop” page asking people’s recommendations for pediatricians, dentists, vets, and children’s activities for a family

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Unapologetically Missourian

If asked where the cultural capitals of the United States are, most folks would say New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Chicago, Miami, Washington D.C., Houston, Seattle, or some other major metropolitan area adjacent to a significant body of water. I would add three more places to that list: St. Louis, Kansas City, and Columbia—cities

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Teens get involved in voting process

The year I turned 18 was a big year for me, as I believe it is for most people. Turning 18 means you’re a real adult, moving off to college and making decisions that will affect your future. It was a milestone year, having my senior night in basketball, my last prom and high school

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Dear Diary/Facebook

Facebook is a great way to interact with friends, family, and even complete strangers, but when using the social media network’s “Memories” feature, Facebook becomes something much more intimate: a digital diary. Every time we write a status update, upload a photo or video, or share an article on Facebook, our thoughts and feelings are

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The Business and Beauty of Baseball

When St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was fired last weekend, I was reminded of a line used in virtually every mafia movie ever made: “It’s nothing personal. It’s just business.” Tell that to the guy getting whacked. Despite being one of the winningest managers in team history, (and by all accounts a genuinely good

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Hurricane Season

One of the best things about writing for a small-town newspaper is the feedback, both positive and negative, that I regularly receive from readers. Over the years, a few of you have made phone calls or written letters to the editor to voice your displeasure with something that I wrote. I respect that. I’m not

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