One of my favorite parts of the Boone County Journal is again beginning to heat up.

Bruce Wallace

Politics? Nah.

High school basketball rivalries? Hardly.

It’s vacation time, and vacation photos – local families wearing vacation clothes in a well-recognized location and the youngest child holding a copy of this newspaper.

I went on vacation last week – much of this week’s paper is a credit to the work of Stacy Phillips – to visit my grandson and other people (wife, daughters, son-in-law now all count as “other people.” Being a grandfather does funny things to men) but didn’t even take a copy of the Journal with me. For me, getting away and unplugging means not taking a newspaper with me.

But if I had taken a photo of myself holding a Journal, it would have been with the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina behind me. I don’t care about North Carolina’s college basketball rivalries or their state bathroom laws which was recently repealed. But the beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a part of our National Park System, is unparalleled.

Besides the great view, I didn’t do much. Certainly nothing worth taking my photo holding this newspaper. I slept late, read a book, went swimming, played with the grandson and….just, not much.

My vacation was a snoozer. It was more than a snoozer compared to Bill Hillman’s vacation in Spain last week.

Hillman, a 35-year-old Chicago writer, was gored during the running of the bulls last week.

“In a split-second he was on me,” Hillman said from the hospital. “I tried to jump, but he hit me in the butt. I flew up in the air and landed on my back. I didn’t know I was gored at first.”

I’ll bet you all the money in Warren Buffet’s bank account that Hillman knows he was gored in the butt every time he tries to sit down this week.

Go ahead. Laugh all you want. But I think these guys are out-of-their-ever-leving-minds. Vacation time is just too precious to be running berserk down a street in Spain, attempting to avoid be hospitalized – or killed – by a rampaging bull. Worse than Hillman, another American was gored in a different running that same day, same city, but Jack Capra, of California is in serious condition in a Pamplona hospital after being gored in the arm and dragged for several yards before the bull flung him to the street and trampled him.

Just how does Obamacare – or your Blue Cross – work in a Spanish hospital?

I would guess Pamplona hospitals have extra staff on hand in the emergency rooms the weekend of the drunken bull running.

They should also have extra psychiatric staff on hand.

Don’t think these guys are too nuts?

Hillman, our first guy who found out the hard way he runs slower than a bull and now sitting on a fluffy pillow during his Atlantic flight home to Chicago, participated in the Running of the Bulls three years ago….where he was also gored.

It takes a special kind of stupid to make that sort of mistake twice.

But I will guarantee a lifetime subscription of the Journal to any reader who produces an action photo of them running away from a bull while displaying a Boone County Journal newspaper. Bonus points if you swat Señor Bull on the head with a rolled-up version of your weekly newspaper.

And while I think this fall could be the Razorbacks year to dethrone Alabama in SEC football, I’m not completely naive – don’t send me a photoshopped version of your fictional vacation. No fake vacation photos here.

Better yet, get the family to pile into the mini-van and head to Utah, like Marc and Trinity White did recently. Climb down into a very cool geological formation, hold up a copy of your favorite newspaper (this one!) and snap a photo. Then email them to and we will publish it.

Leave all the bull stuff for idiots like Hillman and the Missouri Legislature.

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