- Mark Bennett B-Sides
MARK BENNETT: There was a flicker of light in Tuesday’s economic presentation
Blame it on our recession reflex. Everything seems like a bad omen. Maybe I was the only person who sensed such a karmic moment at the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce’s annual Groundhog Day Economic Forecast before sun-up Tuesday morning in the Hulman Student Union at Indiana State University.
B-SIDES: ‘Ice Drops Keep Falling on Our Heads’? Nah
There are no great songs about sleet. Of course, songwriters have struck gold with every other weather event, from “A Rainy Night in Georgia” to “Let It Snow, Let It Snow,” “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” “Like a Hurricane,” “Landslide” and “The Wind Cries Mary.” But sleet? You might as well be singing about irritable bowel syndrome.
B-SIDES: ‘It’s family that first instills the love of learning’
Laws and policies can only change things to a degree. As President Obama spoke to Congress and the nation in his State of the Union address Tuesday, his assessment of American education began with a comment that often gets little more than nods of agreement when he, or others, mention it. Maybe that’s because it’s so hard to fix.
MARK BENNETT: Books are books — even if they eSmell differently
Just a few years ago, if somebody asked what the term “eReader” meant, I probably would’ve guessed, “One who reads books that start with the letter E.”
B-SIDES: Competition could uncover the next Max Ehrmann, challenge our thinking
A great poet challenges our thoughts and actions. Right now, America would do well to re-read the words of Max Ehrmann in “Desiderata.” In that classic poem, Ehrmann wrote, “Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit.”
B-SIDES: Enjoying high-quality Grit
When it comes to westerns, my taste leans toward Clint Eastwood, who stares down bad guys with a disgusted grin.
B-SIDES: Depending on where you live, $250K could make you rich
Scout Finch didn’t know her family’s economic status. Maybe it’s better that way. In the book “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Scout wonders why a client of her father — small-town lawyer Atticus Finch — repays his bill for Atticus’ legal services with firewood, turnip greens and hickory nuts.
B-Sides: Y Terre Haute? The need still exists
A hundred and 18 years is a long time. Few things live that long, aside from giant tortoises and lobsters.
MARK BENNETT: Nasal solution: Sign us up for neti pot
I could gently ease into this column with a witty, homespun story, but the cold-and-flu season has hit and there’s no time to waste.
B-Sides: Be thankful for those who agree with a 150-year-old goal
Thanksgiving, as Abraham Lincoln envisioned it, may not be possible today.
His proclamation of Oct. 3, 1863, setting aside the fourth Thursday of every November as a “national day of Thanksgiving doesn’t fit the current mood of the country.
Mark Bennett: Trying out the course the nation’s best will run
Occasionally, someone will ask me, “Do you run?”
Well, it depends on what they mean by “run.” People “run” to the grocery store, “run” errands, make a beer “run” or “run” to the restroom. Others also “run” for exercise, but not speed — commonly called “jogging” — and I fall into that category.
B-Sides: TH native's movie could land spot in holiday TV lineup
“It’s a Wonderful Life” … “A Christmas Story” … “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” … “Christmas Vacation” … “Home Alone” … “Scrooged” …
That’s a formidable list. It might be easier to earn a spot on Mount Rushmore than to break into that lineup of America’s favorite holiday movies.
B-SIDES: Hoosier Folklore Conference explores creative influences of Irish artists
It’s possible that, today, a few people are angry about having to listen to so much anger.
B-SIDES: After nearly 90 years in business, Popoff Cleaners is closing
Tim Henry Popoff’s kids knew the sound of his car. “We’d hear him pull in the drive, and we’d all run down to see him,” recalled his son, Tim J. Popoff. “He’d always bring us snacks.”
Mark Bennett B-Sides: Inspirational ending half a world away brings thoughts of home for performer
The dilemma of miners, trapped deep below Earth’s surface, has tugged at Kathy Mattea’s heart before.
MARK BENNETT: Counting on trust and a deft touch
Jill Bolte Taylor trusts Ron Howard with her life story.
Mark Bennett: Food for thought: Family dinner may not be about what’s on the plate
At some point during my college days, I became convinced that rice and eggs were nature’s perfect foods.
(I also believed John Anderson would be elected president in 1980, but never mind that.)
MARK BENNETT: Bill Nye still rocking science
As a 5-year-old, our son wanted to be a “rock ’n’ roll scientist” when he grew up.
B-Sides: Terre Haute Children’s Museum getting ready for marathon grand opening weekend
True maturity arrives when we look back at our childhood misadventures and admit, “Technically, I should not be alive.”
Mark Bennett: Enrollment drop may be out of school corporation’s hands
Nobody flags down outbound cars at the Vigo County border on I-70 to conduct exit interviews.
This is America, after all. We come and go as we please.
MARK BENNETT: A line of union between two families of chance
On the first day of my senior year at Indiana State University, I found a seat in a Holmstedt Hall classroom and waited for my macroeconomics course to begin.
B-SIDES: Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real to headline Blues fest
Everybody has an image of Willie Nelson stored somewhere in their memories. A big bandanna. Long red and gray hair, slightly tamed by braided ponytails. His old Martin guitar, with a hole worn into its body after decades of strumming. “On the Road Again.” Farm Aid.
Mark Bennett: ‘Our Town’ blends Bird, Coca-Cola, blues into city history lesson
Longtime Hauteans who watch tonight’s “Our Town: Terre Haute” will likely spot two apparent omissions.
Social justice icon Eugene V. Debs isn’t featured, and nobody mentions the city’s decades-long smell problem.
There is a reason for both gaps.
B-SIDES: After a long journey, Max Ehrmann and ‘Desiderata’ have come home to Terre Haute
The universe – the one surrounding Max Ehrmann’s poem “Desiderata” – is now unfolding as it should. With Thursday afternoon’s dedication of the statue and plaza honoring the late poet, the center of the “Desiderata” universe shifted from Baltimore to the corner of Seventh and Wabash in Ehrmann’s hometown.
B-Sides: Be careful when you’re being cheerful
One word can make a big difference. To a court defendant, the difference between “guilty” and “not guilty” could be a lifetime. If you tell a friend to “share your truffles” but they hear “share your troubles,” you might get an earful of bitterness instead of a mouthful of chocolate.
MARK BENNETT: Impressive influx of Grammy winners playing the Valley
As a guitarist, my old band’s highest profile gig was staged on a flatbed trailer at a small-town festival.
Mark Bennett: Author discovers Indiana brewing history ‘One Pint at a Time’
As a beer connoisseur, Douglas Wissing has been to the mountains.
Real mountains, that is, not those painted on an aluminum can.
B-SIDES: Covered Max Ehrmann statue installed, awaiting official unveiling
Grinning, sculptor Bill Wolfe briefly uncovered his latest work — a bronze statue of poet Max Ehrmann. “Max just got to see Terre Haute for the first time,” Wolfe said.
MARK BENNETT: People love snapshot of ‘An American Hometown’
Work with me, folks.
Grab your cellphone, stand in front of a 2010 calendar, stretch out that arm, and snap a picture yourself.
B-Sides: Steinbrenner was more than his public persona
Always leave room in your mind for a different view of something you think you know.
Most of us have a fixed image of George Steinbrenner. His smug glare, caught on TV cameras, as he watched from the owners box at Yankees Stadium. Or, “The Boss,” dressed in his trademark turtleneck sweater and Yankee blue jacket, hoisting one of seven World Series trophies won during his 37-year reign in New York.
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- MARK BENNETT: There was a flicker of light in Tuesday’s economic presentation