Meet Me at the Rocket

commemorates 150 years of the State Fair

In 2013, local historian Rodger E. Stroup was asked by Walter Edgar to research and publish a history of the South Carolina State Fair for the State Agricultural and Mechanical Society of South Carolina, the nonprofit that manages and produces the South Carolina State Fair every year. The society was founded in 1869 to manage the fair after several failed […]

Quarterly book sale—a labor of love

In all the years I’ve been going to the Richland Library Friends and Foundation book sale, there have been numerous times when I’ve found and bought books, the discovery of which struck me as being odd coincidences or mysterious instances of unexplainable happenstance. For example, right after returning from a group tour of South Carolina Revolutionary War sites led by […]

Historic Columbia brings spirits and scarecrows to life this October’s spooky season

In October, hundreds of Columbia youth and families gather at Historic Columbia’s site and beyond to celebrate an historic and fun Halloween season. Whether through exploration of our annual Scarecrows in the Garden Exhibit featuring handcrafted scarecrows made by local artists and creative community members or exhuming the stories of Columbia’s past by the light of the moon with ever-popular […]

Quirky Crimes in the Capital City

Richland County Two Notch Road: A man was arrested at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday after he tried to steal $46 worth of steaks from a grocery store. The loss prevention officer spotted the man stuffing T-bone steaks in his pants and followed him to see if he was going to pay for them. When the man walked past the check-out without […]

A New Pair of Shoes—Lamar Thomas* Part Two

On our first day back after Christmas break, Lamar did something odd. He ran in, said hello, and then took his shoes off. He lined them up carefully beside his desk and then slip slided back out into the hall for a few more minutes of socializing before class started. He told me those shoes were his favorite Christmas present. […]

Nuf Sed

Regardless of your vote in a primary, you can vote for any presidential nominee in the general election


If a person votes in a specific political party’s primary election, is he or she required to vote for that party’s nominee in the General Election? A registered voter may vote in any party primary he or she wishes, but not in the other party’s runoff election if there is one. In primary run-offs, you can only vote in the […]

Regulating offensive speech, once again

It’s not a criticism; It’s an observation

Dog Days of Summer, version 2019, has been interesting. It seems like the craziness that’s inflicted America for the last couple of decades has tripled in both intensity and frequency. California, as usual, leads the league in head shaking decisions. San Francisco has banished such terrible words as felon, convict, and juvenile delinquent from their available vocabulary, while Berkeley has […]

Ignorance is not bliss

I’m just saying...

Editor’s note: While Julia is traveling in Italy, enjoy an oldie from 2014 about another trip. A couple of weeks ago, I went to New York with a girlfriend for her belated birthday celebration, and we had a blast. We did all the girly things our husbands would call a complete snooze-fest. We went to plays and museums, and of […]

Not ready to be a grumpy old man


Sometimes in the course of coming up with ideas for this column I feel like a crochety old man. In other words, if all else fails, I resort to the one thing that seems too prevalent in this world, and that is complaining. Don’t get me wrong. I can complain with the best of them, but I really hate to […]