Browsing Archive: July, 2013

TIME FOR A HISTORY LESSON: OUR FAMILY'S BEST KNOWN BLACK SHEEP

Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, July 30, 2013, In : History 
(Above: Illinois Gov. Len Small and the newspaper page announcing his 1921 indictment)


Every family has its "black sheep." Sometimes while researching family history on various occasions over the years, I've often wondered in perhaps my family hasn't had more than it's share. 


But none of them can hold a candle to the man who served as Illinois' Republican governor during the same period that saw Al Capone establish himself as the King of Chicago. Indeed, I often wonder if my familial kinship...


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THE RULE IS STILL GOLDEN...

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, July 25, 2013, In : Opinion 
(Above: The Golden Rule as defined by the different major world religions...)


When I was but a wee nipper, trying to learn all about that great big wonderful world out there and looking to find my place in it, my parents and my teachers and my Sunday school instructors devoted a great deal of time and attention striving to impart upon me the value of something they liked to call the “Golden Rule.”


That rule, they told me, spoke of the importance of treating other people the way we ourselv...


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WELL, SOMEBODY HAD TO BE FIRST...

Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, In : Unbridled Silliness 
Being the first person to do something seems to carry a great deal of weight with the majority of folks.

Many of those whom we honor as heroes are so honored simply because they were the first person to do whatever it was they did. Their names become the stuff of legend: Charles 
Lindbergh, the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic; Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier; Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon; John Garduno, the first guy in my class to work up the nerve ...

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WHO WAS THAT MASKED MAN...?

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Pop Culture 
Pictured: Clayton Moore, the REAL Lone Ranger; and Armie Hammer, the (unsuccessful) pretender to the throne.


Everyone else has had their say by now. I guess it's my turn.


The family and I went to see the new film version of The Lone Ranger last weekend. It was one of those movies that I had been both looking forward to and dreading ever since first hearing that it was being made. 


Looking forward to because I've been a fan of the legendary Western character pretty much all my life, ever sinc...


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About Me


John Allen Small John A. Small is an award-winning newspaper journalist, columnist and broadcaster whose work has been honored by the Oklahoma Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, the National Newspaper Association, and the Oklahoma Education Association. He and his wife Melissa were married in 1986; they have two sons, Joshua Orrin (born 1991) and William Ian (born 1996). Mr. Small is the News Editor and columnist for the Johnston County Capital-Democrat, a weekly newspaper headquartered in Tishomingo, OK. He obtained his nickname, "Bard of the Lesser Boulevards," from a journalism colleague - the late Phil Byrum - in recognition of the success of his popular newspaper column, "Small Talk." (In addition to the many awards the column itself has received over the years, a radio version of "Small Talk" earned an award for "Best Small Market Commentary" from the Society of Professional Journalists in 1998.) John was born in Oklahoma City in 1963; lived in the Bradley-Bourbonnais-Kankakee area of Illinois for most of the next 28 years (with brief sojourns in Texas and Athens, Greece, thrown in to break up the monotony); then returned to his native state in 1991, where he currently resides in the Tishomingo/Ravia area. He graduated from Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in 1981, and received his bachelor's degree in journalism from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais in 1991. The years between high school and college were a period frought with numerous exploits and misadventures, some of which have become the stuff of legend; nobody was hurt along the way, however, which should count for something. In addition to his professional career as a journalist he has published two short story collections: "Days Gone By: Legends And Tales Of Sipokni West" (2007), a collection of western stories; and "Something In The Air" (2011), a more eclectic collection. He was also a contributor to the 2005 Locus Award-nominated science fiction anthology "Myths For The Modern Age: Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe," edited by Win Scott Eckert. In additon he has written a stage play and a self-published cookbook; served as project editor for a book about the JFK assassination entitled "The Men On The Sixth Floor"; and has either published or posted on the Internet a number of essays, stories and poems. He has also won writing awards from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Library of Poetry. He is a past president of the Johnston County Chamber of Commerce in Tishomingo; was a charter member and past president of the Johnston County Reading Council, the local literacy advocacy and "friends of the library" organization; served as Johnston County's first-ever Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator in 1994-95; served two terms as chairman of the Johnston County (OK) Democratic Party; and has taught journalism classes for local Boy Scout Merit Badge Fairs. He is a member of the New Wold Newton Meteorics Society.
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