Browsing Archive: February, 2014

"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 22: IT FIGURES...

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, February 21, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

The old man sat on the outside stairway of his dilapidated old apartment building, silently thumbing through the pages of a magazine that looked far older than its February 1977 cover date. The pages were dog-eared, the cover was torn and held tentatively in place by a single staple... the result of so many years of having been repeatedly thumbed through by a lonely old man sitting in front of a run-down apartment building.


The girls in this particular issue were special, though. They remind...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 21: A LETTER FROM HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, February 17, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

My Dearest Darling Daughter:


I wanted to use what little time I'm sure is left to me to write, since you never seem to find the time anymore to write to me first, and wish you a Merry Christmas. Hopefully things are as well for you as can possibly be expected, considering the fact that you're still with That Thing You Married.


I'm fine, really, considering that I don't seem to be eating or sleeping or getting around much anymore these days. But I don't want you to worry. The important thing...


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FROM THE ARCHIVES: LUPERCUS AND THE ART OF ROMANCE

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, February 14, 2014, In : Holiday 
(NOTE: This is a newspaper column I originally wrote a number of years ago and have rerun every few years or so at this time of year. I didn't run it in the newspaper this year, so I decided to share it here instead...)

Every February 15th, the ancient Romans used to take part in a fertility ritual known as the Lupercalia, so named in honor of some obscure rustic diety known as Lupercus.


Much later - sometime in the Third Century, if you’re taking notes - men began commemorating the martyrd...


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FAREWELL, LITTLE PRINCESS

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, February 12, 2014, In : Pop Culture 

Even after my parents bought our first color television set when I was a little boy, it seemed that most of the programs I enjoyed watching were those that had been filmed in glorious black and white.


After school every afternoon it was the Three Stooges, the Little Rascals and the original Max Fleischer “Popeye” cartoons on Channel 32. Around dinner time Mom or Dad would flip the switch over to Channel 9 for the nightly reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Andy Griffith Show. Channe...


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"A STORY A WEEK NO. 20": IT'S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS...

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, February 10, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

Many years ago, when I was just a wee nipper growing up on the 400 block of North Michigan Avenue in Bradley, Illinois, there was a very wise man who lived down the street from us named Ferdinand Lobomowicz. He was a very intelligent man, and all of us children looked up to him; he was the only man any of us knew who we believed might actually be smarter than our fathers. Which, in my case at least, was quite the admission.


One day I was playing in the front yard with my two younger brothers...


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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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