Browsing Archive: August, 2021

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MOM AND DAD

Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, In : Reminiscence 

Today would have been my mother and father’s 59th wedding anniversary. Much love going out to them today.


There’s a backstory to their nuptials - one which I’m certain is most interesting but which, after all these years, I am still only partially aware of. Apparently Mom had been engaged to another fellow at some point, but broke it off; whether she broke it off before meeting Dad, or her decision was in fact the result of meeting Dad, is something I’ve never learned. Ultimately it ...


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LEGENDS AND TALES OF SIPOKNI WEST

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, August 20, 2021, In : Reminiscence 

Sipokni West – the REAL Sipokni West, that is – is located in the small town of Reagan, Oklahoma, approximately two hours south of Oklahoma City and just a few miles north of my hometown of Ravia (the childhood home of Gene Autry). Designed as both tourist attraction and motion picture set, this recreation of an Old West town is the brainchild of a buddy of mine, Reagan resident Johnny Shackleford – sort of a hometown Will Rogers, rarely seen without a twinkle in his eye or a funny stor...


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"LIKE A BAND OF GYPSIES WE GO DOWN THE HIGHWAY..."

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, In : Travel 

I love road trips. Always have.


I guess that’s one more thing we can blame on my late parents. Many of my happiest memories from childhood revolve around the road trips my family took - not just the traditional summer vacations, but those unplanned, spur-of-the-moment treks we would make whenever Dad got the itch. 


One such voyage in particular stands out in my memory almost as if it happened yesterday. 


It was in the summer of 1969. Mom was still expecting my youngest brother, who would...


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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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