Showing Tag: "christmas" (Show all posts)

GIVE THE GIFT OF READING

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, December 1, 2016, In : Pop Culture 

I have always loved the written word – reading it, writing it, at home or at school or at the office or sitting in the back seat of one of Mom and Dad's old Volkswagens when I was a child – and it has been my great fortune to have been able to turn this love into something resembling an actual career. (Much to the surprise, I'm sure, of a certain fifth grade teacher who once made the mistake of telling me that I would never amount to anything… but that’s a discussion for another day.)...


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HO, HO, HO...

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, December 23, 2015, In : Holiday 
(Above: Thomas Nast's depiction of Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in the late 1800s; and my son Joshua playing Santa Claus in the 2014 Johnston County Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade, Tishomingo, Oklahoma.)



(Note: The following article was originally published in the Johnston County Capital-Democrat, Dec. 24, 1992. We re-published it in this week's issue as a Christmas gift to our readers, and I felt it was appropriate to share it here as well.)



He is one of the most recognized figures...


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"A STORY A WEEK NO. 14": WHY A DUCK?

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, December 27, 2013, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: This latest entry in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project is yet another Christmas-themed story. Hope everyone's holiday season has been a healthy and happy one!)


It’s a true story. I don’t expect everybody will believe that, of course, but that doesn’t make it any less true.


Tommy Harper was only five years old that particular Christmas morning, and he was afraid he might just bust. Because under the tree, with his name on it, was the prettiest red-and-blue striped Christmas gift...


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"A STORY A WEEK NO. 13" - IT HAPPENED ONE CHRISTMAS

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, December 20, 2013, In : A Story A Week 


In the city of Eureka Creek (population 16,523), the year 1991 came to be known as “The Year of Miracles.”


The label had first turned up in an editorial in the local paper around mid-year, and in the minds of the townsfolk it was no idle boast. Consider some of the evidence:


• The town’s economy, which had steadily plummeted over the past decade, had suddenly been resuscitated by the simultaneous construction of a shopping mall on the north end of town and a new edible oil plant sev...


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A CHRISTMAS FUNNY...

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, December 3, 2012, In : Holiday 

The following is one of my all-time favorite humorous Christmas stories, which I first heard told by George Grove of the Kingston Trio on their Christmas concert album a few years back:

Three men all die on Christmas Eve and meet St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. St, Peter tells them that, since it is Christmas Eve, he can't let them pass through unless they can present some sort of item associated with the holiday.


The first man reaches into his pocket and pulls out a cigarette lighter. He ligh...


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A CHRISTMAS MEMORY: THE RIGHT GIFT AT THE RIGHT TIME

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, December 21, 2011, In : Holiday 


Every year around this time, somebody will inevitably ask me to tell them about the most memorable holiday season I have experienced during my lifetime. And when considering the question, I always find myself thinking that the Christmas of 1984 probably should not be the one that occurs to me first.


And yet it always is...


Whether we choose to admit it or not, all of us have experienced moments in our lives when we have felt like loners or believe that we do not fit in with whatever group o...


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A CHRISTMAS STORY...

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, December 7, 2011, In : Holiday 

I'll be the first to admit it's a bit on the tacky side, but this has been one of my favorite Christmas stories since I first heard it on a Kingston Trio concert album a few years back. It goes something like this:


Three men all die on Christmas Eve and meet St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. St, Peter tells them that, since it is Christmas Eve, he can't let them pass through unless they can present some sort of item associated with the holiday.


The first man reaches into his pocket and pulls o...


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HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE MIGRAINE…

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, December 2, 2011, In : Holiday 
(Above: The Small Family Christmas Tree, circa 2001. And yes, I realize that even though I rail about the over-commercialization of Christmas in this essay, I have a few obvious commercial-type ornaments on my tree. Look, I never said I was perfect...)



There are those moments in every man’s life which are destined to live forever in his memory, no matter how hard he may try to forget. For me, the day after Thanksgiving 1995 certainly proved to be such a memory…


I was sitting at my desk th...


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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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