Showing Tag: "family" (Show all posts)

THE ACCIDENTAL MEMORIAL

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, May 16, 2014, In : Reminiscence 
(My paternal grandmother, Iona Small)


Let me admit here at the outset that this is one of those stories which most readers may decide they don't care much about one way or the other. But it never fails to send a bit of a shiver up my spine whenever I think about it. Which is why I decided to share it. 


At the very least it should probably stand as some sort of evidence of the existence of a higher power in our lives, and of how we can never really know beforehand the ways in which that power ...


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MEMOIRS OF A NERVOUS BRIDEGROOM

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, April 4, 2014, In : Reminiscence 
(Our Wedding Day: April 5, 2014, First Church of the Nazarene, Kankakee, Illinois)


On the morning of April 5, 1986, I was just about as nervous as a fellow could possibly be without having to call a doctor or look for a fresh change of clothing. How I managed to keep from falling into a dead faint is something I still am unable to fully comprehend these 28 years after the fact. 


In a few short hours I would be getting married. That in itself would have been enough to induce the uncontrollable...


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HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, September 26, 2013, In : Life 
My father, John Robert Small Jr., with me (left) and my younger brothers Jerry (on Dad's lap) and Jimmy, back in 1970. The inset picture is Dad during his brief "mountain man look" period in the mid 1990s.




When it comes to compiling a list of some of the most interesting and eventful years of the last century, there can be little argument that the year 1938 should be placed somewhere very near the top of that list.


Consider some of the noteworthy events of that year:


• Nazi Germany annexed...


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A EULOGY FOR GRANDMA

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, August 26, 2013, In : Reminiscence 
(Grandma Tipps and me, some time in the early 1970s)


The following is the eulogy I gave last Friday, Aug. 23, at the funeral for my grandmother, Sylvia Tipps.


My grandmother was a tough old bird.


Somewhere out there, I’m sure, someone is certain to take offense at that. “What a terrible thing to say,” they’re probably thinking right now.


But, see, here’s the thing. Even though I didn’t get to spend as much time with my grandmother during the final years of her life as I would have...


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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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TRIBUTE TO A NURSE

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, May 2, 2013, In : Reminiscence 

Melissa Small, RN. (Her college graduation portrait; Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais Illinois, 1985)


(Note: In honor of the observance of National Nurses Week on May 6-12, I have chosen to share a newspaper column of mine that originally ran in the Johnston County Capital-Democrat here in Tishomingo back in our issue of Feb. 20, 1997. I was fortunate enough to later win a First Place award for this piece in the category of Personal Columns from the Society of Professional Journalist’...
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CUPID RODE IN ON A BUG THIS YEAR...

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, February 17, 2012, In : Holiday 

Some time around the start of the new year, while looking at the calendar and making an honest endeavor to plan ahead for certain “special dates” during 2012, I made a point of asking my beloved wife Melissa if there was anything special she wanted me to get her for Valentine’s Day.


“Give me something I don’t really need,” she responded. 


So I gave her the flu.


Okay, that’s not exactly how it happened. I did get the flu last week, and poor Melissa ended up coming down with it...


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SOMETHING FROM THE ARCHIVES...

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, January 13, 2012, In : Pictures 

Was going through some old computer discs the other night looking for some old notes for a fiction piece I've been working on when i came across this old picture of my son William I put together in Photoshop a number of years ago. Gee, he was a cute kid at that age...
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Cherish The Memories...

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, July 21, 2011, In : Reminiscence 
(Pictured: My brother Jimmy and our grandfather, Elmer Leslie Tipps, 
 at Pennington Creek, Tishomingo, Oklahoma, around 1972 or so)


It was about midway through the day this past Tuesday – our deadline crunch day here at the weekly newspaper where I work – before I realized the day’s date (July 19) and remembered that Tuesday would have been my younger brother Jimmy’s 45th birthday. 


It’s hard to believe that it’s been five and a half years since Jimmy died following a sudden illne...


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20 YEARS SURE WENT BY IN A HURRY...

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, June 1, 2011, In : Reminiscence 

Try as I might not to let it get to me, I've been experiencing the occasional pang of nostalgia this week. I suppose that's only to be expected when you find yourself facing the 20th anniversary of your first child's birth.


Joshua Orrin Small was born on June 1, 1991 - 28 years to the day after I was born, as it happens. I've spent the last 20 years telling people that shared birth date was the product of accident, rather than design; I've never been that good at math, after all. What makes ...


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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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