Browsing Archive: December, 2013


Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, December 31, 2013, In : Opinion 

So it’s all come down, at last, to this. 

The end of another year. Another 365 days wadded up and tossed aside like a used gum wrapper. It’s all over. Gone. Past tense.  There it is, in the rear-view mirror…

Ave atque vale, 2013; you were an interesting little year, while you lasted. A few of us may even miss you.

Now we all get to start over. Time to chuck that calendar into the circular file beside your desk and start your headlong rush into another 52 weeks of You Ain’t Seen Not...

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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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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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Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, December 19, 2013, In : Opinion 

The U.S. Congressman who represents my district, Markwayne Mullin (whom I did NOT vote for, nor would I ever), today decided to weigh in on this silly Duck Dynasty "controversy." His statement began thusly:

“America is currently witnessing a contradiction in its core principles. The fundamentals that founded our great nation included the freedom of speech and religion. Unfortunately a man who simply voiced his religious belief, which is protected by our constitution, is now being punished....

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Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, December 13, 2013, In : A Story A Week 
(Note: Between the nasty weather we've had in the past week and and some funky deadline situations at the newspaper due to the holiday season, I wasn't able to come up with anything more substantial for this week's "Spohn Challenge" entry than another two-sentence quickie. I'll try to come up with something a little longer for next week...)

“This here town ain’t big enough for the both of us, Sheriff Harper,” Buster McCrae sneered as he settled into his saddle.

“I reckon you’re righ...

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Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, December 5, 2013, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: My latest entry in the weekly Spohn Challenge project is also the latest in my ongoing efforts at writing two-sentence stories, as per David Gerrold's challenge of a while back...)

"Listen," Little Sally whispered in her baby brother's ear, "I think that's Santa's sleigh I hear."

Just then the roof caved in.

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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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