Browsing Archive: October, 2013


Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, In : History 

Seventy-five years ago today America got its first taste of the true power of electronic media, courtesy of what is still considered by many to be the single most famous radio broadcast in the history of the medium. 

The date was Oct. 30, 1938. Fans of the pulp hero Doc Savage were thrilling to his latest adventure in the novel Fortress of Solitude. My father was just a month old. And by the end of the night millions of Americans would be tricked into believing that it was the end of the wor...

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Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, October 24, 2013, In : A Story A Week 
(Note: This is my fifth entry in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project. I'm posting it a day early because I expect to be busy with other things and thus away from the computer pretty much all day tomorrow...)

The flickering glare momentarily blinds you as the tangled spokes of her shopping cart reflect the morning sunlight, like the jagged shards of a broken mirror.  The sparkle bounces off the bits and pieces of stained glass and broken jewelry that are fastened to her cart with string and wi...

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Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, October 21, 2013, In : Pop Culture 

One day last week on Facebook my buddy Henry Covert posted a list of his 100 favorite movies and challenged some of us to compile our own lists. This is what I came up with, bearing in mind that such lists can be fluid things and that if I were to compile the same list a week or month or year from now many of those listed here might be in a somewhat different order, or not included at all.

I have long maintained that there is a tie for my all-time favorite motion picture: "Star Wars" (the orig...

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Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, October 18, 2013, In : A Story A Week 

{Note: This is my fourth entry in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project. I originally had something else in mind, but was inspired to contribute this one instead after reading something posted by David Gerrold this morning on his Facebook page...)

The doctor grimaced as he studied my DNA chart. 

"Good lord, that CAN'T be right..."

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Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, October 17, 2013, In : Opinion 

I've heard a lot of people spouting off in recent years about things they as individuals think are “un-American.” As if they as individuals – individuals who, as it happens, weren’t even there in Philadelphia when the Founding Fathers were bickering back and forth putting together the plan that got this country up and running in the first place – are somehow qualified to make a determination for the rest of us as to what is and is not “American.”

Well, a recent incident at home...

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Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, October 14, 2013, In : Opinion 
(Note: The following newspaper column was originally written and published back in 1992 as my contribution to the discussion surrounding the 500th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the New World. It generated a lot of response at the time, both pro and con, and I suspect there are folks out there who will still take offense to it today. That's their problem, I guess...)

“The land was ours before we were the land’s…”

When Robert Frost recited this line during President Kennedy’s inau...

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Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, October 11, 2013, In : A Story A Week 

Note: This is my third entry in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project... and there's a bit of a story behind this one.

A number of years ago, when I was still first getting acquainted with the Internet, I ran across a story someone had written about a housewife forced to contend with pesky telemarketers and unwanted visitors while trying to serve her family dinner. It was badly written - as I recall the writer was a horrendous speller who didn't seem to know even the most basic rules of punctu...

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Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, October 4, 2013, In : A Story A Week 

(This is my second entry in the weekly project called "The Spohn Challenge," in which the object is to write one short story a week for a year, any length and any subject.)

I looked at her. "Well," I asked, "what do you think?"


"Of course"

She smiled. "I don't think it's such a good idea."

That wasn't what I wanted to hear. "Give me one good reason why not."

"Okay," she said as she sat down and poured herself another drink. "Look at what happened to them."

"So what does t...

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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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