Tag Archives: Idle American

On The Matter of ‘Making It’

  IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury Wedged in my mind’s recesses are these eight simple words: “If you can make it there, go back.” They’re easy enough to understand, but application is a whole ‘nuther thing. These words captioned a cartoon a while back. It was drawn to warn folks relocating to New York City. Though probably not intended, the cartoon

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An Opener Like No Other…

IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury They tried ever so hard to make Major League Baseball’s opening day seem as normal as possible, for the radio listener or TV viewer anyway. Globe Life Field in Arlington–the $1.2 billion enclosed structure barely completed for the scheduled home opener in March–languished for almost four months. When it finally opened, fans were denied admission.

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Laundromat Short-Cuts…

IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury Until mid-twentieth century, most American women had every right to sing “washday blues,” because one day of the week–for most, the longest day–was committed to washing, hanging out, ironing and folding the family duds. The day started with a trip to the laundromat, since most homes at the time were lucky to have indoor plumbing,

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Improvement on Silence

IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury My late father, T. J. Newbury, was a grand story teller. Friends and neighbors in Early, Texas, gave him high marks for joke-telling, and so do I.  Usually, hearty “ho-ho’s” erupted when the punch line was unleashed, but on the rare occasions when silence hung heavy and listeners looked blankly as if ghosts had been

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A Really Big Goof…

IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury It still lurks in my mind’s “crannies,” jumping to the forefront of my thoughts more often than I’d like. It was a single sentence–uttered by someone whose name I don’t know–imparting an important truth usually requiring paragraphs, chapters or even volumes. It was uttered in a large room where a few dozen people were scattered,

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No Broken Bones…Yet

IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury Give me a break. There are pitfalls when one is in tall weeds trying to determine the origin of expressions. I’m “old school,” still delighting in reading newspaper comics. A recent Bizarro panel from the fertile mind of cartoonist Dan Piraro struck a chord. (I tend to communicate best at a fourth-grade level, so I miss the

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Many Happy Returns

IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury Uncle Mort isn’t his usual self. His 108th birthday is at hand, and he’s hung up on whether to have a “real” party, or join the growing list of folks who are “computer Zooming” to celebrate special occasions. (Printers are shaking their heads, turning out fancy invitations with the word “virtual” in big type.) “Maybe I’d

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Kornegay Hall

 IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury “We’ve never done it that way before.” The expression was well worn before the pandemic came along. Lately, creative juices have been milked dry for new ways to conduct commencements, weddings and funerals. The late Roy Kornegay, a church leader who died recently in Amarillo, might well have observed, “So what?” When softball nudged against

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A Quiet Week in Lake Wobegon?

IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury It is ironic that author/broadcasting legend Garrison Keillor’s mythical hometown of Lake Wobegon is only an hour’s “crow fly” journey from Minneapolis. I saunter in where angels fear to tread–this needless mixing make believe with reality in the same paint can–but serious news folks do so all the time, so why not? Once asked about

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