The Idle American


Don Newbury
It quickly became the perfect storm, powerful enough to make strong men cry. The same goes for strong women, too, but Kim Peacock, president of GNS Foods in Arlington, is doing her best to keep her family-owned specialty premium nut company afloat despite “blows to the bow” that might cause others...

Newbury, Don
The aura of a special day added to the enchantment of a special place, beautiful Bryant Park in Manhattan. The weather was made to order, unseasonably cool, and a few thousand people--most of them visiting gawkers like me--adorned the grassy pallet of green. Soon, theirs would be a chorus of...

Newbury, Don
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....
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...

Don Newbury
My late father, T. J. Newbury, was a grand story teller. Friends and neighbors in Early, TX, 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...
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-...

Don Newbury
A few days ago, my wife and I enjoyed a short road trip. Typically an hour’s drive to Stephenville, this day it was twice that. It took 40 minutes to make it through Granbury, where folks--weary of “sheltering”--seemed happy to be in their cars again, perhaps looking for “essential places.”...

Don Newbury
My Uncle Mort, who lives so far out in the country that nobody passes his house going to town, called the other day. “I’m going to shock you, nephew,” he said. “’Cause I’m planning a ‘give-away’ that folks won’t be able to refuse.” He had my attention. I felt flushness in the face--sure that my...

Don Newbury
Locals already were “big-eyed” by massive oil discoveries in the Wichita Falls area about a century ago. Money flowed, and for many folks, life was good, might near the land-of-milk-and-honey status. For the oil people, it was even better. If they wanted milk and honey, they could yawn while...
The tale unleashed in this space this day is difficult to categorize. Some will say it is typical of “fake news”; others will insist that it best “fits” somewhere in the dizzy, digital world of social media.  This column reminds me of the line TV’s long-running series, Hee Haw, tossed at viewers...

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