While journalists apparently are keeping President Donald Trump awake at night while he tweets his displeasure with the performance of the media at 3 a.m., members of the press have been unpopular with presidents and members of Congress since our nation’s inception.

1157339-Cartoon-Of-A-Reporter-Boy-Taking-Notes-Royalty-Free-Vector-Clipart I was reminded of this fact while reading the opening paragraph in Donald A. Ritchie’s book, “Press Gallery: Congress and Washington Correspondents.”

“The day after the House of Representatives approved the First Amendment to the Constitution, protecting the freedom of the press, it debated barring reporters from the House floor.”

Apparently representatives felt that reporters were distorting their arguments and “mutilating their words.” In today’s parlance they would be accused of “fabricating news.” Continue reading PRESS CRITICISM BEGAN LONG BEFORE TRUMP ERA


I began driving earlier than most farm children more out of a sense of pride than of necessity. It was a task that I observed my father perform starting each spring in the Ozark Hills of southern Missouri.plow:blog

Granted, I knew how to help my father harness a team of horses, hitch the horses to various farm implements, crawl onto a seat, take up the slack in the lines and use a variety of commands to persuade the team to follow my bidding. Gee, haw, that sort of thing.

I had not, however, been large nor strong enough to hitch a team of horses to a plow and to follow them through newly turned soil from sunup to sundown. That changed when I turned 10.

The two horses boasted years of experience, which spelled the difference between success and failure in my first driving experience. I must credit my father with helping me harness the horses and secure the doubletree to the plow equipped with a single blade of steel. Or maybe it was iron because we lived on the poor side of poverty during the Great Depression. Continue reading FIRST DRIVING EXPERIENCE TOOK ME OUT OF THE SUN