The people's voice of reason

Articles written by Amanda Walker


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  • Tears & Laughter: The power of a pound cake

    Amanda Walker|Jul 1, 2024

    Southern women especially I think know how to talk cookery. Take the pound cake. Three times in the past week I have been involved in conversations about pound cakes. And that's not to ignore the chats about tomatoes fresh from the vine, or about new potatoes, or about running beans in early summer. There is hardly a shortage of recipes for pound cake. Church cookbooks and community cookbooks always offer several. The variety stemming perhaps from women using ingredients they had on hand. The...

  • Tears & Laughter: Be Smart, Take Away Your Child's Smart Phone

    Amanda Walker|May 1, 2024

    The new book, “The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness,” has started a conversation about what age kids should be given a cell phone. The author, Jonathan Haidt, is a social psychologist, and he suggests that teens should only be given flip phones for communication and have little to no access to social media until they are 16. Parents like what he has to say, though kids maybe not so much. Mental health collapsed in America and cou...

  • Tears & Laughter: The Welcoming Warmth of Spring

    Amanda Walker|Apr 1, 2024

    The lessons of baseball and life begin in spring – play by the rules, try your best, and the sun will still come up again if you lose. Farmers keep pace with the changing seasons. The American food grower knows to bend with these changes, but they are sustained by the promises of spring. If there is another spring, there will be another chance. Not bound by the set dates on the calendar, the remnants of winter are sometimes slow to go, but soon the sun’s warmth will grow stronger every day. Fres...

  • Tears & Laughter: Don't get cute with me

    Amanda Walker|Mar 1, 2024

    Granddaughter Lauren recently competed for the title of Future Miss Abbeville Christian at Abbeville Christian Academy where she is enrolled in the Pre-K program. Her mother is a teacher. She was wearing a lovely dress, sporting her pageant smile, and walking the walk she had practiced walking. Earlier in the afternoon she’d had her had done by a woman in town. Everybody told her she was pretty. She stood confident before an auditorium of parents and obligated grandparents and when asked what s...

  • Tears & Laughter: Chicken fever will spike as spring approaches

    Amanda Walker|Feb 1, 2024

    Based entirely upon my casual observation, women seem to be more susceptible than men, and children ag it on, but for some reason many people who have never so much as grew a turnip patch suddenly will get the urge to raise chickens as soon as January is behind us. All that has to happen for someone to catch chicken fever is to visit a farm supply store. A woman can go in there, maybe just shopping for a new pair of bib overalls, and then, innocently enough, she will see the cute little biddies...

  • Tears & Laughter: Be Ashamed to Tell Others to be Ashamed

    Amanda Walker|Jan 1, 2024

    Before I launch into my topic this [month], I want to acknowledge what happened in Wilcox County yesterday. A long time, much-loved, retired deputy with the Wilcox County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Madison “Skip” Nicholson, was killed by a gunman while responding to a domestic-violence call in the Yellow Bluff community. Chief Deputy Trenton Gulley was also injured, but is expected to recover. The whole county is shrouded today in sadness. This will spill into tomorrow and into the upcom...

  • Tears & Laughter: Christmas Time Across Alabama

    Amanda Walker|Dec 1, 2023

    There is a quiet calm that falls over Alabama at Christmas time. Stars seem to be more brightly scattered over a broader more open sky. The type of sky with such depth it can make you believe in miracles and wishes coming true. In destiny, and in fate...if you believe in such things of course. There is a wreath or ribbon on most every door by now and twinkling lights blinking in colors. There are candles in windows, and decorated trees peeking through open drapes. It is the season of peace and h...

  • Tears & Laughter: Silhouettes in Dixon Mills

    Amanda Walker|Nov 1, 2023

    I drove by Fannie’s old house last week. I don’t know what even made me take the long way home that way from Thomasville, but I did. I haven’t driven that direction in years, and for years…it used to be my way home. Granny lived on Clayhill Road, and I guess it is her absence that has kept me away so long. But time has a way of distancing us from sadness enough to remember the joy. The hillside where she lived was central to my life when I was young. It is where my mother grew up. It is where s...

  • Tears & Laughter: Don't be rude!

    Amanda Walker|Oct 1, 2023

    Did you see the report – “Parenting priorities: international attitudes towards raising children” – conducted by King’s College London that found American parents are the least likely to think good manners matter for children? The survey included participants from 24 countries asking them to choose five qualities they thought were essential for children to learn at home. Those choices were good manners, tolerance, independent, hard work, and respect for others. In Egypt, parents evidently...

  • Tears & Laughter: Real leaders know when to move the boat

    Amanda Walker|Sep 1, 2023

    I don’t see myself finding the time to watch either, but I have heard reports about the Barbie movie and also the latest version of Snow White and what both have in common – other than being fairytales – is that apparently they are about promoting leadership. Is that not hilarious? They must be doubling as comedies too. Barbie is into leadership these days and Ken was just an accessory from the start. Snow White will no longer be being kissed by a prince. There will be no more of that nonse...

  • Tears & Laughter: Feeling the heat in the Wilcox County Courthouse

    Amanda Walker|Aug 1, 2023

    Nobody looks forward to getting a summons for jury duty. Nobody. And don’t take me wrong. It is also a privilege. I get that. It is both a right, and a duty. In a sense…it is something we owe our own selves as a community. Justice won’t truly be served if we as citizens do not surrender ourselves for jury duty. I did not get chosen for the jury, but this is not about any of that. That is all solemn and private and worthy of respect. This is about the Wilcox County main courtroom itself. A room...

  • Tears & Laughter: Thirty miles and a world apart

    Amanda Walker|Jul 1, 2023

    It all started with a simple question. I asked her what kind of toys she had played with when she was a kid growing up in Wilcox County. At least it seemed a simple question. The only reason it was on my mind at all was because…well, I am having a bit of the empty nest thing going on and in redoing bedrooms, one of them is decorated with vintage toys. I had shown her the room and some of the things I have recently added – a Gunsmoke puzzle, a Little Lulu tea set, and a Whitman version of Old...

  • Tears & Laughter: Old Cars and The Places They Took Us

    Amanda Walker|Jun 1, 2023

    My friend Shirley was telling me about her first car the other day. She is in the market for a new car is what had the subject on her mind. I assure you cars are not our usual topic of conversation. Typically, we gossip. She said she paid $200 for her first car – a blue and white, two-door Thunderbird. It ran, it had a radio, and it had plenty of ashtrays, but it was missing a window. This did not hamper her or kill her enthusiasm in any way though. She said she designed a replacement window u...

  • Tears & Laughter: Always a Southerner, never a Royal

    Amanda Walker|May 1, 2023

    A huge portion of America has probably been clinging to their throw pillows and couch cushions just waiting for the final details of King Charles’ coronation in the United Kingdom to be announced. This week it was revealed that Prince Harry will be attending his father’s coronation. Wife Meghan will remain in California with the children. All media outlets have been more than generous with their reporting. Journalists have long attempted to explain people’s interest in the Royal family. Milli...

  • Tears & Laughter: It's Spring, time for frosty days to go

    Amanda Walker|Apr 1, 2023

    The lessons of baseball and life begin in Spring – play by the rules, try your best, and the sun will still come up again if you lose. Farmers keep pace with the changing seasons. The American food grower knows to bend with these changes, but they are sustained by the promises of Spring. As long as there is another Spring, there will be another chance. Not bound by the set dates on the calendar, the remnants of winter are sometimes slow to go, but soon the sun’s warmth will grow stronger eve...

  • Tears & Laughter: Well, that's just life

    Amanda Walker|Mar 1, 2023

    I was a big fan of Little Lulu when I was a kid growing up in Sandflat. Little Lulu has been around a long time. She was introduced in comic strip that first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1935. The loopy haired, quick-witted Little Lulu Moppet was intentionally a girl. Creator Marjorie “Marge” Buell explained that a girl could get away with more than a little boy. The single panel debut had Little Lulu appearing as a flower girl who was strewing the aisle with banana peels rather tha...

  • Tears & Laughter: The best place in Alabama to have a flat tire

    Amanda Walker|Feb 1, 2023

    Imagine if you will two women driving down the Florida Highway. My friend Shirley and I had spent a few leisurely hours spinning the reels at WindCreek before buying a few chances on the Mega Millions at “The Goose” and taking backroads home. We had also went through the Arby’s drive-thru and taken advantage of their four for ten dollar roast beef deal and everything was going along exceedingly well, until it wasn’t. Initially we thought it was the road surface. We were traveling smoothl...

  • Tears & Laughter: All resolutions begin in the heart

    Amanda Walker|Jan 1, 2023

    Thirty-two years ago, I lived in Montgomery. I was freshly enrolled as a full-time student at AUM, and a part-time waitress at Country’s Barbecue. I was 18. Barbara, who was 45 at the time, was originally from where I had just left – having graduated from Chilton County High School in May of 1990 – and that commonality is what helped pave the way that allowed me to live with her briefly when I first moved to Montgomery. The agreement was $100 a month and a list of things she did not want me do...

  • Tears & Laughter: My official Christmas column!

    Amanda Walker|Dec 1, 2022

    Every year I claim to myself that I am going to write an official Christmas column. A column good enough to run every Christmas when the days just prior become so rushed and busy. Something classic and timeless and wonderful. Something that everyone can enjoy year after year. Words that fill hearts with the spirit and cheer of Christmas. A thought provoking piece that reminds all minds the real reason. I still haven’t written it. At least not yet. When I do though, it would have to include s...

  • Tears & Laughter: It's Carnival Season

    Amanda Walker|Nov 1, 2022

    I bought a purse last week I will probably never use. It is small. A simple zippered change pouch. I don’t need it, and it doesn’t particularly suit my taste. It is not my shade of pink. Typically, I think it might would appeal to someone much younger, but I touched it. I felt the texture of the beadwork…and it reminded me of a similar beaded change purse I had when I was a kid. The church my family attended would have an annual Family Day. Or at least that is what we called it. It was meant...

  • Tears & Laughter - Rx: Laugher – take as needed, endless refills, no expiration

    Amanda Walker|Oct 1, 2022

    Remember how legendary columnist Lewis Grizzard used to write about how he could hardly wait for Cathy Rigby to go through menopause so she wouldn’t be in commercials advertising feminine care products anymore? He said he didn’t care if it absorbed the entire Atlantic Ocean, he didn’t want to sit in his den and hear about it on television. There wasn’t much that was off limits for Lewis. He wrote unapologetically from his perspective as a man who had been raised in a small Georgia town. He cont...

  • Tears & Laughter: The IRS may hire 87,000 new agents, but do not worry

    Amanda Walker|Sep 1, 2022

    In Camden…poor little small Camden, we have limited restaurants of any kind. Fried chicken is widely available. There are more places to buy fried chicken than there are gas stations or red lights, but still the number is limited. Add to that the fact that Wilcox County has never not had the highest unemployment in the state. So there are people who evidently need jobs, but restaurants here are never fully staffed. They are always hiring. The staff shortage is so severe that it is no longer u...

  • Tears & Laughter: All grown people need a place of their own

    Amanda Walker|Aug 1, 2022

    I heard a report last week suggesting one way to deal with inflation is to live with your parents. As a parent, I would suggest that this might not be a viable plan. And let me go ahead and make a disclosure, because I understand we live in a sensitive culture. To this day, I know if I have some kind of crisis, I can show up at either of my parent’s doorstep, and they will shelter me. I offer this same umbrella to all of adult children who have already moved out and married and multiplied. B...

  • Tears & Laughter - Guns for Hire and Wet Nurses Needed

    Amanda Walker|Jul 1, 2022

    I don’t encourage a whole lot of dabbling in soul searching, but consider questioning your relationship with whoever it was that encouraged you to vote for Joe Biden. I didn’t. A lot of us didn’t. Granted, not enough of us didn’t, but finally, we have no qualms about admitting it. It is easier than ever to explain why. Even easy to recruit some over to the other side. The sect of the population that needs a pop star or a half-ass celebrity to tell them who to vote for maybe shouldn’t vote. Jus...

  • Tears & Laughter - Your Wallet, Your Voice, Your Vote

    Amanda Walker|Jun 1, 2022

    Nina Jankowicz, the executive director of the Disinformation Governance Board resigned Wednesday. She explained in her resignation letter that it was because the future of the board was uncertain. Later the same day, the new White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre – widely touted as being the first gay Black White House press secretary – read the statement from the Department of Homeland Security saying plans for the Disinformation Governance Board have been placed on pause due to the...

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