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Columns

August 28, 2016

The scene today is much as it was more than 40 years ago: Bearded guy stares onto the typed page, desperately seeking the word combinations that tell a story — a story that “sings,” as his editor requested. Or earlier, an even more desperate college student struggles through…

082816alcolphoto

August 28, 2016

Boy, Bristol Motor Speedway just can’t catch a break.

After consecutive spring races that were subdued by rain, the place was crammed nearly to capacity for Saturday night’s annual night race before Mother Nature decided to pick on the track once again.

All 40 drivers and teams showed…

NASCAR Bristol Auto Racing-4

August 27, 2016

"Introverts Unite" begins my new favorite Internet meme. "We are here, we are uncomfortable and we want to go home."

I want that on a T-shirt for the next large-crowd event I will somehow get myself into attending. Such as the fair, for instance.

I should mention that my three teenage daughters…

August 21, 2016

It’s easy to be dazzled by the big names in the Olympics — people whose achievements seem almost superhuman. Athletes like Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and Usain Bolt excite the imagination because they continually seem to vault over expectations and elevate the competition to a new…

Rio Olympics Rowing Men

August 20, 2016

College students everywhere are starting classes this week, and for the first time in a very long time, I'm one of them.

Working in academia comes with an effective incentive to increase one’s education credentials: A pay raise. The higher your degree, the more money you earn.

But the last…

August 19, 2016

One of the coolest things about working in Hickory for a year was getting to spend a good amount of time covering racing at Hickory Motor Speedway.

Hickory is a .363-mile short track with historic roots that reach back to before NASCAR was a household name. Names like Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt,…

NASCAR Trucks Iowa Auto Racing-3

August 14, 2016

Our audience was gathering quietly, some walking slowly, others in their wheelchairs. My nerves had arrived with them and rang in my ears, but I was about to learn an important lesson.

I have known since I was a raw teenager that performing was not my strong suit or favorite thing. I learned this…

081416alcolart

August 14, 2016

I have spent virtually my entire life trying to convince people that, in my opinion, racing is the purest form of competition there is.

There are some days that totally reaffirm that belief.

Then, there are days like Monday.

Bryan Clauson’s death from injuries sustained in a United States…

Obit Bryan Clauson -1

August 13, 2016

Acceptable lawn maintenance is in the eye of the beholder. I have friends who live on a street where two neighbors spent years at war over the length of one neighbor’s grass.

The war started when the obsessive lawn cutter called in a city code enforcer hoping to bring his shaggy neighbor into…

August 07, 2016

There are few things my little dogs enjoy more than our morning walks. The sight of me reaching for their leashes causes Ollie to bow down and pat his front paws on the floor while his little brother Einstein spins and spins in sheer delight.

Lately however, I have been hard pressed to share their…

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