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Inside Out

Getting Away

At Standing Stone State Rustic Park near Hilham, Tennessee, they ought to have a sign: No Internet Access No Cable Television No Phones No Cell Tower No Microwave No Seafood Buffet. If You Came Here To Keep Up, Turn Around. The only sign they do have is one that says “No Pets,” a rule, as far as I can tell, that almost everyone ignores. But it is possible that I have mistaken the strays that populate the place for family…
Thomas B. Phulery
February 28, 2015
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Getting Away

At Standing Stone State Rustic Park near Hilham, Tennessee, they ought to have a sign. No Internet AccessNo Cable TelevisionNo Phones, No Cell TowerNo Microwave,No Seafood Buffet.If You Came Here To Keep Up,Turn Around. The only sign they do have is one that says No Pets, a rule, as far as I can tell, that almost everyone ignores. But it is possible that I have mistaken the strays that populate the place for family pets. People call in every Sunday…
Thomas B. Phulery
March 16, 2005
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I Told You So

On December 21, 1992, I wrote a letter to Bobby Knight, then coach of the Indiana University basketball team.  I sent a similar letter on the same day to Dick Vitale, a basketball commentator for ESPN.  My letters were responses to the duo's public stance on the decision by Michigan player Chris Webber to leave college after his sophomore year to play for the National Basketball Association.Knight and Vitale had publicly approved of Webber's decision, saying that since college is…
Thomas B. Phulery
June 1, 2004
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Curmudgeons: An Apologia

In the give and take of any healthy community, you'll generally find the curmudgeon, the grumpy one on the fringe of the circle. Though we often laugh at their witticisms, we just as often fuss about their cynicisms. "Can't she see the good in anything?" we say. "Doesn't he ever do anything but tear down?" But where would we be without the grumpy ones?Bandwagoners abound. Trained by advertisers and public relations professionals, most of us are willingly herded into one…
Thomas B. Phulery
February 15, 2004
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Sorry

I'm the guy who knocked on your door in the summer of 1972 to ask you if you knew Jesus. It is probably time for me to apologize. You looked rather stunned that day; we'd have laughed together if we hadn't both been so nervous. Your eyes flitted around, your hand sweaty on the doorknob. I rubbed mine on my jeans. You said you'd been a Methodist since you were a kid. As if that answered the question. I invited…
Thomas B. Phulery
October 16, 2003
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The Beejabers

In one dream, I find the room and arrive on time, but the seats remain empty. In another I search pantingly for the room as the clock ticks relentlessly past the starting time. Still another has me arriving on time with the students all in place, but I have forgotten some important item of clothing. Sometimes the students hiss and jeer and fail to laugh at my jokes. I wake up early. The semester approaches. These are teacher dreams, familiar…
Thomas B. Phulery
January 16, 2003