Columns

Mon
17
Apr

Celebrating Easter

Easter: The Oxford dictionary defines Easter as the “most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

It is held, in the Western Church, between March 21 and April 25, on the first Sunday, after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox. These celebrations include special church services, musicals and performances of the Passion play.

In a less religious tone, we encounter Easter egg hunts, Easter parades and new clothes to mark the holiday. So mix up a batch of dye and put those beautiful colored eggs in your Easter basket!

Remember, Friday's Storytime will not take place April 14. The library is closed in observance of Good Friday and Easter. Storytime will resume April 21.

Tue
04
Apr

Tablets for Disaster

For most older folks, the word “tablet” brings to mind some kind of vitamin. For younger folks, a “tablet” looks like an overgrown cell phone. This is the kind of tablet we’ll talk about here.

A tablet is an electronic box into which I can place numerous digital tools called “apps” – short for “applications” or small computer programs. A tablet is basically a small computer with a “touch screen,” meaning you interact with it by touching your fingertips to the glass face of the tablet.

There are tens of thousands of apps. One of the best places to get them is the “Google Play Store.” Your tablet connects by radio waves called “Wi-Fi” to nearby Wi-Fi sources. Many restaurants, motels, and businesses have their own Wi-Fi, so you take your tablet there with you. Ask for their password, select their unique Wi-Fi name, type in the password, and your tablet searches for their Wi-Fi connection.

Tue
28
Mar

March Madness challenge turns maddening

How is your March Madness bracket looking these days?

If yours is like mine right now, it has turned upside down with some of the results that happened on the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

For the past few seasons, I have been answering the challenge issued by billionaire Warren Buffett to provide a perfect March Madness bracket from start to finish for a chance to win $1 billion but it has not happened yet including this year.

All I needed to do was predict the winner in all 63 tournament games. What could be so hard about that?

I am not alone in my frustration. Out of the almost 20 million brackets that were entered in the $1 billion dollar bracket challenge this year, there are zero perfect brackets remaining as the Sweet 16 round of the tournament begins Thursday (tonight).

Sun
19
Mar

Spring has sprung

Spring has sprung and there's just no denying it. The official First Day of Spring is next week on March 20; but the grass, redbuds, bluebonnets, robins and new crop of baby calves are all proof that spring is here. And, did everyone remember to “Spring Forward” with your clocks and watches as we welcomed Daylight Saving Time?

At the Van Zandt County Library, spring has arrived, also. This Friday, there will be no Story-Time because of spring break. St. Patrick's Day is also being observed with a collection of Irish and St. Paddy's books. Don't forget to wear your green March 17 to keep yourself safe from being pinched!

Sat
11
Mar

Fullers talk disaster relief at VZC Library

This month, the Friends of the Library are proud to present a program on disaster relief. Members and visitors will be meeting at the Van Zandt County Library at 10 a.m., Monday, March 13 to hear John and Brenda Fuller describe their experiences providing comfort to those who have suffered terrible losses.

John and Brenda Fuller consider disaster relief a calling and are passionate about helping and encouraging hurting people who have lost everything. They have been serving with the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief for the last 12 years. It is the third largest relief agency in the world, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The Fullers have spent many hours being trained to help in crisis situations in the aftermath of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, fires and ice storms.

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Banner or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

Tue
28
Feb

Summer activities on tap at VZC Library

Yee Haw! This week's Storytime will feature the great state of Texas. But it's not just a state; Texas is a state of mind, an attitude. Ms. Rhonda will gather her group of little Texans in the Van Zandt County Library at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24. Afterward, there will be a craft project to be completed.

The Friends of the Library met Feb. 13 for a presentation over a program about the Orphan Trains that operated circa 1854 to 1929. These trains carried approximately 150,000 orphaned or abandoned children from impoverished and over-crowded eastern cities to the mid-west and southern states.

“Benja Mize brought the tale to life and did a great job. The FOL were delighted to welcome many guests to the meeting; and a few audience members shared personal stories of relatives who made the trip,” librarians said.

Wed
22
Feb

County Sales Plunge for Once-Popular Rifle

Gun owners may have been relieved when Donald Trump was elected, but you can’t blame gun shop owners if they have a few mixed feelings. While former President Obama was a boon to gun sales, the new president hasn’t been.

Reflecting a national trend of a drop in firearms sales, shops in Van Zandt County are seeing the effects of a president who is more gun-friendly. Especially when it comes to AR-15 rifles.

David Wiley, owner of Wiley’s Gun Shop in Wills Point, says that business for him has remained strong, but the type of firearms people are buying has changed noticeably since Trump’s election.

“They’re back to buying normal stuff, like bolt action rifles and hunting shotguns,” Wiley said. “I’m still selling some of the AR-15s, but I’m now selling maybe one a week rather than 20.”

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Banner or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

Tue
21
Feb

Illuminating Texas History

Lone survivor of Bonilla expedition found

Feb. 16, 1599

 

Sun
19
Feb

February marks 91st Black History Month

February is Black History Month. It was established by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1926. Dr. Woodson was the son of a runaway slave and later earned a PHD from Harvard University. Black History Month was chosen for the month of February in honor of the birth month of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

This month we honor and celebrate the history of African Americans, their contributions to society and the challenges they faced. The promise of the American dream has made our nation the greatest in the history of the world.

All citizens have the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams and determine their own destiny. The history of African Americans and their inspirational stories are a reminder of just how important equal opportunity and freedom are. African Americans have contributed in science, literature, art... and the success of America.

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Banner or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

Wed
15
Feb

Lobbying for Twinkies and dog parks

I'll begin my 2017 lobbying efforts on behalf of fat lazy dogs everywhere.  The saying is 'if your dog is too fat you're not getting enough exercise'.  I agree with that. 

First husband and I have many dogs - have I mentioned this?  Anyway, half of them lie around in the den and only occasionally go out, mostly when we force them to.  We have noticed that Fat Tanner, in particular, has put on a few pounds.  He resembles a barrel.  Our litttle dachshund, Tubby, is well-named.  She tries to run, and does pretty well for about 6 feet, then stops to rest. It's obvious I'm not getting enough exercise. 

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