The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Articles written by william h. benson

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Mel Blanc: Comedy and tragedy

Mel Blanc was known as “the man with a thousand voices” because he created voices for numerous cartoon characters. For Warner Brothers, Mel was the voice of Wile Coyote, Speedy Gonzales, Pepe LePew, Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam, Sylvester the...

 

A fork in the road

Yogi Berra played catcher for the New York Yankees for 19 years, from 1946 until 1965. Noted for his funny expressions, such as, “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over,” and “I didn’t say everything I said,” his most quoted malapropism is...

 

Brandywine versus Sept. 11

Two historic events occurred on Sept. 11. The first was at Brandywine Creek, west of Philadelphia, in 1777, and the second was Sept. 11, 2001. In the first, General George Washington’s ragtag army tried to stop General William Howe’s superior...

 

Riff and parade

“Life is a lot like jazz,” said George Gershwin. “It is best when you improvise.” During the 2004 political debates, the radio host Don Imus described the two vice presidential candidates Dick Cheney and John Edwards as “Dr. Doom and the...

 

1st day of school: Linda Cliatt-Wayman

“Miss! Miss! Why do you keep calling this a school?” asked Ashley. “This is not a school!” It was an awkward moment, at an assembly, in November 2002. Because a fight had broken out that morning, the school’s new principal, an angry Linda...

 

Hamilton, the musical

On Saturday afternoon, July 18, President Barack Obama and his two daughters, Malia and Sasha, were pleased to attend the new musical based upon Alexander Hamilton’s life, Hamilton. The popular play moved to Broadway, to the Richard Rodgers...

 

Lord Chamberlain's Men

In the spring of 1594, 26 London actors joined together to create an acting company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. These actors included London’s leading dramatic actor at the time, Richard Burbage; plus Will Kempe, London’s leading comic actor;...

 

Jay Walker and the Library of Human Imagination

In 2002, multi-millionaire Jay Walker designed and built his Library of Human Imagination. Located in Ridgefield, Conn., Walker’s 3,600-square-foot home stores and displays his collection of books – more than 50,000 volumes – plus his myriad...

 

Futurology

Fred and Wilma Flintstone lived in the past, George and Jane Jetson will live in the future and Ralph and Alice Kramden live in the present. Although “The Flintstones” and “The Jetsons” were animated, the three fictional sitcoms, including...

 

Pedro Noguera and 'The Trouble with Black Boys'

Pedro A. Noguera teaches education and sociology at New York University. The son of Caribbean immigrants, he has a Spanish name, but he is black. In 2008, he published his book, The Trouble with Black Boys, and within its pages, he lists the...

 

'Step-by-step' approach can ease estate-planning process

Like many people, you may enjoy investing. After all, it can be invigorating to put away money for your future, follow the performance of your investments and track the progress you’re making toward your long-term goals, such as a comfortable...

 

Lyrics and graduation

Fifty years ago, on the night of May 7, 1965, in a Florida hotel room, Keith Richards strummed his guitar while a cassette recorder taped a phrase that he had dreamed, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” The next day he asked Mick Jagger to listen,...

 

Viruses are much worse than war

At a TED conference on March 18, in Vancouver, Bill Gates said, “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next decades, it is most likely to be a highly infectious virus, rather than war; not missiles, but microbes. We are not ready for the...

 

Civil War ends

Abraham Lincoln recited the President’s oath of office on the Capitol’s steps at his second inauguration on Saturday, March 4, 1865. After four years of a ghastly series of bloody battles, the deaths of 620,000 men, and the dismemberment of...

 

France and Muslim scarves

In France, a fight has broken out between university professors and students who wear Muslim headscarves or veils into class. Some professors insist that before they will begin a lecture, students must remove their scarf or veil. French law already...

 

Kidnapping: It's simply ugly and immoral

In 1907, the author O. Henry wrote a short story he entitled “The Ransom of Red Chief.” In it, two crooks named Bill and Sam kidnap a red-headed boy in an Alabama town thinking that they will demand a ransom, but unaware that the boy is ornery. H...

 

The art of language

To learn a second language is difficult, if not impossible. At an early age, a child learns to think in his or her first language, and so his or her brain is set, hardwired for that first language. After that, an adolescent or an adult cannot stop...

 

Abraham Lincoln and Edwin Stanton

Today, we honor Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. In the summer of 1855, George Harding hired Lincoln to assist him in a patent infringement case because Harding needed an attorney knowledgeable of Illinois law. At the last moment, the trial was moved fr...

 

Self-government and modernity

Historians rank Frederick Jackson Turner as one of the most noted of all American historians. In 1893, in Chicago at the American Historical Association, he delivered a paper he entitled The Significance of the Frontier in American History, and in...

 

Basketball: Press for success

Vivek Ranadivé coached his daughter’s National Junior Basketball team at Redwood City, south of San Francisco, in Silicon Valley. Because Vivek had grown up in Mumbai, where he had played cricket and soccer, Vivek knew very little about...

 

Cuba and North Korea

The two Communist holdouts from the Cold War dominate the news again: Cuba on one page, and North Korea on the other. First, President Barak Obama wants to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba after five and a half decades of Communist rule....

 

Christmas

Della sold her hair to buy “a platinum watch fob” for Jim, her husband, and he sold his watch to buy “tortoise shell combs” for Della’s hair. On Christmas Day they opened their presents, and neither he nor she could enjoy his or her gift....

 

Space flight

On Nov. 23, a week ago last Sunday, another Soyuz rocket launched three astronauts into outer space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and after a six-hour flight they docked at the International Space Station 268 miles above the Pacific...

 

Longevity

Billy Graham will celebrate another birthday this week, his ninety-sixth. As far as I know, he still lives, despite a lifetime of poor health: “hernias, retina clots, pleurisies, headaches, nauseas, removal of a salivary gland, urinary infections,...

 

Calendars

President Obama visited Stonehenge three weeks ago, on Friday, Sept. 5. As he stepped around the stones, he said, “ How cool is this. This is spectacular! Knocked this off my bucket list.” Stonehenge is located west and south of London, in south...

 

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