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Articles by Pat Grimes

The death of singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor Prince Rogers Nelson, better known as Prince, was an unpleasant surprise. We were born the same year, and that is disheartening. Worse is the notion he’ll not be making more music.

Here in the Midwest, springtime is busting through.  Crocuses and dandelions dot the terrain with bursts of bright color, and April showers work to ensure the timely arrival of tulips and other blossoms come May.

Tennyson wrote that a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love in spring.  I am feeling a bit ancient, but my thoughts are in tune with the season, though for the wrong reasons; my sweetheart and I are parting.

French diplomat, novelist, and film director Romain Gary wrote, “Humor is an affirmation of dignity, a declaration of man's superiority to all that befalls him.”

This makes sense. How often have you heard the idea that sometimes a person has to laugh, otherwise they would have no choice but to cry?

Have you caught news of the recent Panama Papers document leak? It would seem a large number of persons, institutions, and businesses around the world have been shielding – or hiding, depending on your perspective – assets via shell companies.

With nicer temperatures returning to the Midwest, plenty of cold weather couch potatoes are back outside. Running sneakers, bicycles, and walking shoes have been dusted off and put on the streets again.

In deference to the mileage on my bones and joints, I have been walking. There has been some bike riding, but my new dedication to activity has largely meant rambling down the sidewalks of adjacent neighborhoods, or along the walkway that circumnavigates a nearby lake.

The NCAA basketball tournament continues. I have followed these games not for the sporting competition, but for the team mascots.

In choosing spirit animals, some schools have been more imaginative than others. Once you get past the long list of birds of prey, cats, and dogs in pantomime form, you'll discover some real, live animals: Louisiana State’s tiger, a longhorn steer from Texas, the War Eagle of Auburn (though their team is the Tigers), and the tail-wagging dogs of Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Georgia.

One spring cleaning project this year will be going through my photographs.  In basement boxes and file drawers, envelopes are stuffed with pieces of the past.   

Then there are the hundreds of images on my computer's hard drive.  Into one folder named “photos” are subfolders vaguely titled “Temporary folder,” “Momentary photos,” and “Miscellaneous.” 

A recent trip to visit my sweetheart included a lousy surprise. I had been motoring along at an impressive rate of speed for more than seven hours when, to my dismay, the road ended.

The efficient conveyance of vehicles on the federal interstate, you see, had been interrupted by a sizable rockslide that closed the highway in Tennessee, just south of the Kentucky border.

The setting was a large, well-lit space — three classrooms merged into one big room, I’d reckon - in a former elementary school now serving as a recreation center near a downtown district. Shortly before noon, my sweetheart and I strode through the doorway for our first line-dancing lesson.

Like many shoppers, I sometimes use coupons. At the end of a foray through the grocery store, it feels good to save a little money. Unlike smart shoppers, however, my coupon activity consists mostly of cutting out, carefully setting aside, and later discarding discount vouchers that have passed their expiration dates.

Generally, I then curse the manufacturer for having the nerve to make theirs a limited time offer. Never again will I purchase their product, even though the fault is entirely mine for not taking advantage of the bargain while it was still good.