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It’s been about eight years since a dog last lived at my house. And Molly, the Boston Terrier in my house today,  is only there for a week while her owners are on vacation.

I keep a list of books I’ve read each year. A lot of drives to central Kansas to see my Mom have helped bolster the list with audio books from my local library.

It is hard for me to believe that it has already been 20 years since we welcomed with celebration and trepidation a new millennium. No, our computers did not crash. The lights stayed on. And here we still are.

Let’s take a little journey back in time today. I pulled out some old October issues of the South County Times. Here are some of those ghosts of issues past.

Walt Whitman’s legacy lives on as one of America’s best-known poets. He was born 200 years ago on Long Island, New York. His poetry, his life and his St. Louis connections are being celebrated with a special exhibit at Maryville University.

It’s hard for white folks to talk about racism. We think we are so beyond that R-word. We may have friends or associates of color. We may have voted for an African American. We haven’t a racist bone in our bodies – we haven’t ever used the N-word.

Most Americans of a certain age recall sitting for hours in front of a mostly-static TV screen on Sunday evening, July 20, 1969. A few hours earlier, two U.S. astronauts had made the first-ever human landing on the surface of the moon.

A Times reader recently called to plead with me that the newspaper run no more letters on the topic of abortion. These letters are hurtful to women, she said. They reopen old wounds for women who have ever had an abortion.

Summer Solstice, the farthest northward arc of the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, occurs today, June 21. It is the day of the year with most hours and minutes between sunrise and sunset – 14 hours, 52 minutes and 7 seconds. By Saturday, the sunlight day will be two seconds shorter.

Fifty years ago this month I graduated from high school. There were 24 of us in the graduating class at Canton High School. Many of them are still in central Kansas. A couple have died. I have lost track of others. I have heard nothing about a reunion.

Obviously, I have never been a Mom. An active parent, yes. But never the carrier of life. Never the partner with flesh torn in process of giving birth.

I just finished reading the April issue of National Geographic. The focus was Cities – Ideas for a Brighter Future. According to the magazine, the world’s population just 30 years from now is expected to be around 9.8 billion. And nearly 70 percent of those people will live in urban areas.

A majority of readers, I hope, got to this page by picking up a red wrapper on their lawns or driveways, then slipping out the paper and opening this newest issue of the Times. Often the red bag contains additional retail inserts.

March is the windiest month of the year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Close behind are the months of April, February and January.