Category Archives: Robert Hankins

The reality of airwaves

I always hear doctors and nurses say Hollywood can’t get it right on medical dramas in movies and television shows; lawyers tell me the same thing.
I myself have noticed this over the years about the newspaper business.
So I’ve compiled this list

Know all your Tar trivia?

Many hotels in the Jack Tar chain, like the old Orange spa/resort/restaurant, aren’t around anymore but the name has quite the Internet life.

If you Google the term you’ll get the option for a “Timeline” and a brief synopsis of about 100 newspaper articles.

Time travel tie-ups

Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan have all covered time and spatial relationships in their writings. I don’t understand any of these things.
I just know you can travel through time, in theory anyway, and might find a few black holes in


Where are the jet packs we were promised?

Remember those films in school 40 years ago where a grandfatherly scientist-type like Arthur C. Clarke told you about the wonderful things you’d get in the future?

Tales from the pit

Well it’s that time of year again. Get the old grill out and throw on some moo cow. You just need a pit, fire, meat and a little spice.
And for the adventurous, marinade.
I don’t really even have a pit, iust

Thoughts on the perfect job

t’s been said there’s no such thing as a perfect job.
But is it perhaps true there really are?
It’s just that you never see them in the classifieds?
I wondered what some of those might look like, so please read along with

There just ain’t no cure

So what exactly are the Summertime Blues and how actually do you get them?

If you’re Eddie Cochran, the co-writer of the song, you’re a rebellious ‘50s teen.

From somewhere in Texas

Did you know there was a National Columnists Day? I didn’t, and I’ve been a member for three years of the organization that started it in 1995. It was in a recent newsletter I learned April 18 is National Columnists

A.M., Art Bell and April

I first heard Art Bell in 1997 ago when my grandmother in Tennessee died, and I flew there for the funeral. Someone got the idea that the grandkids should carry the casket, and since there were only four of us we

The days of Lawrence and roses

There was a time many years ago when Milton Berle died.

I talked to some of his fans, and they told me all about the Golden Age of Television.

One woman said she and her husband frequently dressed up just to watch

A column here, a column there

A column idea is one of those things you never get when you need one.

But you always seem to have a steady supply when you’re not looking.

I’ve heard that repeated quite often in the news business (mostly by me), but thanks

Hell opens new ski resort

The devil could not be reached for comment, but one of his evil minions said, “This is depressing. We’re just not really in the snow and ice business here. I just feel sad for whoever has to tell the Lava Men.”

Will hell freeze over?

I have it on good authority that icicles are forming in Hades.

There’s an old joke where God calls the devil and says, “I’ve got to do some renovations up here. Can I send you 200 Cajuns for about a month?” 

The devil says,

Newspapers’ future still floating

I’ve never watched an episode of “Now on PBS” but saw one this past weekend that caught my attention. 

The guests were Robert McChesney and John Nichols, authors of “The Death and Life of American Journalism,” which proposes saving journalism through government subsidies,

Things that never were

At any rate, it was Highway 90.

As a newspaper writer, you’re supposed to say “U.S. 90.”

But this was 1985.

Guys wore hair short. Girls wore it big.

Dozing into the New Year

Having fallen asleep in many city council meetings, I can probably tell you it’s the right thing to do.

Here’s a dream I had a few evenings ago. It’s written in novel form because all writers dream that way; we just can’t

Crosby, Bowie bring in the New Year

A request in my Dec. 9 column for Christmas favorites brought in four lists, mainly from other columnists, two of whom I’m proud to say do not actually write for this newspaper.

As I’ve said many times the only strangers who read these

A very short Christmas column

During this time of year my dad would see me and my friends playing in the yard.

He’d come out and say, “Hey kids, I’ll give you 50 cents each to rake the leaves.”

The offer was very tempting.

Christmas through the music

Have you turned on the music yet?

They used to have it on albums and play it on radio.

I think there’s still radio around, with music played on CDs, MP3s and something that will come out next year we haven’t heard of

Let’s do lunch

I’ve written many times about other papers I’ve worked at, the people there and what I remember about them.

Someone asked me the other day why I don’t write about this one, the one you’re reading.

The ghosts of Orange

It’s Halloween again, and as usual there are Martians in the trees showing cartoons on the ground. And the world is destroyed once again, so goes the news from 1938.