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ARTICLES BY GEORGE SMITH

George S. Smith, former publisher of the Marshall News Messenger from 1982 to 1992, is back as a regular contributor to Marshall News MEssenger.

Smith started working in the newspaper business in Naples, Texas, when has 18, started his own weekly paper in Maud, Texas, at 19 and became editor of the Daingerfield News at 20.

In addition to working for 10 newspapers in four states over a 45 years period, he has held executive communications positions with two Fortune 500 companies and most recently was director of communication services for Topcon Positioning Systems, a global GPS positioning company. A recent retiree, he now serves as a communications consultant for Topcon.

He has also held adjunct teaching positions at five colleges and universities, including East Texas Baptist University.

A former Citizen of the Year in Marshall, and winner of more than 50 state, regional and national writing awards, Smith was recognized in 2010 as the American Equipment Manufacturers Publications Public Relations Person of the Year, He said he was extremely humbled by all those awards. "I never thought a person should win an award for simply doing their job."

He's the author of six books, including "Uncertain Times," a Southern humor fiction novel set on Caddo Lake, "Circumference of Me, A Guide for Life and Business," and "Reveille," a historical novel nominated in 2011 for the Max Shaara Award for historical fiction. He has five books in various stages of production (including two children's books written with his spousal unit Bobbie Jean).

In more than 45 years in the newspaper business, Smith has written more than 4,000 editorials and more than 3,000 columns.

In regard to his writing, he said, "I have been accused of writing to simply make people mad. Nothing could be further from the truth. I write the way I do to make people think; if they read when I write and come away more convinced their position is right, I am happy...because they thought about their position rather than just give in to knee-jerk reactions of emotion."

He adamantly disagrees with those who describe him as "someone who works out of the box." He said, "I have no box."

A collection of his writings, including chapters in upcoming books and poetry is on his blog -- worldaccordingtogeorgesmith.blogspot.com


Smith: Please let Vince Foster rest in peace
By George Smith

It was 1953 and I was a child of the wind. It was a gentler time, way back then, and I rode the streets of Hope, Arkansas, on my flair-barred Schwinn Panther. More times than not, my running mate was a tallish, big-headed kid who lived catty-corner across Hervey Street.

Talk was his daddy, a banker who wore high-and-tight collars and a suit virtually every day, sometimes even on Saturdays, was the richest man in town. All I know is that their house was the biggest in Hope, which proudly proclaimed to be the "Watermelon Capitol of the World."

Our boundaries in those days of innocence was the city limits; we roamed where we wished and always looked both ways when crossing streets.

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Smith: Will the real Hillary Clinton please stand up?
By George Smith

It's not hard for me to write a column about Hillary Clinton. It's fact, it's pure-dee simple; I've known her on a personal level for more than 40 years, first as the wife of a charismatic, baby-faced politician, then as a mother and education and civil rights activist, as a powerful political entity in her own right and, now, as a candidate for president.

In one respect, there is no one more qualified to be president - by experience, determination, ability to prioritize and focus on central themes and ideas and in knowing the inner workings and responsibilities of the Oval Office - than Hillary Rodham Clinton.

On the other hand, she has worked hard and has earned the reputation of being a caustic force of nature, a take-no-prisoners boss who demands perfection from herself and from those around her. She has a legendary temper, one that, on occasion, has embarrassed her spousal unit (as governor and as president), and she does not suffer fools - real and imagined - lightly.

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Marshall Memorial City Hall demolition almost finished
Standing outside Memorial City Hall in Marshall, Jack Redmon sees the light at the end of the renovation tunnel.

Redmon, the city's director of support services, has been overseeing the project since city officials first proposed creating a multi-use event space for the downtown area several years ago. Demolition to get the building ready for construction is almost complete, and the city should start construction soon, he said.

"I guess I'm optimistic because I've seen what it was," Redmon said. "I've been on this project for eight years, and this time the commission has let us go all the way and finish it, and I really appreciate that because if you work somewhere for eight years you try to see something get done."

Marshall is turning the old Memorial City Hall building into a community meeting space and performance venue. The project includes restoring the building's auditorium, creating community event rooms and working to create a new exhibit space for the Harrison County Historical Museum.

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Smith: Will the real Trump please stand up?
By George Smith

In one way or another I've covered politics for more than 50 years. I'm really not old enough to have done that; I started early.

I was editor and publisher of a start-up weekly in the teensy-weensy town of Maud, Texas when I was 19.

One of my first stories was about a candidate for state representative and my first question was: "So, tell me about yourself?" Forty-five minutes later he was telling how his grandmother told him when he was 10 that he had a gift for gab and ought to go into politics.

I learned quickly never to give a politician an opening to pontificate, but to ask specific questions that should require thoughtful answers backed by clear reasoning.

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Smith: Last week's column blew hot air up some folks' 'skirts'
By George Smith

In the past half-century, I've written more than 3,000 columns, and only a handful ever got folks really, really stirred up to the point of getting their mental panties in a wad.

Last week's column about my Aunt Martha and her being born a transgender 99 years ago electrified some strong feelings in some readers. They were not shy about giving their views.

The "transgender" issue is a hot topic today. Let's put it in perspective: Transgenders are estimated to make up .03 percent of the population of the United States. The public toilet problem before transgenders became the hot target was same-sex pedophiles frequenting public bathrooms.

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