Errol Castens

ecastens

I'm a news reporter and columnist for the Daily Journal and the Oxford Citizen. Focusing on Oxford and Lafayette County, I've been a part of the L-O-U community since 1991.

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errol.castens@journalinc.com

Stories Written by Errol Castens

The big SUV pulls into a freshly baled hayfield in west Tupelo. Frank Anger and his crew – Neil, Rhonda and Charity – quickly unburden the trailer behind it of a few hundred pounds of bright fabric, a wicker basket and assorted hardware. After five minutes of hand labor, two fans quickly fill the balloon, […]

What a poorer world it would be if Earth were not tilted permanently at 23.5 degrees off of vertical (in relation to its orbit). If we lived between 65 and 75 degrees all year, we wouldn’t revel in fall’s first breath of cool air and the kaleidoscopic landscapes that follow. We wouldn’t thrill with the […]

Grandmama’s roots went deep into the sandy soil of south Alabama, and for many years after moving to Mississippi as a 19-year-old bride, she brought a little of home with her by subscribing to the Mobile newspaper. Coming in the mail, it would always be a day or two or three after publication when she, […]

Our congregation is in the early stages of designing a new church building. Personally, I think the old converted skating rink that’s been the church’s home for nearly 20 years is almost perfect: All it needs are an expanded sanctuary, a new Olympic-size nursery wing (there must be something in the water around here causing […]

Apparently the story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is, like “The Little Red Hen” and other morality tales familiar to previous generations, unheard of by many Americans today. Just in case you’re a little rusty on it yourself, the Hans Christian Andersen story involves an emperor who takes great pride in his fashionable attire. Some swindlers […]

Sue and I celebrated our silver anniversary recently, and while we see a lot of ways we’ve grown together, some twains will apparently never meet. Take the other day, for instance. We were sitting in town, enjoying a leisurely bite while watching people and conversing about whatever was on our minds. We talked about kids […]

Dear graduating high school senior, You will get all kinds of advice this season. Some will advise you that anything other than a four-year college is a waste of your life – and, depending on your grades and skills, that anything less than a top-flight school is a major error. Others will suggest community college […]

Hard to believe it’s been 33 years since we were so collectively dispirited that we had to share the salve of Anne Murray’s song, “A Little Good News,” which laments depressing local headlines of the local paper and the war, terrorism and bad economy that dominated “the morning news show.” In the decades since, the […]

We got to experience another Kairos Weekend at Parchman Penitentiary last week, when free-world men went into Unit 29 to share the love of Christ with almost 30 inmates. Some inmates freely admit coming just for the generously apportioned snacks and meals, and some to get away from the “zone” – the often chaotic and […]

Miscellaneous thinks I have thunk recently: • Students at a Los Angeles public school were almost giddy with the discovery of their own political power after compelling school officials to open a gender-neutral bathroom on their campus. The 15-stall facility “will be monitored,” a TV report said, which I take to mean it will require […]