ERROL CASTENS: And the sun keeps on rising



More or less random thoughts because of – and some in spite of – this week’s tragedies:

• A steady stream of rubberneckers is the last thing a devastated neighborhood needs. I recognize my colleagues and I are professional rubberneckers; our only defense is that most of us work hard not to impede the more important work of rescue and recovery – and that our rubbernecking helps satisfy thousands of eyeballs at a time.

• It’s surreal for me to watch Tupelo’s suffering from 50 miles away. A 16-years-and-counting tenure with the Daily Journal makes the All-America City almost a second home town.

Obligations with the company’s new publication, the Oxford Citizen, kept me mostly ensconced over here this week, providing a twister déjà vu: In April 2011, I covered the nonlethal destruction of timber and homes in Lafayette County while colleagues in Tupelo covered the deadly Smithville tornado experience.

• Romans 8:28 is so oft-repeated in Christian circles that it sometimes seems trite, but that doesn’t make it any less true in the face of disaster: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

• My Facebook account got hacked Wednesday – apparently spectacularly. One friend ended up talking to someone who claimed to be I and who was phishing for personal financial information.

Don’t you wish such a crook’s intellect and creativity were harnessed for honorable purposes instead of nefarious ones?

• Leanna Hollis, M.D., of Blue Springs, is collecting tornado-related stories that illustrate God’s grace with an aim to make them into a book, with all proceeds to go to disaster relief organizations. If you have such a story to contribute to the effort, email Dr. Hollis at Knowing Leanna as a friend and as a writer, I’m confident your story will be told with skill and compassion.

• Speaking of telling stories, the folks behind “I Didn’t Do It” – the movie that will portray the framing of Corinth tribute artist Paul Kevin Curtis on accusations of sending ricin-laced letters to public officials – are planning a fundraiser to get their film moving along. Curtis himself will perform both original music and tribute music ranging from Johnny Cash to Prince to Elvis at The Lyric in Oxford on May 15 from 8 to 10 p.m. To RSVP, visit

• One lesson of disasters, natural or manmade, is this: As impossible as it seems in the midst of profound loss and injury – even as cruel as it may seem at first – the sun has always come up again right on schedule.

Errol Castens is a staff writer for the Daily Journal and the Oxford Citizen. Contact him at (662) 816-1282 or

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