Errol Castens


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.

Connect with Author

Stories Written by Errol Castens

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 […]

Sat in recently on what was billed as an ACT prep class at Lafayette High School. The teacher, Leonard Blanton of Florence (full disclosure – we’re cousins), calls the session a lesson in productivity. Strategies involved in preparing for and taking the nation’s leading college entrance exam can translate to every discipline, Blanton says. “We […]

Either my friends on the left don’t understand that rights can conflict, or they must think the “other” side’s rights should always yield to theirs. From what I’ve heard and read of the brouhaha (it never was a debate) over House Bill 1523, the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, my friends on […]

Chip was helping me set out half my tomato plants – the ones I’m willing to risk to a late frost to see if I can’t defy the odds and get a really early crop. As is his bent, he talked way too much while we were working, issuing a one-sided stream-of-consciousness “conversation” that invariably […]

This weekend, many a pastor will respond to Easter’s full house with as winsome a representation of the Gospel as he can summon. There’ll be talk of an empty tomb and a clean slate, and perhaps the promise of eternal life. In many sanctuaries, a cross will be prominently displayed – beautifully crafted of fine […]

With spring break and sunny weather in effect this week, folks from afar are tooling around these parts looking for a place to live. Today’s advice is not for those relocating from other parts of Mississippi and its neighboring states. It’s offered gratis to benefit those prospective residents who haven’t previously lived in the rural […]

Becoming a grandfather of four and Sunday school teacher for 20-something first- and second-graders all in the same year opens new perspectives: • One of the most attractive and useful accessories a home landscape can have is a tire swing hung from a giant limb of an ancient post oak. • I’m glad my second-grade […]

The current Republican presidential frontrunner has impressed me – but not positively. He has impressed me with his arrogance, vindictiveness and belligerence – especially the plans to choke unfavorable media coverage by gutting the First Amendment. He has impressed me with his unintelligent-sounding speech – the convoluted and incomplete sentences, the nervous defaulting to repetition […]

The home place is as real in my mind as in three dimensions. I can name and picture all the pastures and fields as they were in my first two decades and even a few of the folks whose names they bear. There’s the George Field, on the easternmost part of the place, named after […]

A quick refresher on my rapidly changing family tree: In November, Sue (also known as “Nana”) and I (AKA “Papa“) adopted our longtime for-all-practical-purposes daughter, Frances, and removed every “almost” and “like” in describing our relationship. Meanwhile, Frances and her husband, Thomas, are fostering four children with every intention to adopt them. And Uncle Patrick, […]