I took a break from working on a magazine story recently to peruse a packet just received from the American Association of Retired Persons. Yup, I relented and joined AARP. For $16 a year, I figure the discounts will more than pay the price.

The mascot for the U.S. Forest Service turns 69 years old today. Smokey Bear hasn’t retired. He’s still hard at work, educating people about the dangers of forest fires. The Kisatchie National Forest will celebrate by throwing Smokey a birthday party in Alexandria. Kisatchie’s public affairs specialist Amy Robertson says Smokey was created in 1944, during World War II, when there was a lack of manpower on the home front.

The late commentator Archie McDonald would have turned 77 on Nov. 29. In this retrospective of commentaries, now is the time to listen to Dr. McDonald count his blessings, as he gently urges listeners to do the same. Dr Archie McDonald passed away on Aug. 16. Over the past quarter, Red River Radio has aired a sampling of some of his most memorable commentaries. He contributed to Red River Radio's Friday morning lineup for more than a decade.