My youngest, Lissy is helping me with my column this week. When asked what I should write about, she responded without hesitation, “Power Rangers!” At one time I was worried about my children watching this show but on one particular afternoon, I got over it. The premise of this program was a bunch of teenagers recruited to be super heroes. Each one wore a different color and had special powers. It was probably around 1998, I was doing what I did continuously, folding laundry. I had brought the basket into the living room in order to spend quality time with the kids. They were watching “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.” I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about. In a matter of minutes I was asking them questions about the “puddies”(which were annoying opponents). There certainly was an element of violence that concerned me but my mouth dropped open when the villains of the episode appeared. There were two of them … a giant purse and lipstick. The Rangers took them on and had them subdued in no time. No wonder my lttle girls wanted to emulate these characters! Who wouldn’t want to have a sword fight with a mountainous cosmetic?! This was a kids show that appealed to boys and girls of all ages. It was completely and utterly ridiculous. So that was then, and now it is all happening again with a new generation at my house. Little Lissy wants to be a Power Ranger when she grows up. She could probably do this. I asked her why she wanted to be a Power Ranger and she told me to keep people safe from the “Nylocks” I have to admit, I’m not familiar with those and am not at all sure of the spelling, but my little source says one of them is a squid and she would like to “take it out.” I am assuming that means put an end to it as opposed to go on a date. Seven year olds have a very sophisticated language these days. I asked her what we would have to do to help her with this goal of becoming a Power Ranger. She responded, “Well, I’d have to go to high school, then I would need to practice being a Power Ranger, then I’d need to move to Texas.” Texas?!!! Maybe she’s been watching re-runs of Chuck Norris shows when I haven’t noticed. I think we can handle the high school part. Maybe by then she’ll have aspirations of college or a tech school or something productive. Maybe she’ll take up fencing (or, please Lord) soccer and make it to the Olympics. I could really get behind that kind of endeavor. I have heard this Power Rangers thing before. It won’t last. In a matter of what seems like days it will be replaced with archeologist, marine biologist, engineer, dentist. Any of these are more likely but one thing is for sure, she will be a wonderful contribution to her community because she’s a sweet kid with a ready laugh and a loving heart. As for now, I’m going to go help her make a sword from a gift wrap tube.


Several years ago, after negotiating  the location of a Robert Trent Jones Golf Course in either Auburn or Opelika, David Bronner, CEO of Alabama’s Retirement System, is reported to have said that he had always heard that the state’s strongest rivalry was between Auburn University and The University of Alabama.

It’s not, Bronner emphasized. The state’s strongest rivalry is between the municipalities of Opelika and Auburn.

In 1977, when I moved to Auburn from Tuscaloosa, of all places, I heard that the rivalry between the cities of Auburn and Opelika began in 1856 when the East Alabama Male College, later Alabama Polytechnic Institute  (API) and then Auburn University was established.

In the 1800s, residents of the college town had to travel about seven miles over a red clay road, now known as Opelika Road, to a textile town to buy goods and groceries. By the time they got to Opelika via wagons, or whatever, the Auburn book people must have looked a sight  to the railroad people and the textile people in Opelika.

I will leave it to your imagination to picture  those days before there was an effort at political correctness to perceive the dialogue and the observations of these academicians and textilians, or maybe white collars and blue collars as they strolled up and down Railroad Avenue.

Throw in a few years of  this shopping togetherness, and then bring in high school sports, which would provide those thrilling victories and tough losses, and voila, you have the makings of a major rivalry.

Gillis Morgan is an associate professor emeritus of journalism at Auburn University and an award-winning columnist. He can be reached at


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