Not only is Vince Dooley a Hall of Fame football coach but he is a Master Gardener, too. I just got a copy of his new book, “Vince Dooley’s Garden: The Horticultural Journey of a Football Coach” (Looking Glass Books). How many people do you know who have had a hydrangea named after them (Hydrangea Macrophylla, also known as the “Dooley”) and can recognize an over/under 4-3 defense?
I asked him about his son, Derek, the new head football coach at Tennessee.
“I think he will do fine,” proud Poppa said, “but I told him I wish he had gone to a school not so close to his home state.”
Derek’s response: “Didn’t you come to Georgia from Auburn?”
Sighs Dad, “I forget he is a lawyer and was a member of the debate team in college.”
Incidentally, when I saw Coach Dooley, he had just returned from Greece the night before. He looked fresher than I did after a day trip to Eatonton. The man is amazing.
• • •
I attended the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church in Athens, the Classic City of the South, last week. I was told that the conference values diversity and that meant getting a few rock-hard sinners on premise, a role for which I am highly qualified. I must report to my Baptist friends that there were a lot of extremely talented and highly capable female ministers there. You keep telling me that only men can be preachers, but you don’t know what you are missing.
• • •
A reader thought it tacky that I suggested in a recent column that the president of Mexico mind his own “beeswax” and quit meddling in our internal affairs. She is absolutely correct, and I am duly repentant. I should have told him to mind his own cera de abeja. She also took umbrage at me referring to the State Board of Regents as the College of Cardinals. I suspect the College of Cardinals didn’t care much for the comparison, either.
• • •
I have heard from a number of people involved with the Georgia School Board Association and the Georgia School Superintendent’s Association telling me they have formed “Vision for Public Education in Georgia.” Good for them. Now, let’s see if they can get the new governor, the new state school superintendent, the 236 education experts in the Legislature, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the Georgia Association of Educators, business groups, parents and — oh, yeah — school teachers to buy into their vision. Even their website, www.visionforpubliced.org, acknowledges that their plan will be of no value if it is not shared by others. Therein lies the problem. Too many self-interest cooks in the classroom. Still, I wish them well.
• • •
Anybody heard from the state flaggers lately? Eight years ago they were riding high after claiming credit for Gov. Roy Barnes’ defeat and then Sonny Perdue promptly sand-bagged them. It serves them right. They were mean-spirited bullies and exhibited the political skills of a turnip.
• • •
Your tax dollars at work. The Obama Administration is going to sue Arizona over passing an illegal immigration measure because the administration won’t enforce existing laws. Maybe somebody ought to tell them that this isn’t going sit well with the majority of the American taxpayers. I can’t wait to see how this one-note crowd manages to blame the issue on the previous administration. (“If it hadn’t been for George Bush, Arizona would be a part of Mexico today. He should have minded his own cera de abeja.”)
• • •
Finally, I am pleased to announce that Sheila the Family Wonderdog has gotten a clean bill of health from the vet and has signed on for another year as my valued political consultant. Before settling in for her usual 22-hour snooze, she asked me to tell you that everybody running for public office in Georgia this year will be for less government, lower taxes and stronger ethics. SFW says to be mindful, however, that if their lips are moving, they might be fibbing. I love that dog.
E-mail columnist Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org.