January 7, 2011
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Please. Don’t just think to yourselves, “I’ll do that.” Actually do it. If not today, tomorrow. Don’t put it off. There are dozens of places you can take your toys locally.
I am thankful for memories — even sad ones — because memories mean that significant events have occurred in my life. I am thankful for every card and letter and phone call of encouragement I have received over the past two years and I am thankful for each and every prayer that has been sent heavenward on my behalf.
There is one problem that being a former educator has produced. What do I do with all those crazy school ties?
Sometimes I wish I could just pave over the yard and paint it green. I have been doing this for weeks now and when I look up into the trees they still look 95 percent full. Yet another disadvantage of being a retired school teacher.
I am a man of tradition. That’s another way to say that I am old and set in my ways, I suppose. If it was good enough for my parents it should be good enough for me.
I don’t know how he knows but Jodey, who is really good at this stuff, tells me that we have a couple thousand regular listeners in 30 states and five or six foreign nations. Folks are sitting down in the United Kingdom and Norway listening to me talk about how things used to be in the American South. It’s a great country, isn’t it. Who’d a thunk it?
The inhabitants here call their little piece of paradise the Conch Republic because in 1982, when the U.S. Government set up barricades on U.S. 1 and stopped and searched every car coming into Key West, the city council voted to secede from the Union and become an independent republic. The whole thing was rather tongue-in-cheek but it got Key West the attention it was seeking and soon the roadblock was lifted.
I don’t know if those principals got anything out of listening to me last week, but I certainly enjoyed the trip down Memory Lane the opportunity afforded me.
Yankees say we Southerners are not too bright. At least we know enough chemistry to understand the melting point of sugar.
Checking things off your list is a whole lot tougher than you think.
This week I found myself with a bit of spare time on my hands and thought I might earn a few brownie points by attacking the accumulated clutter of the past three decades. After all, the holiday season is just around the corner. Imagine Lisa’s delight when she trudges upstairs to get the Christmas wreaths this year and finds that order has replaced chaos. That’s what I told myself, but alas, it was not to be. This time it was quilts.
Dear Dr. Jamie Leigh, I can’t wait to walk you down the aisle. I know that you will be the most beautiful bride in the history of marriage and I am thankful that God has let me hang around long enough to enjoy this moment.
I loved back-to-school shopping when I was a kid. I was a nerd before the word was coined. I can still close my eyes and smell those fresh Crayola crayons.
I’m getting a little sad thinking about another school year starting but this time without me leading a classroom.
Salem Camp Meeting and homemade ice cream go hand in hand.
T.J. Stripling was one of the most highly recruited football players in the state of Georgia -- and that means in the world.
I decided the other day that I would try to find out where I could put my hands on a good sized load of gopher wood — just in case, you know. I mean, it hasn’t rained for 40 days and 40 nights, yet, but we haven’t been more than 40 hours without a good hard rain since the woods burned over.
Remember the old joke, "Do they have a Fourth of July in England?"
I was doing really well at my new career of trip planner and tour guide. I really was. I got 50 people to Boston and back safely on my maiden voyage, without creating an international incident — or even a sectional one.
What this country needs is not a good 5-cent cigar, but a return to the days of the telephone booth.
For all practical purposes, summer is here
I suppose I knew this day would come sometime, but not this soon.
Are we the people still willing to take up the torch for those who have given their last full measure on behalf of liberty and freedom?
Now that I am a retired educator I guess I have to decide what to tell people when they ask me what I do for a living.
Words. We all have the same ones at our disposal but many of us seem determined to use the same ones over and over.
Last week I stumbled across a place I had never been -- and it is a place so filled with the types of treasures that are near and dear to my heart that I will have to keep going back.
Sometimes Southern sandwiches made frozen TV dinners look good.
When I learned of the attacks in Boston on Monday, I sat down and pounded out a column full of anger and belligerence. The next day, my youngest child, Jenna -- after taking time to reflect -- sat down and penned the following words.
I had a girlfriend in 1957 — an older woman who was 15. Her name was Annette Funicello.
My youngest daughter --the one called Danger -- was having a conversation with her boyfriend, Jonathan. Perhaps it was a discussion, rather than a conversation. Maybe even a debate. I think argument might be a bit too strong.. I wasn't eavesdropping. This debate was right out in the open --around
What a difference a year can make. On the last Sunday in March in 2012 my lovely wife Lisa and I checked into a room in the Rotary House hotel at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
My daddy used to have a saying about rats. He would get people to ask him what he thought about rats and he would invariably answer, "I'm rough on rats!" I never knew what, exactly, he meant by
Whatever happened to getting in the family car and going for a ride? Other than $4 a gallon gas, I mean.
Just when you thought politics couldn't be fun anymore, Kentucky's Rand Paul stands up and puts on a show in the Senate that rivaled Strom Thurmond at his best.
I'll have plenty to do, once the weather gets warm.
Country music brings back memories of our family travels.
It is way past time to put a few worn out words and phrases to rest.
People are constantly asking me why I decided to grow a beard.
A half-serious "mayday" call on Facebook showed me my great circle of caring friends.
I wouldn't say I travel to Athens all that frequently, but when I crank my car, I have a hard time steering it in another direction.
Hugh Durham is and always has been one of the funniest men I have ever heard speak in public.
You'd think someone from South Carolina would know better.
The holidays wore me to a frazzle. When's the last time you heard that expression?
I never wanted to be one of those parents who tried to relive their lives through their kids.
Schools are supposed to be safe havens, especially for little bitty children. ... Schools are never supposed to be where children go to die.
When Christmas has come and gone this year I will not have missed one moment of its magic.
We have all been on both ends of the Christmas gift conundrum.
A hundred years ago I earned my Eagle Scout Award.
The revelation I am about to make is not as earth-shattering as the one John received in that dream 2,000 years ago, but it might catch a few of you off guard. I love show tunes.
I got an unusual call a couple of weeks ago, from a reporter from the big city newspaper in Atlanta.
I got an unusual call a couple of weeks ago, from a reporter from the big city newspaper in Atlanta.
These are strange times we’re living in, and they get stranger every day. Being in Jacksonville on the Wednesday before the Georgia-Florida game showed me that.
Poor old Big Bird. He has become a talking point in the soon-to-be-over presidential campaign and the big fellow doesn't like it one bit.
Modern technology is absolutely wonderful -- until it's not.
I was painfully reminded this week of a long-standing truth that I had all but forgotten. Cars break down.
I have watched a lot of politics over the years and I have observed that you shouldn't trust a man who eats too high in the hog
Ever since I was a small child watching shoot 'em up cowboy movies on television, Texas has been a mystical sort of place for me.
Ever since the news broke last winter that Missouri and Texas A&M would be joining the SEC, I have been determined to be a part of the welcoming party.
Taps. I don't know anyone who isn't affected emotionally by that haunting melody.
Darrell Huckaby remembers a great writer, the likes of which hasn't been seen lately.
I think the ties that are binding the people in today's society are that a greater and greater percentage of Americans are now depending on the government for their livelihood.
Huckaby laments that they don't make cars like they used to, especially the 1968 Buick with seats that recliine and an 8-track player.
All of us have touchstones in our lives. We have people, places and things that remind of who we are and who we are meant to be.
Why in the world do I feel like I am living at Lion Country Safari?
Remember blue laws? They are laws that often, when compared to the nuances of modern day society, make people shake their heads and wonder what group of lawmakers ever thought that we needed such regulations.
Jerry Varnado has bestowed upon me a high honor. He has invited me to deliver this Sunday morning's message at his church, Rays United Methodist, in Bishop.
Everybody has said just about everything there is to say about the passing of Andy Griffith and the huge impact he has made on American culture. That doesn't mean I am not going to say my piece, too.
I have a brand new favorite number and I think it will remain my favorite number for a long, long time.
One of my favorite Easter stories comes from that great theologian, Lewis Grizzard. Since it is, in fact, Easter, I thought I would share it. You may have been lucky enough to have heard Lewis tell it — either in person or on one of his albums. Since he has been gone 17 years now and since he stole the story from someone else, I don’t mind retelling it.
I was flipping channels Wednesday evening, trying to avoid the bad vibes that permeate the news these days, when I saw a clip of Ronald Reagan being shot. A glance at the calendar told me why they were running the story, It was March 30 and on March 30, 1981 — 30 years ago that very day — John Hinkley Jr. attempted to assassinate the president.
In a former life I was a high school girls basketball coach. I was a pretty good one, too — especially during years when I had really good players. Andy Landers even took my calls. So did Pat Summitt. Actually, Pat still does, but that’s another story for another day.
Miracle of miracles! We had a white Christmas in north Georgia. Now it wasn’t a blizzard and the folks who have moved here from Boston and Buffalo and Kalamazoo weren’t impressed, but it was a significant snowfall — at least from I-20 northward. The ground was covered, for the most part. If you don’t believe me, just wait until next Christmas and see how many of your friends feature their homes, adorned in Christmas finery, wearing a blanket of snow.
Remember when you were little and believed everything your mama and ’em told you? Sure you do. So do I. If your mama said it, it was gospel. Now each and every one of us had an aunt or an uncle who might be bad to lie — and they were the ones who were always fun to hang out with — but what your mama said you could take to the bank.
It is the Season of the Witch! I’m not talking about election day in Delaware, I am talking about Halloween. Halloween is when most people start thinking about ghosts and goblins and carving pumpkins and dressing up in scary costumes and doing all the things people do on Halloween these days. (I am old enough to remember when it was holiday for kids.)
The public should beware the Thought Police are out in full force. If you don’t believe me, just ask Juan Williams.
I had a great day Wednesday. I woke up at about 5:30, before the alarm went off and felt refreshed and rejuvenated after a good night’s sleep. I turned on the coffee pot and our dog, Rachel, took me for a walk. It was a beautiful morning. Not a cloud in the sky and a distinct feeling of fall in the air. Both papers were in the driveway and the garbage men had emptied our big green container. I had hit the trifecta!
Ever wonder what it’s like to be a kid these days? It has been a long time since I’ve had a little one in my house. It has been even longer since I’ve been one. Oh, for the simple joys of childhood — but are they really so simple? Or joyful?
Folks used to refer to Athens as a football town with a drinking problem. Now I suppose it is fair to say that Athens — with more than 50 bars and night clubs — is a drinking town with a football problem. And for all you non-sports fans out there, don’t toss the paper aside without continuing because this column really and truly isn’t about football or sports, but about a greater phenomenon that has slowly taken over our culture since the onset of the Internet age — the anonymous blog.
While that brave band of rebellious radicals that created this country were still embroiled in a fight for their very lives against the military forces of Great Britain, their political representatives in Philadelphia were piecing together a semblance of a national government that they called the Articles of Confederation. It served its purpose for a while but was, in reality, as weak as pond water.
Sept. 11 — nine years later. Where were you? What were you doing when you heard? How did it make you feel? Angry? Sad? Afraid? All of the above?
I remember that when I was real little — which is what we in the South say when we actually mean when I was “really young” — hearing about the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.
When is enough enough? I mean seriously. When?
So let’s see. Iran is about to go online with its very own nuclear reactor. Israel may or may not drop a bomb on it before they do. The economy still stinks. Two-thirds of Americans oppose a proposed mosque near Ground Zero in New York City and the speaker of the House says those people should be investigated. Our court system can’t seem to decide whether gay marriage is a go or a no-go in California. The U.S. is suing Arizona and Virginia is suing the U.S.
God bless Zell Miller. Now there was a governor.
My world is not as bright as it was when I went to bed Thursday evening. B.C. Crowell died Friday morning.
Hot enough for you?
Happy Independence Day weekend, y’all.
I have said many times that one of the best things about writing a newspaper column is all of the letters and e-mails I get from my readers plus the occasional phone call. And I have said many times that one of the worst things about writing a newspaper column is all of the letters and e-mails I get from my readers plus the occasional phone call.
I love Mark Twain. He was an astute observer of the human condition. He once noted that "Man is the only animal that blushes or needs to." He also said, "God made school boards for practice, and then made idiots."
Michelle Darr is tiny. She claims to be 5 feet tall. I don't think she's even close.