The Woman Who Shares My Name instructed me that this week's column was to be about positive things. She says she is tired of bad news and thought you felt the same way. "Surely, you can find some positive things to write about," she said, "and temporarily take people's minds off all the terrible things going on in the world. I think your readers would appreciate that."
Remember the story of "The Little Engine That Could?" That could very well describe the city of Dalton, a town of some 34,000 nestled in the corner of Northwest Georgia, not far from the Tennessee line.
Can it be? Is it September already? One of my favorite tunes, "September Song," was written by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson for a Broadway musical in 1938 called "Knickerbocker Holiday. The lyrics could apply today to the current political season in Georgia - "For it's a long, long time from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September."
It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.
Rap! Rap! Rap!
I just learned of a book called, "Say Goodbye to your Southern Accent." Gosh dang. What is wrong with a Southern accent?
Dear Georgia Public School Teachers:
The U.S. Senate race this November between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue will be one of the more unusual campaigns we have witnessed in Georgia. Neither has held public office and both are anxious to portray themselves as the ultimate "outsider."
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"I have gotten bad news and am much the worse for it.
With the July 22 runoff elections fast approaching, I called Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia, to get his thoughts on the various races and to see who he thinks will make it to the finals of the November general election and who will be eliminated this round.
The things you learn while surfing the Internet in desperation for column material. Did you know that there is a National Association for the Humor-Impaired? May Jimmy Carter (speaking of the humor-impaired) wash my socks if I am not telling the truth.
In my home hangs a photograph of a rather large and deep hole on the side of an asphalt road. It is the aftermath of an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) - or in more simple terms, a homemade bomb - that went off just as the Humvee in which I was riding passed over it.
I have said it before but it bears repeating: If I don't qualify for heaven (a distinct possibility), my preferred alternates are: (a.) Athens, Georgia, on a crisp fall Saturday afternoon; (b.) Athens, Georgia, on a warm spring day or (c.) Athens, Georgia, on any day. As you no doubt know, Athens is home to my alma mater, the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in all the land.
Before the start of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, Billy Payne, the organization's CEO, reminded everyone that while much of the attention during the games would be focused on the high-profile athletes, not to forget that all 10,000 athletes from the 107 countries represented were and would forever be Olympians - a title very few people in the world would ever attain.
I wrote recently about the concerns of environmental groups over a proposal by the owners of Sea Island to develop 7.2 acres on the south end of the island. They say that the land is too fragile for the proposed development.
To David Perdue, Jack Kingston and Michelle Nunn: Congratulations on making it this far in your quest to become our newest U.S. Senator. As you prepare for the next phase of your campaign, I thought I would pass along to you some unsolicited advice for your consideration. Please don't thank me. It was either this or make an effort to clean out my sock drawer.
How's this for a conflict? This past weekend I had to choose between going to New York and attending the prestigious Peabody Award ceremonies sponsored by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia, or participate in the 14th annual Washpot Festival in Garfield.
It is the Merry Month of May, and you know what that means, boys and girls. It is time for Answer Man! You ask it, we answer it. Please know that all answers have been authenticated and hermetically-sealed by Funk and Wagnall - no, not that Funk and Wagnall. This is Elrod Funk and Jim Bob Wagnall. I don't know them all that well but they knocked on the door and said they needed work and wanted to cut my grass. I told them I had a better idea.
The scene: The office of Teya Ryan, president of GPB.
The Sea Island Company wants to build a group of condominiu1ms on what many people believe to be environmentally unsound ground. Why should you care?
I wish I had been there. In Jerusalem. With Jesus.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Georgia, as proclaimed by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. Child abuse is a subject I don't like to think about, let alone write about and you would probably just as soon not hear about. But it is there and we need to acknowledge it and demand some solutions.
Even by my impossibly high standards, this has been a good week. It began with a whack upside the head from a reader in South Georgia after I opined that those who want to change the way we teach our children in public schools ought to have their kids in public schools. I was referring to the efforts led by Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) to overturn the Common Core curriculum in the recent legislative session.