If I die anytime soon - and I have no plans to do so at the moment - please see that the first paragraph of my obituary reads, "He was past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association." You can save for later paragraphs the part about my being often mistaken for Brad Pitt and my uncanny ability to put commas where they don't belong.
Last Saturday while the Bulldog nation sweated out a 35-32 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers that should not have been as hard as our scholar-athletes made it, former head football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley's first team at UGA was recognized on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. As nice as that was, more - much more - needs to be done to honor the legendary Hall of Fame coach.
I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world. One day I am advising world leaders on the nuances of international monetary policy. The next day I am consoling a distraught reader who thinks I need to "look within myself spiritually." The last time I looked within myself, I saw my navel. It was full of lint. Never again.
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.
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Gov. Nathan Deal has once again overlooked my immense talents when making his governmental appointments. Seven former legislators have recently been appointed to high posts in the Deal administration. Why legislators? One observer told the Atlanta Newspapers that it helps to have had the experience of serving in the Legislature to understand the inner workings of government. I already understand the inner workings of government: Free "working trips" to Germany, eating off lizard-loafered lobbyists, never paying to see a ballgame and furloughing school teachers. I guess I'll stick to being a modest and much-beloved columnist where my inner working ...
The Rev. Bryan Wright, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, announced recently that he has appointed a task force to explore the possibility of changing the name of the organization. It seems that the name "Southern" may soon be gone with the wind. That doesn't sit well with a number of my Baptist friends, who think this is nothing more than political correctness and a denigration of our beloved South.
News bulletin: The state Department of Natural Resources is reporting that black bears in North Georgia seem to be migrating toward Atlanta area.
To quote the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live, "Well, isn't that special?" State School Superintendent John Barge and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), have asked U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan for a waiver of the controversial No Child Left Behind law and, instead, to measure school performance on a broader basis, consisting of scores on a Criterion-Referenced Competency Test along with other factors in a "performance index."
David Petite has a very simple view on the immigration issue raging in the United States.
Everybody needs a guru. Someone you can go to whenever you find yourself stuck on the horns of a moral dilemma. Some climb the mountain tops of Nepal to sit before an old guy wrapped in a bed sheet and listen to him prattle about inner beauty.
In case you were rearranging your sock drawer and missed the big announcement, filmmaker Michael Moore, who is about as relevant as a female appendage on a boar hog, is asking "all Americans with a conscience to shun anything and everything to do with the murderous state of Georgia." I can hear the shudders from Aragon to Zebulon.
When Nathan Deal was elected governor, I made myself a promise that I was going to get along better with him than I did with his predecessor, George E. Perdue. If our new governor wanted to build a few concrete fishponds, I'd look the other way. If he wanted to dress up like Dr. Seuss' "Cat in the Hat" and talk to school kids while shafting their teachers, I would just shake my head in bemusement. If he rode a motorcycle around the Capitol or drove a bus across town for reasons that made no sense at all or ...
Before we leave the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers the Pentagon and Flight 93 over Shanksville, Pa., allow me a couple of parting thoughts.
Bill White, the Big Canoe Tree Czar - he is the guy you had better talk to before you pluck a pine cone in the place - told me about a bumper sticker he saw recently that sums up the frustration many of us are feeling these days.
A man of the cloth by the name of Markel Hutchins is suing the estate of the late Kathryn Johnston for a half-million dollars.
Long-time readers will remember several years ago when I talked about a beautiful little lady I had met when she was just 2-years-old and who possessed the most crystal blue eyes I had ever seen. Her name was Abby Smith and she was a knockout.
Dear Public School Teachers in Georgia:
I usually try to run the big decisions by you before I take action, but I know you have been distracted over the past weeks watching our selfless public servants in Washington put our interests and those of our nation above petty, partisan political sniping in the debt ceiling debate and marveling at how our crackerjack president, Mr. Swivelhead, makes Jimmy Carter's woebegone administration look like a cross between the Garden of Eden (pre-apple tasting) and Brigadoon.
The 15th anniversary of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games has come and gone with barely a whimper. Looking back, the Olympic Games were not the City of Atlanta's finest hours - or days. They were given a unique gift and didn't know what to do with it. I know. I was managing director - communications and government relations for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games - and had a front row seat to all the action.