I had just returned from the local toxic waste site where I had disposed of my holiday fruit cakes and was busy cramming my Christmas tree down the garbage disposal (don't ask), when I heard a knock at the door. I figured it was the Environmental Protection Agency coming to talk to me about polluting the toxic waste site with fruit cakes.
Maybe it's the fact that I have more days in the rearview mirror than I have ahead of me, but at this special time of year I am more aware than ever of the gift of friendships. Friendships are always the correct size, the right color and don't require a set of instructions on how to operate them. They are truly the gift that keeps on giving.
You may recall that I vigorously opposed passage of a constitutional amendment in 2012 creating the State Charter School Commission that would allow an alternative method for authorizing charter schools in Georgia. You may recall, also, that the amendment passed handily. So much for my vigor.
This was written in a cave somewhere in Greater Bora Bora. The column was floated across the ocean in an RC Cola bottle to this newspaper. (I have no idea how the editors got it from bottle to print. I assumed that if editors can figure out where commas go, they ought to be able to figure out how to print a column in a bottle.)
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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.
There is a fallacious, salacious and slightly audacious rumor afloat that I can be a tad politically-incorrect at times. Moi? Knock me over with a (organically-grown) goose feather. I'll have you know that some of my best friends are (fill in the blank) and (fill in the blank), not to mention (fill in the blank.) On rare occasions, I have even been seen in public with (fill in the blank.)
You would think designing a license tag would be relatively simple, wouldn't you?
The phone rang the other day and on the other end of the line was Gay Blade, the world's flaming liberal. Gay spends a lot of time trying to raise my sensitivity toward liberal issues. So far, Gay has not had a lot of luck.
I own a vacation home in Dawson County - Big Canoe to be exact. Every year, we get a bill for property taxes and it is paid promptly. If it wasn't, I am afraid someone in the tax office would post my name on the court house door and that my neighbors in Big Canoe would be so horrified they wouldn't make eye contact when I waved at them.
I don't think it is an understatement to say that when it comes to public education in Georgia, school teachers don't have much faith in the Legislature.