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.)
On my "To Do" list last week was a reminder to call former Gov. Carl Sanders and see if he had any thoughts on how to get the field at Sanford Stadium named for UGA's former coach and athletic director Vince Dooley. I knew he would like the idea and perhaps could jerk a few chains I seem to have been unable to rattle thus far.
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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.
Since the policy of the federal government seems to be to snoop on the conversations of private citizens, I thought it would be appropriate if we turned the tables on them. So, I authorized my columnist commandos to infiltrate the White House disguised as Teleprompters and get the real scoop on the latest developments in Ukraine.
I was at the sausage-making plant last week, better known as the Georgia General Assembly. I was there for a good cause. The state Senate was honoring Dick Pettys, one of the finest journalists to walk through the doors of the state Capitol, and I was asked to be a part of that special day.