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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Former South African president Nelson Mandela has received much-deserved praise following his death on Dec.5 at the age of 95, and rightly so. South Africa could have descended into chaos and a bloody civil war with Mandela's rise to power following 27 years of imprisonment and the end of apartheid. Instead, he preached reconciliation and forgiveness, not vengeance. For that, the world can be grateful.
It was as ugly as a wart hog, but for the 11th time in the past 12 years, 38 of the past 50, and 65 out of 108, the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, has bested You-Know-Where Institute of Technology for the State Football Championship, 41-34.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Last week, family and friends gathered in the small town of Chattahoochee Hills, south of Atlanta, to celebrate a life well-lived. Our late grandson, Zack Wansley, was honored at the dedication of "Zack's Glade," a pristine and picturesque piece of Cochran Mill Park near where he died while training for the Atlanta Marathon in 2008.
I have some good news and some bad news. I read in the paper recently about a proposed venture to send people to Mars. The good news is that it will be a one-way trip. The bad news is that the launch isn't scheduled until 2022, meaning anybody dumb enough to consider the idea of going to Mars and staying there will be hanging around for another nine years on our planet and lowering the collective IQ for the rest of us. Bummer.
Ring! Ring! Ring!
I called Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Co., located in Greater Garfield, Ga., to see what kind of reactions he was getting from the public to the recent shutdown of the federal government.
Bummer. I just learned that I did not win the Nobel Peace Prize again this year. This is getting old. I was so confident this time that I had my tuxedo pressed and new laces put in my Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star high-top sneakers.
After a friend told me she had waited 3½ hours recently to get her Georgia driver's license renewed and then had to deal with a clerk that could have passed for a robot - and an unhelpful one, at that - I thought this to be a typical example of a bunch of government bureaucrats who don't care because they don't have to.
Despite the rants of publicity-seeking bigots, the blather of Twitter twits and a national news media more interested in scooping the competition than in accurate reporting, the fact is that our American system of justice presumes one is innocent until proven guilty.
It looks like our legislators are about to lose one of their most cherished perks: free football tickets. Bless their hearts.
Dear Syrian Rebels: I thought I'd take a minute to correspond with you as you resume your efforts to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. You are no doubt disappointed that the United States government chose not to come to your aid as it promised.
It is flattering to have readers tell me I should run for public office. There are also an equal number of adoring fans who say I should stick my head in a bucket of tar. But that is a topic for another day.