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On January 25 at 9:00 a.m. Larry and I reported as instructed to the health department for our first of the long awaited COVID-19 vaccines. We’d been imprisoned by this virus far too long and were ready to do anything we could to escape its constrictions. We arrived a few minutes before our …

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I blush as I write this (well, not really) but things are going well at the University of Georgia, the nation’s oldest state-chartered university, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South.  UGA President Jere Morehead’s State of the University address notes among other positives that…

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When I prepare carrots to cook, Larry teases me about my chopping methods. Whether for a stew, soup, salad, or even a side dish of carrots with butter and chives, I never cut the carrots into rounds. Oh, no. They must be long or diagonal—never the typical rounds. Why? Who knows? I just don’t…

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The topic of this week’s opinion is one that has been debated virtually since the beginning of time. With Adam and Eve being the only people in existence at the time of their union, they were probably the only couple who ever lived that didn’t have to make a choice. It’s one with which most …

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When I was a child back in the dinosaur age, customer service meant something. When we went as a family to the grocery store on Friday afternoons, clerks and bag boys were underfoot to help with anything the customer needed. My 5’2” mother always needed help reaching the top shelf. Even once…

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If this world operated on poetic justice or Karma or whatever you choose to call the principle, we’d have instant appropriate payback for our sins. What a way to train mankind to behave! For example, if a bully stole another kid’s candy, it would immediately give him a world class stomachach…

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I had just hung up from a robocall wanting to extend the warranty on a car I no longer own when the phone rang again. I assumed it was some helpful robot offering to consolidate credit card debts I don’t have or trying to sell me a back brace I don’t need.  You can imagine my surprise when I…

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The following is the opening testimony/statement presented by Nick Tomboulides, of U.S. Term Limits, at a United States Senate hearing on term limits back in 2019. I am sorry I had not discovered and shared this with you earlier. There are many who continue to make the argument that we need …

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For years he and my Dad, the late Max Gardner, were good friends. They would often bounce ideas about politics off each other and you could truly see the trust and admiration between the two men when they were together. After my Dad’s death, that trust fell on me.

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Without question, these are some of the most trying times witnessed by the United States and the world at large as has been recorded throughout modern history. It would seem that every adverse or contrary set of circumstances is amplified to such a degree each particular concern holds the gr…

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Long ago and well before Gibson McDonald Furniture closed its first Baxley store, I bought two “Big Man” recliners. My father was a big man and I wanted chairs he’d be comfortable in when he visited. Furthermore, the chairs were super comfortable with their big padded arms and soft blue fabr…

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Democrat Joe Biden is now President of the United States.  Two Democrats defeated two Republican incumbents to represent Georgia in the U. S. Senate, swinging the balance of power in the Senate to the Democrats who already control the House of Representatives.   Therefore, you would think Ge…

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Our state received rather depressing recognition last week. Georgia ranked last for getting its citizens vaccinated for COVID-19. According to a U.S. News and World report last week, approximately 1.3% of Georgians had received the vaccine. Of the roughly 10 million citizens in Georgia, only…

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I just today finished a very pleasant interview with a Bacon County historian. As we talked of genealogy, traveling to famous places, and passing plants along to other people, I thought again of the interconnectedness of generations. When I was younger, I never thought much about history in …

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This week’s opinion is one of the most troubling I’ve had to share in all the years this privilege has been extended to me. Over the course of the past week, virtually every news outlet reported, inquired of, and or investigated the factors concerning what is being listed as a domestic terro…

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She wasn’t thrilled when I told her I had been invited to write an occasional column for a local publication. After more than three decades in the Bell System and three arduous years as part of the staging of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, she thought it time to enjoy a long-awaited retirement.

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Last week, I sat in the Lazy Boy reading a book when the phone rang. It was Trey, my 18-year-old grandson, who happens to think I’m the best cook in the world. I admit I like his thinking that, even though I know better.

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Based on the news reported on the front page this week, local property owners should be overjoyed. The news of the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) tax payment is welcomed news. Nearly three million dollars in new tax revenue should benefit our community tremendously.

Hello, ladies. Let us hope that 2021 brings us back to the bridge tables, eating our fish and bidding our little hearts out. In the meantime, here’s a little memory for us.

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A good friend sent these questions to me a few weeks back and I agree with him; these are some great thoughts to ponder.

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As the New Year begins its journey toward 2022, the money crunch occupies the minds of millions of Americans—small business owners, parents, laid-off workers, etc. Many of the people who’ve had steady income from retirement or savings have rescued not-so-fortunate relatives and friends, but …

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In the cake plate a single piece of homemade fruit cake stands in its crumbs. The last of the wrapping paper has been incinerated—the smiling Santas, the golden bells, the green wreaths decked with holly will soon melt into the flames. The hambone from our Christmas feast will flavor the sou…

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This is typically a generally festive time as the holiday season comes to a close, the current year is extended salutary wishes, and the New Year anxiously anticipated. In just a few short days, survivors of what has proven to be a very challenging twelve month cycle will ring in another opp…

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Most of us would agree that 2020 has been a challenging year. I also believe most of us will be happy to say good riddance to 2020.

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My faithful readers out there know about the wonderful relationship I had with my father. He read to me practically from the day I was born until I could read to myself and even for a while there after. My favorite book when I was very young was The Gingerbread Man. We wore out several copie…

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This column has become a Christmas tradition. I share with you once again this year. It is dedicated to my beloved wife and to all who believe.

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This has been a very interesting year as 2020 started on a relatively positive note but abruptly did an about face. Virtually everything from the economy to the country’s food supply and every major enterprise has been adversely affected by an unexpected culprit. Beginning the first quarter …

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On Sunday my pastor said something that stuck in my mind. He said, “A Christ-less Christmas is like counterfeit money. It has no value.”

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All through the night, the late November winds howled through the limbs of the huge pecan trees, violently ripping brown nuts from the branches and slamming them to the ground. Rains spattered and speckled the nuts with grit. I lay listening in my bed, a bit frightened as the winds shrieked …

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Don’t shoot the messenger but Donald Trump has lost his bid for a second term as president. He doesn’t have enough votes in the Electoral College and that is not likely to change. Whether the election was fair or not is for others to try and prove.

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During this time of year most people hang on the edge in anticipation. “Little people” (children) become anxious about the coming of Christmas and adults begin to look forward to celebrations of the New Year for a variety of reasons.

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His name is Bernie, or so I’m told. He answers to it, but he answers to anything else we call him so long as we keep the food coming. He showed up at my neighbor’s house about a year ago on a cold, wet January night. She called me while I was proofreading at the News-Banner office and said, …

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Unfortunately The Baxley News-Banner was not allowed to broadcast/live stream last week’s football game between our Appling County Pirates and the Upson-Lee Knights, of Thomaston, played in Appling County at Jimmy Swain Stadium. As of press time, we are still awaiting word from GHSA if we’ll…

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Since before Halloween, stores have been putting out their Christmas merchandise. Red ribbons and silver bells along with trees of every shape, size, and color wait in the stores to decorate someone’s home. I actually saw a metallic purple tree in Savannah a few weeks ago. It was resplendent…

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Here we go again. The University of Georgia has another Rhodes Scholar. According to my abacus, that makes 25. But who’s counting? (Wink! Wink!) Phaidra Buchanan of Tyrone, Georgia, is the latest. She will begin her studies at Oxford University in England in October and will pursue a Master …

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This has been a difficult year for most of us. However, as we gather in the coming days to enjoy delicious food, football games or other family traditions, I encourage you to take a few moments to simply give thanks.

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When I was younger, so much younger than today, I planned never to marry, but if I did, I promised myself that I’d never have children. Never, ever, ever. I wanted my freedom—freedom from responsibility of any kind. I’d wipe no runny noses, change no diapers, and worry about no one but me. I…

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You’ve got to love Georgia Republicans. They are more fun than a roomful of puppies. What makes them the most fun is that the puppies morph into pit bulls and then spend their time attacking each other. 

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There are relatively few situations that will compel me to bother wasting the time and effort formulating an opinion about the political landscape of this country. This is one of those occasions when I have to more-or-less “go against the grain” as it would’ve been adjudicated. The biggest n…

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Mama cried for a week when she moved away from the Gill Street house. She’d been happy there. Her chickens and turkeys strutted about in their pens in the back yard, clucking and scratching for juicy worms in those pens that Daddy had built for them in his spare time. The huge pecan trees no…

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Pardon me for stating the obvious, but 2020 has been a dumper of a year and I can’t wait to see it in the rearview mirror.

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My receiving news of a church brother’s desire for prayer prompted a review of the Bible’s book of Job.  As detailed in the King James Version, Job was described as a righteous man who lived in the land of Uz.  According to Job 1:1, “…and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared…

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Every single American should be interested in some of the concerns being raised by President Donald Trump and a portion of republicans about how the November 3 election was conducted across this nation and state. More and more questions are being raised daily about voting systems and the way…