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During the days of my childhood, our modest house sat under four huge pecan trees. Today as I swelter in triple digit heat anytime I step out the door, I wonder if all that shade made the summers cooler than the present ones. Was it really cooler back then than it is now? Is my mind playing …

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Okay, enough is enough and I have had enough.  I have had to endure watching lawless thugs firebomb buildings and claiming we need to defund the police.  And another bunch of lawless thugs calling themselves “patriots” while inciting a riot in the United States Capitol.  And don’t forget a b…

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Expectantly, he sat on the examining table gazing at the door with steady, unblinking eyes. The smell of antiseptic hung in the air, and a male assistant stood beside him to make sure the elderly patient didn’t fall. A scale waited directly in front of him to report on his eating habits. A v…

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On Friday night, May 21, 2021, yet another class will don red and black caps and gowns and march across the field in Jimmy Swain Stadium to accept diplomas and become Appling County High School’s newest alumni. Families and friends sit proudly in the bleachers, waiting to hug and congratulat…

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It’s rather remarkable to have someone feel the need to inject their opinion about the course of your life and which path you’d be better served to pursue. Such has been the case with an individual whose counsel I once sought several years ago when facing a difficult situation. Admittedly, C…

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If Republicans have a strategy for remaining the majority party in Georgia, I am missing it.  So far, it seems to be about punishing anyone in the party who has ever uttered a discouraging word about Donald Trump.  That is not much of a strategy. Has anybody figured out yet that it is the De…

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Not long after children start talking, they begin asking a most important lifelong question--“Why?”

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Last weekend, Larry and I made a trip to Lowe’s in Vidalia so I could look for some new deck chairs. First, we browsed the store as we usually do. Lowe’s is our favorite store after all. I walked through the organizing section in the back, hoping to find some new means to help me organize my…

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Despite their billion dollar balance sheets, large public corporations have the backbone of a jellyfish.  Put enough pressure on them and they will fold like a tent.  I offer into evidence S.B. 202, the voting rights bill passed by the General Assembly this past session and signed into law b…

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It becomes quite unsettling to take a drive through many neighborhoods in “suburbia” or rural areas of this. What were once nice buildings, pristine artwork, or sculptures have become the targets of people engaged in malicious and/or destructive behaviors. Vandalism is defined as the willful…

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Just as I was about to pick up my flugelhorn, the phone rang.  It was Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter Skates Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Ryo, Georgia.  He sounded concerned.  That’s not like Skeeter.  Of course, he would never admit it.  I have found that those in the tree stump r…

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(I am rerunning this column from three years ago in memory of some Hazlehurst folks that I love and miss. Two of the old friends that I sat talking to that night celebrated Easter this year with Maude in Heaven—L.W.Spell and Lunette Hall. I’m sure their celebration was better than anything w…

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Speaking to the press after a Senate Republican luncheon at Russell Senate Office Building on March 24 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Senator Ted Cruz stated emphatically that HR 1 is the “single most dangerous bill” in Congress at the moment. This bill is labeled “For the People Act;”…

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I received a text message from a friend a few days back that included a picture of a newspaper clipping. More specifically, it was a picture of one of my Dad’s many columns. I have no idea when the column was written, but the title of the column was Do You Have Time?

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My family’s major lesson in patience lived right next door to us. My father’s aunt, Jincey Gaskins, was delightfully eccentric and one reason my sister and I learned to exhibit patience. My parents insisted that we be polite and patient, no matter what she did or said.

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I am a Son of the South and proud of it. Born here, raised here and, God willing, will be planted here. The South is and always will be my home.

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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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…