February 29, 2016: If You Are Positively Tired Of Negative News, Read This

I had intended to provide you with an in-depth analysis of the SEC primary this week but that will have to wait. For one thing, Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia, tells me that he is going to need time to pore […]

February 22, 2016: Looking at Public Education Reform Efforts Past and Present

I had the privilege to speak to several hundred educators in Atlanta last week. I was there to talk about my experiences as a member of the Education Reform Commission but, as is my wont, I soon deviated off the purpose for which I had been invited to speak and into unchartered waters. Which raises […]

February 15, 2016: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects

An alert to Georgia public school teachers: Keep a close watch on these two legislators. First, Jan Jones, (R-Milton) Speaker Pro Tem in the House of Representatives, evidently isn’t buying a report from State School Superintendent Richard Wood and the Georgia Department of Education that shows 44 percent of new teachers leave the profession within […]

February 8, 2016: Legislators Shooting to Beat Plowshares into Pistols

Son of a gun. Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) is at it again. Georgia’s version of Wyatt Earp was the chief gunslinger in getting a bill passed in 2014 that was intended to let us lock-and-load most anywhere we want – libraries, churches, bars, airports —but he and his posse couldn’t talk the Board of Regents […]

February 1, 2015: Return of Corn-Fried Shrimp is Welcomed News

Perhaps this renewed love affair doesn’t quite rise to the level of Humphrey Bogart’s Rick finding Ingrid Bergman’s Ilsa in “Casablanca” (“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”) but it is pretty darned close. My beloved corn-fried shrimp are coming back to the Georgia Sea […]

January 24, 2016: State Senator Seeks to Provide Support to Disabled Community

Republican State Sen. Fran Millar represents Georgia’s 40th District in the north Atlanta suburbs and is not your typical glad-handing, hail-fellow-well-met kind of politician. One Atlanta newspaper columnist calls him “perpetually grumpy” and “ornery.” Now in his third term in the Senate after serving 12 years in the House, what you see with Sen. Millar […]

January 18, 2016: The State of This Column Can’t Be Overstated

My fellow Georgians: Now that Pres. Barack Obama has delivered his final soppy State of the Union address (Yay! Hooray!) and Gov. Nathan Deal has given us a nautically-themed State of the State address that would have made Moby Dick proud, (Ha! Ha! Ha!) I come today to submit to you my annual State of […]

January 11, 2016: Some Thoughts on Education Reform Commission Recommendations

Dear Georgia Public Schoolteachers: You have read and heard a lot of scuttlebutt about the recommendations recently sent to Gov. Nathan Deal by the Education Reform Commission. I thought you might like some thoughts from one of the commission members. Me. As you may know, I had the privilege of serving as a member of […]

January 4, 2016: Annual Letter to My Grandsons

Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough:   Welcome to 2016. This begins your eighth year with us. I think you would agree that at this point in time, life has been better than good. May it remain so.   Today, you are sowing the seeds for your future. Of course, nobody can predict what that future will […]

December 28, 2015: A Love Story That Defied Time and Circumstance

Perhaps the most appropriate way to end this year is with a love story – the story of Dr. Raymond Cook, 96, and Dr. Elisabeth Mays Stein Cook, who passed away last week at the age of 94.   Even the most casual reader of this column knows the influence Raymond Cook has had on […]

December 21, 2015: I Wish I Had Been There. In Bethlehem

This column has become a Christmas tradition and I share with you once again this year. It is dedicated to all who believe.   I wish I had been there. In Bethlehem.   I wish I had witnessed the birth of the baby Jesus in a lowly manger. Was it really as cold that night […]

December 14, 2015: Sometimes Being Naughty Can Be Nice

Ring! Ring! Ring!   “Hello, Santa Claus R Us. Happy Holidays. Donder speaking. May I help you?”   “Yes, I would like to speak to Santa Claus. My name is Dick Yarbrough. I am a modest and much-beloved columnist in Georgia. I have been so busy this year that I haven’t found time to get […]

December 7, 2015: Some Observations on the Coaching Changes at UGA

As my sweet mama would say, “Things just get curiouser and curiouser.” That is the best way to describe the recent events at the University of Georgia — or more specifically — the athletic department at UGA.   As of this writing, Kirby Smart, who has morphed from a Bainbridge High Bearcat to an all-SEC […]

November 30, 2015: Not Too Early to Think About the True Meaning of Christmas

Hot Diggity Dog! It is December and that means Christmas is just around the corner. I love Christmas. I love it today and I loved before it became politically-incorrect. Anytime someone tells me “Happy Holidays,” I thank them and say “And a Merry Christmas to you, as well.” If it is to a store clerk, […]

November 23, 2015: Academician Got It Right About The Woman Who Shares My Name

Several of you got a chuckle over my recent observations on a survey from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia that says a good way to improve your marriage is to show gratitude to your spouse. As one reader told me, groveling doesn’t hurt, either. One member of the […]

November 16, 2015: Unsubstantiated Anonymous Sources Have No Place in Journalism

I can’t guarantee that I got all the commas where they belong today, but I can guarantee that what you read here is my opinion laid out for all to see. That is in stark contrast to cowardly anonymous comments that seem to be pervading our world these days, thanks to social media and to […]

November 9, 2015: A Big ‘Thank You’ to UGA for Study on Marital Bliss

There are many good things happening at my alma mater, the University of Georgia, these days.  Unfortunately, not much of it is occurring on the football field.  But please remember that football is only a game and that we are first and foremost an academic institution.  (I usually say that when we lose to Florida.  […]

November 2, 2015: Who Should Know Better Than To Mess With Our Porcine Preferences

The history revisionists are still busy as a bee trying to rid us of all vestiges of the Old South. That means some brave soul is going to have to tell Wheeler County that they have to change their name because the county is named for Confederate Gen. Joe Wheeler. Oh, and while you are […]

October 26, 2015: A Newcomer’s Guide To Georgia-Florida Week

If you have just arrived in our fair state from some alien environment like the planet Krutopia or maybe Vermont, I need to explain to you a cataclysmic event taking place on this Saturday afternoon in the city of Jacksonville, Florida, which is a suburb of Greater Metropolitan Brunswick, Georgia, much like Vermont is a […]

October 19, 2015: Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects

I mentioned a few weeks back the TBF/FLW High School Fishing Southeastern Conference Championship tournament scheduled for Lake Lanier. It has come and gone. Fifty-one teams from eight states competed. Fittingly enough, the event was won by two youngsters from East Hall High School — Tristan Thomas and Dakota Crumley. The win earned their team […]

October 12, 2015: Somebody Forgot To Tell God The World Was Ending

Somebody Forgot To Tell God The World Was Ending, a group out of Philadelphia that does all their worshiping online (“Alright, users, let us bow our heads and Twitter.”) said recently that the world was going to end last Thursday, October 7. Trusting soul that I am, I took them at their word and figured […]

October 5, 2015: Ten Years Later: Remembering A Special Group Of Georgians In Iraq

What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago this week I was at Camp Striker in Iraq, reporting on the men and women of Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat team, under the command of a great American and Monroe County native, Brig. Gen. Stewart Rodeheaver. Why I made the decision to go to Iraq is […]

September 28, 2015: Aliens Have Second Thought About Invading Earth

KNOCK! KNOCK! “Open the door, please!” “I’m sorry but I don’t talk to door-to-door solicitors, even little green ones with antennas sticking out of their heads. Besides, I gave at the office.” “Hold it right there, earthling. We aren’t here to sell you anything. We are from the planet Krutopia. In case you aren’t familiar […]

September 21, 2015: High School Fishing Clubs Growing In Georgia

Mark Gintert might just have the best job in America.  An avid outdoorsman and a successful businessman, Gintert is the national youth director of The Bass Federation, which means he gets to work with young people across the land to introduce them to the joys of fishing through high school fishing clubs. “Studies show that […]

September 14, 2015: Skeeter Skates Torn Between Greater Metropolitan Pooler and Ryo

This world is full of surprises. I just got a call from Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter Skates Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler. That alone is rare. Skeeter doesn’t call me much because he doesn’t particularly care for those of us in the media. He thinks we add little value to […]

September 5, 2015: Festive Gala An Example Of The Best Of Cobb County

I witnessed the best of Cobb County this past Sunday evening. I saw people – a lot of people – from all walks of life come together at the Marietta Performing Arts Center to help a family turn tragedy into triumph by giving generously of their time and talent and money to support a worthy […]

August 31, 2015: Great Grandson’s Enthusiasm a Reminder of Why Teachers Matter

Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough: Pardon me, but your great grandfather is having a surreal moment. Knowing you are now firmly ensconced in the first grade is taking some getting used to. I remember entering Ms. Dent’s first-grade class at Colonial Hills grammar school in East Point, Georgia, a few millennia ago. My memory is a […]

August 24, 2015: Gov. Deal’s Communications Director Ready to Try it on His Own

Unless you are one of the intrepid public servants we keep sending back to the Gold Dome to get you out of our hair, or a lizard-loafered lobbyist lurking around the capitol with free lunch coupons or members of the news media with coffee stains on their shirts and cynicism in their hearts, the name […]

August 17, 2015: One Of Georgia Tech’s ‘Lost Dodd Boys’ Looks Back On The Experience

To say Betty Wallace loves Georgia Tech is to say Romeo loved Juliet or hogs love slop. It is a simple fact. Who else do you know that attended Georgia Tech football games for some eighty years – that’s not a misprint – and was a season ticket holder for Tech basketball for decades until […]

August 10, 2015: Some Random Thoughts On Some Random Subjects

Hooray! The State of Georgia, CSX Transportation, Murray County and the Georgia Ports Authority have announced construction of the Appalachian Regional Port to be built in Murray County in Northwest Georgia. Automobiles, carpet and flooring and other goods from Georgia and neighboring states will be shipped via a direct 388-mile CSX rail line to the […]

August 3, 2015: By Popular Demand Junior E. Lee Analyzes Presidential Races

Please don’t say anything to Junior E. Lee about this but I had several people come up to me after a recent speech to ask why they had not seen his observations in the paper recently. If he knew that, he might ask for a raise. For those of you who are new to the […]

July 27, 2015: How To Be A Liberal In One Angry Letter

I want you to hear this from me rather than from Donald Trump. I have been outed. I am a “bed-wetting liberal.” No longer can I hide in the closet, among my bell-bottom pants and Nehru jackets that I am sure will be making a stylistic comeback one of these days. One of my adoring […]

July 20, 2015: Blessed Are The Peacemakers Who State The Obvious

Blessed are we, the peacemakers. Ours is a lonely lot. I had hoped I could cut back on pacifying petulant poops and spend more time on my latest passion — learning to play the flugelhorn.  Alas, it is not to be. My skills as a peacemaker are once again required. And wouldn’t you know it? […]

July 13, 2015: Jekyll Island Deer Welcome News They Are Now Official

In the midst of all the turmoil over recent Supreme Court decisions on Obamacare and gay marriage as well as the furor over the Confederate battle flag, you may have missed the big news. The white-tailed deer has been selected the official mammal of the state of Georgia. This was especially welcomed news for my […]

July 6, 2015: ‘Occasional’ Column Has Made It 17 Years And Counting

It was supposed to be one-and-done but it didn’t work out that way. Seventeen years ago this week, I got a call from the editors of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, asking me if I would do a guest editorial on my assessment of how the city of Atlanta had fared during the 1996 Centennial Olympic […]

June 29, 2015: Former UGA President Heads Back To Malibu And All Is Well

Dr. Michael Adams, former president of the University of Georgia, has announced he is returning to Pepperdine University, located in the wilds of Malibu, California, to become chancellor, effective Aug. 1. He had once been that institution’s vice president of university affairs. Adams stated he will “focus on strengthening the university’s endowment, raising funds for […]

June 22, 2015: Five Young Men Define A Successful Life

Five young men, ages 18 to 23. Two college graduates. Two currently attending college. The youngest headed that way this fall. All good students. All excellent athletes. All standing resolutely before a large assemblage to pay tribute to their grandfather, Rob Neely, who passed away recently after a courageous battle with cancer. And what a […]

June 15, 2015: Father’s Day A Time To Remember A Special Man

It has been 31 years since he passed away and not a day goes by that I don’t miss him, especially on Father’s Day. He was a man with a limited education — he only made it through the seventh grade — but the wisest man I ever knew. He was also the hardest working. […]

June 8, 2015: Dangling Participles, Feds Keep Close Watch On Columnist

Last week, Congress passed and President Obama signed legislation that will alter somewhat how federal law enforcement can monitor our phone calls in the future. Given that I am a recognized power player in world affairs and that one dangled participle in this column can send shock waves from Ulan Bator to Unadilla, I have […]

June 1, 2015: Some Random Thoughts On Some Random Subjects

I have the greatest respect for the Georgia State Patrol. Theirs is a tough job with roughly 900 troopers available to cover a state of 59,500 square miles and deal with the kind of carnage they see almost daily on Georgia’s highways. If all of this isn’t difficult enough, now they are being required to […]

May 23, 2015: USO Trouper Survived Pane, Ship Mishaps To Entertain Troops

  This Memorial Day weekend is a fitting time to tell you about one American warrior who never fired at the enemy, never charged a hill, never toss a grenade but risked her life on several occasions in order to pay tribute to those who did. She wasn’t drafted. She volunteered. She also survived two […]

May 11, 2015: To Georgia’s Public School Teachers: Thank You For Your Efforts

Dear Public School Teachers in Georgia: Congratulations on surviving another year in the classroom. As you take a moment to catch your breath and enjoy a brief respite before you start the process all over again, I hope you will reflect on the good you do; the impact you have on young people; your ability […]

May 4, 2015: Centennial Celebrations Cause For Trip Down Memory Lane

You are going to have to give me a little scat room today.   I am having an attack of the nostalgias. Going down someone else’s Memory Lane can be as boring as a lecture on the life cycle of guppies but this has been a reflective few weeks for me. My beloved Grady College of […]

April 27, 2015: There Is No Question Answer Man Has All The Answers

What time is it, boys and girls? It’s time for Answer Man! Time to dip into the ol’ mailbag and see what is on your mind and show you how little is on ours. While we can’t guarantee total and complete accuracy in our answers, it is Answer Man’s opinion that this won’t matter because […]

April 20, 2015: Why One Outstanding Candidate Won’t Be Running For President

My fellow Americans, it is with heavy heart that I announce to you today that I will not be a candidate for President of the United States in 2016. I know there are those among you who believe our country would be better off if I was running things. Of course, there are also those […]

April 13, 2015: A Tribute to Good People Doing Good Things

Sometimes we forget that there are a lot of good people on this earth doing good things. I was reminded of that by my friend, Jack Cookston, who recently had some medical issues that required him to cart around an oxygen tank wherever he went. (Happily, his health has improved and the oxygen tank is […]

April 6, 2015: Columnist No ‘Playtoe’ But Irked Anyway At Being Left Off ‘Leaders’ List

Fortune Magazine has announced its list of the World’s Greatest Leaders for 2015 and would you believe that I got snubbed again this year? This makes two years in a row I have been overlooked which, ironically, coincides with the number of years the magazine has being identifying — or in my case, failing to […]

March 31, 2015: UGA Class of 2019 Will Include Some of State’s Brightest Students

If you are a high school senior hoping to attend The University of Georgia, the oldest-state chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, you have probably heard by now whether or not you have been accepted. The target enrollment for the Class of 2019 is 5,200 and they […]

March 23, 2015: Education Reform Commission An Opportunity To Improve Public Education

I suspect my recent silence on the subject of public education in Georgia has been deafening to some of you. I will explain. In January, I was named a member of the Education Reform Commission by Gov. Nathan Deal along with a number of educators, legislators and subject matter experts. There are 33 of us […]

March 16, 2015: Thankful For A New Generation Of Committed Methodist Ministers

I spent last week helping to assess a group of people for a job I couldn’t do if my life depended on it. Actually, what they were seeking is not a job; it is a calling. And my life here and in the hereafter depends on how well they do it. I am part of […]

March 9, 2015: Junior E. Lee Analyzes Legislature’s Refusal To Lower Age Limits

It is with regret I tell you that our intrepid public servants in the Legislature have scuttled a bill that would have lowered the age of eligibility to serve as a member of the House of Representatives to 18 years of age and to 21 in the State Senate. I don’t think there was much […]

March 2, 2015: Will This Be A Better World Because You And I Were Here?

Will this be a better world because you and I spent some time here? Can we really make a difference? I thought about that after a note I received from Jan Goodard, of Snellville. She wanted me to know about a “special guy” named is Mike Goodard, who also happens to be her husband. Jan […]

February 23, 2015: Don’t Know Much About History? This Test Is For You

As you may have heard, some of our intrepid public servants under the Gold Dome are unhappy with the Advanced Placement U.S. History test and the College Board which administers the tests. The General Assembly is considering a Senate resolution to ask that the test be removed from Georgia classrooms. Supporters of the resolution say […]

February 16, 2015: Jekyll Island Authority Holds Its Fire on Deer Population

If you are a supercilious liberal you-know-what or a sanctimonious Bible thumper, I have some good news for you. I am giving you both the week off. Enjoy it while you can. I will be back. Today, I am celebrating with my deer friends on Jekyll Island. You may recall that last year members of […]

February 9, 2015: Some Random Thoughts On Some Random Subjects

If you watched the Super Bowl a couple of weeks ago — and reports say that 114 million of us did — perhaps you saw a portion of the reprehensible behavior of Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who after scoring a touchdown proceeded to mime pulling down his pants, squatting as if on a commode […]

February 2, 2015: ‘Don’t Shoot ‘ T-Shirt Aimed At Wrong Target

Let’s get off the backs of law enforcement, shall we? Most of us couldn’t do their job or wouldn’t do it if we had the chance. The truth is that police officers are no worse than the rest of society and probably better than most of it. It continues to amaze me that we can […]

January 26, 2014: Georgia’s Juvenile Justice System Going to the Dogs and That’s a Good Thing

The State of Georgia’s Juvenile Justice System is going to the dogs. And that’s a good thing. This is just one of the lessons I have learned during my short time as a member of the board of the Department of Juvenile Justice. All I knew about the department up until my appointment was what […]

January 19, 2015: The State Of This Column Has Never Been Stronger

My fellow Georgians: In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is required that I submit to you at the first of every year my State of the Column message. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I do that gladly today. For one thing, this will be a lot shorter and […]

January 12, 2015: Macon Legislator On A Mission To Legalize Medical Marijuana In Georgia

Allen Peake is a man on a mission. The five-term Republican state representative from Macon is the driving force behind proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia. He may succeed this year after suffering a setback in 2014 when the House and Senate got into a bit of political brinksmanship at the last minute […]

January 6, 2015: To Cameron Charles Yarbrough: Some Advice From An Old Man

Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough: For the past 15 years, I have taken the opportunity at the beginning of the New Year to share some advice — first with your dad and his cousins and now with you, my great-grandson. I hope you don’t mind and will bear with me. You would probably rather be playing […]

December 29, 2014: Potato Bowl Already Looking Like the Highmark for 2015

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 […]

December 22, 2014: I Wish I Had Been There. In Bethlehem

These words are dedicated to the memory of my friend, the late Otis Brumby, Jr., publisher of the Marietta Daily Journal, who encouraged me to run this column each Christmas season. It is also dedicated to those who believe. I wish I had witnessed the birth of the baby Jesus in that humble setting in […]

December 15, 2014: Friendships Are Truly The Gift That Keeps On Giving

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 […]

December 8, 2014: Commission Director Says Progress Being Made In State’s Charter School Efforts

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. My primary objection to the amendment was a concern […]

December 1, 2014: If Bora-Bora Doesn’t Care About The Game, Why Should We?

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 in from bottle to print. I assumed that if editors can figure out where commas go, they ought to be able […]

November 24, 2014: Carl Sanders: A Great Man Who Did Great Things For Georgia

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 […]

November 17, 2014: Junior E. Lee Analyzes Elections And Predicts Our Next President

I was on St. Simons Island last week scarfing down massive amounts of corn-fried shrimp at the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill when someone came to the table to inquire if Junior E. Lee had finished his analysis of the recent election. That really puffed Junior up when I told him that. As most of […]

November 10, 2014: This Is One Terrorist That Deserves Our Thanks

This is a story I shared with some of you a couple of years ago but given the well-deserved tributes this week to our veterans, it seems an appropriate time to share it with all of you. It is about a terrorist; an honest-to-God terrorist. Not only does he not deny the appellation, he’s proud […]

November 3, 2014: Junior E. Lee Is Bullish On His Post-Election Analysis

I called Junior E. Lee and asked when he would have some post-election analysis to share with you. Junior, as you know, is general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia, home of Round-or-Square Polls, whose motto is “You supply the dough and we will cook the […]

October 27, 2014: A Salute To One Trying To Make This A Better World

A wise man once said that our only reason for occupying space on this earth is to leave things better than we found them. Unfortunately, not enough of us will. Len Pagano is an exception. Pagano is president and CEO of Marietta-based Safe America Foundation, an organization he founded some 20 years ago. Its stated […]

October 20, 2014: Gov. Nathan Deal Pledges “Everything On The Table” Public Education Reform

Last week Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter shared via this column his vision for public education in Georgia. This week, incumbent Republican Gov. Deal talks about his plans for public education in a second and final term as the state’s chief executive. What he told me came as a bit of a surprise. I suspect […]

October 13, 2014: Democrat Gubernatorial Hopeful Jason Carter Shares His Views On Education

I have asked the two major gubernatorial candidates to talk to Georgia public school teachers about their respective education platforms. This week the floor belongs to Jason Carter, the Democratic challenger. Next week, it will be Republican Gov. Nathan Deal’s turn. The teacher’s vote could be the difference in a very tight race as to […]

October 6, 2014: Some Random Thoughts On Some Random Subjects

If I die anytime soon — and I have no plans to do so at the moment — please see that the first paragraph of my obituary reads, “He was past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association.” You can save for later paragraphs the part about my being often mistaken for Brad […]

September 29, 2014: Dooley’s Players Need To Ensure Stadium Will Carry Coach’s Legacy

Last Saturday while the Bulldog nation sweated out a 35-32 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers that should not have been as hard as our scholar-athletes made it, former head football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley’s first team at UGA was recognized on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. As nice as that was, more […]

September 22, 2014: Thinning Out the Alternatives for Jekyll Island Deer

I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world. One day I am advising world leaders on the nuances of international monetary policy. The next day I am consoling a distraught reader who thinks I need to “look within myself spiritually.” The last time I looked within myself, I saw my navel. It […]

September 15, 2014: Trying To Find The Positives In This World Can Be A Negative

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 […]

September 8, 2014: Dalton State College A Major Player In Area’s Economic Rebound

Remember the story of “The Little Engine That Could?” That could 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. In the oft-told tale, a long train must be pulled over a high mountain. Larger engines refuse to do it. […]

September 1, 2014: It’s September and the Political Days Grow Short

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 […]

August 25, 2014: Family’s Tragedy is Reminder to Text Less and Live More

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. This killer? Texting while driving. The cure? Don’t do it. There is no text so urgent as to distract […]

August 18, 2014: One Letter Not Enough To Polish Liberal Credentials

Rap! Rap! Rap! “The special called meeting of the Loyal Order of Liberals will come to order. Let’s begin the meeting as we always do with the Liberal Pledge of Allegiance: “I pledge allegiance to liberal causes. The right wing is nothing but mush. And if something goes wrong on the left, We can always […]

August 11, 2014: Gosh Dang. What Is Wrong With A Southern Accent?

I just learned of a book called, “Say Goodbye to your Southern Accent.”  Gosh dang. What is wrong with a Southern accent? The book’s authors, Jennifer Adams and Johanna Chapman, run a firm called Atlanta Accent Management. Ms. Adams was quoted in the Atlanta newspapers recently as saying, “We have clients who do business around […]

August 4, 2014: A Fresh Reminder Of Why Teaching Is A Noble Profession

Dear Georgia Public School Teachers: It is new school year but, alas, the same old impediments: An out-of-touch federal bureaucracy; ideological state legislators who choose not to send their kids to public schools but intend to tell you how and what to teach, and a society that values reality television more than quality education. Sometimes […]

July 28, 2014: Trying To Determine Who Is The Real Outsider In U.S. Senate Race

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.” But just how outside is outside? That was a task I assigned […]

July 21, 2014: Taxpayers On The Hook For Mishandled Ethics Probe Of Gov. Deal

  In 1997, Gov. Zell Miller appointed me to fill a vacant seat on the five-member State Ethics Commission and then reappointed me to a full term where I served until 2002. It was a rewarding experience and I am proud of the good things we accomplished at the commission. Now, fast forward to its […]

July 14, 2014: The Job Of Waxing Poetic Can Be Quite Frenetic

  “I have gotten bad news and am much the worse for it. “I’ve just found out I’m not the nation’s poet laureate. “I made a great effort. I put up a good fight. “But instead the job went to a guy named Charles Wright. “Burma Shave.”   The preceding stanza should tell you I […]

July 7, 2014: When It Comes To Polls And Pests, Junior E. Lee Knows His Business

  With the July 22 runoff elections fast approaching, I called Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia, to get his thoughts on the various races and to see who he thinks will make it to the finals of the November general election […]

June 30, 2014: Help Is On The Way For Dealing With The Humor-Impaired

    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. According to their website the organization’s CEO, Dr. Stuart Robertshaw, is […]

June 23, 2014: Retired General Sees Hope In Future Iraqi Generations

  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 […]

June 16, 2014: If Heaven Is Out Of The Question, Any Day In Athens Will Do

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 […]

June 09, 2014: A Salute To A Man Who Achieved His Dream

  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 […]

June 2, 2014: Sea Island Company Defends Proposed Development

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. Those opposed were savvy enough to alert me to their concerns and I was […]

May 26, 2014: Unsolicited Advice For Senatorial Candidates From A Nattering Nabob

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 […]

May 19, 2014: Some Random Thoughts On Some Random Subjects

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 an opportunity to participate in the 14th annual Washpot Festival in Garfield. Since I had […]

May 12, 2014: There Is No Question That Answer Man Knows His Stuff

It is the Merry Month of May and you know 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. […]

May 5, 2014: Talking Politics and Watching Out For the Spinach

I like to surround myself with those smarter than me. In my case, that’s not hard to do. I could make a sack of rocks look like a Mensa meeting. So, I was flattered to be asked to lunch recently with a group of reporters, editors and long-time political observers in Atlanta and listen to […]

April 28, 2014: Sen. Chip Rogers ‘Dream Job’ At GPB Goes ‘Poof’

The scene: The office of Teya Ryan, president of GPB. KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK! “Ms. Ryan?” “What is it, Tiffany? I am very busy and I asked not to be interrupted.” “I’m sorry to bother you but there is a man pacing outside your office dressed like Big Bird. He says he must talk to you […]

April 21, 2014: Proposed Sea Island Development Awash With Controversy

The Sea Island Company wants to build a group of condominiums on what many people believe to be environmentally unsound ground. Why should you care? According to Pierre Howard, “If Sea Island (Co.) can do this, then it can be done anywhere. The Georgia coast belongs to everybody.” That, he says, is why you should […]

April 14, 2014: Needing To Remember What Easter Is All About

I wish I had been there. In Jerusalem. With Jesus. I wish I could have witnessed the events of a week that changed the world forever. I wish I could have accompanied Jesus into the city as he rode astride a donkey and watched the crowds throw their cloaks before him, cheering the man they […]

April 7, 2014: Child Abuse And Neglect Need To Be Georgia’s Priority

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. Sadly, […]

March 31, 2014: Irritating Liberals And Conservatives In Same Week Not Easy

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 […]