10/01/2020

September 13, 2020: State School Superintendent Refuses to Turnaround On Testing

I have a new hero.  His name is Richard Woods and he is the State School Superintendent of Georgia. First, a little background: For a couple of years during the Deal Administration, Supt. Woods, although duly elected by the people, was relegated to the governor’s Time Out Chair in a dispute over how to deal […]

September 6, 2020: Not Finding Much Good News in This Bummer of a Year

We are now into September of what has so far been a bummer of a year.  My colleague, David Carroll, a Chattanooga TV anchor with whom I share the editorial page in several papers, calls 2020 “the Edsel of years.”  I wish I had thought of that line.  I hate it when TV anchors are […]

August 30, 2020: Is There Any Place for Love In Today’s World?

Remember the Tina Turner hit, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”  In the lyrics, love is referred to as a “second-hand emotion.”  That song popped into my head as I watch what is happening to our country. Love has got a lot to do with it and, unfortunately, is seems to be a second-hand […]

August 23, 2020: Murphy Gooddog and Friends Have a Lot They Can Teach Us

You long-time loyalists (and you know who you are) will remember the exploits of Sheila the Family Wonderdog in this space.  You will also recall that Shelia went to Doggie Heaven a few years back where she now enjoys swapping yarns with her pals Lassie and Rin Tin Tin and Old Yeller and chasing squirrels […]

August 16, 2020: Long-Shot Candidate Trying to Hack Through Political Jungle

It’s a jungle out there and Kandiss Taylor is still trying to hack her way through it.  We are talking about the “jungle primary,” a euphemism being applied to a special election on November 3rd to fill the remaining two years of Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term. Isakson, a Great American of the first rank, chose […]

August 9, 2020: Hating the Loss Of ‘Clean Old-Fashioned Hate’

The apocalypse is truly upon us.  Somebody has made the decision – I don’t know who, I know it wasn’t me – that the Georgia-Georgia Tech football game will not be played this year for the first time since 1924.  This hallowed event which dates to 1893 is commonly referred to as “Clean Old Fashioned […]

August 2, 2020: Hats Off to Roy Rogers And The Good Memories

In these days of discontent and destruction, hate and harangue, we could really use Roy Rogers.  And Trigger, his Golden Palomino.  Dale Evans and Bullet The Wonder Dog. Not to mention the Sons of the Pioneers. I believe if we could get this group back, we could find our kinder and gentler selves. For those […]

July 19, 2020: Discussing Current Events with Skeeter Skates And Friends

I could tell by the way the phone jumped straight up when it rang who was on the line.  It could be none other than Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter Skates Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair, located in Ryo, Georgia.  Yes, phones jump where Skeeter is involved.  I do, too. Skeeter Skates doesn’t have […]

July 12, 2020: Remembering A Great Event 24 Years Later

Has it really have been 24 years since the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games?  Sunday will mark 8,766 days since that dramatic night when Muhammed Ali,  hands, shaking with palsy, lit the cauldron signifying the beginning of 17 days of Olympic competition and the culmination of years of hard work. During the Games, some 10,000 Olympians […]

July 5, 2020: Talking Political Correctness with A Bottle Of Syrup

The scene:  A grocery store aisle, one-way, six feet from another human being, masked and looking for any available paper products since toilet tissue seems to be as rare as a singing frog these days.  And then, suddenly: “Pssst!  Pssst!  Down here!  Help!” “Are you a syrup bottle?” “Yes, I am Mrs. Butterworth and I […]

June 28, 2020: Some Random Thoughts on Some Unsettling Times

If you are still watching television news (I rarely do these days), you will notice that the protests across the country seem to be as much generational as racial. There are a lot of young white kids marching with blacks.  That tells me these protests are going to be with us awhile.  What youngsters lack […]

June 21, 2020: The New York Times Owes Us All an Apology

In case you haven’t heard, there is a big stink permeating the offices of the New York Times.  Let me ask the question for you:  Why should you care?  Let me answer the question for you: We may be entering an era where opposing viewpoints are no longer acceptable.  That bothers me.  I hope it […]

June 14, 2020: Remembering Dad on His Special Day

Let us pause a moment from the endless angst and anguish over racial issues, the uncertainty of the status of COVID-19, faulty voting machines and who is to blame, political campaigns that seem to have no end, a hemorrhaging state budget and no Major League baseball.  Sunday is Father’s Day.  What better time to pay […]

June 7, 2020: A Complex Issue With No Easy Answers

These thoughts on the current upheaval in our country come courtesy of an unusual array of sources:  The late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy; Larry Savage, a candidate for chairman of the Cobb County Commission and Hayden, Cayden and Jamaya (more on them later.) I read a quote recently in which Sen. Kennedy, a Democrat, said, […]

May 31, 2020: Is There No Place These Days for Thoughtful Discourse?

My column last week on a radio commentary by the late Paul Harvey drew a lot of reader response from across the state, all of it positive.  As you will recall if you saw the column, some 55 years ago Harvey penned a piece entitled, “If I Were the Devil,’ that was frighteningly prescient. He […]

May 24, 2020: Prophetic Words from A Late and Great Commentator

I have long been an admirer of the words and works of the late Paul Harvey and his radio commentaries known as the “The Rest of the Story.”  I had the privilege of  meeting him in New York at the Peabody Awards ceremonies, sponsored by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the […]

May 17, 2020: A Special Group Helps Repay A Special Debt

For much of my adult life, I have tried to return to my alma mater, the University of Georgia, a portion of what the institution has given me.  I say “a portion” because I can never totally repay the debt I owe UGA for the honor of being a Georgia Bulldog.  But that doesn’t mean […]

May 10, 2020: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects

A flag-waving salute to the United States Air Force’s Thunderbirds and the Navy’s Blue Angels who roared across Georgia’s skies in tandem last week, paying tribute to our state’s heroic first responders.  The event was an example of everything that is good about this great country.  Hopefully, we stopped being intransigent political partisans for a […]

May 3, 2020: In Praise Of Our First Responders Both Here And Away

It seems to take a pandemic for us to get our priorities in order.  With the death toll in the country having passed 60,000 and with over a thousand of those here in Georgia, suddenly we realize that those who entertain us – like actors and ballplayers – are nothing more than diversions. They are […]

April 27, 2020: If Governor Can Open Tattoo Parlor, Why Not My Favorite Jewelry Store?

No, I cannot tell you why Gov. Brian Kemp decided to open up tattoo parlors and bowling alleys but not my favorite jewelry store where a repaired watch eagerly awaits me. I do know that under his recent order no one is required to open up and even if they do, nobody is required to […]

April 20, 2020: When It Comes To The Gaithers, Something Good Is About To Happen.

To: Bill Gaither Somewhere Safely (I hope) in Alexandria, Indiana You probably don’t remember me, but we met briefly backstage a couple of years ago before your Christmas concert at the Woodstock First Baptist Church. The opportunity came about as a result of a lot of whining, wheedling and shameless self-pity in this space over […]

April 13, 2020: Looking to Gov. Kemp to Get Us Through These Tough Times

I wouldn’t have Gov. Brian Kemp’s job.  That’s a good thing because, to my knowledge, no one has offered the job to me.  I have had readers in the past who suggested I run for public office, but I politely declined because the Woman Who Shares My Name would take a skillet to my head […]

April 6, 2020: Sen. Loeffler Gets Some Advice From An Image Expert

Knock! Knock! Knock! “Yes, who is it?” “Senator Loeffler, there is a little man in a bow tie here to see you.  He says his name is Figby.” “Oh, yes. Send him in, please.  He is with the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia.  I asked my friend, Junior […]

March 30, 2020: Is Loeffler’s Financial Explanation a Loser?

In 1984 when former Vice President Walter Mondale was running for president, he said something during the campaign he wished he had not said and later tried to correct his mistake.  I don’t remember the details, but I do remember ABC’s Peter Jennings discussing the matter with political pundit George Will one evening. Jennings said […]

March 23, 2020: An Underdog Eager to Race the Political Thoroughbreds

I have a special affinity for underdogs.  Maybe that’s because I have been one myself.  So my interest was piqued when I heard that a political novice from Baxley (pop. 4,400) by the name of Dr. Kandiss Taylor is running for the United States Senate seat vacated by Johnny Isakson. Taylor, who has a Ph.D. […]

March 16: Trying To Put Some Perspective to the Coronavirus Pandemic

It has long been my policy not to weigh in on what everyone else in the media happens to be pontificating about at the time.  Hence, you saw little here about the Trump impeachment trial. To add to that cacophony seemed a waste of my time – and yours.  Today is different.  This is about […]

March 2, 2020: Republican Campaign Slamming Congressman Doug Collins Could Backfire

What a difference a decision makes.  Wasn’t it just the other day that Georgia Republican Cong. Doug Collins, of Gainesville, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, was the Hero of the Day, for his strong unwavering defense of Pres. Donald Trump during his Kangaroo Court impeachment trial? Now we are being told that […]

March 9, 2020: Out Of 29 Candidates, Democrats Opt To Go With Two Old White Guys

With a chance to choose a presidential candidate to oppose Donald Trump this November, Democrats have had the opportunity to pick among a diverse list of 29 candidates.  There were six women candidates, including a (cough! cough!) Native American.  There were five black candidates, a Taiwanese, a gay and a gaggle of governors, senators, representatives, […]

February 9, 2020: Teachers Must Stay On Alert at Doings Under the Gold Dome

Georgia’s public schoolteachers must feel like a pinata.  At one end of the Gold Dome, Gov. Brian Kemp has delivered on promised pay raises and now is trying to get rid of some of the onerous and burdensome mandatory tests thought up by a bunch of navel-gazing bureaucrats who have no skin in the game. […]

February 3, 2020: Bob Shaw and Georgia GOP Make Beautiful Music Together

Walking into Bob Shaw’s home in suburban Atlanta is like walking into a slice of Republican Party history. On one wall of his study are pictures of Shaw with the Who’s Who of the GOP:  Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, James Baker, Gerald Ford, Newt Gingrich, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and the list goes on. […]

January 27, 2020: Private School Voucher Proponents Blowing More Smoke

You know that an organization that thinks Big Tobacco is getting a raw deal is just the group you want shilling for private school vouchers.  That brings me to the Heartland Institute which is doing both.  I am still researching their other policies, including whether or not the earth is flat.  I have discovered they […]

January 20, 2020: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects in the New Year

Whether you support Donald Trump or think he is guilty of nefarious deeds regarding the Ukraine, he is not going to be removed from office unless Republicans have a death wish.   This, despite ponderous pontifications by liberals that at least ten Republicans senators will turn on him and provide a constitutional majority for removal.  Right […]

January 13, 2020: General Assembly Needs to Take a Hard Look at Film Tax Credit Scheme

Another session of the General Assembly is upon us.  This is an election year and there will be more posturing under the Gold Dome than a prima ballerina in a performance of Swan Lake.  One of the big issues will be how to deal with Gov. Brian Kemp’s call for the Legislature to cut 4 […]

January 6, 2020: Some Advice For a Great-Grandson at the Start of a New Year

TO: CAMERON CHARLES YARBROUGH For a number of years, I have written a letter at the beginning of the year offering some thoughts on living a meaningful life now and in the future.  The letters were written to your dad, your uncle and their cousins – my grandsons.  Now, it looks like it is your […]

December 30, 2019: Ready Or Not, Here Comes 2020

Gadzooks!  Can it really be 2020?  That sounds more like what I wish my vision was than an actual year.  Wasn’t it only yesterday when we sat holding our breath awaiting Y2K and wondering if all the computers in the world would go crazy and die?  The only thing that happened was that a bunch […]

December 23, 2019: Resolve To Make A Positive Difference In Someone’s Life

Have you thought about what kind of difference you have made in this world by your presence here ? Or could make?  Or should make? Dr. Bill Burch has stepped into the large footprints left behind by the retired Dr. Gil Watson, the World’s Greatest Preacher, and has shown without doubt that he can flat […]

December 16, 2019: 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.  He encouraged me to run this column each Christmas season.  It is also dedicated to those who believe.   I wish I had been there.  In Bethlehem. I wish I had witnessed the birth […]

December 9, 2019: Some Thoughts for Gov. Brian Kemp on His First Year in Office

Dear Governor: Forgive me for not writing you sooner.  I didn’t want you to think I had forgotten you, but I know you have been busy.  It is hard to believe it has been almost a year since you were sworn into office as Georgia’s 83rd governor and the second member of the Nu Zeta […]

December 2, 2019: Remembering The Night They Turned Out The Lights On Christmas Eve

When I see ads about stores being open until midnight and beyond during the Christmas shopping season, I want to cry. Where were these people when I needed them? It was Christmas 1984. I owned my own public relations firm and, thankfully, it was very successful. As much work as I could handle. On Christmas […]

November 25, 2019: Some Reflections on Giving Thanks

Some of you will be reading these words before, some during and several after Thanksgiving Day (like the old British Empire, the sun never sets on this column.) So, we need to set some ground rules:  Let’s remember to express our thanks  on days other than when our mouths are stuffed with turkey parts.  The […]

November 18, 2019: A Conversation with Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan

You might be interested to know that there have been only 12 lieutenant governors in Georgia’s history, going back to 1947 when the position was created.   Four went on to become governor.  One became lieutenant governor after having served as governor. Four others tried for the state’s highest office and failed.  Two left politics after […]

November 11, 2019: Some Thoughts on The Retirement of Johnny Isakson

I ran across a piece recently entitled: “Johnny Isakson: Living His Values.”  That, he has done.  As he leaves the U.S. Senate and some 40 years of public service, I doubt we will see his equal anytime soon.  I make no apologies for my admiration for this good man.  He has been my friend for […]

November 4, 2019: Discussing Impeachment With Skeeter Skates and the Ryo Coffee Club

I was surprised when the phone rang this morning.  I expected it to be a friendly robot offering me a credit card I don’t want or a back brace I don’t need.  What to my wondering ears should appear but Skeeter Skates, the proprietor of Skeeter Skates Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair, located in […]

October 28, 2019: The University Of Georgia is Winning Where It Counts

I bow to no one in my love for and loyalty to the University of Georgia. I bleed red and black. I have served as president of the National Alumni Association, have been named the university’s outstanding graduate and today endow a professorship as well as fellowships at my beloved Grady College of Journalism and […]

October 14, 2019: Can We Ever Stop Ranting and Listen To Each Other?

Sometimes the best advice can come from the strangest places.  Jackie Cushman has a new book out entitled, “Our Broken America: Why Both Sides Need to Stop Ranting and Start Listening.”   Such advice could not come at a better time.  Ranting has become our national pastime and it is hard to listen when we are […]

October 7, 2019: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects

As if we need more proof that the impeachment cacophony is Inside-the-Beltway blather between Republicans and Democrats, cheered on by wingnuts and navel-gazing pundits, consider how important that issue is to families whose loved ones may have been abused in some of Georgia’s senior care facilities.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has done one of the finest […]

September 30, 2019: If You Want To Talk Impeachment, You Had Better Hurry

If you are up to your gullet with all the mud-slinging in Washington, you have come to the right place.  I am right there with you.  I have spent enough time in and around D.C. to know the impeachment controversy involving Donald Trump is partisan political posturing by Democrats and Republicans. This issue isn’t about […]

September 16, 2019: A Stark Reminder that Life is a Precious Gift

We are no strangers to hospitals, my bride and I.  Over the past several years, we have dealt with her broken leg (twice) and my almost having bought the farm or kicked the bucket or some other clever way of saying I nearly died from septic shock. A return visit to the hospital is never […]

September 23, 2019: A Potentially Great Senator Declines the Opportunity

Dear Governor Kemp: I hope all is well with you.  I first want to tell you that you and your team did an excellent job during the recent threat from Hurricane Dorian.  Fortunately, Dorian decided to skip the Georgia coast—including my personal slice of heaven on Saint Simons Island – but there is no question […]

September 9, 2019: Reflecting on The Legacy of Sen. Johnny Isakson

I usually refrain from commenting on the topic de jour in the media. I’m not much of a “me, too” person.  Let everyone else have their say and when the dust has settled, I will have mine.  Otherwise, you risk being lost in the noise. Today is an exception.  That is because my subject is […]

August 25, 2019: To Coach Vince Dooley:  Congratulations on an Honor Overdue and Much  Deserved

Dear Vince: The day has finally arrived.  Next Saturday, the University of Georgia will officially name the field at Sanford Stadium, Dooley Field.  It’s about time.  In fact, it is long overdue. You now join fellow Hall of Fame coaches Bear Bryant, Shug Jordan, Frank Broyles, Johnny Vaught, Bobby Dodd, Gen. Robert Neyland, Eddie Robinson, […]

August 19, 2019: Is Hollywood’s Impact on Georgia’s Economy Just More Make-Believe?

Hollywood is the land of make-believe and nowhere is that make-believe more evident than in the film industries’ alleged impact on Georgia’s economy. That, according to Dr. J.C. Bradbury, professor of Economics at Kennesaw State University. After the General Assembly passed and Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a measure banning abortions if a fetal […]

August 12, 2019: Be Careful What You Root Out of The Family Tree

When my momma was alive, she was a walking repository of our family’s history, not only hers but my dad’s as well.  She could rattle off the names of great-aunts and not-so-great uncles, cousins, the good, the bad and the ugly.  There was the uncle who was in the Battle of the Marne in World […]

August 5, 2019: An Open Letter to Georgia Public Schoolteachers

Dear Georgia Public Schoolteachers: Unless I have miscalculated, I believe this is early August and you are already back at work.  School in August?   For a guy who never started school until Labor Day, that takes some getting used to. And wasn’t it just last year that a group of resorts, chambers of commerce and […]

July 29, 2019: Some Random Thoughts on Politics and Other Trivialities

I know he is a long-time reader of this space and should he be doing so this week, I want Sen. Johnny Isakson to know he is in our prayers (assuming mine gets past the ceiling.)  The senator is currently rehabbing after a fall at his residence in Washington, breaking four ribs.  In the current […]

July 21, 2019: Gov. Kemp Makes Long Overdue Changes to Board of Regents

Gov. Brian Kemp has made some crackerjack appointments since taking office in January, but none better than naming Atlanta real estate executive Sam Holmes to the Board of Regents, which oversees the University System of Georgia. Holmes comes from good stock.  His dad, businessman Paul Holmes, is one of the most widely-respected and best-liked souls […]

July 14, 2019: General Assembly Plays by a Different Set of Rules

KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK! “Folks, may I have your attention, please!  My name is Figby and I have been asked to convene a short meeting of members of the General Assembly this morning.” “Who the dickens are you, squirt?  Where is David Ralston, our beloved speaker?” “As I said, my name is Figby.  I am chief […]

June 30, 2019: Political Wingnuts Having Problems Distinguishing Friends From Enemies

Politics keeps getting weirder by the day.  That must be frustrating to the wingnuts on both extremes of the political spectrum who think a middle ground doesn’t exist. Witness Gov. Brian Kemp.  He pushes through the Heartbeat Bill, banishing abortions after six weeks which thrills conservatives and throws the pro-choice crowd into a frenzy.  Then […]

June 17, 2019: Junior E. Lee Busy Getting Bugs Out of His Upcoming Poll

One of the most important things to know about this column is that it is a part of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company headquartered in Greater Garfield, Georgia, under the management of Junior E. Lee, our general manager.  No other column can make that claim. Junior, as you may know by now, […]

June 10, 2019: Father’s Day A Time to Remember a Special Man

I first penned this tribute to my father in 2015.  It has been 35 years since he passed away and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, especially on Father’s Day.  With a few minor edits, I present it again this year. My dad was a man with a limited education […]

June 3, 2019: Some Unsolicited Advice for Gov. Brian Kemp

Dear Gov. Kemp: I have been wanting to share some thoughts with you about your first 100 days in office but I have been distracted with other matters, like watching House Speaker David Ralston trying to scramble out of a hole he dug for himself.  I am still getting used to calling my Lambda Chi […]

May 27, 2019: Bartow County a Positive Example of School and Community Partnership

This is a story that is so good and so positive it is almost exasperating.  Let me get to the good and positive part first. I will explain the exasperation later. Last year, a group of community volunteers in Bartow County, led by Rev. David Franklin, the head of the Bartow Baptist Association, approached the […]

May 20, 2019: It Is Hard To Be Influential Around Skeeter Skates

When the phone rang, I knew who it was.  It was Skeeter Skates. The phone just sounds different when he calls.  He can be intimidating, even to a telephone. For those of you who may be new to this space, Skeeter Skates is the owner of the eponymous Skeeter Skates Plow Repair and Stump Removal […]

May 13, 2019: Speaker Ralston’s Legal Tactics Could Backfire on Him

Let me get straight to the point:  Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston is skating on thin political ice.  Ralston holds the second-most powerful position in our state and has for almost two decades.  But those days may be coming to an end.  There is no question that Ralston is a power under the […]

May 6, 2019: Dooley Field At Sanford Stadium Is Pleasing In A Thousand Ways

What a nice way to celebrate my 1000th syndicated newspaper column.  University of Georgia President Dr. Jere Morehead and Athletic Director Greg McGarity have proposed that the field at Sanford Stadium be named for Hall of Fame football coach, Vince Dooley.  It’s about time.  It fact, it is long overdue.  I have known Vince Dooley […]

April 29, 2019: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects

If anyone wonders why we have so little faith in our government and those within it, consider the obsession with the Mueller Report.  It is about the only thing the Inside-the-Beltway crowd is talking about these days.  Russian collusion.  Impeachment.  Impact on 2022 elections. Meanwhile, farmers in South Georgia continue to await help from the […]

April 22, 2019: Remembering A Good Friend Who Walked into My Life

You never know where you are going to find good friends.  Maybe it is someone you grew up with or met at school or worked with.  Or maybe it was just a guy walking up the street.  Like Tom Horton. In one of life’s ironies, Tom lived on one of end of our block-long street […]

April 15, 2019: This Week a Time to Remember What Easter is All About

Continuing a long-standing Easter Week tradition in this space. 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 […]

April 8, 2019: For Georgia Public Schoolteachers, Voucher Battle Isn’t Over

Dear Public Schoolteachers: For once, the good guys (that would be you) won.  But, save the high-fives.  This fight is far from over. I am talking about the failed attempt to ram a private school voucher bill through this session of the General Assembly.  It was just the latest attempt by a bunch of Kool-Aid […]

April 1, 2019: Trying to Explain Life’s Challenges to Someone With Icing on Their Face is Not Easy

I sat down recently for a chat with my twin great-granddaughters, Hadley Ann Yarbrough and Harper Grace Yarbrough, on the occasion of their first birthday.  I thought this would be a good time to share some of my life experiences and to gain some perspective on what their generation is thinking about the world in […]

March 25, 2019: College Admissions Scandal Proof That There Are Some Things Money Can’t Buy

In a massive college admission scandal the FBI is calling Operation Varsity Blues, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts has released documents revealing that some rich and influential parents have paid huge sums on money – huge to you and me but evidently chicken-feed to them –to get their children into elite schools, allegedly […]

March 18, 2019: Public Education Advocates Battle Latest Private School Voucher Scheme

Dear Georgia Public Schoolteachers: I have some good news and some maybe not-so-good news.  First, the good news:  After years of eye-pokes by the voucher-loving Kool-Aid drinkers in the General Assembly, you seem to have finally found your voice and as a result, one of the most egregious anti-public school voucher bills in recent memory […]

March 11, 2019: Whatever Happens, This Lifelong Methodist Isn’t Going Anywhere

I am going to have to get to this sooner or later, so I will opt for sooner. A special session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted recently in St. Louis to continue its long-standing policy that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”  The vote was 438 for […]

March 4, 2019: Victims of Child Sex Abuse in Georgia Faces Powerful Foes

Marlan Wilbanks is a man on a mission.  An Atlanta attorney, Wilbanks is the driving force behind the Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation Clinic (CEASE) the nation’s first legal clinic dedicated to representing survivors of child sexual abuse.  The clinic is a part of the University of Georgia School of Law and gives second […]

February 25, 2019: A Reminder That Magical Times Are Never Lost

It was a magical time at Saint Simons Island.  Of course, any day spent in the Golden Isles is magical, but none were like this. It was a time when a group of us hung our collective hats at St. Simons.  We played golf together, shopped together, socialized together and, of course, ate shrimp and […]

February 18, 2019: Giving Our New Governor Some Fraternal Advice

 Dear Gov. Kemp: I trust you are settled into your new job and are busy governing our beloved state.  My purpose in writing is to let you know you aren’t in this thing alone.   I am always available to dip into my deep reservoir of political knowledge whenever you need me.   Heck, you don’t even […]

February 11, 2019: The State of The State of This Column Cannot Be Overstated

My fellow Americans (Yea! Clap! Clap! Clap!).  I come today to submit to you my annual State of the Column address.  It is with great pride that I tell you that the state of the state of this column cannot be overstated! (Thunderous roar!) In the past year, I have written more than 39,000 words […]

February 4, 2019: If You Can Change Your Name and Gender, Why Not Your Age?

Now this is a movement I could get behind.  Emile Ratelband, of Arnhem, Holland, recently petitioned the local courts to allow him to become officially 20 years younger.  He told the court that he “suffers” from being 69-years-old and thinks that being 49 would help him with job prospects and getting dates on line.  Bless […]

January 28, 2019: An Opportunity to Repay My Alma Mater And My Mentor

I owe the University of Georgia more than I can ever repay the institution.  In my obituary, if you don’t see my involvement at UGA prominently mentioned in the first couple of paragraphs, call the authorities. They are burying the wrong man. I’ve done everything from driving to Athens from the Atlanta airport after an […]

January 21, 2019: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects From Rocket Ships to Ray Charles Robinson

I doubt this kind of stuff keeps you awake at night but there was a great hue-and-cry in the state senate when Sen. Renee Untermann (R-Buford) was removed as chair of the prestigious Senate Health and Human Services Committee and assigned to head the Senate Science and Technology Committee which is akin to going from […]

January 14, 2019: After Meeting Bill Gaither This Bucket List is Complete

After Meeting Bill Gaither This Bucket List Is Complete Sometimes in this business, it isn’t so much what you know as it is who you know. A couple of years ago I wrote about trying to nail the final plank in my bucket list by meeting Bill Gaither.  If you have recently transferred in from […]

January 7, 2019: To a New Year, A New Life and an Old Man’s Wisdom

Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough: As has been my custom this time of year, I was about to impart some of an old man’s wisdom to my one and only great-grandson, but there has been a new development.  Henry Sanford Wansley decided to make an appearance.  (And on New Year’s Day!)  Two great-grandsons.  Too good to […]

December 31, 2018: An Advance Look At What Could Be Major News Stories In 2019

I am not very good at prognostications.  But I am always full of hope.   There are a number of events I would love to see happen in 2019; so much so that I have already written a short release on each should they occur.  That way, I will look very smart and since I will […]

December 24, 2018: Recognizing Those Who Made 2018 A Year To Remember

Well, we can pretty much stick a fork in the Year of our Lord 2018.  By the time you are through roasting chestnuts on an open fire or eating the last of the leftover turkey, 2019 will come knocking on the door.  This has been a very good year in one respect:  I did not […]

December 17, 2018: Sharing A Great-Grandson’s Visit To Lego Heaven

I’m not sure I will ever qualify for the heaven owned and operated by God, but I have been to the Lego store in Rockefeller Center in New York.  That was about as heavenly an experience as this sinner could ever hope for. Cameron Charles Yarbrough, who gives special meaning to the word “great” as […]

December 10, 2018: Gov. Nathan Deal Reflects On The Past As He Looks To The Future

My recent conversation with Gov. Nathan Deal covered a lot of ground.  In last week’s column, we talked about some his accomplishments over the past eight years of which he is most proud, including criminal justice reform that is a model for the nation.  We talked about the HOPE Grant,a scholarship that pays 100 percent of […]

December 3, 2018: Nathan Deal Proof That Nice Guys Can Finish First

I dropped by Gov. Nathan Deal’s office recently for a visit. In little over a month-and-a-half, our 82nd governor will be our newest former governor. My timing could not have been better. The governor seemed happy to see me. (Not the kind of reaction I usually get from many of our public officials.) What was […]

November 26, 2018: President and His Foes Need to Put Away the Hammers

Dear President Trump: You and I both know you won’t see this letter, but that’s okay.  I am going to feel better having written it.  For one thing, it will confuse my friends and confound my enemies, many on both sides of the political spectrum who can’t seem to grasp the concept of middle ground.  […]

November 19, 2018: Being Thankful for a Great Writer’s Inspiration

Any mention of Thanksgiving – which I am about to mention – must first include a caveat that no one ever has or ever will write a Thanksgiving column like Furman Bisher, the late and great sports editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  He owns that category like Ray Charles Robinson, of Albany, Georgia owns “Georgia […]

November 12, 2018: Autistic Teen Reminds Us That Kindness Is for Everyone

Just when you think there is no place left in this politically toxic, mudslinging, in-your-face world for any goodness, along comes 17-year-old Jordyn Moore, a teenager from Forsyth County, to happily prove us wrong. Jordyn is autistic and struggles with the skills that most of us take from granted, but with the help of supportive […]

November 5, 2018: Nothing Divine About Having to Wait to Talk About Election Results

Because of a finite deadline, I won’t be commenting on the election results in Georgia until next week since some of you will see this before the election and some afterwards. But not to worry.  As I have noted previously, American humorist Will Rogers used to say, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the […]

October 29, 2018: Bugging Junior E. Lee About the Upcoming Election

As a public service, I want to share with you the latest political data in order to help you decide for whom to vote in next week’s elections.  If you have already voted, hopefully it will confirm the wisdom of your decision or let you bang your head against the wall for being such a […]

October 22, 2018: Hurting for the Victims of Hurricane Michael

Am I my brother’s keeper?  Absolutely.  My sister’s too.  Particularly, if they are my readers. When they hurt, I hurt. I have been blessed to write a weekly column that has been running in newspapers throughout the state of Georgia for the past two decades.  There are readers I have never met face-to-face but who […]

October 15, 2018: Random Thoughts on Random Subjects

There has been a change of plans.  I was going to talk about Georgia’s olive industry this week.  It is one of our state’s best-kept secrets.  According to gourmands in the know, the quality of Georgia’s olive oil rivals that of anywhere in the nation and is even compared favorably with overseas producers. But now […]

October 8, 2018: National Newspaper Week Reminds Us That Journalism Matters

In case you haven’t noticed, this is National Newspaper Week.  The theme this year is “Journalism Matters.”  Yes, it does.  I wouldn’t be doing this if I thought otherwise. You will read a lot of things in this paper but not “fake news.”  You can’t get away with that kind of stuff locally.  You will […]

October 1, 2018: Georgia’s National Guard Members Are True Heroes

You want to talk about heroes?  They are not a bunch of irrelevant overpaid knee jerk professional athletes who don’t like their country and do little to improve it, just criticize it.  Twenty years from now, they will likely be jelly-brained from banging into each other and drooling their oatmeal.  It couldn’t happen to a […]

September 24, 2018: Does Anybody Care What Georgia’s Schoolteachers Think?

Well, public schoolteachers, they are at it again.  “They” are our intrepid public servants under the Gold Dome, who siphoned $100 million out of the state budget for tax credits so parents can avoid sending their kids to public schools in Georgia. In their inimitable wisdom, they have decided public school are the pits – […]

September 17, 2018: A Treatise on The Art Of Being A Southerner

Occasionally, I will drop in a comma where it doesn’t belong or fail to associate phrase modifiers with the nearest preceding noun and other stuff like that to see if you are paying attention.  Trust me, I do this on purpose.  I happen to be an expert on the subject (or is it predicate?  I […]

September 10, 2018: A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Zachary Earl Wansley

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the loss of our oldest grandson, Zachary Earl Wansley. Zack was 20 at the time he collapsed and died while training for the Atlanta Marathon.  Running was not a new thing for Zack.  He grew up running.  He was captain of his high-school cross-country team.  His dad was […]

September 3, 2018: We Church-Goers Don’t Always Walk Our Talk

I am occasionally asked to present the weekly lesson in my Sunday School class.  I do it with the clear understanding that everyone in class accepts the fact that I need the lesson’s messages worse than they do. I am Methodist by birth and by the grace of God and my momma.  The Methodist Church […]