December 25, 2021: A Tribute To A Good Friend And A Great Statesman

This is a column I wish I didn’t have to write. It is about my friend, Johnny Isakson. You have seen, read and heard a lot about Georgia’s senior senator who passed away on Dec. 19th after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 76 years old. Tributes have poured in from […]

December 19, 2021: Annual Yarbrough Christmas Column “I Wish I Had Been There. In Bethlehem.”

This column has become a Christmas tradition.  I share with you once again this year.  It is dedicated to the memory of my beloved wife and 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 […]

December 12, 2021: St. Simon’s Preservation Important to All Georgians

When I go to my Great Reward (hoping it is not before I finish this column), if I don’t qualify for the Pearly Gates, I will take St. Simons Island as my backup choice. It is, after all, heaven on earth. And, thankfully, there are people trying to keep it that way. Emily Ellison, executive […]

December 5, 2021: Could Republican Internal Warfare Help Stacey Abrams Become Governor?

Donald Trump is on record as having stated that having Democrat Stacey Abrams as governor of the Peach State would be better than our current Gov. Brian Kemp. At a rally in Perry, Trump said, “Stacey, would you like to take his place? It’s OK with me.”  She almost did in 2018, losing to Kemp […]

November 28, 2021: Vernon Jones Touts His No State Income Tax Proposal

Vernon Jones called me the other day. To refresh your memory, Jones, a former Democrat and one-time chief executive officer of DeKalb County, is running for the Republican nomination for governor against incumbent Brian Kemp. After he got an enthusiastic reception at the state GOP convention in July at Jekyll Island from Trump Harrumphs who […]

November 21, 2021: For These Things I Am Thankful

I was not going to write a Thanksgiving column this week a couple of reasons. First, that is the predictable thing to do when you have to churn out a weekly column. I pride myself on being unpredictable. Second, my friend, the late Furman Bisher, long-time, legendary sports editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution set the […]

November 14, 2021: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects

Maybe I am being a bit too Southern Sensitive here but I got the distinct feeling the national media disrespected the Atlanta Braves from the beginning of the playoffs through the World Series and beyond. Had they had their way, I think they would have preferred Los Angeles or San Francisco. Then some MSNBC weenie […]

November 7, 2021: God’s Involvement in Wife’s Portrait No Coincidence

This week, I am going to forego any discussion of politics and share a personal experience with you. It involves art, Ray Charles, the Righteous Brothers, a refrigerator magnet and me. I have just finished a portrait of my beloved wife, Jane, who passed away in December. It will hang in her heaven on earth […]

October 31, 2021: No Question State Quiz Can Sharpen Our Pandemic Brains

I get some interesting mail. And I am not just talking about the reaction to my recent opinion of Donald Trump’s opinion of the late Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell. Not surprisingly, the response has been heavy. Surprisingly, it has been strongly supportive and even more surprising, […]

October 24, 2021: Offering an Opinion on Donald Trump’s Opinion of Colin Powell

Classless. That is the only term I can use in a family newspaper to describe Donald Trump’s comments about the passing of Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who died from Covid-19 complications on Oct. 18. Said Trump, “Wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big […]

October 17, 2021: Labor Commissioner’s Good Deed Hard to Swallow

It is said that no good deed goes unpunished. If you don’t believe that, ask Mark Butler, commissioner of the beleaguered Georgia Department of Labor. These have not been easy times for Georgia DOL. Like most everything and everybody these days, the department has been hammered by the pandemic, as have those it is pledged […]

October 10, 2021: Junior E. Lee Helps Put Reader Responses In Perspective

You are going to find this hard to believe but everybody doesn’t love me like you do. I seem to have managed to rile a few folks recently. Could it be something I said? I decided to talk to my colleague Junior E. Lee about the problem and see what thoughts or suggestions he might […]

October 3, 2021: Fractious Republicans Need To Heed Isakson’s Example

Class, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder – hard to define but we know it when we see it.  I thought about that as two events occurred in our state last week featuring prominent Republicans. In Atlanta, hundreds of friends and supporters gathered to honor a quiet man who epitomizes class, former […]

September 26, 2021: Philip Weltner Used His Pickaxe For Public Good

He was called “Mr. Anonymous, Jr.”  I thought about him the other day, after I read the U.S. Department of Justice has launched a statewide investigation into Georgia’s prisons, focusing on prisoner-on-prisoner violence and whether the state is violating inmates constitutional rights by failing to adequately protect them.  This past week, members of the Georgia […]

September 19, 2021: It’s No Secret Cognia Disregarding Open Records Law

Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, liberal or conservative, there is one thing that should unite one and all – how government spends your tax dollars.  In Georgia, the best way to know that is through the state’s Open Records law.  In short form, government entities, agencies and individuals using our tax dollars […]

September 12, 2021: Looking for Some Good News in These Trying Times

It is hard to find much good news these days as we relive the horrific events of 9-11 that took the lives of 2,977 innocent souls in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  And then after some 2,500 American deaths, we have withdrawn our troops from that hellhole […]

August 28, 2021: Nervously Awaiting Another Football Season at UGA

If you don’t know by now, I love my alma mater, the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation.  I am a proud graduate and a past president of the national alumni association. I have a haughty-looking portrait hanging somewhere in my beloved Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications, where I […]

August 22, 2021: Remembering A Time When Negative Was Positive

I had a COVID-19 test the other day even though I have been fully-vaccinated and wear my mask regularly in public.  I am sure to some of you that proves I am a liberal weenie commie who loves Nancy Pelosi, watches CNN and glows in the dark.  But I digress. My doctor thought it would […]

August 15, 2021: Skeeter Skates and Gang Suggest Some Topics Besides Politics

While trying to figure out whether to dangle my participle in this hot weather or work up a sweat and split an infinitive, the phone rang.  It was Skeeter Skates, proprietor of Skeeter Skates Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Ryo, Georgia, and a charter member of the Ryo Morning Coffee Club in Ryo, […]

August 8, 2021: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects

What a bunch of whiners.  I refer to the jive-talkers that stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, waving their Trump flags and having a big ol’ time.  One even put a finger emoji on a fuzzy image of himself with the caption, “THIS IS ME,” in case you missed it.  Oops! Maybe that wasn’t […]

August 1, 2021: Methodist Squabbles Show ‘Organized Religion’ An Oxymoron

My wise father once advised me to never talk politics or religion with people.  You will never change their minds, he said, and they will spend all their time trying to change yours.  That may be true but sometimes I can’t help myself.  It is hard not to write about politics and those who practice […]

July 25, 2021: Final Olympic Memory: A Lasting One

One last word about the 25th anniversary of the Centennial Olympic Games and then we will move on.  Nostalgia is not one of my strong points but having been associated with such a high-profile, once-in-a-lifetime (for me) event makes it hard to not take a quick peek back, especially when I keep getting asked about […]

July 18, 2021: Vernon Jones Talks About Running For Governor

Strong opinions begat strong reactions.  I recently begatted a strong opinion about Republican gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones and he begatted a strong reaction right back at me.  Good for him.  Many intrepid public servants poked by my stiletto do one of two things: They sulk or ignore me, hoping I will be abducted by space […]

July 11, 2021: Recalling the Best and Worst of Centennial Olympic Games

Twenty-five years ago this week, Bill Clinton was winding up his first term as president and trying to remember if he knew someone named Monica Lewinsky.  Newt Gingrich was riding high as U.S. Speaker of the House. The Atlanta Braves were in the process of winning the National League Championship.  (They would lose to the […]

July 4, 2021: A Salute To Georgia’s Latest Medal Of Honor Recipient

Webster’s Dictionary defines a hero as, “A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.”  With Noah Webster’s concurrence I would add, “and doesn’t talk about it.”    That would aptly describe 94-year-old retired Col. Ralph Puckett, of Columbus, Georgia, the latest […]

June 27, 2021: Paying Homage to The Passing of a True Southern Gentleman

It is not always cool being Southern these days.  We are being assailed for the sins of our ancestors. Some of it understandable, some of it out of ignorance. While there are regrettable periods in our past for which there are no excuses, there are also many things about the South in which to take […]

June 20, 2021: Remembering The Past While Focused On The Future

Hard to believe that it has been six months since I lost my soulmate, my anchor, my best friend.  In some ways, it seems like it was yesterday.  At other times, it seems like forever.  Time can play tricks with your mind. For a year-and-a-half, I watched her inexorable descent physically and mentally.  There were […]

June 13, 2021: Trying To Understand Georgia Republicans Not Easy

I must confess that as smart as I am, there are a few things in this world I do not understand, such as the unsolved problem in fundamental physics as to whether gravity and the quantum can be made to coexist within the same theory. Egyptian hieroglyphics are a bit challenging for me as are […]

May 30, 2021: Only Marjorie Taylor Greene Could Compare A Mask to Holocaust

I got some interesting mail this week. One was from someone who doesn’t read my column but didn’t like something I wrote and told me so. That response reminded me of a 4-page letter I once got from the late Speaker of the House Tom Murphy when I said his political career was “toast” after […]

May 23, 2021: Cows Have Legitimate Beef With Climate Change Crowd

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 bunch of kids doing their best […]

May 16, 2021: Some Random Thoughts On Some Random Subjects

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 Democrats […]

May 9, 2021: Could That Covid-19 Shot Be Spying On You?

It is my firm policy that all members in my conglomerate of companies must receive their COVID-19 shots or risk losing the generous perks offered them as employees.  These include occasional weekends off (without pay), discounts on zither lessons, signed photographs of me kneeling during the playing of “Ramblin’ Wreck from You-Know-Where-Institute of Technology,” and […]

May 2, 2021: When It Comes to Politics, Sir Isaac Newton Is A Smart Cookie

I have a feeling that few of our intrepid public servants under the Gold Dome are familiar with the English scientist Sir Isaac Newton, except that he was the guy that got conked on the head with an apple or maybe the one that invented the cookie with figs in it.  Chances are none have […]

April 25, 2021: Some Reflections on Standing In The Need Of Prayer

“Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer. It’s me, it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.” Can I get an amen? I have had that old-time spiritual on my mind since friend and former colleague Susan Larson wrote to inform me that […]

April 18, 2021: To Noah Sumner Wansley: Welcome to The World

Dear Noah: Welcome to the world.  As information, you are great-grandchild number six, following Cameron Charles Yarbrough, Hayden Rose, Hadley Ann and Harper Grace Yarbrough and brother Henry Sanford Wansley.   However, in the case of great-grandchild rankings numbers are irrelevant.  All are Number One with me and you will be, too. I must tell you […]

April 11, 2021: Delta and Coca-Cola Caught in Middle of Voting Controversy

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 by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and […]

April 4, 2021: Discussing Georgia’s New Voting Law with The Ryo Coffee Club

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 removal and […]

March 28, 2021: Needing to Remember What Easter Is All About

In memory of my beloved wife with whom I shared many joyous Easters 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 […]

March 21, 2021: From Birdfeeders to Poets, There Is Always Something to Celebrate

We are winding down the first quarter of 2021 and I am holding my breath.  After all, it was the first quarter of 2020 when the world as we know it became a world we didn’t know at all and one we are still trying to come to terms with. So far in 2021, we […]

March 14, 2021: A Son of The South and Proud of It

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. Have we always been a perfect place?  Far from it.  The notion of separate-but-equal was anything but in the South in which I was […]

March 7, 2021: Texas Power Debacle Not Likely in Georgia Says Public Service Commissioner

  Would you like to hear an encouraging word?  How about “No!” That was the succinct reaction from Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tricia Pridemore when I asked her if what happened in Texas where hell and most everything else froze over, could happen here.  Pridemore, a member of the state’s utility regulator since 2018, gave […]

February 28, 2021: Legislature Has Chance to Help Those That Can’t Help Themselves

In the midst of the cacophony over election reform, vaccination policy, sports betting, Trump’s grumps harrumphs and another unconscionable private school voucher scheme, a piece of much-needed legislation is quietly wending its way through the legislative maze this session and maybe will finally become law.  It is long overdue. It is called the Child Victim […]

February 14, 2021: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects

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 U.S. News and World Report ranks my alma […]

February 7, 2021: Some Final Harrumphs on Trump’s Grumps

My column suggesting to Republicans that, like it or not, the presidential elections are over and for those crying ‘foul’ they might want to take out their anger on the Democrats and not each other brought some interesting and some predictable responses.  There was, of course, the “Fergit, Hell,” group who think they can garner […]

January 31, 2021: Talking Current Events with Skeeter Skates and the Ryo Coffee Club

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 […]

January 24, 2021: Can Trump Supporters Identify the Real Enemy?

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 Georgia Republicans have figured out by now who the […]

January 17, 2021: Some Thoughts to My Great Grandson in A New Year

To Cameron Charles Yarbrough: I am a bit late in getting my annual letter to you this year.  Losing Grandma Jane just before Christmas was something none of us were expecting even though she had been pretty sick.   Some worthwhile lessons came out of that sad experience that are worth remembering.  First, life is […]

January 10, 2021: Requiem for the Woman Who Shares My Name

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.  But if […]