07/22/2014

Sep. 7, 2009: Reflections On The Loss Of A Young Life

If you will allow me a moment of personal privilege, it has been one year since our grandson, Zack Wansley, collapsed and died while training for the Thanksgiving Day Marathon in Atlanta. He was 22. This was not his first Thanksgiving Day race. If memory serves me correctly, it was his eighth. Zack was an […]

Jan. 12, 2009: To My Grandsons: Live Your Life As Zack Lived His

To Nicholas Wansley; Brian and Thomas Yarbrough: This is my ninth year to dispense some grandfatherly advice to you at the beginning of a new year. Things have certainly changed since I began this correspondence. Not only have you gone from pre-teens to adults during that time, including one newly minted father among you. We […]

Dec. 22, 2008: Looking Back At 2008 Reminds Me How Lucky I Am

LOOKING BACK AT 2008 REMINDS ME HOW LUCKY I AM Don’t tell me it is almost 2009. Good grief! I haven’t finished getting ready for Y2K yet, and here we are already on the brink of a new decade. As has been my custom for many years, I plan to spend New Year’s Eve with […]

Sep. 16, 2008: Ken Yarbrough Steps In

My name is Ken Yarbrough. I’m writing this week because my father, the wordsmith that you’ve come to expect in this space, is taking a sabbatical. You see, his oldest grandson died recently, and as you might expect, he’s taking it hard. Please forgive me for presuming that I can capably fill in for him, […]

May 12, 2008: Baseball Trip with Grandson Was a Home Run

BASEBALL TRIP WITH GRANDSON WAS A HOMERUN There are no two ways about it: Being a grandfather is better than a plateful of hot buttered biscuits. Nothing compares to it. Nothing comes close. After deciding that President Peanut would be home long enough to wash his socks before taking off for Timbuktu to mediate a […]

Mar. 10, 2008: Where Have All The Reliable Targets Gone?

WHERE HAVE ALL THE RELIABLE TARGETS GONE? I am getting concerned. A lot of my most reliable targets have dried up and gone away. Kind of like the drought, except annexing Tennessee won’t help me any. Our Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney has disappeared into the cesspool of the free world, Berkeley, Calif. I […]

Dec. 31, 2007: To My Grandsons: Work Hard and Have Passion

TO MY GRANDSONS: WORK HARD AND HAVE PASSION To Zachary and Nicholas Wansley, Brian and Thomas Yarbrough Thinking about what I wanted to share with you this year, I was struck at how much we — you and I — have changed since we began this annual correspondence back at the beginning of the new […]

Dec. 19, 2005: An Ode of Appreciation To Our Public School Teachers

This is as good a time of year as any to thank public school teachers for doing a tough job well. There are two high school science teachers in my family. Both are at work early, and both stay late. When at home, they are calling parents about their kids’ schoolwork, or fielding calls from […]

Aug. 21, 2006: Grandsons at Tech and UGA Make For Some Hard Choices

I’ve been a grandfather for more than 19 years, and until now it has been a slam-dunk. Grandparenting is great revenge for those fortunate enough to have survived raising their own kids. Now you get to listen to your children complain about how temperamental their kids are, conveniently forgetting that they were a king-sized horse’s […]

Jun. 6, 2005: Would I Encourage My Grandsons To Go To War?

Willis Forrester is a regular reader of this space and a frequent critic. He, like many others, does not approve of the Iraqi war. I, on the other hand, would nuke anybody in the Middle East who even looked cross-eyed at us, until somebody apologized for what happened on 9/11 and promised to help us […]

May 16, 2005: Some Advice For My Grandson on His Graduation Day

Dear Zack: It is hard to believe that you are graduating from high school. It seems only yesterday I was calling your mom to be sure you made it through the first day of school without getting lost or having your lunch money stolen. You are the first of the grandchildren to graduate from high […]

Feb. 14, 2005: Random Thoughts on Random Subjects

Attention all die-hard Tech fans. My beloved grandson Zachary Earl Wansley has announced he will be attending Georgia Tech this fall. You heard correctly. G-E-O-R-G-I-A-T-E-C-H. His mother and father and both grandfathers are graduates of the University of Georgia, and Zack is going to Tech. Don’t tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor. […]

Jan. 3, 2005: To My Grandsons: Life Is Too Short To Waste

To Brian and Thomas Yarbrough, Zachary and Nicholas Wansley: Don’t look now, guys, but we are halfway through the first decade of the 21st century. That may not seem like a big deal to four active teenagers with the best years of their lives ahead of them, but from one who first saw the light […]

Dec. 6, 2004: To Public Education Supporters: Stand Up or Shut Up

Anyone who has casually perused this space knows I am a strong advocate of public education. I am a product of public schools. I have a son and a son-in-law who teach high school science in public schools and four beloved grandsons who attend public schools. All by choice. Both teachers could make a lot […]

Oct. 11, 2004: Boortz Says Government Schools Are Pitiful. I Say That’s Debatable.

After watching the vacuous babble that passes for presidential debates, I am ready for a head-knocking, rip-snorting debate between two articulate participants with widely divergent views. How about Neal Boortz and Zachary Wansley? Boortz is the popular nationally syndicated radio “Talkmaster.” I have known him since he was a talk radio rookie in Atlanta, and […]

May 2, 2004: To My Grandsons: Never Forget Our Heroes

To Zachary and Nicholas Wansley; Brian and Thomas Yarbrough: I have been sharing some thoughts with you at the beginning of each year in the hope that some of my reflections might prove helpful as you grow to adulthood. I will continue to do so as long as I have something meaningful to say, and […]

Dec. 28, 2003: Some Thoughts and Observations For My Grandsons

To Zachary and Nicholas Wansley, Brian and Thomas Yarbrough: For the first time since we began this public correspondence a few years ago, I am writing to four teenagers. It seems like only yesterday that your parents were your age. This isn’t the time or place to snitch on them, but remind me one day […]

May 11, 2003: Random Thoughts on Random Subjects

After our troops had kicked Saddam’s crowd back to the 14th century from whence they came, President George W. Bush’s landing on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln was the icing on the cake. Looking at the young men and women aboard the carrier, obviously they were as proud of their commander-in-chief as he is […]

Dec. 29, 2002: A Letter To My Grandsons

To Brian and Thomas Yarbrough; Zachary and Nicholas Wansley: When I wrote you this time last year, we had just experienced the worst terrorist attacks ever in our country. We were still in a state of shock over the events of Sept. 11, and were trying to absorb just how much evil human beings can […]

Apr. 22, 2002: Look Out Georgia Drivers: Here Comes Zack!

My oldest grandson, Zachary, has just turned 15. (I know what you are thinking – this guy is too young to have a 15-year-old grandson. I agree.) Zack is now eligible for his automobile learner’s permit, which will allow him to drive on the Georgia autobahns with adult supervision. Fortunately, his mom and dad are […]

Jan. 1, 2002: Annual Letter To My Grandsons:

As we begin this new year, I wish your great-grandmother were around to put things into proper perspective for us. She always found something good in everything and everybody — although I imagine network television news and Osama bin Laden would be a stretch even for her. If Granny were here, no doubt she would […]

May. 26, 2001: One of the values of checking this space is that you will be made privy to important information not available elsewhere.

For example, since the Legislature has adjourned, you have been inundated with analysis by political experts over what got passed and what didn’t and who delivered the most pork to the folks back home so nobody would be mad about changing the state flag. Really mundane stuff. But no one, dear reader, has alerted you […]

December 28, 2000: Random Thoughts on Random Subjects

Don’t look now, but the New Year is here. I had a feeling it was coming and, as is my custom, I made ready with a primordial ritual of devouring all the corn-fried shrimp the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill on St. Simons Island could muster.  It is a solemn and sacred ceremony, heavy with […]