11/20/2017

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 Pitt and my uncanny ability to put commas where they don’t belong.

I had the honor of being at a dinner at UGA last week where a number of alumni past presidents were recognized. Frankly, there aren’t that many of us still around. I was reminded how privileged I am to be included with a group of people that love the University of Georgia and have tried give back a portion of what the institution has given us. There are no words to describe the feeling. I’ll have to leave that to my obituary. …

I’m lucky you haven’t already seen my obituary. It was nine years ago this week that I was in Iraq riding with members of Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat Team on a bomb-searching mission when our Humvee hit an IED, or Improvised Explosive Device. A few seconds one way or the other and we would not be having this conversation. It was a seminal experience for me and just another day at the office for the brave men and women of the 48th BCT. What a special group they were and still are. I hope some of them are reading this. Thank you for your service to your country. …

An alert to Georgia public school teachers: With the polls showing the governor’s race extremely close at this point, teachers could tip the balance one way or the other with their vote. Next week, I will be talking to Jason Carter, Democratic candidate for governor about his views on public education. The following week, I plan to do the same with Republican incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal. Read these columns carefully, school teachers, and then vote for the candidate you think will come closest to keeping their promises to you. …

Congratulations to 27-year-old Chesson Hadley, recently named the PGA Rookie of the Year. In his first year on the tour, Hadley won the Puerto Rico Open, made it to the third round of the FedEx Cup playoffs and finished 58th on the money list, which equates to $1.7 million. I don’t know the young man personally but I know his family well. His aunt, Linda Ingle, resides in Gainesville and is a part-time neighbor of ours at St.  Simons Island. By the way, Chesson Hadley is a graduate of Georgia Tech. I thought I had better mention that before my Tech friends do. They can be very sensitive about such things. …

Speaking of institutions of higher learning in our state (Watch this transition. It is a thing of beauty), not only is the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, with 23 Rhodes Scholars to its credit, it also home to the nation’s top collegiate mascot, according to a poll by the Associated Press. That would be Uga IX, aka Russ. He beat out the Stanford University mascot — a tree. Woof! Woof!. …

I have gotten a lot of positive responses to the idea of naming the field at Sanford Stadium for Hall of Fame coach Vince Dooley. One reader reminded me that Florida State did that for their legendary coach. The Seminoles play on Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium. Clemson plays on Frank Howard Field (named for their Hall of Fame coach) at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mississippi State plays on Scott Field (named for a former Olympian) at Davis Wade Stadium (named for a big donor.) I can give you more examples if you wish but I think you get the point. It is time for Vince Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium. …

Finally, a retiree in Cartersville had members of the Governor’s Task Force for drug suppression on his doorstep last week complete with helicopter, weapons and a K-9 unit.  It turns out they mistook his okra garden for marijuana plants. (You just can’t make this stuff up.) The Georgia State Highway Patrol has apologized to the poor guy for their mistake but insist that okra plants have characteristics similar to marijuana. Really? Now I know why I love fried okra so much.

 

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb