07/29/2021

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 21, 2021: A Conversation on Politics With Junior E. Lee

I called Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia, to see if he could help me make sense of the strange political world in which we find ourselves these days. Junior is not only one of most highly-respected political analysts in the nation, […]

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 […]

November 29, 2020: Some Random Thoughts On Some Random Subjects

Here we go again.  The University of Georgia has another Rhodes Scholar.  According to my abacus, that makes 25.  But who’s counting? (Wink! Wink!) Phaidra Buchanan, of Tyrone, Georgia, is the latest.  She will begin her studies  at Oxford University in England in October and will pursue a Master of Science degree in comparative and […]

November 22, 2020: Voter Fraud Accusations Nothing New In Georgia

You’ve got to love Georgia Republicans.  They are more fun than a roomful of puppies.  What makes them the most fun is that the puppies morph into pit bulls and then spend their time attacking each other.  Following a presidential race unlike any other I remember in Georgia, U.S. Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly […]

November 15, 2020: It’s Never Too Early To Be Thankful

Pardon me for stating the obvious but 2020 has been a dumper of a year and I can’t wait to see it in the rearview mirror.  Try as I might, it has been difficult not to be overwhelmed by the constant barrage of coronavirus cases and deaths, violence in our cities, a contentious presidential race, […]

November 8, 2020: Bugging Junior E. Lee About the Presidential Election Results

As I promised last week, I contacted Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia, to get his observations on the presidential election.  Not only is he considered one of this nation’s foremost political analysts, Junior is also a pest control professional, a rare […]

November 1, 2020: Junior E. Lee Primed to Analyze Election Results

Because this column runs across the state on different days of the week depending where you may happen to be, some of you will be reading this before Election Day, on that day or a day or two afterwards.  Therefore, I am going to wait on responding to the results until we can all see […]

October 25, 2020: Glory, Glory to the Rocket Scientists at UGA

As you may have heard by now, a group of young men from the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South and home to more Rhodes Scholars than a coon dog has fleas recently engaged in a scrum with a group of semi-professional […]

October 18, 2020: A Reminder That Voting Is A Privilege From One Who Knows

I would say great minds run in pairs, but when it comes to my friend and Great American, Stewart Rodeheaver, that does him a disservice.  Simply put, his mind is a couple of laps ahead of mine. For those of you recent to this space, Stewart Rodeheaver is Brigadier General (Ret.) Rodeheaver, who commanded Georgia’s […]

October 11, 2020: Figby Gives Senator Loeffler Some Last Minute Political Advice

RING! RING! RING! “Hello.  This is the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia.  How may I direct your call?” “This is Senator Kelly Loeffler. Get Figby, the world renowned image expert on the phone now!” “Hello, Senator.  This is Figby. What can I do for you?” “Figby, I need […]

October 4, 2020: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects

I try not to write about whatever all the ponderous political pundits are pontificating about at the time.  I am just not a “me too” kind of guy.  But, I am going to have to make an exception this week and mention the recent presidential debate.  To call it a debacle is being too kind.  […]

September 27, 2020: What Do We Care What Credit Firm and Grass Cutters Think Of Us?

It is my bounden duty to report to you on the state of the state in which you find yourself.  I am talking, of course, about the Great State of Georgia. While we are blessed to be home to the Blue Ridge mountains, the Golden Isles, the Vidalia onion and the greatest state song in […]

September 20, 2020: If Politicians Can Pander for Approval, Why Not Columnists?

I don’t  know about you, but I find the political ads on television these days refreshing.  At least, we have something to look at beside ads for ambulance-chasing lawyers. (I try to find the silver lining in every cloud.) In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the earnest, look-you-in-the-eye promises the candidates are making […]

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 […]