Dec. 26, 2005: Dang Near Perfect Person Has New Year’s Resolution for Others

I will soon be leaving for my annual pilgrimage to the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill on St. Simons Island, in order to participate in the sacred New Year’s ritual of stuffing my face full of all the corn-fried shrimp that exists on the face of the earth. I know — it’s a dirty job, […]

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 […]

Dec. 12, 2005: Santa, No Need To Stop Here — I Have Everything I Need

Dear Santa: Before you head out from the North Pole this year, I wanted you to know that there is no need to stop by my house this Christmas. Please don’t take this the wrong way, Santa, but there is nothing you have that I need. My cup runneth over. It has taken me a […]

Dec. 5, 2005: Readers Respond Quickly To Request To Write The Troops in Iraq

Whoa! Ask and you will receive. A few weeks ago, I suggested you might want to write the men and women of Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat Team in Iraq during the holiday season and thank them for their sacrifices. Your response has been overwhelming. The troops are going to get a lot of mail because […]

Nov. 28, 2005: There’s Nothing Wrong With Talking Southern

I promised the Woman Who Shares My Name I was going to be a good boy-person this holiday season. No picking on liberal weenies and getting them all upset. Besides, liberal weenies can’t help it if they were born without a sense of humor. It is a genetic defect and picking on them is like […]

Nov. 21, 2005: Holiday Letters To The Troops: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Need a Christmas gift idea? I have a suggestion. Write the citizen-soldiers of Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat Team. Tell them you are thinking about them at this special season, and thank them for the sacrifices they are making on our behalf. I can think of no better gift you could give than that. When I […]

Nov. 14, 2005: What Part of ‘Illegal’ Do Georgia Businesses Not Understand?

Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) is taking a lot of crap for doing the right thing. In this case, the right thing is Senate Bill 170, which declares that anyone not legally in the United States is also not a legal resident of Georgia. Well, duh! Rogers says his measure simply supports existing laws that already […]

Nov. 7, 2005: To My Grandson Nicholas: You Are a True Champion

Dear Nicholas: You gave your grandfather one of his proudest moments last week. Watching you run your last high school cross-country race in the state championships at Carrollton was special. You didn’t win the race and you didn’t finish in the top ten. You did something better. You gave it everything you had. You told […]

Oct. 31, 2005: McKinney’s Fund-Raising Tactics Out of This World

Here is some political news guaranteed to sour your milk. Cynthia McKinney, our ambassador to Outer Space and congressperson from Georgia’s 4th Congressional District, has been fined $33,000 by the Federal Election Commission and must reimburse as much as $72,000 more to political donors after accepting excessive contributions in the 2002 election, which she lost […]

Oct. 7, 2005: Iraq — So Near and So Far Away

This isn’t the column I wanted to write. I am supposed to be in Iraq, embedded with Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat Team, but I am sitting in an Air Force Base in Ramstein, Germany, watching one of the biggest fiascoes imaginable. I’m not sure how many days I have been here; and that isn’t important. […]

Sep. 19, 2005: Delta Retirees Pay Big Price For Company’s Bankruptcy

In a former life, I was entrusted with the responsibility of dealing with the public on behalf of my company, Southern Bell and later BellSouth. Getting the trust and confidence of my management was a long and arduous task. There were many stressful days, a lot of weekends in the office and bulging briefcases in […]

Sep. 12, 2005: September 11 Reflections: Watching Good People Do Good Things

I spent Sept. 11 where I should have. I was in church — specifically, Wesley Memorial Methodist Church on St. Simons Island. I had to be there. I was at St. Simons on Sept. 11, 2001, when the terrorist attacks occurred. The Glynn County United Way had invited me to address their annual campaign kickoff. […]

Sep. 5, 2005: Hurricane Katrina Has Brought The Worst of Time, The Best of Times

To quote Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” He could have been talking about us. We have certainly been through the worst of times. If there is anything worse than the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, I’ll pass, thank you. Here we are at the fourth anniversary […]

Aug. 22, 2005: We Have the Good Life; Hondurans Have the Good Attitude

My mission trip to Honduras was beyond anything I could have imagined. I highly recommend it if for nothing else than to give you some perspective on how good you have it. We have been abundantly blessed and still can find enough wrong with our country and ourselves to whine like spoiled brats. The Hondurans […]

Aug. 15, 2005: What Am I Doing In Honduras? Blame It On Dr. Gil

As you read these words, I am in Honduras, a place I couldn’t have found on the map a month ago and would never in my wildest dreams thought of visiting. I am not sure what I will be doing here, but I am told I can expect anything from construction work to entertaining a […]

Aug. 8, 2005: Even With Water, Georgia is Still the Greatest State

Recently, I gave you 10 reasons that it is great to be a Georgian. It turns out that a couple of the reasons may have to be restated in the interest of total accuracy. Otherwise, I could lose my certification as a politically correct, non-controversial, modest and much-beloved columnist. An émigré from “middle America” who […]

Aug. 1, 2005: No Need to Check the Calendar — Dog Days Are Here

There is no need to check the calendar. These are definitely the Dog Days of summer. Webster’s Dictionary defines Dog Days as, “The period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere; a period of stagnation.” The C. Richard Yarbrough Book of Bromides, Beatitudes […]

Jul. 25, 2005: An Analysis of Today’s Issues With the Help of My New Computer

AN ANALYSIS OF TODAY’S ISSUES WITH THE HELP OF MY NEW COMPUTER What you are reading today is courtesy of a new wireless laptop computer equipped with everything but a flush toilet. It has more rams than a Scottish sheepherder, and so many bells and whistles that the computer salesman nearly slobbered himself to death […]

Jul. 18, 2005: Ten Reasons That It Is Great To Be a Georgian

It never fails. Let me twit some foreign land like the Middle East or Vermont with my keen and well-developed sense of humor, and the natives react with righteous indignation. A reader in Illinois took exception to a recent column about Wrigley’s chewing gum factory moving some folks to a “Southern backwater town” (his term, […]

Jul. 11, 2005: Getting the “Bear” Facts From The Source

A few weeks ago, I discussed slides of my vacation. In passing, I happened to mention the Bear from Big Canoe. The column got a lot of mail, but no one was the least bit interested in my vacation. Everybody wanted to know more about the bear. Go figure. To accommodate my readers, I recently […]

Jul. 4, 2005: Here’s Something to Chew On: Wrigley is Moving to Georgia

Score another one for the State of Georgia. The Wrigley chewing gum folks have announced they are closing one of their plants in Chicago – as soon as the snow melts enough so that they can find it – and transferring many of the jobs to Gainesville. Employees were asked not to giggle and high-five […]

Jun. 27, 2005: Psst! Some Inside Info From My Confidential Source

Now that the old geezer with the glazed eyes and stupid grin tottering around behind his walker has told us he is the infamous Deep Throat who helped bring down the Nixon White House, I have a confession to make. I, too, have a confidential source who shares a lot of important stuff with me […]

Jun. 20, 2005: The Bear Facts About How I Spent My Vacation

For the first time in all the years that I have been dazzling you with my fancy words and intricate phrasing, I took a week of much-needed vacation. Knowing that you would be interested in what I did during my time off, I have brought along some slides. Would somebody dim the lights? CLICK: This […]

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 30, 2005: New and Improved Commandments on the Way

Much has been made of whether or not to allow the Ten Commandments to be posted in government buildings, but not much has been said about whether or not the Commandments as written are appropriate in today’s fast-paced world. After all, the original Commandments were written thousands of years ago for a bunch of people […]

May 23, 2005: Random Thoughts on Random Subjects

The traffic-choked, sewer-impaired, panhandling paradise affectionately known as the City of Atlanta has embarked on an effort to come up with a new image. Brand Atlanta, composed of local tourism and convention officials, has hired advertising ace Joel Babbit, chief creative officer of Grey Worldwide Advertising, to help develop this image, which is estimated to […]

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 […]

May 9, 2005: An Apology From the Runaway Columnist

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the media. My name is J. Barnyard Blatherington, and I am the attorney, spiritual counselor and part-time ukulele instructor for Dick Yarbrough, the modest and much-beloved newspaper columnist who recently ran away for no apparent reason before suddenly showing up again on the arms of a knockout police babe. […]

May 2, 2005: You Can Have Your MTV… Give Me Old-Time Gospel Music

It is gratifying to know I share something in common with one of Georgia’s preeminent authors, Terry Kay. Unfortunately, it is not the use of the English language. While Kay and I have access to the same nouns and verbs, he strings his together into award-winning novels. Me? I am still trying to figure out […]

Apr. 25, 2005: If You Ain’t Southern, You Can’t Fake It

Admittedly, this doesn’t rise to the level of many of the burning issues that confront us daily, but I must tell you that it fries my hide to hear outsiders trying to talk Southern. Friends, if you ain’t Southern, you can’t fake it. I was reminded of that unalterable fact the other night while watching […]

Apr. 18, 2005: Good Journalism Is Not a Joke

UGA journalism professor Conrad Fink has more to worry about these days than whether or not I am going to invite him over for milk and cookies. If Anna Ferguson’s column didn’t scare the hell out of him, he needs to find another line of work. Miss Ferguson is a senior journalism major at the […]

Apr. 11, 2005: Remembering The Olympic Park Bombing

Eric Rudolph has confessed to being the Olympic Park bomber, as well as to bombing a gay nightclub in Atlanta and an abortion clinic in Birmingham. For this he will receive four life sentences with no chance for parole and will spend the rest of his sorry life in a federal prison, courtesy of the […]

Apr. 4, 2005: It’s No Secret: Republicans Dominated Recent Legislative Session

Psst! It’s okay. You can come out now. The Legislature has adjourned. As you have read ad nauseum, this was the first legislative session since Hector was a pup that had a Republican governor and Republicans in a majority in both houses. As we quickly found out, however, changing majorities doesn’t change behavior. Republicans found […]

Mar. 28, 2005: New Trend in Georgia Politics is Music To My Ears

You may have read about H.B. 244. This Republican-backed bill would require registered voters to show some sort of photo identification before they step into the voting booth. The proposal enraged black legislators. I am with them on this issue. If I had to show poll workers my driver’s license picture, they would fall down […]

Mar. 21, 2005: Congress Examines Potential Steroid Use by Much-Beloved Columnists

Rap! Rap! Rap! This session of the Congressional Oversight Committee on Burning Issues and Other Stuff is now in session. I want to remind my colleagues that our hearings are being televised. Therefore, it is critical that we posture a lot and wave our hands and not fall asleep so voters back home will think […]

Mar. 14, 2005: Media Arrogance: Up Close And Personal

In his book “Why America Hates the Press,” author Jim Fallows describes a press panel at Montclair State College in the late ‘80s. CBS correspondent Mike Wallace was asked, if he were embedded with enemy soldiers and came upon a small group of American soldiers about to be ambushed, would he try to warn the […]

Mar. 7, 2005: Make Government More Open and Less Secretive

Rep. Ron Stephens, the author of an ill-conceived piece of legislation known as H.R. 218, was recently identified in this space as being from Garden City, near Savannah. Not so, say residents of that city. Even though most of the state’s media refer to him as representing Garden City, it seems Rep. Stephens has pulled […]

Feb. 28, 2005: Exclusive: A Look At Upcoming Specialty Auto Tags

The Legislature has announced plans to create a new automobile tag to benefit arts groups. If passed into law, the tags would be available in 2006 for $25. Proceeds would go to arts programs in the counties where the tags are purchased. The arts tag would join a list of other specialty tags in Georgia […]

Feb. 21, 2005: Readers Have Strong Opinions on Leeburn Reappointment to Board of Regents

Sometimes, this column just writes itself. Or, more accurately, readers write it for me. That is the advantage of having smart, articulate and passionate readers with strong opinions. Eat your heart out, Molly Ivins. Folks all over the state have their dander up over Gov. Sonny Perdue’s reappointment of Columbus liquor baron Don Leebern to […]

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. […]

Feb. 7, 2005: Leeburn Reappointment is a Big Disappointment

So much for the New Georgia that Gov. Sonny Perdue promised us. Right now, New Georgia looks a lot like the old one. The governor has reappointed Don Leeburn, the controversial Columbus liquor dealer, to another seven-year term on the Board of Regents, proving that money talks as loudly to Republicans as it does to […]

Jan. 31, 2005: Senate Bill 5 Is a Stinker

Alpharetta Republican State Senator Dan Moody is either smarter than the average bear, or he has a serious political death wish. Since I come in contact with a lot of bears around Big Canoe and have developed a keen sense of their IQ, I must assume the latter — that Moody is looking to get […]

Jan. 25, 2005: You Have Questions? I Have All The Answers

One of the most rewarding parts of this job is the opportunity to answer questions from readers. It is a responsibility I take very seriously. Perhaps something I say could advance the cause of world peace, or maybe even turn John Kerry’s frown upside down. You just never know. Now to the mailbox to see […]

Jan. 17, 2005: Wealth Is Measured By Friendships, Not Bank Accounts

When you have witnessed as many sunrises and sunsets as I have, you learn some inevitable truths. You discover, for example, that you measure your wealth not by bank accounts and accumulated toys, but by meaningful friendships, and that the best friends are the ones willing to accept you the way you are — warts […]

Jan. 10, 2005: Life On Mars Means Big Changes On Earth

We interrupt this column to bring you an important announcement. Scientists recently announced that there might be life on Mars. “Surface conditions at Meridiani Planum may have been habitable for some period of time in Martian history,” says Cornell University astronomer Steven Squyres, who heads a team of scientists examining data from a NASA rover […]

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 […]