December 18, 2017: 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 of […]

December 4, 2017: You’d Better Watch Out. Santa Claus Has Joined The Information Age

RING! RING! RING! “Hello, you have reached the offices of Santa Claus at the North Pole.” “Hi, my name is Dick Yarbrough and I would like. . . .” “Thank you for calling.  In order to better serve you, please listen to the following options.  If you wish to place an order, please press ‘one.’ […]

November 27, 2017: You Can’t Even Trust A Catfish These Days

You would figure that as a pure-bred and proud son of the South, I would know all there is to know about catfish.  I have caught them, been poked in the thumb by their barbs and have eaten copious amounts of them, usually with hushpuppies (Note to newly-arrived Yankees:  We aren’t talking footwear here.  We […]

November 20, 2017: Some Reflections On This Season Of Thanksgiving

It is tempting at this time of the year to compose a “I am thankful for….” column.  But I can’t.  Not because I don’t have so very much for which to be thankful – I do – but because no one could ever top the efforts of the late Furman Bisher, sports editor of the […]

November 12, 2017: Democratic National Committee: No Cisgenders Need Apply

I appreciate that so many of you still inquire about the state of my health after my scary bout with sepsis which I won – barely.  Doctors say today that I am coming along nicely.  Slowly, but nicely. My vital signs remain vital and my hemoglobin remains hemoglobical.  But, there is a cloud.  While I […]

November 6, 2017: There Is No Question That Is Time for Answer Man

Hey, what time is it, boys and girls?  It is time for Answer Man!  The show that gives you the straight skinny to whatever has you bewitched, bothered and bewildered.  Answer Man is so confident in his responses that he offers a money-back guarantee.  If you are dissatisfied in any way with Answer Man’s replies, […]

October 30, 2017: Maybe The Problem Isn’t The Public Schools. Maybe It Is Our Society

I am trying to remember when our public school system became an inferior way to learn to read, write and cipher.  Maybe public schools have always been low-grade but I must have missed the cue because I got a pretty good education. I guess the blame belongs to my momma and daddy.  They generally considered […]

October 23, 2017: Some Dutch-Uncle Advice For a President Who Needs It

Dear President Trump: Pardon this journalistic equivalent of spitting in the wind but I thought it was important that you hear from one of the “deplorables” who resides on neither the left wing or the right wing.  Believe it or not, there are a lot of us in the middle. Before I go any further, […]

October 16, 2017: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects From Ingrates To God To Heroes

That bunch of ungrateful millionaires who have all the relevance of tree fungus and continue to hold their pity party to disrespect our National Anthem now have a PR problem.  The ingrates have underestimated our ability to affirm their irrelevance by tuning them out.  A recent Washington-based Winston poll affirms that the protests have transformed […]

October 2, 2017: The Real News Is That This Is National Newspaper Week

This may come under the heading of home cooking but this is National Newspaper Week, something we should both be celebrating.  Me, because I get a chance every week to tell you what’s on my mind and you, because you can tell me whether or not you agree.  It is the newspaper that makes it […]

September 25, 2017: Never Too Early to Think About How You Want to Be Remembered

Do me a favor, will you?  I would greatly appreciate it if you would see that my obituary gets printed as is, just in case I happen to kick the bucket or cash in my chips or buy the farm or any other euphemism that you deem appropriate for the occasion.  Let me say emphatically […]

September 18, 2017: Some Reflections On An Ill Wind Named Irma

It is hard to know what to write about when you have been through the likes of Irma.  Maybe it was “only” a tropical storm when it hit Georgia and not the powerful hurricane that ripped through Florida, but it was bad enough as many of you can attest.  I will return to my acerbic […]

September 11, 2017: Honoring the Memory of a Special Person in a Special Way

This week marks the ninth anniversary of the loss of our oldest grandson, Zack Wansley.  And, yes, it hurts as much today as on the day he collapsed and died while training for a marathon. Zack was special.  He was a true scholar-athlete.  He was president of just about every significant organization in his high […]

July 10, 2017: This Recruit Blows Off the Opportunity to Blow Up

KNOCK! KNOCK! “Sir, you wanted to see me?” “Hello, Kharbhom!  Glad you could spare a few minutes.  Come into the cave.  Don’t mind the goats.” “Thank you, sir.  I was told it was important.  I came over as quickly as I could.” “Kharbhom, I will get right to the point.  I have been watching you […]

July 3, 2017: Skeeter Skates Learns About Face Paint and Twerping

I don’t need Caller ID to know when Skeeter Skates is calling.  The phone has a different kind of sound to it, like very impatient.  That’s to be expected.  Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter Skates Plow Repair and Stump Removal in Ryo, Georgia, is an impatient man.  I guess it goes with the business. Skeeter […]

June 26, 2017: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects Like Education, Politics And Law Enforcement

Oh, barf.  The Georgia Center for Opportunity –whatever that is – has come out with a report card giving A’s and A-pluses to cut-and-run legislators who want to promote private school scholarships with public money rather than deal with the societal problems our schools face.  What makes their report card about as credible as a […]

June 19, 2017: Recent High-Profile Events Are Proof You Can’t Fix Stupid

So, what possessed comedian Kathy Griffith to post a picture of herself holding the decapitated and bloody head of the President of the United States? And why did Reality Leigh Winner, who carried a top-secret security clearance go off the deep end and leak top-secret materials, state that she wanted to burn down the White […]

June 5, 2017: Cut-And-Run Ideologues Make Job Even More Difficult For Schoolteachers

Dear Georgia’s Public Schoolteachers: Congratulations.  You have made it through another school year.  Unfortunately, you won’t have much time to reflect on the year just passed since you will have to be back in the classroom in late July and ready to go again.  Time flies when you are having fun. I am afraid that […]

May 29, 2017: A Loving Farewell To The World’s Greatest Preacher

In my book, the word “unique” is an absolute.  There is no “kind of” unique or “somewhat” unique.  Unique is unique.  Unmatched.   Unequalled.  Nonpareil.  One of a kind.  Dr. G. Gilman Watson is unique.  There is absolutely nobody like him. Dr. Gil, aka, The World’s Greatest Preacher, is retiring this week after 49 years as […]

May 22, 2017: Remembering a Day That Was As Good As It Gets

Sometimes things come together better than peanut butter and jelly.  Take last week, for example.  I was invited to speak at the 20th annual Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement, sponsored by the Gainesville Kiwanis Club and saluting members of the law enforcement community in the city and in Hall County.  This event had a […]

May 15, 2017: The Truth Is That There Is No Fake News Here

According to our Tweeter-in-Chief, there is a lot of fake news running around these days.  I think he is talking about the national television networks and the navel-gazers at the New York Times and the Washington Post. I don’t think he is talking about me but who can be sure what is going on inside […]

May 8, 2017: Hogs Not Happy at Being Compared With Politicians

A few years ago, I decided that what this country needed was an organization that specialized in both in-depth analysis of major political developments as well as pest control. I got the idea when I noticed that none of the skirt-chasers at Fox or the supercilious liberals on MSNBC ever talked about the maize weevil […]

May 1, 2017: Having a Chance to Repay a Debt Owed to My Alma Mater

There are few people, places or things for which I have more passion than the University of Georgia and the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications there. This love affair goes back decades to when I was an incoming junior at UGA.  I walked into Grady on the first day so nervous […]

April 24, 2017: Legislature Turns Adoption Efforts Into Political Sausage

There is a saying that the two things you don’t want to see made are law and sausage.  Sometimes, they are hard to tell apart.  State Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Cobb County, can speak first-hand about how the political process can stink worse than ground-up hog parts. Georgia’s adoption laws are antiquated and in serious need […]

April 17, 2017: Georgia’s First Ladies Make Their Own Mark in State

You may have read about the sudden resignation of Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley last week.  The “Luv Guv” as he was known in the local media was facing impeachment proceedings for campaign finance violations and allegations of some boy-girl hanky-panky with one of his top aides.  Bentley is the third Alabama governor to resign since […]

April 10, 2017: This Week A Time to Remember What Easter Is All About

Continuing a long-standing Easter Week tradition in this space. 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 and watched the crowds […]

April 3, 2017: Broccoli Up The Nose Ends Any Thoughts Of A Political Career

My fellow Americans, it is with heavy heart that I inform you today that I am not now nor will I become a candidate for public office.  I felt compelled to share my decision with you after I was deluged with mail this past week urging me to offer myself for public service.  (Note from […]

March 20, 2017: Being a Modest and Much-Beloved Columnist Can Get Testy at Times

I regret I won’t have time this week to get into the details about how Barack Obama managed to wiretap Donald Trump’s shoelaces or what life was like in Mongolia during the Qing dynasty (1644–1911.)  Please be patient.  I have both subjects at the top of my To-Do list in the coming weeks.  Instead, I […]

March 13, 2017: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects

After almost two decades of doing this, you think I would have figured out by now what pushes your hot button.  For example, I wrote recently about good customer service going the way of the dodo bird after I was stiffed in a sporting goods store by a couple of clerks who were obviously too […]

March 6, 2017: Low-Performing Schools Initiative Takes a Major Step Forward

Don’t look now but the initiative to deal with low-performing schools in Georgia has taken a big step toward becoming law.  Last week, the Georgia House of Representatives passed HB 338 by a vote of 138-37.  That is a margin of roughly 73 percent.  (You might want to double-check my figures.  I am, after all, […]

February 27, 2017: Good Customer Service May Be Going the Way of The Dodo Bird

Sometimes I wonder if good customer service has gone the way of the dodo bird and 8-track tapes.   In a long ago and faraway time, I had responsibility for my company’s advertising.  I used to tell my colleagues that if we got a potential customer to the business with some cute ad and then gave […]

February 29, 2017: A Salute to An Olympic Champion and His Pursuit of Excellence

Dr. Melvin Pender, Jr. is a bona fide American hero: An Olympic gold medalist (4 x 100 relay in the 1968 Mexico City Games at 31 years of age); a Bronze Star recipient with two tours of duty in Viet Nam, retiring as a captain after having joined the Army at 17; a college graduate; […]

February 13, 2017: Secretary of Agriculture-Designate Perdue Know a Bit About Draining Swamps

You may have read that unusually cold winter in parts of parts Europe as well as drought conditions in the southwest United States have created a severe shortage of broccoli. I cannot say I was grieved to hear the news.  I don’t like broccoli and have spent much of my adult life trying to fend […]

February 8, 2017: Patriots’ Super Bowl Win Highlights Differences in Boston and Atlanta Professional Sports

I don’t mean to go getting all theological on you but one has to wonder if God likes Boston just a tad better than he likes Atlanta, at least when it comes to professional sports.  Here the Atlanta Falcons are up 8 points on the New England, nee, Boston Patriots with 3:30 left in Super […]

February 6, 2017: Some Advice For Two Young People Beginning Their Journey Together

Please allow me a bit of a preamble:  Nicholas Sanford Wansley is grandson Number Three chronologically and – pardon a grandfather’s pride – a high achiever.  After graduation from the University of Georgia, he entered the teaching profession like his dad.  Also like his dad, he is a high school science teacher – he teaches […]

January 30, 2017: Dissidents Hammer Out Future Protest Plans

Varoom! Putt! Putt! Putt! Varoom!  Putt! Putt! Varoom! Varoom! “What is that?” “What does it look like?  It’s a bus.” “I know that but where is it going?” “If you must know, it is going nowhere.” “But why is it going nowhere?” “Because there are a lot of people in righteous indignation over the election […]

January 24, 2017: Look For a Different Approach to Fixing Failing Schools in Georgia

Education is all about learning.  The defeat of Amendment 1 last fall by Georgia voters was a learning lesson for its proponents, including Gov. Nathan Deal, who invested a lot of political capital into its passage. Chris Riley is Gov. Deal’s chief of staff and a main architect of the proposed constitutional amendment that would […]

January 16, 2017: Some Observations on the National Scene and Then It’s Back to Broccoli

I hope you will forgive me but I am going against my better judgment today and sound like one of those inch-wide, inch-deep political pundits and blah-blah bloggers who can be more boring than a tree stump.    If I don’t provide some meaningful commentary on national events from time-to-time, I am afraid the editors […]

January 9, 2017: Hide The Silverware! The Legislature Is Coming!

To Arms! To Arms!  The Legislature is coming, the Legislature is coming! I thought Paul Revere would have shared the news with you but he seems to think it is more important that you know about the British, who can’t be anywhere near as prone to mischief as our intrepid public servants.  Just to be […]

January 2, 2017: To Cameron Charles Yarbrough: Work Hard And Dream Big

Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough: Welcome to a new year.  Admittedly, I am biased, but what I have seen of you in your eight years on earth gives me great confidence that you have a bright future ahead of you.  I have been thinking about what I could say to you that might be of benefit […]