December 31, 2018: An Advance Look At What Could Be Major News Stories In 2019

I am not very good at prognostications.  But I am always full of hope.   There are a number of events I would love to see happen in 2019; so much so that I have already written a short release on each should they occur.  That way, I will look very smart and since I will […]

December 24, 2018: Recognizing Those Who Made 2018 A Year To Remember

Well, we can pretty much stick a fork in the Year of our Lord 2018.  By the time you are through roasting chestnuts on an open fire or eating the last of the leftover turkey, 2019 will come knocking on the door.  This has been a very good year in one respect:  I did not […]

December 17, 2018: Sharing A Great-Grandson’s Visit To Lego Heaven

I’m not sure I will ever qualify for the heaven owned and operated by God, but I have been to the Lego store in Rockefeller Center in New York.  That was about as heavenly an experience as this sinner could ever hope for. Cameron Charles Yarbrough, who gives special meaning to the word “great” as […]

December 10, 2018: Gov. Nathan Deal Reflects On The Past As He Looks To The Future

My recent conversation with Gov. Nathan Deal covered a lot of ground.  In last week’s column, we talked about some his accomplishments over the past eight years of which he is most proud, including criminal justice reform that is a model for the nation.  We talked about the HOPE Grant,a scholarship that pays 100 percent of […]

December 3, 2018: Nathan Deal Proof That Nice Guys Can Finish First

I dropped by Gov. Nathan Deal’s office recently for a visit. In little over a month-and-a-half, our 82nd governor will be our newest former governor. My timing could not have been better. The governor seemed happy to see me. (Not the kind of reaction I usually get from many of our public officials.) What was […]

November 26, 2018: President and His Foes Need to Put Away the Hammers

Dear President Trump: You and I both know you won’t see this letter, but that’s okay.  I am going to feel better having written it.  For one thing, it will confuse my friends and confound my enemies, many on both sides of the political spectrum who can’t seem to grasp the concept of middle ground.  […]

November 19, 2018: Being Thankful for a Great Writer’s Inspiration

Any mention of Thanksgiving – which I am about to mention – must first include a caveat that no one ever has or ever will write a Thanksgiving column like Furman Bisher, the late and great sports editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  He owns that category like Ray Charles Robinson, of Albany, Georgia owns “Georgia […]

November 12, 2018: Autistic Teen Reminds Us That Kindness Is for Everyone

Just when you think there is no place left in this politically toxic, mudslinging, in-your-face world for any goodness, along comes 17-year-old Jordyn Moore, a teenager from Forsyth County, to happily prove us wrong. Jordyn is autistic and struggles with the skills that most of us take from granted, but with the help of supportive […]

November 5, 2018: Nothing Divine About Having to Wait to Talk About Election Results

Because of a finite deadline, I won’t be commenting on the election results in Georgia until next week since some of you will see this before the election and some afterwards. But not to worry.  As I have noted previously, American humorist Will Rogers used to say, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the […]

October 29, 2018: Bugging Junior E. Lee About the Upcoming Election

As a public service, I want to share with you the latest political data in order to help you decide for whom to vote in next week’s elections.  If you have already voted, hopefully it will confirm the wisdom of your decision or let you bang your head against the wall for being such a […]

October 22, 2018: Hurting for the Victims of Hurricane Michael

Am I my brother’s keeper?  Absolutely.  My sister’s too.  Particularly, if they are my readers. When they hurt, I hurt. I have been blessed to write a weekly column that has been running in newspapers throughout the state of Georgia for the past two decades.  There are readers I have never met face-to-face but who […]

October 15, 2018: Random Thoughts on Random Subjects

There has been a change of plans.  I was going to talk about Georgia’s olive industry this week.  It is one of our state’s best-kept secrets.  According to gourmands in the know, the quality of Georgia’s olive oil rivals that of anywhere in the nation and is even compared favorably with overseas producers. But now […]

October 8, 2018: National Newspaper Week Reminds Us That Journalism Matters

In case you haven’t noticed, this is National Newspaper Week.  The theme this year is “Journalism Matters.”  Yes, it does.  I wouldn’t be doing this if I thought otherwise. You will read a lot of things in this paper but not “fake news.”  You can’t get away with that kind of stuff locally.  You will […]

October 1, 2018: Georgia’s National Guard Members Are True Heroes

You want to talk about heroes?  They are not a bunch of irrelevant overpaid knee jerk professional athletes who don’t like their country and do little to improve it, just criticize it.  Twenty years from now, they will likely be jelly-brained from banging into each other and drooling their oatmeal.  It couldn’t happen to a […]

September 24, 2018: Does Anybody Care What Georgia’s Schoolteachers Think?

Well, public schoolteachers, they are at it again.  “They” are our intrepid public servants under the Gold Dome, who siphoned $100 million out of the state budget for tax credits so parents can avoid sending their kids to public schools in Georgia. In their inimitable wisdom, they have decided public school are the pits – […]

September 17, 2018: A Treatise on The Art Of Being A Southerner

Occasionally, I will drop in a comma where it doesn’t belong or fail to associate phrase modifiers with the nearest preceding noun and other stuff like that to see if you are paying attention.  Trust me, I do this on purpose.  I happen to be an expert on the subject (or is it predicate?  I […]

September 10, 2018: A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Zachary Earl Wansley

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the loss of our oldest grandson, Zachary Earl Wansley. Zack was 20 at the time he collapsed and died while training for the Atlanta Marathon.  Running was not a new thing for Zack.  He grew up running.  He was captain of his high-school cross-country team.  His dad was […]

September 3, 2018: We Church-Goers Don’t Always Walk Our Talk

I am occasionally asked to present the weekly lesson in my Sunday School class.  I do it with the clear understanding that everyone in class accepts the fact that I need the lesson’s messages worse than they do. I am Methodist by birth and by the grace of God and my momma.  The Methodist Church […]

August 27, 2018: On Friday Nights This Fall, Don’t Forget the Marching Band

Okay, the lazy days of summer are gone and school is back in session.  Even before classes began, many of our high school kids were already busy practicing in the searing Georgia sun getting themselves in shape, working on their moves, practicing their formations, getting their uniforms issued and ready for Friday Night Lights across […]

August 20, 2018: Readers, Schoolteachers Respond to Column on Public Education

Maybe I have worn them out (I hope so) or maybe they have chosen to ignore me (Bad idea. That only encourages me) but opponents of public education – including private school scholarship tax-giveaway advocates and for-profit charter school management shills – were strangely quiet after my recent Open Letter to Georgia’s public schoolteachers. Maybe […]

August 13, 2018: UGA Needs to do the Right Thing for Vince Dooley Now

I have said it before and I say it again: If the field at Sanford Stadium is not named for Coach Vincent J. Dooley while he is still around to enjoy the honor, it will be a travesty and an insult to a man who well deserves the recognition. Alas, football fans can be among […]

August 6, 2018: An Open Letter to Georgia’s Public Schoolteachers

Dear Georgia Public Schoolteachers: Good grief, here we are slap-dab in the middle of the dog days of summer and you are already back in the classroom.  I remember as a child that my family didn’t even take vacation until August because school didn’t start until after Labor Day.  When we started really didn’t seem […]

July 30, 2018: Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle Should Have Talked Less and Winked More

Dear Casey: Well, so much for that coronation.  Jeepers Creepers.  Give me $10.5 million in campaign contributions and the endorsement of one of our most popular governors in recent times and I could have gotten Cameron Charles Yarbrough elected Pope.  Instead, with all that money, Gov. Nathan Deal’s endorsement, very high name recognition, two decades […]

July 23, 2019: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects

Spoiler alert:  A non-negotiable and finite deadline doesn’t allow me the opportunity to discuss the primary runoff results this week.  That’s okay.  We can talk about it next week.  Besides, Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, is busy spraying Arvel Ridley’s barn for […]

July 16, 2018: July Runoff Elections Not the End But Just the Beginning

Don’t look now but it is almost time to go back to the polls in Georgia.  Either Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle or Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be selected by Republican voters in the runoff on Tuesday, July 24, to be their gubernatorial candidate in the November general election.  Cagle, as you know, has […]

July 9, 2018: Who Says Our Politicians Can’t Lower Our Expectations?

Just when you think expectations can go no lower in politics, our gubernatorial candidates continue to prove us wrong.  Here we sit, about to put our collective future into the hands of a new chief executive of the eighth largest state in the nation and what do we have from which to select?  A guy […]

July 2, 2018: Farewell To Kacy: A Doggone Good Dog

It is with heavy heart that I inform you that Kacy, the family grand dog, has left us.  She died peacefully in the arms of her loving family at her home in Cartersville, Georgia.  When notified of her passing, her good friend, Hayden Rose Yarbrough, delivered an impromptu eulogy: “I’ll bet God is scratching her […]

June 25, 2018: North or South of the Macon-Dixon Line, Georgia is the Perfect Place to Be

Maybe your work is sun to sun, but my work is never done.  If I am not giving the folks at the International Monetary Fund some tips on global financial policy or continuing my groundbreaking research on why broccoli will turn your ears green unless you eat copious amounts of banana pudding, I am now […]

June 18, 2018: Casey Cagle Forgets the Cardinal Rule of Politics

There is the story about the preacher who was hard at work saving souls at a tent revival.  One person said he had coveted his neighbor’s wife and was remorseful.  “Hallelujah, my child, you are forgiven!” the preacher cried.  Another confessed he had once stolen a loaf of bread from the local grocer.  “Hallelujah,” said […]

June 11, 2018: Can You Believe There Are States Willing To Pay You To Move There?

My daddy used to say we were wasting money in Georgia painting a center line down our highways.  Nobody ever went North.  They all came down here to live so they could make fun of how we talk. Well, thanks to the State of Vermont, that may be changing. Vermont, which is located somewhere up […]

June 4, 2018: Claude and Whitetail Friends Not Taking the Bait on Hunting Proposal

To those of you new to these pages, you likely are not familiar with Claude the Whitetail Deer and his colleagues on Jekyll Island.  Several years ago, I received a call from a much-distressed Claude after members of the Jekyll Island Authority had decided there were too many of them on the island (whitetails, not […]

May 28, 2018: Round One of Primaries Over. On to Round Two

As the legendary Hall of Fame catcher and all-around philosopher Yogi Berra once observed: “It ain’t over til its over.”  He could have been talking about the 2018 Georgia primaries.  A lot of would-be candidates got sent to the sidelines by voters on May 22, but now We the Unwashed are looking at runoffs on […]

May 21, 2018: Who Says We Can’t Have Sausage With Our Pancakes

Here we go again.  The pointy-heads at WHO, the World Health Organization, apparently have decided that trying to shame us into not eating bacon and sausage and ham isn’t good enough.  Now, they are going after (shudder) trans fats.  Good luck with that. You may recall that back in 2015, the World Health Organization, which […]

May 14, 2018: If You Don’t Vote, Don’t Complain About the Outcome

Okay, raise your hand and repeat after me: “I (state your name) do solemnly swear that if I do not vote in the primaries next Tuesday, May 22, I will not criticize those who win. I further pledge that I will not talk about “crooked politicians” and how my vote doesn’t matter.  I will accept […]

May 7, 2018: Where Would We Be Without Our Mothers?

Whether we are liberal or conservative; black or white; rich or poor; speak English or habla Espanol; live in God’s Country (aka Georgia) or are from up north where all the buildings are rusted and it snows ten months a year, we share one thing in common.  We all have or have had a mother.  […]

April 30, 2018: This Academic Supporter is Stoked Over UGA’s Football Fortunes

I feel like a hypocrite.  Well, sort of. I am an enthusiastic supporter of the academic mission at my alma mater, the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South. I evince that support with an annual gift to UGA’s Grady College of Journalism […]

April 23, 2018: Maybe Trapping Alligators Isn’t That Bad After All

I will admit that this job doesn’t rise to the level of trapping alligators in a swamp, but it is hard enough. In the first place, I am dealing with editors across the state who wonder if I skipped school when the subject of punctuation was covered in my high school English class.  I tell […]

April 16, 2018: Random Thoughts on Preachers, Politicians and Sweet Vidalia Onions Among Other Things

Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Dr. G. Gil Watson, aka, the World’s Greatest Preacher, up and retired after two decades of trying to save my sorry soul.  Not only was he my preacher, he was and is my friend.  He did his best to resuscitate me.   He just didn’t […]

April 9, 2018: Skeeter Skates Doesn’t Like Facepaint or Twerps

I could tell by the way the telephone rang that Skeeter Skates was calling.  The phone sort of jumps and jangles when he calls.  He can be a pretty intimidating guy, even to a telephone. Skeeter is the owner of Skeeter Skates Plow Repair and Stump Removal in Ryo, Georgia.  I don’t know many folks […]

April 2, 2018: A Late but Heartfelt Remembrance of Zell Miller

An unalterable deadline does not allow me to comment on certain events as quickly as I would like.  Also, it is my policy to avoid writing about what everyone else happens to be writing about at the moment.  Otherwise, I become just another voice crying in the wilderness, indistinguishable from all the others. Having said […]

March 26, 2018: To Hadley Ann And Harper Grace: Welcome To The World

Dear Hadley Ann Yarbrough and Harper Grace Yarbrough: Welcome to the world!  We were not expecting you so soon.  I was told your arrival was set for late May or early June but, of course, I am always the last to know anything in this family as you will soon find out.  Obviously, no one […]

March 19, 2018: Sen. David Shafer Needs To Quickly Resolve Charges Against Him

Let me say upfront that Sen. David Shafer, R-Gwinnett County, who is running for lieutenant governor, and I haven’t been the closest of buddies. I didn’t like the way he and his cohort, Sen. William Ligon, R-Glynn County, gutted an otherwise much-needed adoption bill last year with some end-of-the-session shenanigans, holding the bill hostage in […]

March 12, 2018: Delta Execs Can’t Seem to Navigate Turbulence of External Environment

For a number of years, I supervised a staff in Washington – first with BellSouth Corporation and then with Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games – and following that had an office in New York as member of the board of a large public relations firm. That meant almost weekly trips on Delta Air Lines, […]

March 5, 2018: Three Young People Show the Positive Side Of Criminal Justice Reform

I try to live my life guided by two simple rules:  One, never eat soup with a fork and, two, try not to disagree with the county sheriff.  The first one will stain your tie something awful.  The latter will likely get you in a heap of trouble if you roll through their county acting […]

February 26, 2018: It’s No Sin to Say That We Have It All In Georgia

I am told there are some of you out there under the impression that my columns are actually written by an orangutan.  Not true.  There are some things even an orangutan won’t do.  Actually, I spend hours each week analyzing voluminous files of information, trying to glean a few nuggets of heretofore unknown facts and […]

February 18, 2018: UGA Salute To Billy Payne Brings Back Fond Memories

There are few people I admire more than William Porter Payne.  In a fit of pique during my days at the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, I told an associate that I was ready to whip somebody’s butt the next time anybody criticized Payne, the organization’s founder and CEO. My associate found that commendable […]

February 11, 2018: Here’s to A Valentine Story That Has No End

This is a Valentine story.  Once, many moons ago – and we are talking a bunch of moons – I was editor of our high school’s newspaper.  One of the paper’s responsibilities, beyond publishing an occasional issue, was the annual Sweetheart Ball held each February around Valentine’s Day.  What staging a dance had to do […]

February 5, 2018: Once Again, The State of The Column Can’t Be Overstated

My Fellow Georgians: I come before you today to submit my annual State of the Column address! (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!)  I can state to you unequivocally that the state of this state cannot be overstated!  (Yay! Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!)  Let me say at the outset that I know that the New York Times […]

January 29, 2018: Foster Children Once Again Pawns in Game Of Political Posturing

I have a great interest in and a little walking-around knowledge of the political process because I have spent a good part of my adult life dealing with the subject. I also produce this weekly screed that runs from one end of the state (LaFayette) to the other (Folkston) and a lot of places in […]

January 22, 2018: Random Thoughts on Random Subjects from Gospel Music to Rhodes Scholars

It doesn’t completely fill my bucket, but it is a darned good plank.  Sometime ago, I opined about wanting to meet Bill and Gloria Gaither, who are to Southern gospel music what Rembrandt is to oil painting – the best.  That would just about complete my bucket list which includes shooting the breeze with (pre-Twitter) […]

January 15, 2018: If Rocky Balboa Can Come Back, Why Not Dawgs?

I had a great idea for a movie recently. It was about a football team that came out of nowhere and through hard work and perseverance ended up playing for the national championship. The first scene starts with four outstanding players who spurned an opportunity to turn professional, deciding to return to college for their […]

January 8, 2018: Advice to a Great-Grandson: Work Hard, Dare to be Great

Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough: It is that time of year again when I attempt to pass along a little of what I have experienced over my long life in hopes there will a nugget or two that you may find helpful as you make your own journey through life If memory serves me correctly, I […]

January 1, 2018: Junior E. Lee Talks About What To Expect In 2018

Gadzooks!  Is it 2018 already?  I’m not even over the Y2K scare yet. You remember Y2K.  Our computers were going to melt on the first day of January 2000 and we were going to be left in the dark with no telephones and no electricity and riots in the street?  As you will recall, that […]