sanford_bigfootSouth Carolinians sounding off earned three spots on the latest Top 10 list of famous quotations compiled annually by Fred Shapiro, editor of The Yale Book of Quotations, and not one of them was from Gov. Mark Sanford, though he did figure in one of them.  No other state got more than one spot on the list.

Topping the list was a quote from an unidentified speaker at a town hall meeting on health care in Simpsonville, South Carolina:  “Keep your government hands off my Medicare.”  U.S Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) got the fourth spot with his infamous “You lie!” shoutout to the president of the United States.

At No. 9 was this early cover story by a Sanford spokesman: “The governor is hiking the Appalachian Trail.”  Shapiro did not identify him, but The State said the quote originated in an e-mail issued  from Joel Sawyer, the governor’s press officer, who may or may not have known that Sanford was actually in Argentina with his mistress.

See the full list and The State’s report on South Carolina’s contributions.

On the plus side: Three Southern states made the journal Science’s Top 5 list of “happiest people,” based on a study by Atlanta’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Katrina and corruption aside, Louisiana came in at No. 1, perhaps on the strength of this year’s super Saints and a lifetime of great food, Dixieland and Mardi Gras.  Sunshine also appeared to be a factor.  Hawaii was No. 2, followed by Florida, Tennessee and Arizona.

2424Roll Tide, don’t roll trial: Defense lawyers in a wrongful death lawsuit pending for four years asked Bessemer, Alabama, Circuit Judge Dan King to further delay the trial set to begin January 4 because, well, there’s a football game.  They don’t want to miss the January 7 national championship showdown between their Alabama Crimson Tide and the Texas Longhorns, hinting that they may have tickets.  King said he intended to grant the motion, to show that he is not biased against the Tide even though he’s an Auburn grad.  Plaintiff’s lawyers were a little less frivolous.  “Simply stated, some things are more important than football,” their motion said.  Mark Traywick is suing Energen Corp. over the death of Irene Traywick in a 2004 explosion that occurred after a car hit a gas meter and power box.

Meanwhile, in Grinch news: Two Macon, Georgia, insurance agents have been charged with defrauding Goodwill Industries out of $150,000 in premiums.  And, in Sherwood, Arkansas, a man ran off with a Salvation Army kettle outside a Walmart store that had an estimnated $400 in it.  On the plus side, in Shreveport, Louisiana, someone dropped into a Salvation Army kettle a South African gold Krugerrand coin appraised at $1,100.

Anthony_Foxx_Meet_and_Greet_6-17-09_at_The_Loft_709Dew Droplets: A 4-year-old boy in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was found wandering the streets after midnight, drinking beer and wearing a stolen girl’s dress … A woman was charged with keeping the corpse of her elderly mother in their Wilmington, N.C., home for up to eight months before someone reported to police that the mother wasn’t breathing … The campaign spokesman for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky resigned after reportedly admitting a MySpace page containing racist material was his … Charlotte, North Carolina’s, new mayor, Anthony Foxx, is the latest Southerner to sign the U.S. Conference of Mayors climate protection agreement; Georgia signers include mayors of Atlanta, Alpharetta, Decatur, Macon, Augusta and Savannah.See map.

Check out our News and Opinion Feeds for a lot more Southern happenings.

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Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor was born and raised in Georgia and worked more than 40 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor and as an online producer for ajc.com and AccessAtlanta. He served for a time as the newspaper's regional editor, overseeing coverage of the South. He is co-author, with Dr. Leonard Ray Teel, of Into the Newsroom:  An Introduction to Journalism and has conducted workshops in the Middle East on feature writing.