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Posts by Joey Ledford:
The great philosopher Mick Jagger sang it best: “What a drag it is getting old.”
One of the worst parts of the affliction the Stones’ song recalls is that not only are you putting on years, but the people you begat are getting that way as well. Or at least they are getting old enough that they don’t need the nest anymore.
ELKMONT, Tenn. — One spectator likened it to Aunt Melba’s Christmas lights. Another described the trek through the darkness to see the show as a Halloween for adults without candy and the annoying trips up steps to knock on doors. “Woo,” said a third. “This is SOOO cool.” This magnificent display of nature is known as Elkmont’s synchronized lightning bugs. Photinus carolinus, one of 14 species of fireflies that inhabit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, pick a two-week window each June to do their thing. Accounts differ when people are asked to describe this eerie explosion of fluorescence. From watching individual fireflies among thousands, it appeared to me that they light six consecutive times within about six seconds. Then darkness prevails for a like period before the cycle begins anew. Some felt the glow swept through the woods in a right to left wave. The phenomena appears to be […]
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"Ol' Obama knocked it outta the park yestiddy didn't he?" "Sumbitch always does. He always does." "Big O was fuckin' magnificent in Charleston. I can't believe he actually sang 'Amazing Grace.' I think he knew Clementha Pinckney…" The conversation was on-going at a table across from where I'm taking refuge from ominous weather. As near as I can tell, their names are Stan, Roy and Tommy. All three are African-American. They are gray-beards, firmly ensconced in the demographic labeled 'active seniors.' One of them, 'Stan', wears a yellow and black baseball cap that shouts 'STEELERS'. It's mid-afternoon last Saturday in one of those places o Read on →
There is a store in the North Georgia Mountains called “Drug and Gun.” I’ve been meaning to revisit the shop to ask the cashier if customers buy their anti-psychotic drugs before or after they buy a gun. But when I walk in and see the word “prescriptions” behind the gun counter, I ask the clerk jokingly, “Do I need a prescription to buy a gun?” A man behind me says, “actually that would be a good idea. “ And I agree: if Americans need a prescription for Prozac, why not for pistols? But there is one problem: changing the mind of people entrenched Read on →
The S.C. General Assembly put the Confederate battle flag in a place of prominence on the Statehouse grounds. Now after nine deaths in the horrendous Charleston church shooting, the legislature must take it down. Today, as the body of state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the slain Jasper County Democrat and pastor of the church, lay in honor at the Statehouse, imagine the feelings of those who had to pass the Confederate flag before they paid their last respects. That flag shouldn’t be there today or in the future. A governor can’t take it down. But the legislature can — either by a supermajority vote t Read on →
There’s a pill for everything, you know. Not that that puts pharmaceuticals in any special category. There’s an anything for everything—just a click away. Still, all those meds you see advertised on TV, targeted particularly to people who look to be about my age, people who are “having trouble” breathing or peeing or digesting or remembering. It’s become a cliché: all old people do is take pills.Well, that ain’t me. I have no prescriptions and take no medications. At least that’s what I say every time I fill out medical history forms. In fact, I’m just about a perfect human specimen, accordin Read on →