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Sunday, April 23, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


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    paying attention

    Lafitte’s and Ali

    by | 1 | Apr 20, 2017
    Cafe Lafitte in Exile on Bourbon Street in New Orleans

    “A man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” – Muhammad Ali

    Sitting in Cafe Lafitte’s in Exile on a recent March morning, enjoying the best Bloody Mary in that foodie town, I wasn’t thinking about Ali. I was talking to Harvey, the guy on the next stool. But the words of The Greatest were appropriate.

    Two years prior, Suzy and I had stumbled into Lafitte’s asking for directions to a voodoo shop…

     

     

    five decades of public service

    New statue of Hollings captures his spirit, leadership, energy

    by | 1 | Apr 18, 2017
    Statue of Senator Fritz Hollings by sculptor Rick Weaver unveiled in Charleston, SC. Photo by Andy Brack

    Sculptor Rick Weaver captured the body language of Fritz Hollings just right in a new statue unveiled Monday as former colleagues heaped praises on the retired senator, now 95.

    Three things stand out in the bronze figure – the warm, but determined, look on Hollings’ face; how his left hand is grasping a rolled-up document; and, most notably, an outstretched right hand, a familiar gesture to many of the senator’s former staffers and friends.

     

     

    earth day message:

    Clean, Efficient Energy Is Most Promising Path To New Jobs & Profits

    by | 0 | Apr 17, 2017
    Earth Day over coastal Georgia is a composite image created by LikeTheDew.com

    On this Earth Day, it’s fitting for coastal Georgians to reconsider the importance of strong ties between our economy and environmental health. Too often, outmoded, poorly-informed viewpoints unfairly portray environmental quality as being contrary to jobs and a robust economy.

    Yet, coastal Georgia’s economic vitality thrives on the protection of marshes, fisheries, and waterways. According to estimates of the Center for a Sustainable Coast, at least 40,000 jobs and $2 billion a year in commerce depends …

     

     

    bear on the square

    Festival adds new feature

    by | 0 | Apr 9, 2017
    Bear On The Square Mountain Festival in Dahlonega Ga

    Bear On The Square Mountain Festival in Dahlonega, Ga., has added a new special event, the Moonlight Jam, for its 2017 festival lineup.

    The Moonlight Jam, sponsored by Jekyll Brewing Company of Alpharetta, Ga., will take place on Saturday evening, April 22, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in the festival’s MainStage festival tent.  The tent will open at 7 p.m., and the jam will start at 7:30 p.m. and will continue until around 9:30 p.m. Like other Bear on the Square events, there will be no charge for admission.

     

     

    the knife of tax-greed

    Environmental activist blasts plan to rezone 1,000 acres of Cumberland Island

    by | 2 | Mar 30, 2017
    Environmental activist blasts plan to rezone 1,000 acres of Cumberland Island

    “Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed.”-Wallace Stegner

    Cumberland Island National Seashore and United Nations Biosphere Reserve is the largest of the southern United States’ sea islands. It is a paradise of eco-diversity and incomparable beauty. Visitors can only access the island by a private boat or the ferry from St. Marys, Georgia, and when they arrive, they find that they have been transported to a realm that is beyond all expectations.

     

     

    turning points

    The Journey of One Immigrant

    by | 0 | Mar 27, 2017
    The Journey of One Immigrant

    It was winter and Canada was in recession when I arrived as a new immigrant. Finding work when many Canadians were unemployed was a challenge because employers were looking for Canadians, not immigrants who may move on to someplace else. I was unemployed for five months, living in a boarding house, and had no money when I finally found work. There were no government unemployment benefits.

     

     

    down and outbound

    The Real Fiction of Public Transportation

    by | 1 | Mar 26, 2017
    The Real Fiction of Public Transportation

    Having written and published a book about public transportation that is a novel wrapped in political satire, I have been lately asking myself, “What possessed you to embark on this journey in the first place?

    Coincidentally, I need look no further than a piece I wrote called “Book Spotting,” that appeared in Like the Dew in 2011. The article mentions a fictitious book club on the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) whose basic membership requirement was to read something while riding public transportation…

     

     

    for our ultimate audience

    Lapidary Prose

    by | 2 | Mar 17, 2017
    Lapidary Prose

    Talk about writer’s block: What about having to write an epitaph for your mother’s gravestone? The idea of an epitaph, of course, is that it’s written for the ages, even those short simple annals of the poor on weed-lost tombstones.

    I write, and teach writing. I teach that it starts with your audience. If you’ve been writing only for your teacher, you haven’t really started to learn writing. Writing well for a mass of strangers – that’s more like it.

     

     

    on lewis grizzard

    Uh, could we talk about MY books for a while?

    by | 3 | Mar 9, 2017
    Uh, could we talk about MY books for a while?

    My wife and I drove last week to Marietta, Ga., for a wedding party. Imagine my surprise when on a stretch of I-85 in Coweta County, about 40 miles southwest of Atlanta, I saw a sign that read: Lewis Grizzard Memorial Highway.

    It warmed my heart, for I knew the late Lewis Grizzard when years ago I was a writer/editor for The Atlanta Constitution, where his incredible rise to fame began.

     

     

    caines family, genuine folk artists

    Celebrated Decoy Carvers

    by | 0 | Mar 9, 2017
    Celebrated Decoy Carvers

    As I turned off Highway 17 onto West Virginia Road, snowy mountains and the blue-green Kanawha River came to mind, but neither snow nor mountains waited in Carolina Rice Country. Legendary folk artists waited—The Caines Boys. Now right here let’s get clear on names. The Caines Brothers are dead and gone. The Caines Boys, Jerry and Roy, live on. The first time I heard of Caines decoys, it was a reference to the Caines Brothers who came to fame in Georgetown in the first half of the last century…

     

     

    how to ban muslims: ask mississippi

    Donald Trump and the Mississippi Plan

    by | 0 | Mar 7, 2017
    Donald Trump and the Mississippi Plan

    In The Promise of the New South, Edward Ayers tells of James Z. George, a U.S. senator from Mississippi who predicted that, in 1890 (just a year away), the number of African American in the state would exceed that of whites by half a million. George was worried about what this meant for the state’s political future. Democrats had controlled Mississippi since the end of Reconstruction, but now, the black population was growing so ominously and Republicans …

     

     

    strike one

    Atlantans Prepare For Daring Conquest of Cobb County Braves’ Game

    by | 5 | Mar 2, 2017
    Atlantans Prepare For Daring Conquest of Cobb County Braves’ Game

    Atlantans are preparing for what many believe is an impossibility: ascending I-75 during rush hour in time to make it to a Braves’ game in Cobb County.

    For weeks fans have been stockpiling food and fuel and consulting guides – one Buckhead man has hired six Sherpas – for the treacherous trek to the top of the city’s peak traffic nightmare where breathing can require oxygen and one slip can be fatal.

    “My wife doesn’t want me to go,” said Billy Waldrop. “You know, we’ve got three kids, and if I don’t make it…”

     

     

    slow death roll shot

    Go Find Lester

    by | 1 | Mar 2, 2017
    Go Find Lester

    “Go find Lester.”

    We were typical college kids in the late 70’s. Brief moments of intense studying, staying up way too late, eating the wrong foods, smoking and drinking too much, partying like there was no tomorrow, falling in and out of lust disguised as love, rooting for our school and wasting time. Wasting lots of time.

     

     

    cherished ideals

    An Open Letter to the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee

    by | 0 | Feb 9, 2017
    Weloome Your Neighbors

    Yesterday I attended a wondrous event: democracy in full-throated action.

    Congressman Bob Goodlatte chairs the Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives. It’s a position of considerable power, for good or ill. Congressman Goodlatte also represents Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District, which just happens to include Harrisonburg, Virginia, where I live, the home of the national Welcome Your Neighbors movement.

     

     

    greetings from ireland

    What a difference a year makes

    by | 7 | Jan 6, 2017
    What a difference a year makes

    A year ago, spending Christmas with my son’s family in Ireland, I finally decided to make the move. I’d been living eleven years in Harrisonburg, Virginia, near my youngest son. I was happy in America, comfortable, well established with good friends and plenty of activities. But my son had moved to Kansas in 2014 and I was long flights away from him and his brothers in UK, Ireland, Kansas, Arizona and Australia, all urging me to move …

     

     

    political negligence

    Climate Action a Moral Imperative

    by | 0 | Dec 30, 2016
    Climate Action a Moral Imperative

    According to a 2016 poll by Yale and George Mason University, 3 out of 4 registered voters think the climate is overheating and more than half believe it’s caused by human activities.

    Meanwhile, politicians who are paid millions in campaign contributions by the fossil fuel industry block much-needed action to curtail the worst impacts of continuing emission of greenhouse gases. Due to such corrupt denial of facts, millions of Americans …

     

     

    time-honored laughter

    Jingle Hell

    by | 23 | Dec 18, 2016
    decorating our tree by Trevor Irvin

    It starts by driving 500 miles to seven different tree farms, farmers markets and retail establishments to argue with seven fingered cretins about how “there is no way in hell I’m going to pay you 100 bucks for a dead, eight-foot tree.” At some point, finding yourself in state other than the one in which you started, and having been told by the seventh tree ape to “shove it” in several languages and hand gestures, you decide to cut your losses (no pun intended) …

     

     

    virtually undemocratic

    Elias Aboujaoude on the 2016 Election

    by | 1 | Dec 17, 2016
    From the cover of Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality by Elias Aboujaoude http://amzn.to/2hZWnaO

    Dismayed by the extraordinary vitriol and vituperation expressed in online discussions of politics that we continue to read reminded me of the insights into behavior in Elias Aboujaoude’s fascinating 2011 book Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality. Aboujaoude is a Professor and Director of the OCD Clinic at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and specializes in the treatment of compulsive disorders…

     

     

    who's your master?

    Animals Frightened at Prospect of being First Pet

    by | 0 | Dec 8, 2016
    The President-Elect petting his goldfish

    It’s long been said that if you want a friend in Washington, adopt a dog.

    President-elect Trump does not have a pet, other than his ex-wives, but reports by a Trump consultant indicated he may be changing his mind on having a national pet.

    While presidents in the past have had all manner of pets, ranging from dogs to goats, because of Trump’s noted short attention span and indifference to details and facts, there are worries that a White House pet could be neglected.

     

     

    huuuge

    Trump to Build Canadian Wall to Keep Americans In

    by | 4 | Dec 1, 2016
    The Great Wall of Canada

    Trump Tower, USA – In what insiders call a “tweak” to his campaign pledge to build a border wall to keep Mexicans from sneaking into America, president elect Donald Trump plans to move the wall to the Canadian border – to keep terrified Americans from getting out.

    “It’s a testament to the power of his presidency,” said a Trump source. “He believes so strongly in …

     

     

    banished to the forgotten

    Burned To The Ground

    by | 4 | Nov 29, 2016
    Grandma's house burned to the ground before Thanksgiving - Photo by Tom Poland

    All burned houses look alike, a jumble of ashes, blackened metal, and charred wood. If you know the house that burned, however, you see ghosts. Just before Thanksgiving, my sister called—Grandmother’s home had burned to the ground. A flood of memories washed over me, like a time-lapse film where clouds stream overhead, dreamy and surreal.

    Ironic that it burned two days before Thanksgiving…

     

     

    southern medicine

    A bone scan was music to my ears

    by | 3 | Nov 24, 2016
    A bone scan was music to my ears

    Who would have thought that a bone scan could be such a pleasant experience?

    I didn’t. I figured I’d show up at Tidelands Health Waccamaw Hospital in Murrells Inlet, S.C., at the appointed hour, go downstairs to Nuclear Medicine, get an injection, lie on a table and listen to machinery whir around me, then get up and go home.

    But two musicians whose day job is in nuclear medicine at the hospital made the scan a truly harmonious (no pun) event.

     

     

    southern labor

    Nissan Canton: The Hypocrisy Continues

    by | 1 | Nov 24, 2016
    Nissan donates $20,000, conducts volunteer day for Mississippi Food Network's BackPack Program

    There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and corporate charity.

    Last Tuesday, Nissan Canton continued efforts to whitewash its reputation by giving $20,000 to the Mississippi Food Network’s BackPack program and sending employees to pose for promotional pictures pack lunches.

    “We are humbled to play a role in the efforts to ensure that no child experiences hunger,” corporate shill Vice President of manufacturing Steve Marsh was quoted as saying.

     

     

    no news is good news

    Perspective Is a Pedal Turn Away

    by | 0 | Nov 9, 2016
    Perspective Is a Pedal Turn Away

    Wednesday morning, my bicycle and I are leaving town, bound for Florida and a week-long ride across the Sunshine State. Far from intelligent design, the timing is lucky coincidence. But, there couldn’t be a better day to be shut off from the world by travel, nor a finer week to be pedaling the soft shoulder of some dusty Florida backroad.

    Unless, of course, all hell really does break loose Tuesday night. What if we ride into a riot? Our Daytona to Clearwater route is eerily close to the infamous I-4 corridor of Bush v. Gore lore.

     

     

    boyhood loves

    The Mayor’s Club

    by | 2 | Nov 6, 2016
    His Honor, the Mayor, Albert.V. Edwards with the Hendersonville Police (circa 1950)

    I grew up like the Reverend Billy Graham, who would say, “I did not know I was poor back then until someone told me that I was poor.” The country was still in the Great Depression throughout the 1930s, and we weren’t the only family that faced hardship. And there was a perk to being from “the other side of the tracks:” I was privileged to receive a real treat every Saturday morning – for I was a member of The Mayor’s Club.

     

     

    passion for preservation

    Big Sky Bill

    by | 0 | Oct 31, 2016
    Big Sky Bill

    An Unsung Historian Makes A Difference

    If “Big Sky Bill” leads you to believe Bill Fitzpatrick hails from Montana, you’re wrong. Bill was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, but has spent most of his life in the South. After earning an MBA from the University of South Carolina in 1978, Bill chose to stay in South Carolina. He lives in Taylors. So what’s behind the Big Sky connection? He likes Big Sky Ski Resort in Montana because of the great ski weeks he and his daughter have had there near Bozeman.

     

     

     

    southern politics

    It’s about to get a whole lot more interesting

    by | 2 | Oct 31, 2016
    2016 Presidential Election Map - Average margin of presidential victory 1992-2008

    The South is not completely red politically, just as it is not home to only rednecks.

    Come November 8, Southerners will cast about 33 million votes in this oddest and nastiest of presidential elections. Of those, more than 15 million will be for the Democrat, Hillary Clinton. That’s a lot of blue living in what most assume is just red.

    Yes, our region, just like our nation, is more purple than just red or blue. In Southern state and federal elections, we’re a reddish purple. In many urban areas in the South, we skew a little more blueish purple.

     

     

    what a life

    Carl Sandburg: Insights and Echoes

    by | 2 | Oct 26, 2016
    Carl Sandburg: Insights and Echoes

    In 1945, Carl Sandburg and his wife, Lillian, moved to the Hendersonville area from a small farm on the shores of Lake Michigan. A lot of people in the area wondered why this famous man had chosen our little community as his new home.

    He had paid what was thought to be an astounding price of $45,000 for 248 acres of land that included a three-story main house, a barn complex and several outbuildings. Mr. Sandburg reportedly said he felt he’d bought an entire “village.” Mrs. Sandburg, a breeder of champion milk goats told friends that they had bought “a million acres of sky.”

     

     

    an inventory

    The Working Years

    by | 2 | Oct 26, 2016
    Jobs Graffiti

    Every Job You’ve Had, What Did It Teach You?

    A Friday evening. In a restaurant where soft music and hard drinks make good neighbors, the regular crowd shuffled in as Billy Joel famously wrote. People took their seats at the bar and each person’s week took center stage. A woman lamented that we spend a third of our life working, prompting Mr. Wise Guy to pipe up. “I should have been born rich instead of so good looking.” That tired line didn’t fit. Still, we knew what he meant…

     

     

    chicken-wing democrat

    Write Me In

    by | 9 | Oct 24, 2016
    Write Me In by Trevor Irvin

    I am the first write-in presidential candidate who will win in a landslide. So heads up — Hillary is not the only historic choice here.

    My run for the highest office in the land has gone exceedingly well. I am the first candidate to run an issue-free, wall-free, policy-free, promise-you-anything-to-get-in-office, campaign. (I know, I know, the Donald is neck-and-neck with me on this, but I’m not worried that he’ll grab the presidency – other stuff, well, you may want to be careful, just sayin’.)

     

     

    finding acceptance

    Confessions of a Carpetbagger

    by | 4 | Oct 20, 2016
    Carpetbag

    I admit it: I’m a carpetbagger. For the unenlightened, according to Merriam-Webster, a carpetbagger is “a person from the northern United States who went to the South after the American Civil War seeking private gain under the reconstruction governments.” Colloquially, a carpetbagger is any Yankee who moves to the South…and stays.

    As far as the former definition goes, I am indeed “a person from the northern United States who went to the South after the American Civil War.” It was after the Civil War…104 years after…

     

     

    show me your papers

    74 Years an Evacuee

    by | 0 | Oct 17, 2016
    74 Years an Evacuee

    The first time I was evacuated was in early 1942, at the age of nine months. The allies bombing the German City of Aachen every night had become too traumatic, so my mother took her babe and fled to the Austrian Alps.

    So, I spent the next three years in this rustic farm building: two rooms and a veranda and outhouse on the second floor; wood storage, bake oven and chicken coop on the first; no electricity; no running water.

     

     

    trending

    The New South Carolina: The Politics

    by | 0 | Oct 17, 2016
    Southeast US political map turns red to purple to blue

    In sports, the Gamecocks wear garnet and black. Clemson wears orange and purple. In politics, South Carolina is red and deep red. These are what are known as “self-evident truths.” Things that just are. While the garnet and orange will probably last until the Second Coming, the red in South Carolina politics is changing – and changing faster than most folks think.

     

     

    vote

    Voice of the Challenger: An Interview with Jeremy Salter

    by | 0 | Sep 29, 2016
    Voice of the Challenger: An Interview with Jeremy Salter

    Are political courage and smart ideas enough to unseat an entrenched incumbent? Jeremy Salter is counting on a thoughtful electorate ready for overdue criminal justice reform as the challenger in the contest for Floyd County District Attorney against incumbent Leigh Patterson. That Patterson is the most prominent of the four local public officials in the county who recently changed their affiliation from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party adds an element of drama to the race…

     

     

    nature rules

    A Little Breathing Room

    by | 1 | Sep 12, 2016
    A Little Breathing Room

    We were on a mission and there we stood at the dead end of a long Lowcountry road in searing heat. Anonymous Mysterious Florida Woman, Robert Clark, and yours truly were waiting on a ferry. Standing too long in a roasting September sun can evaporate resolve, but not ours. September no doubt pilfered some July heat. These days, it’s as hot as the hinges of … well, you know, and especially so where the continent runs into the sea, but the heat be damned. We were about to cross the Intracoastal Waterway and set foot on primitive South Island.

     

     

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