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Monday, October 23, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


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  • Writer Login


    that the best he's got

    Donny O’Trump and the Liddle People

    by | 1 | Oct 22, 2017
    Donny O'Trump and the Liddle People

    Randy Newman caused an uproar years ago when he released a catchy pop ditty in which he declared that “short people got no reason to live.” The singer-songwriter insisted “Short People”was a metaphorical, anti-bigotry joke, as was his bent, but that didn’t stop a lot of short people and their families and friends from wanting to cut him off at the knees. I wonder why we haven’t heard a similar outcry over Donald Trump’s fondness for belittling “liddle” people. He’s not joking, much less engaging in metaphor.

     

     

    aging

    Nothing’s Gonna Touch You in These Golden Years

    by | 2 | Oct 19, 2017
    lifecyle of a dandelion blossom

    My right eye is doing the heavy lifting; my left, just along for the ride for now.

    Six months ago, I had a detached and torn retina in my left eye. Thanks to micro- and laser-surgery techniques, they can fix that. Not that long ago, I would’ve lost the sight in the eye. The cause? Old age, my friend, old age. While detached and/or torn retinas can happen as the result of an injury, in folks my age, they’re caused by 1) a misshapen eye (mine are extremely myopic; I had worn glasses for distance since third grade until I had LASIK a decade ago) …

     

     

    painting barns

    See Rock City

    by | 0 | Oct 19, 2017
    See Rock City

    In my mom’s back yard stands a red and black birdhouse on a white pole. Its roof holds iconic words. “See Rock City.” If it had not been for Garnet Carter and Clark Byers, that birdhouse wouldn’t exist. Times were, you could drive along a back road and sooner or later you’d see a barn with its roof turned into an advertisement.

    You’ll be hard pressed today to find a barn’s roof declaring “See 7 States from Rock City.” In case you’ve never heard of it, Rock City is a roadside attraction in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Gigantic rock formations, a Lovers Leap, and caverns with black lights I recall. I remember, too, Ruby Falls but that’s an attraction inside Lookout Mountain.

     

     

    education by tv

    Irish Famine

    by | 1 | Oct 9, 2017
    Queen Victoria transforms to TV Queen Victoria

    Popular on British and American TV screens, the series ”Victoria” about the reign of Queen Victoria, starring Jenna Coleman, is a great way to become familiar with the history of England without reading books. Only a small percentage of the population reads history books, and even there, some issues are not fully covered. For many British viewers it was the first they had learned about the horrors of the 1840s Irish Famine… 

     

     

    protecting class privilege

    Vietnam in the Air

    by | 0 | Oct 4, 2017
    Vietnam in the Air

    Timely to have happened on the book, Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam by Mark Bowden, at the library just as the Ken Burns’ Vietnam: A Television History began on PBS. I was curious to see what perspective was brought to both the book and documentary. The factoid that especially interested me: Vietnam was one country, temporarily divided by the Geneva Accords …

     

     

    a deeper observation

    Taking A Knee for the National Anthem

    by | 2 | Oct 1, 2017
    Taking A Knee for the National Anthem

    It is obvious there is anger throughout the league from world renown athletes to the general managers of those professional teams. Professional athletes such as LeBron James, professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, have spoken out about racial injustices throughout our nation and have exemplified their frustration for our current president, Donald Trump. LeBron does not stand alone …

     

     

    faux patriotism

    Respecting the Constitution

    by | 5 | Sep 25, 2017
    Respecting the Constitution

    So let me get this straight; the primary way for Americans to properly respect our country, flag and all those soldiers who died for our right to say what we want, act the way we want, and worship in the manner we see fit is to attend a sporting event and reverently stand while an ode to a night of bombardment during a war we didn’t win, set to the tune of a British drinking song, is sung by some diva trying to sing it completely apart from what it was intended.

     

     

    southern queer vs. yankee cop

    A time to be silent or a time to speak?

    by | 0 | Sep 24, 2017
    Rainbow colored golden retriever

    I enjoy the diversity of the waiting room when I go for a routine checkup to my miracle worker, Dr. Lobiondo, Director of the Wound Center at Clara Maass Hospital in Newark, NJ. More than five years ago his rigorous routines completely cured a large open wound on my left leg, a result of lymphedema. For 2 years I had been sleeping in a chair with my legs elevated, but no noticeable improvement. Then I discovered Dr. Lobiondo…

     

     

    in the past

    A Sunday Drive

    by | 0 | Sep 22, 2017
    Noble SC Governors Grave

    Used to be customary for folks to take Sunday drives. I don’t think people today tend to do that as much as the older folks did but they should. It’s enjoyable and revealing. Of course we still use “Sunday driver” to describe a driver who dawdles, and dawdling is in order when the drive itself is the destination.

    Sunday, September 17 my sister, Deb and family friend Teresa took me to an old cemetery I’d never seen. Across the Savannah …

     

     

     

    getting to the whole truth

    The CIA’s Tortured Amnesia

    by | 1 | Sep 16, 2017
    CIA TORTURE REPORT by Paresh Nath

    It’s too bad the trial of two CIA contract psychologists who created the “torture” interrogation program in the wake of 9/11 was canceled and the case settled out of court. The trial, scheduled for September 5th, might have provided publicity that could help prevent future abuses in the name of national security. Such publicity could also call attention to the need for creating a stronger institutional memory …

     

     

    fantastic meal #90

    Blue-Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

    by | 0 | Sep 16, 2017
    Blue-Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

    We were not big potato eaters when I was growing up. My mom was a stay-at-home housewife and did most of the cooking, and baked or mashed potatoes weren’t high on her list of dinnertime sides. Rice and black-eyed peas, however, were. And as much as my dad loved black-eyed peas and rice, he did not fail to let us all know that he sure missed an occasional side of mashed potatoes, rolls, and gravy. I think the sore point here was the gravy, but it could have been the rolls.

     

     

    kegger stories

    Ground Ball Back To You, I Got The Throw

    by | 0 | Sep 16, 2017
    Pi Lambda Phi House at the University of Virginia

    “Jimmy Joe, ground ball back to you, I got the throw at second.”

    I joined a Greek fraternity at the University of Virginia in the fall of 1976. Like most large schools with dozens of different houses, an incoming freshman had a lot to choose from. There were old Southern houses that dated back to the Civil War. There were heavy drinking houses. Other houses preferred…

     

     

    hidden beauty

    The Long Way Home

    by | 1 | Sep 6, 2017
    A vintage rural scene come summer. A farmer’s crops and a dirt road just off Highway 34 between Silverstreet and Chappells. Blue, green, white and beige, the colors of the Earth.

    Labor Day I labored. I wrote the photo captions for my new book due out next spring about lesser-traveled road, a familiar refrain. By now you readers surely can tell what I’m working on by the columns I write. I’ve often written about my expeditions into the countryside. I drove over 10,000 miles deliberately avoiding interstates. I chose to take the long way home as Supertramp famously sang.

     

     

    climate change is real

    And now for the hard work

    by | 4 | Aug 29, 2017
    And now for the hard work

    Hurricane Harvey has brought death, unfathomable destruction, loss of homes and a deeply distraught community of caring people throughout the world.  How can we help? What do we do now?

    We will reach out, and offer whatever we can.  I particularly love the #cajunnavy and all the out-of-state volunteers from California and New York rushing to our side.

     

     

    fight them at every turn

    Understanding Racism

    by | 1 | Aug 29, 2017
    Trump Rally Asheville by Will Thomas

    I can’t really help myself. It just happens. Whenever I see images of Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, or reasonable facsimiles, I think of Groucho Marx. The comedian from my dad’s generation famously stated that he would never want to join an exclusive club that was willing to accept him as a member.

    While viewing photos from KKK members, Confederate sympathizers’ mug shots, or watching the footage from places like Charlottesville, I can’t help but think: This is supposed to be an example of a superior race? Really?

     

     

    staring at the sun

    Today we were animals

    by | 0 | Aug 22, 2017
    Preparing for the eclipse

    For one brief, shining moment, we gathered near strangers, didn’t fear for our lives, and watched the moon blot out the sun.  The moon & sun were gliding all over fly-by land, giving us a quick peek at our natural selves; amazed, amused and/or otherwise distracted from the chaos of our own creation. We thought about our place in the universe, among the other animals making noises and clustering together.

     

     

    context is not pc

    The Burden of Being a Southern, Part II

    by | 0 | Aug 16, 2017
    Sigbee drive cemetary

    Henry Kidd, who identified himself as a former national officer of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, objected to adding context. “Every tourist who comes to Richmond wants to see Monument Avenue; they don’t want to see a politically correct Monument Avenue,” Kidd said. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

    I will give Levar Stoney’s credit for appointing the Monument Avenue Commission to determine the fate of Lost Cause monuments …

     

     

    #charlottesville

    Playing With Fire

    by | 0 | Aug 14, 2017
    Charlottesville Unite The Right Rally photo taken by Rodney Dunning

    “Promise me, son, not to do the things I’ve done
    Walk away from trouble if you can
    It won’t mean you’re weak if you turn the other cheek
    I hope you’re old enough to understand
    Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man”

    As we read our Sunday newspapers or listen to the news, we hear the same story over and over again, the violence in Charlottesville Virginia.  I was afraid this was going to happen.

     

     

    fantastic meal #91

    Summertime Soup

    by | 0 | Aug 14, 2017
    Summertime Soup

    When August drifts around every year, there is little to celebrate here in the Deep South. It’s hot and humid one day, hotter and more humid the next. A day or so ago he humidity was at 99%. I thought we had to be under water to get a 99% reading. There is one good thing about August in the South, however, and that’s the proliferation of summer vegetables. Tomatoes, peppers, okra, squash, and cucumbers will grow like weeds if there’s enough rain…

     

     

    so easy to steal here

    New Wave Mobsters

    by | 0 | Aug 12, 2017
    Mafiya by © Tom Ferguson

    Mobsters tend to evolve out of inner city poverty. The young look around and notice the people in the neighborhood with flashy lifestyles, who don’t go hungry, who lord it over ordinary citizens. They resemble the intimidating bullies in their own circles who ham-fistedly appropriate their lunch money and humiliate them in other ways. The limited options visible on their horizon tempt the young and some inevitably are drawn into criminal apprenticeship.

     

     

    southern places

    A Country Club Like No Other

    by | 0 | Aug 11, 2017
    Harold's Signage -photo by Tom Poland

    Down near Yemassee, South Carolina, is a country club like no other. Harold’s Country Club proclaims that it is “in the middle of nowhere but close to everywhere.” That’s true. You’ll find it off Highway 21 at 97 Highway, 17A. I did when I pulled up in front of a faded sign that’s seen its share of Lowcountry sunlight. Nonetheless it’s colorful. A grill full of ribs, chicken, and a huge steak fill one side, a frosty mug of beer …

     

     

    fight like hell for the living

    100 Years Ago, Frank Little Died for Our Rights. Today, the Struggle Continues.

    by | 4 | Aug 1, 2017
    Jaz Brisack

    I stepped in an anthill at 4:17 yesterday morning, as I pounded a yellow “Union Yes” sign into the dewy ground outside the mile-long Nissan factory in Canton, Mississippi.

    Later in the day, on my way to visit workers and discuss the upcoming vote, I saw someone removing the signs along the highway exit ramp, as a MDOT truck blinked idly nearby. Looking closer, I noticed that the man yanking up our morning’s work was wearing striped trousers beneath his neon vest.

     

     

    more a direction

    Plumnelly: A Road Mark

    by | 0 | Jul 28, 2017
    Cheaha State Park by Andrea Wright

    On July 17, 1936, five months before I was born, an area of 393 acres of wilderness in Alabama’s Talladega County was established as a U.S. National Forest. One of its many glories is Cheaha Mountain, Alabama highest point, visible from our front porch. Dad and I camped out at many different spots in the park throughout most summers while I was growing up, and often we encountered no other human being.

     

     

    in the war on science

    Revenge of the Nerds

    by | 0 | Jul 27, 2017
    March for Science, Washington, DC by Becker1999 (Paul and Cathy)

    Earlier this month, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a damning report: Sidelining Science Since Day One—How the Trump Administration Has Harmed Public Health and Safety in Its First Six Months.

    The value of science to policy making has been recognized in the United States at least since 1863, when President Lincoln, at the height of the Civil War, signed into law a bill establishing the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), charging it with the task of “providing independent, objective advice…

     

     

    southern addiction

    Football Sex and Old Time Religion

    by | 2 | Jul 27, 2017
    Football Sex and Old Time Religion

    The recent stunning downfall of the Ole Miss football coach has all the elements of a Southern Gothic tale. I’m surprised this wasn’t based on a Faulkner novel. Hugh Freeze resigned abruptly after being caught with incriminating evidence of sexual hanky-panky. The story had all the true elements of a southern tragedy; sex, religion, and football. What better way to spend an Autumn Saturday afternoon.

     

     

    abstraction distraction

    In a Word, Authentic

    by | 2 | Jul 24, 2017
    Scar-Moochi (aka: Anthony Scaramucci) by © Trevor Irvin

    The word “authentic” is being tossed around a lot these days … another empty-calorie, tasteless ingredient in today’s word salad. The kale of the word world.

    The other day, a leaking pustule of a man, Anthony Scaramucci, took over the job of White House Communications Director from the former dripping abscess, Sean Spicer. During one of his attempts at deceiving the press and the public, Scaramucci, started rambling on about just how great Sarah Huckabee was, saying,

     

     

    it all comes down to this

    Goosing Adrenaline

    by | 4 | Jul 17, 2017
    Goosing Adrenaline

    I swear, I don’t know what gets into people.

    This latest head scratcher starts when the morning’s news feed flashes a headline about an American from Virginia Beach, Virginia who gets ‘run through’ – i.e.: seriously gored – by a bull last weekend as he ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

     

     

    we must dissent

    Salute This Flag

    by | 0 | Jul 9, 2017
    John Beecher in 1976 by © Rob Amberg for the Asheville arts monthly, “The Arts Journal”.

    Several friends found it difficult to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

    I strive not to let these forces win the biggest gift I could give them, namely to shut up and wait out their dominion. Instead, we must wrestle; we must dissent.

     

     

    100 million

    From Butter Churns To Baseball Bats

    by | 0 | Jul 9, 2017
    Louiville Slugger by Tom Poland

    She kept the old churn in the kitchen. I see it vividly, even now. I watched my Grandmother Poland churn butter, a memory that sure seems old-fashioned in this digital age. I have no idea who made that churn. It vanished with the years, nowhere to be found, but I can tell you this much: baseball bats and butter churns share a connection.

    For me, this story begins in Apex, North Carolina where I was visiting my daughter and her family the weekend of June 10. The occasion was my grandson’s graduation from high school…

     

     

    and then i knew

    Dancing with Wolves

    by | 2 | Jul 9, 2017
    Dancing with Wolves

    I worshipped the man.

    Like a puppy, I waited expectantly his daily homecoming, ever eager to ask a child’s question: “What kind of day did you have?” “Oh, I had a good day,” he might say. Other times his face and his words told a different story: “It was a rough day.” If it had been a “rough day,” sometimes I’d ask why, but he never divulged much.

     

     

    remembering

    The Boy Who Stoned Cats

    by | 2 | Jul 5, 2017
    The Boy Who Stoned Cats

    Late in the afternoon a strange noise came from the vegetable garden beside the house, it was the sound of a bird in distress. The bird was squeaking, flapping its injured wing and hopping frantically around to escape from two large black birds attacking it. The boy grabbed a straw broom and waved it at the black birds until they flew away.

    The little bird continued to squeak and hop around as the boy tried to catch it…

     

     

    throwback to another era

    The Old Hand Pump

    by | 2 | Jul 5, 2017
    76 station hand water pump by Tom Poland

    “The pump don’t work ’cause the vandals took the handles,” wrote Bob Dylan as he closed out “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” Vandals have yet to get the handle of the pump you see here, but I don’t know if it works. I didn’t try it. Wish I had. Let’s just say that it works and that’s why it didn’t end up in the scrap metal pile. Let’s add that if you work the handle enough, your reward will be gurgling, spurts of water.

     

     

    even uncle sam has bad days

    Barbecue and Patriotism Both Have a Price

    by | 0 | Jul 3, 2017
    Barbecue and Patriotism Both Have a Price

    On the Fourth of July, we naturally think of Uncle Sam, our nation’s favorite icon. While I try to keep a positive attitude about Uncle Sam in July, I can’t forget the day the old man hurt my feelings in October.

    Let me explain: Back in the day, Fairfax (AL) Cotton Mill chartered a bus to take the mill-village Boy Scouts to the Southeastern Fair in Atlanta. As a proud member of Fairfax Troop 10, I was thrilled at the prospect of such a magical journey. Going to the Southeastern Fair was like a trip to Mars…

     

     

    bona fide bbq

    That Tantalizing Smoke

    by | 2 | Jul 3, 2017
    Seatman's BBQ

    A bona fide barbecue joint should be way out in the country. It’s best if it isn’t open seven days a week. People need to wait on it. They need to anticipate the approaching banquet. Moreover, a bona fide barbecue joint needs to sit where you can see the smoke rising off hog drippings and coals as red as magma. It needs to have ample parking because patrons will pilgrimage to their preferred porcine shrine as faithfully as the rising sun.

     

     

    may we be enlightened

    The Burden of Being a Southerner

    by | 2 | Jul 1, 2017
    “United Stereotypes of America” by Haley Nahman

    This is going to be a long and rather convoluted essay. I will be long, because as a Southerner and a quasi-historian I can’t do with one word what twenty would do; it will be convoluted as my feelings on the issue I am writing about are convoluted.

    While not a huge fan of William Faulkner, I have longed admired his ability to put the South and the past in perspective. So here is the obligatory Faulkner quote, which at the end of this essay you reader can judge whether I put it all in perspective.

     

     

    nature’s magic

    The Season Of Wings

    by | 0 | Jul 1, 2017
    The Season Of Wings

    The songs of birds, cicadas, and katydids really make Southern summers special. Quickly, can you tell me the difference between a cicada and a katydid? Which sings by day, and which sings by night … Ponder that.

    Unlike past summers, this one brings rain. So far, at least. And with the rain comes life. Lawns are lush and for whatever reason I’ve noticed that fireflies seem more abundant. Come dusk, they float over and around my deck, something they’ve never done before.

     

     

     

    keeping care affordable

    Dickering with the Nation’s Health Care

    by | 0 | Jul 1, 2017
    Louie Clay's Medical Insurance Costs 1985-2017

    While Congress dickers with health care, I am taking a close look at my own costs.

    I retired on December 31, 2001. In the 15½ years since, my health costs have averaged $4,842.02 per year and have been more than $2,000 for all but one of those years.

    In the 17 years before retirement, my medical costs never reached $2,000 a year.

     

     

    guaranteed profit

    Welfare Queen: The State of Georgia Power

    by | 0 | Jun 28, 2017
    Welfare Queen: The State of Georgia Power

    Everyone knows how free-market capitalism works: corporations invest money to make and market a product, then keep the profits. But what if you could persuade someone else to invest that money, while still pocketing the profits? Welcome to Georgia Power’s so-called “Nuclear Renaissance.” In 2009, Georgia’s General Assembly passed the Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act, allowing Georgia Power and its partners to charge ratepayers in advance for the construction of two new reactors at Plant Vogtle

     

     

    name 12 people

    Leroy of Barnwell and other Southern gothic characters

    by | 4 | Jun 28, 2017
    Leroy of Barnwell and other Southern gothic characters

    Hand over my heart, this is a true story.

    The South is known for its unusual characters, right? They populate the stories of Southern writers like Erskine Caldwell, Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Carson McCullers, etc. and et al.

    But we Southerners know, don’t we, that you don’t have to crack one of these authors’ famous books to find such a fictional character’s prototype?

     

     

    foreign policy anarchy

    Qatar in 2017, Switzerland in 1938

    by | 1 | Jun 26, 2017
    Qatar in 2017, Switzerland in 1938

    The geopolitical peril facing Qatar in 2017 resembles that of Switzerland in 1938: small, wealthy, tenaciously independent … and caught between militarily powerful neighbors, one of which wants to end its neutrality. Eighty-one years ago, little Switzerland occupied some of the most dangerous territory on the planet, bordered by Nazi Germany to the north and east and by Fascist Italy to the south. With the Fall of France in 1940 she would be completely surrounded …

     

     

    tit for tat

    Daddy and the Sweet Old Lady’s Apoplectic Fit

    by | 0 | Jun 16, 2017
    Bill Strickland and young JL

    I was never exactly sure whether my father, Bill Strickland, was an amateur adult or a professional adolescent. Here is just one of the many incidents that led to my confusion.

    The Pledgers, Bryant and Erma, a middle age childless couple, were our next door neighbors in Fairfax , an east Alabama mill village, when I was growing up. Mr. Bryant operated the Sinclair Service Station at the cotton-mill village crossroads, which also served as the bus station. Miss Erma ran the cash register and kept the books.

     

     

    mckenzie beach

    The tides giveth and the tides taketh away

    by | 0 | Jun 16, 2017
    McKenzie Beach

    If you’ve driven South Carolina’s Ocean Highway (Hwy. 17), perhaps in hurrying from Georgetown to Myrtle Beach, you’ve probably noticed the ruins of old buildings on the east side of the road catercorner to the Fresh Market in Pawleys Island.

    The mouldering, vine-tangled ruins look like the setting for a Tennessee Williams play or a novel by William Faulkner. The whole property, in fact, has the look of a long-ago Southern yesteryear, or as black poet Langston Hughes might have put it: the look of a dream deferred.

     

     

    fight for justice and fairness

    Pure Suthun

    by | 1 | Jun 14, 2017
    Jeff Sessions - Keeper of the Flame by Donkey Hotey

    I have trouble listening to the news, especially when great nonsense is spoken in near perfect Suthun English.

    I taught in a secondary modern school in the London in 1965-66 after which I returned to work on my doctorate at the University of Alabama and teach undergraduates. An honors student from one of those classes is coming to visit this afternoon, the first time we have seen each other in 50 years!

     

     

     

    thanks, dad

    Hey Nineteen

    by | 2 | Jun 12, 2017
    Little League Baseball by Andrew Ahearne

    I was nine years old in the spring of 1967 when my father asked me if I wanted to tryout for Little League. I had no idea what Little League was but when he explained it was baseball, I quickly agreed. He had taken me to my first ballgame when I was six so any combination of my dad and baseball meant an instant yes. Back home a few hours later, he told me someone called to say I’d been picked to play for the Beachwood-Pine Beach (NJ) Little League Cardinals.

     

     

     

    betting with our money

    Vogtle Big Bet$ Lotto: Where has all the public’s money gone?

    by | 1 | Jun 9, 2017
    VOGTLE BIG BET$ LOTTO by Tom Ferguson

    It may be easier to understand the fast-moving drama of the slow-moving construction of Nuclear Plant Vogtle 3 & 4 if you look at the whole affair as a high-stakes betting game rather than the high-risk nuclear power project it appears to be.

    If you haven’t already, tune into the frequent financial headlines about the $10 billion debt ruining Georgia Power’s multi-national corporate partners building AP1000 reactors in Burke County, Georgia. Tom Ferguson, famous artist and Nuclear Watch South board president …

     

     

    sucker for bugle calls

    Everybody Has a Story

    by | 4 | Jun 5, 2017
    Everyone Has A Story

    Have you noticed that if you listen to people, everybody has a story? Even people who don’t realize they have one.

    I’m sure you have.

    Recently, an older acquaintance and I were talking about my early teenage years when I was often called upon to put on my Boy Scout uniform and play the bugle call “Taps” for area military funerals. Somehow, the conversation drifted to the death of his favorite uncle…

     

     

    the lessons I learned

    A Tribute to Grady Lee Randolph

    by | 0 | Jun 4, 2017
    A Tribute to Grady Lee Randolph

    While reading Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom years ago, I immediately thought of Mr. Randolph. He was my Morrie Schwartz—the most memorable teacher I ever had.

    Grady Randolph frequently spoke about his rural, humble beginnings in Possum Trot, Alabama. Because of his intense love of learning, he read every book in the local library and started a journal in his early teens that he continued his entire life. This spirit led him to the University of Chicago, where he earned a law degree. He married, joined the Atlanta Bar in 1954, and practiced law in Atlanta with his wife. But he also taught history at Henry Grady High School.

     

     

    seeking answers

    Joey Can’t Tell Us

    by | 0 | Jun 1, 2017
    Joey Can’t Tell Us

    Hardly anybody talks about Joey Miller anymore. His car was found three days after he had gone missing–in a vacant lot on some rural property he had planned to develop. The trunk was locked and his body was inside it. Somebody had shot him twice – in his upper back and in the back of his head.

    The crime lab at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), sixty miles away in Tallahassee, even helped with some forensics…

     

     

    garden bug

    The World’s Most Expensive Vegetables

    by | 2 | May 31, 2017
    Raised bed for lettuce and beans

    I have a perennial burning urge to grow beans and lettuces, tomatoes and zucchini. I missed the season last year, moving house and garden, but I’m back on track. Although I garden on a modest scale, inadvertently I’ve embarked on a bid to grow the world’s most expensive vegetables.

    A preference for growing vegetables over flowers is proof of my prosaic side, but also illustrates a romantic approach to harvesting and cooking produce straight from the soil…

     

     

    enjoy freedom

    Americans distinctively thrive under our Bill of Rights

    by | 0 | May 31, 2017
    Americans distinctively thrive under our Bill of Rights

    Most Americans probably don’t realize how unique are their individual rights, compared to people living under other governments.

    Our Founding Fathers, in all their inspired wisdom, gave early Americans more rights than previously had any government anywhere in the world.  Those same rights, often multiplied in some ways, remain a cornerstone of living in the United States and go a long way in defining what it is to be an American.

    They are easily identified in our Bill of Rights.

     

     

    life was simple

    The Other Side of the Tracks

    by | 2 | May 31, 2017
    The Railroad Worker’s Cottage

    Our house was only 10 yards from the railroad tracks and 50 yards from the end of the train station. It was a small rented cottage, one of five allocated to families of track workers. We had waited several years before the two bedroom cottage became available. The bedrooms were small and I was allocated a bed on the enclosed porch. There were no windows, only a wire screen to keep out the insects and a large canvas roller blind to keep out the light. It was cold and noisy.

     

     

    ticklebox repair

    Responding to a Medical Crisis of These Times

    by | 2 | May 26, 2017
    Responding to a Medical Crisis of These Times

    God made the funny bone, but it atrophies with disuse. Those of us who closely follow the evening news are highly susceptible to morphing into a sourpuss.

    An excellent remedy over the long haul is to give no more than 15 minutes a day to the headlines and redeem the rest of the day by reading good poetry aloud, fly-fishing alone in a huge state or federal park, changing diapers (of the very old or of the newborn), looking in a mirror while sticking out your tongue…  Use your imagination. That’s why we have one.

     

     

    a fairy tale

    Do you believe in fairies?

    by | 7 | May 23, 2017
    Fairy fort

    Nothing prepared me for the shock discovery after months in a writers’ group where I now live in Ireland, that several of our members firmly believe in fairies. Nobody dismissed them as figments of the imagination. I had to look into this.

    Joining this group had opened a new window for me into a writer’s world. We meet weekly on Sunday afternoons in a village coffee and book shop serving excellent latte…

     

     

    times change

    Sacks of Mail

    by | 0 | May 22, 2017
    Varney Airlines: Now Known as United Airlines

    Recent incidents involving forced removal of passengers from commercial flights have highlighted how far we have moved from the golden age of airline travel. I started flying in the 1950s and have experienced the significant changes in the airline business, not all for the benefit of travelers.

    Flying home recently, on board a new Boeing 717 aircraft, I read an article (The History of Airline Classes and Cabins: The Travel Insider) about some of the changes in the airline industry over the years…

     

     

    where is the gop outrage?

    The Spineless Majority

    by | 0 | May 19, 2017
    Trump Whine No Fair they are pickin on me by Mike Licht

    Republicans, the GOP, and Donald Trump are all blatantly obvious hypocrites. They are spineless, they lack a backbone, they have no guiding moral principles. They are parasites to our society.

    Just imagine that Hillary Clinton had won the election on November 8th, 2016. I know that you might want to get lost in this fantasy, but go with me for bit. Imagine that she won the electoral college but lost the popular vote. Not just lost it, but got reamed by 3,000,000 votes…

     

     

    classified funny

    Honesty is the best policy and other grand misconceptions

    by | 5 | May 18, 2017
    Honesty is the best policy and other grand misconceptions

    Well, tie me to an ant hill and slap jelly in ma ears … Vladimir Putin, former KGB chief, thug and Dictator in Chief of Russia has offered to vouch for Donald’s Trumps innocence and honesty during a high stakes classified information swap-meet in the oval office. Vlad says he can prove that Donald is telling the truth.

    Well! Jeesh, that is a relief! Show of hands, who, republican or democrat, with even a smidge of common sense feels more secure and that Donald is trustworthy? …

     

     

    save cumberland

    Georgians must resolve to protect Cumberland Island as a rare natural treasure

    by | 0 | May 16, 2017
    Georgians must resolve to protect Cumberland Island as a rare natural treasure

    In December of last year the Camden County Planning Commission considered an application for a “hardship variance” to allow a group of Cumberland Island property-owners and family members to use 87 acres on the island to create a 10-lot subdivision. That area, zoned “conservation- preservation,” is less than a quarter-mile from the Sea Camp ferry dock, where nearly all visitors arrive from the mainland. Even though the applicants failed to meet all five variance requirements, their request was granted by the county planning commission.

     

     

    the slow lane

    Wreckage Along The Back Roads

    by | 4 | May 16, 2017
    To I-77 old store falling down

    Beautiful wreckage along the back roads. It’s a chest of tarnished treasure. The key is that red, white, and blue shield you see in the photograph. Rather than speed from one destination to another, I follow old roads into the past. And it’s there that I ramble, detouring and losing track of time. It’s there that mysteries occur, something that never happens on a rough-surfaced interstate where road noise drowns out your thoughts.

     

     

    smiling back at you

    The One Who Got Away

    by | 6 | May 14, 2017
    Young David Evans in front of his home with his beagle

    I built my first coffin as an eight-year-old, a time when dogs still trotted freely in the street. Sawdust and Timber, my two young beagles, had full reign of our neighborhood. One day Sawdust ran under a speeding Buick Roadmaster. Timber trailed a few steps behind and only heard the thump. My first encounter with death came the next morning when the vet called to tell my father that Sawdust had died.

     

     

    tuesday morning massacre

    It’s History Calling on Line One

    by | 3 | May 13, 2017
    James Comey - Caricature by DonkeyHotey

    As an ever-bumbling White House struggled since Tuesday to explain just when, how, and why President Trump decided to fire FBI Director James Comey, a central question has been the role of Deputy Attorney General Rod Lowenstein. After initial assertions Rosenstein’s May 9 letter was the sole impetus for the firing, Trump declared Thursday the decision was his alone, made long ago, and the Deputy AG’s comments had no bearing.

     

     

    southern life

    The Long Approach

    by | 4 | May 10, 2017
    Douglas DC-7C G-AOIC

    On lots of those days during school I would daydream about rambling the world; seeing and doing all the things I had learned about in books and movies. Trans-World Airways and Pan American went everywhere. Maybe I could afford to travel like that someday. I would need to learn some languages, of course. And I needed a plan. The routes Marco Polo took … I could start there. It was always in the back of my mind, to be dealt with when the time came. Maybe I could even get a job with an airline. Their employees get free passes to everywhere.

     

     

    southern life

    A Fondness For Old Gas Pumps

    by | 0 | May 7, 2017
    A Fondness For Old Gas Pumps

    Something about old gas pumps pleases me. I think of them as elder statesmen, as senior citizens left behind by the rush of time itself. When I see a proud old pump, its dispensing days behind it, I feel a surge of pride tinged by sadness. Veterans of another era, they have been put out to pasture.

    I have a long history with gas pumps, and I’m sure you do too. Ever wondered how many hours you’ve spent by a gas pump…

     

     

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