I mentioned a few weeks back the TBF/FLW High School Fishing Southeastern Conference Championship tournament scheduled for Lake Lanier. It has come and gone. Fifty-one teams from eight states competed. Fittingly enough, the event was won by two youngsters from East Hall High School — Tristan Thomas and Dakota Crumley. The win earned their team the title of Southeastern Conference champions. They will now compete in the 2016 High School Fishing National championship to be held next spring at a location to be announced. Several of you mentioned wanting to see a fishing club started at your high school. I would suggest that you contact highschoolfishing.org. I suspect they would be delighted to help you. . . .
eBible Fellowship, a group out of Philadelphia that does all their worshiping online (“Alright, users, let us bow our heads and Twitter.”) said recently that the world was going to end last Thursday, Oct. 7.
Hooray! The State of Georgia, CSX Transportation, Murray County and the Georgia Ports Authority have announced construction of the Appalachian Regional Port to be built in Murray County in Northwest Georgia. Automobiles, carpet and flooring and other goods from Georgia and neighboring states will be shipped via a direct 388-mile CSX rail line to the Georgia Ports Authority’s deep water port in Savannah.
Please don’t say anything to Junior E. Lee about this but I had several people come up to me after a recent speech to ask why they had not seen his observations in the paper recently. If he knew that, he might ask for a raise.
I want you to hear this from me rather than from Donald Trump. I have been outed. I am a “bed-wetting liberal.” No longer can I hide in the closet, among my bell-bottom pants and Nehru jackets that I am sure will be making a stylistic comeback one of these days.
Blessed are we, the peacemakers. Ours is a lonely lot. I had hoped I could cut back on pacifying petulant poops and spend more time on my latest passion — learning to play the flugelhorn. Alas, it is not to be. My skills as a peacemaker are once again required. And wouldn’t you know it? I had just mastered the aria “Lascia ch’io pianga” from Handel’s opera, “Rinaldo.” Rats.
In the midst of all the turmoil over recent Supreme Court decisions on Obamacare and gay marriage as well as the furor over the Confederate battle flag, you may have missed the big news. The white-tailed deer has been selected the official mammal of the state of Georgia.
Five young men, ages 18 to 23. Two college graduates. Two currently attending college. The youngest headed that way this fall. All good students. All excellent athletes. All standing resolutely before a large assemblage to pay tribute to their grandfather, Rob Neely, who passed away recently after a courageous battle with cancer. And what a tribute it was.
I have the greatest respect for the Georgia State Patrol. Theirs is a tough job with roughly 900 troopers available to cover a state of 59,500 square miles and deal with the kind of carnage they see almost daily on Georgia’s highways. If all of this isn’t difficult enough, now they are being required to enforce the so-called “Slow Poke” law. One trooper was quoted recently as saying not enough people are aware of the law. Consider this a public service announcement, dear reader: If you are going 70 miles per hour in the left lane — the maximum posted speed limit on our Interstates — and some Dale Earnhardt-wannabe comes flying up on your tail doing 80 mph (which I believe constitutes breaking the law. Please correct me if I am wrong) you must move over or be cited for driving the speed limit. I don’t blame the State Patrol for being required to enforce a law that encourages breaking the law. I blame the geniuses in the Legislature who passed it. ...
My recent open letter to Georgia’s public school teachers produced as much response as I have received in a long time. Teachers from one end of the state to the other have weighed in and the comments are still coming.
I have been trying to figure out what to do with my free time now that I have decided not to run for President of the United States (or what’s left of it.) Some of you wrote and asked me to reconsider my decision. I am humbled by your pledges of support but I don’t want to broach the subject again with the Woman Who Shares My Name. She has access to a lot of broccoli and says she know where she can get more. I had best leave that alone.
You are going to have to give me a little scat room today. I am having an attack of the nostalgias. Going down someone else’s Memory Lane can be as boring as a lecture on the life cycle of guppies but this has been a reflective few weeks for me. My beloved Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia and the campus chapter of my college fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, both celebrated their 100th anniversaries this past month in Athens.
What time is it, boys and girls? It’s time for Answer Man! Time to dip into the ol’ mailbag and see what is on your mind and show you how little is on ours. While we can’t guarantee total and complete accuracy in our answers, it is Answer Man’s opinion that this won’t matter because if you knew the answer, you probably wouldn’t have asked the question in the first place.
It is with regret I tell you that our intrepid public servants in the Legislature have scuttled a bill that would have lowered the age of eligibility to serve as a member of the House of Representatives to 18 years of age and to 21 in the State Senate.
If you watched the Super Bowl a couple of weeks ago — and reports say that 114 million of us did — perhaps you saw a portion of the reprehensible behavior of Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who after scoring a touchdown proceeded to mime pulling down his pants, squatting as if on a commode before dropping the ball to the ground as if defecating. The NFL fined Baldwin $11,000 which has to be chump change to this boor. Astonishingly, the incident has gotten very little mention in the media. You can bet this kind of obscene showboating will wend its way down through the college ranks to high schools and eventually to the Pee Wee Leagues. Whatever happened to sportsmanship? ...
My fellow Georgians: In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is required that I submit to you at the first of every year my State of the Column message. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I do that gladly today. For one thing, this will be a lot shorter and less boring than the State of the Union address (Boooo!) and, also, we don’t have to endure a bunch of fawning politicians trying to be seen on national television. (Yay! Ha! Ha! Ha!)
Allen Peake is a man on a mission. The five-term Republican state representative from Macon is the driving force behind proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia. He may succeed this year after suffering a setback in 2014 when the House and Senate got into a bit of political brinksmanship at the last minute and failed to pass his bill, which had sailed through the House with only four negative votes.
These words are dedicated to the memory of my friend, the late Otis Brumby Jr., publisher of the Marietta Daily Journal, who encouraged me to run this column each Christmas season. It is also dedicated to those who believe.
You may recall that I vigorously opposed passage of a constitutional amendment in 2012 creating the State Charter School Commission that would allow an alternative method for authorizing charter schools in Georgia. You may recall, also, that the amendment passed handily. So much for my vigor.
This was written in a cave somewhere in Greater Bora Bora. The column was floated across the ocean in an RC Cola bottle to this newspaper. (I have no idea how the editors got in from bottle to print. I assumed that if editors can figure out where commas go, they ought to be able to figure out how to print a column in a bottle.)
On my “To Do” list last week was a reminder to call former Gov. Carl Sanders and see if he had any thoughts on how to get the field at Sanford Stadium named for UGA’s former coach and athletic director Vince Dooley. I knew he would like the idea and perhaps could jerk a few chains I seem to have been unable to rattle thus far.
I was on St. Simons Island last week scarfing down massive amounts of corn-fried shrimp at the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill when someone came to the table to inquire if Junior E. Lee had finished his analysis of the recent election. That really puffed Junior up when I told him that.
This is a story I shared with some of you a couple of years ago but given the well-deserved tributes this week to our veterans, it seems an appropriate time to share it with all of you. It is about a terrorist; an honest-to-God terrorist. Not only does he not deny the appellation, he’s proud of it.
I have asked the two major gubernatorial candidates to talk to Georgia public school teachers about their respective education platforms. This week the floor belongs to Jason Carter, the Democratic challenger. Next week, it will be Republican Gov. Nathan Deal’s turn.
I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world. One day I am advising world leaders on the nuances of international monetary policy. The next day I am consoling a distraught reader who thinks I need to “look within myself spiritually.” The last time I looked within myself, I saw my navel. It was full of lint. Never again.
The Woman Who Shares My Name instructed me that this week’s column was to be about positive things. She says she is tired of bad news and thought you felt the same way. “Surely, you can find some positive things to write about,” she said, “and temporarily take people’s minds off all the terrible things going on in the world. I think your readers would appreciate that.”
Can it be? Is it September already? One of my favorite tunes, “September Song,” was written by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson for a Broadway musical in 1938 called “Knickerbocker Holiday. The lyrics could apply today to the current political season in Georgia — “For it’s a long, long time from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September.”
It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn’t get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.
The U.S. Senate race this November between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue will be one of the more unusual campaigns we have witnessed in Georgia. Neither has held public office and both are anxious to portray themselves as the ultimate “outsider.”
In 1997, Gov. Zell Miller appointed me to fill a vacant seat on the five-member State Ethics Commission and then reappointed me to a full term where I served until 2002. It was a rewarding experience and I am proud of the good things we accomplished at the commission.
In my home hangs a photograph of a rather large and deep hole on the side of an asphalt road. It is the aftermath of an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) — or in more simple terms, a homemade bomb — that went off just as the Humvee in which I was riding passed over it.
I have said it before but it bears repeating: If I don’t qualify for heaven (a distinct possibility), my preferred alternates are: (a.) Athens, Georgia, on a crisp fall Saturday afternoon; (b.) Athens, Georgia, on a warm spring day or (c.) Athens, Georgia, on any day. As you no doubt know, Athens is home to my alma mater, the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in all the land.