Columns

Why is it so hard to be like Jesus? We all fall far short when it comes to imitating Jesus. We all do things he would never do, and fail to do things he would do without question. We act selfishly, and stupidly and heartlessly at times.

Those now distant, youthful, washed away days were carefree when my breathing synchronized with other heartbeats running and playing whatever game arose spontaneously – tag or red rover – sweating and exerting, then collapsing within dusk’s reach to ponder some told tall tale. Innocent laugh…

The fall of Fort Bravo is what I think I will call this story. I wrote before about Sergeant Herman and his Ragtag Army who had built them a fort in the sawdust pile. They were doing good until an old drunk used it for a hideout from the law and his wife. He almost suffocated when Herman’s r…

First responders, for whom we are very thankful, risk their life to help others. These trained professionals run into burning buildings to save lives and property.

When I hear the word complacent in my head, it is in Nanci Griffith’s voice. I was a big fan of her music in college and wore out my cassette tape of her 1988 album, “One Fair Summer Evening,” a live recording at Anderson Fair in Houston, Texas.

When I was a teenager, I usually had lunch with my grandmother every Saturday. She always made good and simple Southern food from scratch (Oh, how I wish I had her beans and biscuits again). More than the food, what I remember most about those Saturdays was spending time with her. I felt spe…

I don’t think I’d a been any happier if I was walking down Broad Street and found a hundred dollar bill than I was when Cave Spring Councilman Tom Lindsey called me. He said he had boxes of papers and medals from a Dr. Lewis that his dad had stored in his garage some 50 years ago.

Reconciliation must follow based on the peculiar institution of American slavery. Peggy Wallace Kennedy, as well as others, has decided that it is past time for reconciliation.

The rocky sand started to fill my shoes, and the larger stones caused me to slip a bit on the hiking path I was on with friends. I felt as if I were on a foreign planet as I navigated my way through slot canyons and up ladders precariously placed to propel hikers upward to the unknown betwee…

It’s a mad dash as you enter a once-vibrant household to look at or purchase at a good price gently-used and unusual finds which clearly belonged to someone else before they precipitously left the planet. Going to an estate sale has been a new and exciting experience for me, and one that I w…

Puzzling! And my intent is to mean perplexing while also creating a new verb as in puzzling – the act of solving puzzles. Example: “I was puzzling a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle of Mount Rushmore this past weekend.”

The prophet Isaiah is considered not only one of the greatest prophet of his day, but he is considered one of the greatest prophets of all time.

On a dark night in a quiet place, you can hear all kind of noises. There may be noises and there may not. The imagination can play some funny tricks on you. A dark stretch of road on a dark night can play tricks on the eyes and ears. I remember an incident where I thought I heard voices but …

Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviation squadron in U.S. Armed Forces history. The late Willie Rogers was one of the Tuskegee Airmen.

There are a few folks who don’t like Valentine’s Day. They often remark, “It’s just a day for Hallmark to make a boatload of money!” or “Why would you spend good money on expensive flowers? They don’t last like a good vacuum!” Those negative statements and thoughts seem to be an excellent ex…

We sometimes think of it as a four-letter word, but here on the eve of the great day of celebrating it, let’s talk about L-O-V-E.

Last week county commissioner Scotty Hancock and his wife, Berry College employee Ronda Hancock, posted to social media that they had just finished an IMPACT FCP pre-service training program.

How can our children stand on the mountain if we don’t teach them how to climb? Peggy Wallace Kennedy, daughter of former segregationist governor George Wallace, challenged the HUG Event audience Thursday evening with this thought. This timely event, coming not long after the MLK weekend cel…

We must be mindful of the tone as we call out the damage discrimination has done and is still doing to our society. The Band-Aid did not cure the disease and its effect. The Band-Aid could not reach the deep bruises, cuts, scrapes, punctures that are there because there is no medicine in the…

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I started the story of Rome’s theaters last week right in the middle. I’ve noticed writers do that to a lot of stories. I just found the eight-page addition to the Rome News-Tribune that superseded everything going on in the world to announce the opening of the DeSoto Theatre, Rome’s first t…

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As the husband of a dean of an institute of higher education, I am invited to events that normally I would not be privileged to attend. Some events can be quite casual. For instance, we recently attended a steak dinner for the Belen, New Mexico, Chamber of Commerce at the Belen Sheriff’s Pos…

If you read my stories, you have noticed that I write about people that I met. I met all kinds while on the Rome Police Department. Some I remember, and there are others who I try to forget. Gladys was one of those who brings a smile to my face.

There’s a grandmother sofa in my living room. Its curvature and form accompany a wingback chair and memories least forgotten. Grandmother sofas always invite company to sit down and pay a proper visit, a social call outlined by accepted graces and flower print dresses emitting a whiff of age…

What I remember most about that day was the cold. It was the kind of cold that seeps into the bones and settles as though it has found a permanent home. It seemed fitting for the day, as though the cold death of that little body had infected everything around it. I remember thinking, “It’s n…

Last Friday we celebrated the work of Summerville folk artist Howard Finster and galvanized a new art space for Rome, the Harbin Clinic Gallery at Makervillage in the River Arts District on North Fifth Avenue. I was thrilled to be involved with planning the event, one of the most exciting ni…

Last week, the Rome City Commission took up caucus debate and a first reading for the new proposed smoking ban on Broad Street. Before I go any further, it’s only fair that I confess I’m a smoker myself (yes, I know I should quit) who enjoys my occasional trips to downtown locales and events…

The community is looking forward to Thursday with eager anticipation, knowing that there is no magic wand to make discrimination disappear or appear. For four years now the One Community United has been inviting teams and/or individuals who are ideal examples for others to get to know and un…

It was nothing short of a revolution. Splashed across the front pages of the Rome News-Tribune on Aug. 4, 1929, was the announcement…

“This Is My Father’s World” is an old hymn I learned as a child and sang last Sunday in church. I remember being very proud of myself when I learned a few verses of this hymn and “Jesus Loves Me.” Around the same time, I also memorized the prayer, “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.” All three have…

In the 32 years that I served on the Rome police department I answered a lot of calls from people, some that was forgotten as soon as I got back into the patrol car. There were some that I will never forget. Some I smile at and some I frown at. This was one of those calls that I didn’t smile…

Tomorrow is Feb. 1, and we are well on our way toward breaking in 2019. There are several observances during the month of February, the first of which is Groundhog Day.

How’s your social health? Don’t laugh. When I have shown the flyer about this topic to my friends, I frequently get a look of disbelief and laughter. However, it is a very serious topic! Just think about all the songs written about the topic. “Are You Lonely Tonight?” “Or I’m So Lonesome, I …

My foster dogs love hickory nuts. It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. Every morning when we go out for their pre-breakfast walk, we end up in the back corner of the yard where four or five shagbark hickory trees stand with a goodly crop of nuts beneath them.

My dad was a pretty smart dude, and we four kids learned a lot from him.

Now that we have been kicking, preaching, bouncing, teaching, throwing, sharing and even debating ideas and suggestions around about how to improve the racial divide and the lack that exists in this country and especially in our region, the question for each of us becomes, “What steps as an …

Near my desk is an old Polaroid snapshot of my grandmother, also known as Grandpa*, sitting at a card table surrounded by six men and women. Three women are behind the group posing for the camera, as well as the two men and another woman, who pause for a moment in their game of Chinese Check…

Editor’s note: This is the second half of one of Mike Ragland’s classic columns, the true tale of Will Dutton’s hanging.

I have become all too acquainted with a frequent practice here in the South — dog dumping. I have met some precious dogs through this phenomenon and these shy, misplaced animals have inadvertently inserted strangers, now friends, into my Roman life. In 2017, 89.7 million dogs lived in U.S. h…

I was thinking about a person who lived in Rome back when I went on the police department. This was back in the 60s. I saw him on Broad Street when I was walking a beat. I didn’t know what his name was, only that he carried a guitar. I am sure that some of the older people remember him, he w…

Uncle Vaughn gave Mama and Daddy an upright piano years ago. It had a mirror up at the top and, as it turned out, had been converted from a player piano. My brother Steve learned to play it and practiced on it for his piano lessons.

Jerry Shearin, the Northwest Georgia district's representative on the State Transportation Board, provided an update on projects around the region — including improvements to Ga. 100 between Cave Spring and Cedartown.