Columns

Any time one group of people passes laws to keep other individuals from a particular right, the individuals who are being blocked or marginalized should investigate, looking into the “whys” and the “how comes.” We should never lose our curiosity. The curiosity endowed by the wisdom of a Migh…

Think about the life expectancy in 1900 being somewhere around 50 years old for males, and about 57 for females. And being an average, many didn’t make that.

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In my last column, I wrote about the Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams and her “out-of-state” fundraising tactics. To my excitement, it was discovered in the latest quarterly campaign disclosure reports that our Republican nominee Brian Kemp out-raised Abrams by over $1 million.…

About ten years ago, I got a notice from “the city” informing me that effective immediately, my family should begin separating and sorting the recyclables from our trash.

This morning, when I was supposed to be writing my column, I was spending time clearing old emails out of my box. Comcast had let me know that I was almost out of room and procrastination determined that I should begin clearing some space right then, rather than working on writing. Fall is a…

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When I was a young teen living in middle Tennessee in 1960, my older brother was in college at Georgia Tech. Whenever we went to visit him, we traveled the state highways to reach Atlanta. The only interstates at that time were somewhere other than the south.

Some years ago, after assisting with a workshop sponsored by the 100 Black Men of Rome and Floyd County, I came to realize that where one lives plays a major role in his or her health. When speaking of health, many times we think only of physical health, failing to realize that marginalized …

Marriage is big business these days, too big. My daughter became engaged over the Labor Day weekend and now I have had to define what my duties and deadlines will be for this wedding. I have been married for so long that I’m not quite sure what the etiquette is these days. Of course, everyth…

Several years ago, both of my ankles were broken simultaneously when a driver ran a red light and hit my car head on. It took surgery, pins and plates, and three years of hard work to rehab my ankles. I had just begun to walk normally and was finally able to manage stairs without having to u…

Undeniable realization always comes, moments when vision is clear and unequivocal, when compensations and denials no longer supplant the truth attempting to land permanence on the landscape of dreams. Mine came on a putting green in college. Believing myself to be a fine putter, the glue hol…

Back in 1975, Tom T. Hall sang, “I like beer, it makes me a jolly good fellow. I like beer, it helps me unwind and makes me feel mellow. Whiskey’s too rough, Champagne costs too much, vodka puts my mouth in gear. This little refrain should help me explain, as a matter of fact, I like beer.”

As I stand in the middle of the store, I hear it clearly, that loud, ear piercing cry of “I want my way.”

Last week, I wrote about shutting up and stepping up to do the right thing. After serious thinking this week, I realized that we will never do the right thing until we are committed to make a difference. Commitment is what will make us think and act in the manner of the people of old. This k…

I never had much of a bucket list, even years ago when I was being treated for cancer. But there was one place on the very short list where I really wanted to go. I first heard about Ring Lake Ranch at a chaplains’ conference years before but until last year had never followed through on my …

Running for governor isn’t easy. In fact, running for any elected office isn’t easy. There are several things that must be considered. Things like recruiting volunteers, canvassing, marketing, fundraising, hosting events, etc. Undoubtedly, the most important thing involved in running for pub…

Kenny Rogers turned 80 in August. For more than 50 years, he was a consistent hit maker and a popular concert draw, from large arenas to small clubs. He retired from performing recently, saying his mobility isn’t what it once was. At his farewell concert in Nashville last year, he was accomp…

It makes an “Ass” out of “U” and “Me.” That was one of my dad’s favorite lessons growing up. Whenever a situation went south and we complained about fault lying in unmet expectations, “Well, I assumed that…,” Dad would pull that gem of a phrase out of his pocket to remind us that nothing can…

I can’t speak for all women or men who have been molested, assaulted or raped. I can try to explain my own experience and why I buried the memories so well that I didn’t see the consequences until I finally allowed myself — as a result of the #metoo movement — to look them over thoroughly, p…

That was the question posed just a few weeks ago by former President Obama when he kicked off his campaigning for the midterms. I want to wrestle with that question here, not through a dry historical or academic analysis but as an American citizen.

Editor’s note - Mike Ragland is busy finishing up his next book  "Lucy and the Ghost Train" and so offers this two-part classic Ragland to keep his fans entertained:

One senator is known for saying, “shut up, step up and do the right thing.” If there are those of us who have not registered to vote in the November 2018 election, you still have time. Oct. 9 is the last day to register. This is the time for all of us who have been overjoyed or miserable for…

Humans are so like these tiny subterranean creatures that find haven under our log piles. Movies have been produced about them, feed stores promise ways to eradicate them. They are, as the Greeks have named them, Tamias, translated as “treasurer,” “steward” or” housekeeper.” Meet the mighty …

 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning — yes, more than those who watch for the morning” (Psalm 130:5,6, NKJV).

Previously mentioned in my complaints of Georgia politics was the semi-professional nature of our state legislature. This was just the first installment of the gripe, for there are several things that are wrong with this form of governance in Georgia. The previous article addressing this was…

As a kid, I grew up laughing at Bill Cosby. Comedy albums were big in the pre-cable era and when Cosby released a new album, I had to have it. His routine about Noah’s ark is a classic, and I made sure my kids had a chance to enjoy it, too.

Every time I hear Michael Scott say it, I laugh. I mean, it is meant to be funny when the character from “The Office” takes a comment that isn’t remotely sexual and makes it such by implying that a woman has given him a sensual compliment in whatever was said. For example, “Don’t make this h…

Each time a writer pens something, whether it is a letter, poem, book or just a short essay, the information is written from his or her point of view and hopefully supported by facts. Because of that point, the essay may be missing particular facts that the writer might have deemed unnecessa…

The 2018 Coosa Valley Fair will open this year on Oct. 2 and run through Oct. 6. We’ve been taking a look back at the history of the fair since the Rome Exchange Club revived it in 1949. In last week’s column we carried the fair into the year 1962. One thing from last week, we mentioned Anne…

My fondest memories of rotary phones are from my teenage years. I’m sure I caused my parents no end of frustration as I pulled the cord from our dining room to the hallway so I could close the door and have “private” conversations with my friends. It was easy for my folks to set limits — “be…

My daughter, Christy, is a classically trained violinist. She still has the third of three violins that she played throughout her years in school. The other two violins are hanging on a wall at our house. More about that later.

What if I told you that you are richer than you think? There are approximately 7 ½ billions of people on the planet earth. Nearly half of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.

Bernard “Bernie” Sims was a friend of mine. He lived a few houses down from my family on Pruitt Drive. We were a year apart in age and shared an interest in golf. This meant we did not share any classes in school and that I could only observe him on the golf course. Bernie appeared more verb…

Last week I was at a meeting in Gordon County. The speaker at the meeting was Gordon County’s Election Director Shea Hicks. During her presentation she discussed the ins and outs of the local election process from training poll workers to testing and certifying the voting machines to mailing…

Who’s your tribe? Do you know? Before you prepare to check your DNA or track your ancestry to figure it out, let’s consider some things.

I’m not a dancer but I’ve always enjoyed watching others dance. There is something about dancing — the flying feet in lockstep with another, the graceful arms, the bent of the head, and the whirling round and round. It makes my heart sing. Dancers — when in harmony with one another — produce…

We all feel blessed to have a pioneer-warrior like Joyce P. Smith leading us and guiding us on this restoration journey. Those of us in this community should give thanks for having people who have been given missions and visions and are willing to go the distance to accomplish them.

Read the headline of the Rome News-Tribune on Sunday, Oct. 16, 1949. The Fair was coming back, after over a decade of nonexistence.

The new day ushered in sign-hanging, pricing, the arrangement of goods and a box of change. This particular morning was to be the launch of my first yard sale in over 20 years. With great reluctance, I decided to take a chance on cleaning out my storage room and turn my treasures into cash. …