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You can tell from the way the telephone rings who is on the other end of line. It is Skeeter Skates. When Skeeter calls, the phone doesn’t just ring. It jumps off the hook. He has that kind of effect on phones and people, too.

My mama used to say when an older person was grouchy, “Don’t pay any attention to him. He’s just tetchy. You get like that when you’re old.”

We all know the story of how to boil a frog to death (Frog lovers: I’m not suggesting you do so, I’m just trying to make a point here.)  The premise is that if you suddenly plopped a frog into boiling water, it would jump out. But if the frog is put in lukewarm water which is then very slowl…

Okay, RITOOs (Republicans in Trump’s Orbit Only), what’s next? Planning on sitting out November’s general election in a funk so that Democrats can elect Stacey Abrams governor and give Georgia four or perhaps eight years of left-leaning policies? If so, you will deserve every bill passed, ev…

Exactly twenty-nine days later, I pulled into the parking lot of the sheriff’s office in downtown Abbeyville. Extracting the ticket and a money order from my purse, I stepped out of the car.  The loose gravel of the parking lot crunched under my sandals as I strode toward the door.  Anger bo…

This is not a piece I was dying to write. It’s about death. The great equalizer. The reason I bring up the subject today is that I read a piece recently that scientists are looking seriously at ways to keep us alive forever. No more wakes. No more inflated obituaries. No more people saying n…

A broken gray cement slab closed the ancient grave. Briars covered with still green berries and tiny white flowers ornamented one corner. Near the headstone lay a broken white china vase besprinkled with tiny blue and pink flowers, its throat edged with gold. Only by squinting could I deciph…

“I really did,” Bill assured us, nodding vigorously. “I single-handedly turned that car over and saved all the people in it. That policeman said it was the darnedest thing he ever saw. I was a real strong man in my twenties,” he said, flexing his biceps. “You couldn’t find no stronger. You g…

I am having an identity crisis. Last week, a reader opined, “I’ve read your editorials for years and know you are a supporter of Republican Party efforts. I had hoped, in vain, that you would disavow the current Republican Party.”  I’m guessing he must have missed my snarky columns on David …

I didn’t want to take her class. It was required for college preparatory students, and even back then I knew that my ticket out of Hazlehurst lay in a college education. I gritted my teeth as I walked in.

A few years ago, I took our lab to the vet, and he told me, “Labs are great dogs, but they don’t develop a brain until they’re two years old.”

Normally I am a very private person, reluctant to bare my soul or discuss in detail areas of my existence which are to me – well – private. There are situations which, even though you choose to keep them closely guarded, may be of benefit to another who is experiencing or has experienced the…

Since spring sashayed into town quite some time ago, I’ve been working steadily and nearly daily in my yard. You might see me on the mower when you drive by the house, and perhaps you wonder about the results of my efforts; they might not be visible from the front of the house. I confess tha…

Well, I am going to have to do it again. Upset some people, I mean. But I can’t help it. It has to be done. I must once again extols the virtues of the Great State of Georgia and why it is Number One while the other 49 fight for sloppy seconds.

Last Wednesday, I visited a recuperating friend where we laughed and talked for a good hour. Had I known what was going on back at my house, I wouldn’t have been laughing. If you remember, last Wednesday, quite a storm was forecast for the next day, one with high winds, rain, and thunder. Th…

Progress is an interesting concept. In my lifetime, we’ve moved from handheld paper fans to air-conditioning. Being cool in South Georgia summers is real progress as far as I’m concerned. The old black phones that once squatted like oversized frogs on tables gave way to portable phones. Back…

Linden Longino is a retired Atlanta banker who should have Nobel Peace Prize recipient next to his name. In 1995, Longino started a program in connection with the Carter Center called International Paint Pals, an idea simple, ingenious and oh-so needed – inspire children to promote peace, fr…

“Did you ever have one of those days, boys? Did you ever have one of those days when nothing was right from morning till night? Did you ever have one of those days?”

Between the pandemic and Putin, it has been a stressful couple of weeks. Thankfully, my readers have come to the rescue. I don’t want to get into a debate with my columnist colleagues, but there is no question that my readers are smarter than anybody I’ve ever seen on Jeopardy and sharper th…

My love affairwith snow began long ago when I read romantic stories of that white wonder that so entertained children everywhere. As a child, I whined to my parents because it snowed so rarely in Hazlehurst, and I wanted to build a snowman.

Thursday last, my son Josh drove from Virginia home to Baxley to take me to see the Oak Ridge Boys perform in Macon at the Community Auditorium. They are my absolute favorite singers in the world, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t listen to them—once I discovered music, that is. They…

My fellow Georgians: (Yea! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I come before you today to submit to you my annual State of the Column address. It is with great pride that I tell you that the state of the state of this column is in such a state that it cannot be overstated! (Thunderous roar!)

Baseball great Yogi Berra was not only famous for his years playing professional baseball; he was also known for his “Yogisms,” such as the above-mentioned headline. Berra could have been considered a lexophile, and no, that is not some new gender identification. Lexophile describes those th…

When Mitt Romney was a presidential candidate, he once said to a CNN interviewer, “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there.” As soon as the words fell from Romney’s mouth, great flocks of predators flew up to attack him.

I am going to break two rules today. First, I am going to leave the friendly confines of Georgia and comment on world events. Second, I am going to talk about world events that may have changed drastically by the time you read this. That is because this column runs around the state in differ…

I was driving much too fast that Friday night. I admit it and the fact that I was in a hurry is irrelevant. My husband Larry was asleep in the passenger seat, and we were headed home to Georgia for the weekend. Cruising up I-95 somewhere in middle Florida, I glanced over to my right to see t…

He’s b-a-a-c-k. I’m talking about George. George, as in former Gov. George E. Perdue. He is back from his stint in Washington as Secretary of Agriculture in the Trump Administration, and it is a foregone conclusion that the Georgia Board of Regents will officially appoint him Chancellor of t…

This morning I put my black-eyed peas on to cook and settled down at my computer to write a bit. A house full of family is not conducive to writing, even though I love having them here and want to spend time with them. When the grandsons fired up the new PS5 for a few games and the family ga…

Although it is tempting, there will be no New Year’s resolutions for this guy for 2022. At my stage in life, I don’t resolve stuff anymore. If I did, I would resolve not to lose weight. I would resolve to eat dessert first, starting with banana pudding. If I even thought about resolving to e…

Donald Trump is on record as having stated that having Democrat Stacey Abrams as governor of the Peach State would be better than our current Gov. Brian Kemp. At a rally in Perry, Trump said, “Stacey, would you like to take his place? It’s OK with me.”  She almost did in 2018, losing to Kemp…

Since before Halloween, stores have been putting out their Christmas merchandise. Red ribbons and silver bells along with trees of every shape, size, and color wait in the stores to decorate someone’s home. I actually saw a metallic purple tree in Savannah a few weeks ago. It was resplendent…

Late last Monday night, I received a call from Marla Ogletree’s phone. Marla works for the Herald and for Gardner Newspapers, Inc. I immediately knew something was wrong for Marla to be calling at such a late hour. On the other end of the phone was Marla’s mother, Darlene, and she delivered …

As pen goes to paper, again we, the community of Folkston in District One, have a choice to make, that being whom the park in said location should, could or would bear the name of.

On November 4 of every year that rolls around, my sister Sarah Nell celebrates a birthday. A couple of years back, since neither of us was getting any younger, I thought long and hard about some unusual way to celebrate while we were still young enough to gallivant a bit. One day as I was br…

Tuesday afternoon, I picked up my Google Pixel 5 phone to call Josh, and the screen said “Locked.” I’ve never put a password or pin on this phone since I bought it back in November of 2020.

If you don’t know by now, I love my alma mater, the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation.  I am a proud graduate and a past president of the National Alumni Association. I have a haughty-looking portrait hanging somewhere in my beloved Grady College of J…

Years ago, when the first day of school rolled around as it invariably does, a brand new group of bright-eyed students sat in their seats waiting for me to start the day.  As we filled out the million forms required each year, I strolled about the room answering questions when I could.  One …

Twenty-five years ago this week, Bill Clinton was winding up his first term as president and trying to remember if he knew someone named Monica Lewinsky.  Newt Gingrich was riding high as U.S. Speaker of the House. The Atlanta Braves were in the process of winning the National League Champio…

Last week President Joe Biden and his staff members announced, that at the direction of his administration, the federal government will be going door-to-door to provide citizens with information about vaccines in areas with relatively low vaccination rates. In other words the government offi…

I must confess that as smart as I am, there are a few things in this world I do not understand, such as the unsolved problem in fundamental physics as to whether gravity and the quantum can be made to coexist within the same theory. Egyptian hieroglyphics are a bit challenging for me as are …

Pursuant to the powers and duties bestowed upon it by our citizens, The Elko County Commission does hereby resolve that any federal officer, agent, or employee, regardless of supposed congressional authorization, is required to obey and observe limitations consisting of the enumerated powers…

If Republicans have a strategy for remaining the majority party in Georgia, I am missing it.  So far, it seems to be about punishing anyone in the party who has ever uttered a discouraging word about Donald Trump.  That is not much of a strategy. Has anybody figured out yet that it is the De…

On graduation night, yet another class will don caps and gowns and march across the stage to accept diplomas and become their schools’ newest alumni.  Families and friends will sit proudly in the bleachers, waiting to hug and congratulate them.  Teachers will smile as graduates march by.   T…

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