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National Pet Peeve Week is observed the first full week in October and especially on the culminating Sunday, October 9th, this year. Pet peeves are things that drive you crazy year-round. My hackles literally stand up when someone calls me Mary, but my name is Mary Ann. Or . . . I answer the…

I have met a number of folks recently who migrated from across the Mason-You-Know-What-Line and have settled in the Great State of Georgia. We enjoy each other’s company but there is a bit of a language barrier. We all speak the same one –  English – but we speak it differently. They talk fa…

The phosphorescent glow of the bridge in my headlights appeared simultaneously with the first fat rain drops on the windshield. No moonlight shone on the river far below. No other cars traveled Highway 221 that Friday night, not in my line of vision anyway. No companion sat in the passenger …

I recall a BellSouth officers conference years ago where we spent several days wrestling with the problems we were facing in the marketplace. At one point, one of my colleagues said with exasperation, “This is a tough business!” to which our CEO John Clendenin shot back, “Name me one that isn’t!”

Editor’s Note: No adult has the right to tell another adult what to read or not to read. Parents should oversee the reading material for their children, but please read the book before you condemn it.

I suggest you read this in a hurry because I am writing it in a hurry and hoping you and I can get to the finish at the same time before one of us kicks the bucket. It seems life is short and getting shorter.

As a student in Mrs. McEachin’s 10th grade English class, I learned to diagram sentences with the best.  Using a yardstick, I deliberately drew my lines black and straight, then carefully identified and labeled each participial phrase, every complete subject and predicate, and all auxiliary …

According to Mr. Webster, fanatics are marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion. I know a man who can talk no more than five minutes about anything other than music. Sports fanatics and political fanatics abound. I had a group of students who were fanatics about J…

The new three R’s of School Days: Rancor. Rants. Retaliation. And forget the hickory stick. We’re not singing that tune anymore. In Clayton County alone, the school system reports that fights are up some 200% over the same period last year and we are only one month into the new school year. …

Editor’s note: As most of you know, I do not teach any more—not high school anyway. I still teach Sunday School. I wrote this piece several years ago when I was still teaching. Funny but the various years don’t seem to change much. The students still march through my mind in a steady stream …

Scrolling through social media portrays peers, old buddies, distant family members and colleagues through a rose-colored filter that can be hard to overlook, especially when a college friend is taking an Alaskan tour and posting pictures of the Last Frontier’s icy landscape.

My friend, Norm Solon, was a journalist and speech writer for some of the major companies and trade associations in the country. Now retired, he recently shared with me some of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities he experienced in his long and distinguished career.

“Lose 20 pounds in 6 weeks,” the magazine article proclaims, “while eating whatever you want and doing no strenuous exercise.” The key to the diet is grapefruit it seems. According to the esteemed doctor who wrote the article, there is a little-known miraculous ingredient in grapefruit that …

It’s a quiet, hot day in a rural part of the county. Jeremy Jones and his wife Jenny haven’t been home long from work when they hear the noise of metal crashing hard against metal. The floor they’re standing on quakes, and they run for the door. From the vantage point of the front porch of t…

American humorist Will Rogers once observed, “I’m not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.”  There is no question that if ol’ Will were around today, he would probably be a Republican. The Grand Old Party gives new meaning to the term disorganized.

I am a firm believer in the need for local facilities anyway and agreed with the Appling County commissioners when they voted to give more money to bail out ours, but Monday last I had personal reason to appreciate our local hospital more than I had in quite a while. I had a strange episode …

Fourteenth Century Italian writer Dante Alighieri in his “Divine Comedy” describes Hell as a place for those who have perverted “their human intellect to fraud or malice against their fellowmen.”  He could have been describing Alex Jones and his Infowars followers. For the past decade, this …

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…

Looking back, I love to think about the words of wisdom my parents imparted upon me growing up. While most are for a good laugh later down the line when it was shared in school classrooms or with an aunt or uncle, I am sure that others my age or older have heard something similar.

What do you do when you have allergies? You search in your medicine cabinet (or in my case, a decorative box) for an allergy pill. What do you do when you have sugar ants crawling all over your kids’ room? Run to Walmart for the bug spray. What about when a glass of red wine spills on the ca…

It is hard to believe it has been 26 years this week since the Centennial Olympic Games were in Atlanta. They began on July 19, 1996, and wound up August 4th. To refer to them as Atlanta’s Games is not entirely accurate. Competitions were held throughout the state, from Athens to Gainesville…

The soft summer breeze swept my hair away from my face as I flew toward the ground and swirled it around my head as I flew backwards into the air. The smell of fish frying enticed me, but I stayed put. Mama would call soon enough from the back-screened door. The wooden seat of my swing ancho…

My hardworking mother wasn’t always the most logical person around, but she had a soft heart for strays—cats, dogs, children, adults, no matter. We never knew from day to day how many would be seated around our supper table, but it didn’t really matter. If Aunt Susan and Uncle John showed up…

Friends have been telling me I need a little more fiber in my diet (I mean, what are friends for, right?). They say I’m too serious lately. Well, for all those who believe I’ve lost my sense of humor, try this on for size.

Well, this is interesting. Donald Trump and Joe Biden have something in common besides being a couple of old white guys. According to a New York Times/Siena College poll, a little less than half of the Republicans polled want Trump as their first choice in the 2024 primary should he make a r…

I may be one of the few people on the planet that has not seen “Top Gun Maverick.”  As of this writing the film, starring Tom Cruise and a sequel to the 1986 hit, “Top Gun,” has grossed over $1 billion at the box office and shows no signs of landing anytime soon.

Beverly Dixon and I met through the Appling County School System. I taught high school; she, middle school. We saw each other across the auditorium (once we got one that is) or the multipurpose room at yearly meetings. We smiled and spoke when we passed each other. We recognized each other, …

My father-in-law, Kenny Rentz, has a green thumb. This man grows a wonderful garden annually. In fact, it is so wonderful that my family benefits much from the fruits of his labor. This year, specifically, Amy and I have enjoyed the squash from Kenny’s garden immensely.

“Now your mother will say I’m crazy when she hears what I’m about to tell you,” said Dr. Al Davis, our new pediatrician. “If you’re hot, then the baby’s hot. Don’t bundle him up in blankets in the middle of July. If you let him eat too much, he’ll get a stomachache. Put him on a schedule.”

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.”

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