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Opinion articles for Screven County and surrounding areas.

Day for King about human race

Kudos to any of you who attended one or more of the celebrations and remembrances for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And yes, Saturday’s downtown Sylvania parade does count.
For those of you who did not, I hope you took a moment to reflect on why the third Monday of January is set aside to honor King, a civil rights advocate slain by an assassin’s bullet in 1968.

Georgia General Assembly still a go despite snow

According to Georgia’s Constitution, the Georgia General Assembly is required to convene for its annual 40-day legislative session each year on the second Monday in January. 
After a major winter storm covered much of our state in a blanket of snow and ice, many Georgia schools and businesses were forced to close. However, that was not an option at the state capitol. 

And if ‘The U’ isn’t a true blue miracle, I don’t know what one is

Our world is eat up with people who do not have a grasp of the English language. I am not referencing those who go willy nilly with the usage of apostrophes. I also am not poking fun at the ones who seem to believe the word “be” can be expressed in every sentence – “I be his daddy,” “Ronald be here,” and “Who you be?” And I am not chastising the individuals who toss in the catch phase of the moment into each conversation – “It’s cool,” “You one fly girl,” or “That photo’s straight.”

Greatest inventions? Well, it depends on the need at the time

What are the greatest inventions ever?
One of them, I might have said in the summer of 1955, was air conditioning because my grandmother, Mama Stevens, was living with us and my brother and I slept in the attic on a mattress laid on the flooring. Our baby sister moved into a bed with Mama, who was a rather large woman. Sister quickly learned to hold onto her side of the bed to keep from rolling over against her bed partner.

Don’t get knotted up, here’s some NOTs

Six days into the new year hopefully most of you have, thus far, stuck to your resolutions like lose weight, don’t kick the bumper on your ole broken-down car as much, and learn a foreign language like Tibetan.
In my drives about the county, I have seen double the number of joggers I saw in 2010. That is right. I have seen two and in all probability the second jogger was the same person as the first just on different day.

How should we feel about one who steals from Salvation Army?

The last I heard, law officers were still tracking down places a Salvation Army bell ringer might have set up his kettle to collect money for the needy.
Unfortunately, he himself was the designated needy.
That’s right. Some guy used his mama’s good name and the Salvation Army’s good reputation to collect a few bucks for himself. I don’t know if he smiled and said “God bless you” when someone dropped money into the red kettle, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

Rudolph guided the way. Now it is your turn to do the same.

As Christmas nears, tree leaves – at a frantic pace – fall to the ground eagerly waiting a gas-powered blower to reshuffle their landing spots. Our weather abruptly went from a balmy South Georgia April-type pattern to an igloo-building North Pole-type pattern.
Cooler temps rushed in just in time for Sylvania’s annual Christmas Extravaganza earlier this month making it more like how the holiday season should be.
It is difficult to get into the spirit of the season when it is warm enough to wear a hula skirt and lei.

Envelopes bring back memories

Without warning or explanation, the simple instruction was: “See that Dink NeSmith gets these.”
And with that, the visitor exited the White County News in Cleveland.
Three days later, our son, Alan, handed me two large envelopes from the stranger and said, “Let’s show these to Grandmother.” I escorted my mother into the room and settled her into a comfortable chair.
Before his brief preamble, Alan retrieved a box of Kleenex. Her grandson and I knew tears would be spontaneous as the contents of the packages were spread across her knees.

Why are so many people attracted to the weddings of British royalty?

“What are you doing on April 29th?”
I hadn’t even poured Cheerios into my big, plastic Atlanta Braves bowl, and here my wife was, asking what I would be doing five months from now.
“I don’t know. Why?”
“Well, that’s when Prince William and Kate are getting married,” she says excitedly.
“Oh,” I say. “I think I’ll be sorting my socks that day.”
The last time a royal couple walked down the aisle, my wife got up in the middle of the night to watch the whole affair live on television. I slept.

Here’s what you really should have been thankful for

My applause goes out to you because even without injecting the Thanksgiving bird with Prozac, you survived all those extra relatives sandwiched into your house.
With the big eat fest and the multiple turkey-induced naps behind you, please take a moment to consider what others should have been thankful for on the holiday.

Girls should not look like streetwalkers

The hotel is in the middle of a military town, so the elevator was filled with an eclectic slice of Americana. I’m a gung-ho, support-our-troops guy, but four occupants in the tiny cube arched my eyebrows.
If the four young ladies had blinking neon on their foreheads, they wouldn’t have been any more take-a-look-at-me obvious. They were 16 years old, maybe.

Thanks for wartime service should go only to the wartime veterans

It was Veterans Day, and I was standing with a group of middle school students as historian Bill Dean talked about World War II and some of the photos and artifacts he has collected over the years. They were on display at the Northeast Georgia History Center, where busloads of students came all week long to learn something about a war many of them knew nothing about.
During a lull in the presentation, a woman who must have been a teacher stepped up and asked, “Are you a veteran?”
I said, “yes.”

BOE race sparks interest

Now a decade ago, citizens across the United States exercised a right that brave men and women in the military fight to defend. The citizens voted in a presidential election.
While it is true that other ballot castings for commander-in-chiefs have occurred since and 40-plus others were held before, the one in 2000 was memorable – not necessarily for who won, but rather how the election was won.

Living united boosts our community

At this point, you have probably heard the word on the street or read it in your favorite community newspaper that local leaders have been putting more effort into banding together to woo additional business to Sylvania and its Screven County municipalities.
Four Wednesdays gone by now ranking local officials gathered for a retreat in neighboring Bulloch County to identify pertinent issues and initiate progression in Screven’s industrial and retail markets.

What would Charlie and Rufus have said if they’d written a book?

His name was Charlie. Before him was Rufus. They were blond cocker spaniels.
I’ve been wondering about them: What they would have said if they had written their own books.
Yes, I know, dogs can’t write books. But a dog named Bailey did, at least through the mind of his human friend, W. Bruce Cameron. The name of Bailey’s book is A Dog’s Purpose.

Here’s how you ‘gnock’ pesky gnats

If you haven’t choked on a quart or two of gnats, you haven’t been in Georgia long. I grew up gagging on gnats. You learn quickly how to defend yourself from the pesky bugs. Traditionally, you fan your face. Cardboard funeral home fans are good gnat “gnockers.” Pros blow gnats away by puffing from the corners of their mouth.
If you are a real Georgian, you know exactly where the Gnat Line splits the Peach State. I’ve heard some North Georgians sniff, “I’m not going down there. They have gnats.”

Filling IDA executive director spot a ‘powerful’ opportunity

Crucial decisions must be made in Screven County.
As for some of those decisions, you - yes, you - can have an essential part in your county’s future. If you have not already, we adamantly urge you to carefully review the political platforms of the candidates and the proposed constitutional resolutions and cast your votes in the Nov. 2 General Election. Advanced voting remains an early option through Oct. 29 in the county registrar’s Sylvania office.

Somebody stop me, lest I learn to enjoy grunting and sweating

Somebody asked Chauncey Depew, the politician, if he took regular exercise, and he answered, “I get my exercise acting as pallbearer to my friends who exercise.”
The apostle Paul told Timothy that physical exercise didn’t do much good.
A doctor friend of mine said many years ago that one of his colleagues was going to die of a heart attack if he didn’t stop jogging so much.
But where are these exercise naysayers today when I need them?  I can’t find anybody these days, not even an overweight, laid-back doctor, who will encourage me to cut down on exercise.

Please join me for blessing, dedication

As the chief of staff at the Friends of Screven County Animals’ Haven at 632 W. Ogeechee St., I would like to invite everyone to make plans to join us on Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Haven. 
At 10 a.m., the Haven will be dedicated, followed by a Blessing of the Pets at 11 a.m., conducted by the Rev. Carol Morgan of the First United Methodist Church of Newington.

‘Try to say something nice’

Growing up ain’t easy. Sometimes it downright stinks.
If we are fortunate, our parents live well into their later years so they can enjoy the blessings of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Those parents have the opportunity to witness their offspring go from playing with wooden blocks on the floor as a toddler to adulthood where they lead construction crews who build city blocks.


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