• Same sermon, different year

    Every year around this time I preach the same sermon.

    We are one month into hurricane season and thankfully there has been nothing sighted in the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. But the last thing we need to do is become complacent. Now is the time to get ready for hurricane season by doing all of those things that the National Weather Service deems important. Now is the time to get those trees cut down or trimmed.

  • A good 'chaw' is worth a thousand words

    Raymond Mercer would ease a “chaw” of  "Day's Work" from one side of his jaw to the other. He’d squint off toward the back of the Parke Theater. He’d squat down on his haunches and expertly ease a load of juice equal distance between the toes of his trail worn Red Wings. He’d peer up at Luke Finley’s dark-colored mule. He’d squint back toward the theater again, spit and slightly nod his head up and down. We all breathed a sigh of relief. He bought the animal!

  • Saying goodbye to the man in the mirror

    Like a lot of people, I was shocked when I heard the news that Michael Jackson had died. To me, it was like losing a member of the family. It really didn't sink in right away either. Only after I got home and turned to CNN did I realize that Michael, as I call him, was gone forever.

    Everyone has a favorite Michael story. And no one ever forgets the first time they saw Michael on television and definitely no one forgets the first time they saw Michael in person.

  • Missing the good parts of paying my bills

    There are two businesses that have in the past 18 months closed their offices here that I really miss. Well, I don’t really miss the businesses because they're still here, but I miss going in to pay my bill.

    The telephone office has been closed over a year and I still can't remember to pay my bill. When I get the statement in the mail, instead of paying it immediately, I procrastinate. In the old days when payment was due all I had to do was jump in the car and get to the telephone company before closing.

  • Time to collapse: The Christmas rush is over

    Now that Christmas is finally here, I thought a new twist on an old favorite might be appropriate...enjoy!

    “Twas the Night After Christmas”

    Twas the night after Christmas and all through the place,

    Any creature that stirred fell flat on her face.

    We'd ripped open the treasures and ransacked the stockings,

    The amount of goodies we ate was really quite shocking.

    No one knew how St. Nick got in while we dozed,

    For the doors were all locked and the chimney was closed.

  • Thankful for lessons from Hispanic family

    My job takes me to unexpected places more often than not. Tuesday was one of those times. I was looking for a Christmas feature and decided that an article on the Mexican celebration and how it differs from the American celebration might be interesting.

    I asked a Mexican woman I knew, Priscilla Vidal, if she would help me find a family to interview. I wanted a typical family that would be willing to talk candidly with me.

    Priscilla found a family and accompanied me to the humble little trailer the family shares in Greensboro.

  • I'll just do the best I can

    The new year invariably makes me think of the year that is going out. I'm reminded of things, personally and professionally, that I wish I had done differently or I wish I had not done at all. I can't dwell on those things because I can't bring those events back.

  • You just can't put a bow on some things

    Another new year is upon us, and I can’t believe that 2008 is already done. It was a year of change for me, since I changed jobs and moved to Gadsden County. But I’m glad I made the move. I’m beginning to feel like it’s home.

  • No ugly girls wanted

    It’s a new year. My first wife still likes me. We’ve got a brand-new president. Gas prices are down. I’ve got new running shoes. My boys are healthy. The economy is so bad that it can only go up from here...

    I don’t believe I have been this excited about a new year since 1963.

  • If you want to be in the know, you have to go

    There are people who just won't pay attention. For whatever reason, things that affect their lives are ignored until it's too late.

    I can't count the number of times citizens have shown up at county commission meetings wanting to subdivide property, change zoning or change the face of their property, whether it's a half acre or 3,000 acres.