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Opinion

  • I went to the 65th annual Steer and Market Swine Show and Sale last Thursday night and, as usual, it was a lot of fun. I was surprised to find that this is the 100th anniversary of 4-H. During the program the masters of ceremonies, Billy Poston, asked everyone who was an alumnus of 4-H to stand. Then nearly 200 people sang "Happy Birthday."

    That was a very proud moment for me.

  • I was so happy to be able to head to Tampa recently to help celebrate my niece’s fourth birthday. She was even more happy to celebrate it than I was. We all had a great time, and Amanda got lots of nice – and pink – gifts.

    But in the backs of our minds, we were ever-mindful of the one person who was unable to be present at the celebration – my sister-in-law’s father and Amanda’s Papa... Rex Whitaker.

  • If you were sitting on your hands Friday night because you didn't have anything to do, blame yourself, because there was plenty to do Quincy. The weather was beautiful, there were no big semi trucks drowning out the music and there was no dress code.

    The opening at Art In Gadsden was again a great event. The number of artists whose works were on display was fantastic. Grace Maloy, the staff and volunteers continue to do a fantastic job for this community and the region. We've got one of the best galleries in the area and it's only going to get better.

  • “Go over this one more time so I’m sure I’ve got it right.” We were huddled up in that little parking space behind the University of the South’s fire department. I was more than a little bumfuzzled.

  • I attended the Gadsden County School Board workshops last week, and was surprised by and disappointed in the behavior of some folks.

    The workshops, held on Tuesday and Thursday nights, were simply meant to be a forum for a superintendent-appointed committee to present suggestions regarding areas in which the budget could be cut.

  • Every year this time it comes back like pollen. I guess since it happens every year, it shouldn't be a surprise. The surprise is that I actually hope that it will go away. I hate it. It's March Madness, that marathon of college basketball that seems to be on every television channel.

    It's not that a lot of these channels are filled with thoughtful and mind-provoking programming anyway, but I don't want to see a bunch of boys sweating while running up and down a court to sink a ball in a net on nearly every channel.

  • I was looking for something in that little closet by the bathroom where we keep guest towels, Band-Aids, sun tan lotion, mosquito repellent and such. Up on the top shelf there was a metal guard the hospital used when they set Josh’s broken arm. A little closer examination revealed the ace bandage used to strap it on. Folks, Josh was in the first grade when he broke that arm. Today, he is on the back side of 30 and expecting his second and third child in May. And we’re still holding on to his arm brace.

  • At first glance, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act appears to be a good idea. The bill states that it will modernize the nation’s infrastructure, enhance America’s energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief and protect those in greatest need. OK, it sounds great. Bottom line: it’s supposed to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

  • If our roadsides are littered with trash, it's mostly us who's doing it. No one is sneaking into the county at night and throwing old washing machines, refrigerators and household garbage on roadsides. When Robert Presnell informed Gadsden County commissioners it's costing the taxpayers $1 million a year. That is money we are thowing away. Just think of what this county could do with a million dollars.

  • Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a profile in Facebook, which I check via my cell phone several times a day. It’s a great way to stay in touch with family and friends. It’s also one of the quickest ways to reach me.

    If you’re not familiar with Facebook, it’s a social network on the Internet. You can sign up for free, and you can e-mail people, add photos, post notes and update your status frequently – your status is however you’re feeling or whatever you’re doing at any given moment.

  • I hear it all the time. People, mostly males, bragging on their barbecue. They have secret recipes, secret sauces, secret ways to build a fire and secret wood or charcoal. Wherever the male mystique with the cooking of meats over an open flame came from, it has lasted since lightning set fire to a tree and some unsuspecting animal was cooked.

  • In March of 1984 Iran accused Iraq of using chemical weapons. I remember thinking, "Who cares?" The only reason I’d ever heard of either place was because back in junior high Miss Velna Gray Paschall made us learn the major food crops of every nation in the world (rye, barley, oats, wheat and corn for both, in case you are interested). That same year, “Terms of Endearment” won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Again, I didn’t care. I was pulling for, “The Return of Billy Jack.” The Macintosh computer was introduced in 1984.

  • As I was leaving the paper one evening recently, I met up with a delightful older woman who, after retrieving a paper from our box out front, asked, “What’s wrong with this paper?”

    She was referring to the size of the paper. If you’re a regular reader, you’ve probably noticed the size of the paper has narrowed a bit. I have written about that before. It’s because, as I explained to my new friend that evening, we’ve changed printers. The move has helped us keep costs low for us and for our readership.

  • The North Koreans have fired (OK, semi-fired) off a ballistic missile. Iran is bragging loudly to anyone who will listen of their growing nuclear program. Every day it seems some wannabe world power is on the brink of attacking or at least posturing to do harm to anyone it feels led to point a finger at. It can be a little unnerving.

    Someone commented around the water cooler this week that it would be nice to live in the “idyllic 1950s where no such threats and innuendos existed and everyone lived in peace and harmo—”

  • When you have the facts on any subject, you are better armed on how to handle any situation.

    On Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m. the Refuge House will host an event to bring attention to sexual assault in the community. While the event will be sprinkled with entertainment, refreshments, games and giveaways, the message is a serious one. Information will be available to victims of sexual assault. It could also be useful to families, friends, spouses or partners of a victim of sexual assault in helping with the recovery process.

  • How quickly children learn.

    I recently received an e-mail from my brother telling me something my niece had done, a la “Gigi” – Gigi is what she calls me.

  • I know by the calendar and the number of birthdays I have celebrated that I'm becoming a mature woman. It's no surprise and I'm not complaining. I love where I am right now.

    I can travel and enjoy the scenery, the sights and the food to my heart’s content. By the end of the day, I'm not so tired that all I can do is collapse and fall in bed. I know what I like and don't like because I've already tried it.

  • I don’t smoke because of baseball.

    I sure wanted to smoke. I thought those guys in the movies were cool the way they thumped that cigarette away as they made a definite statement about life, love or horses, or all three! If an actor was really peeved, he’d grind that butt into the ground as he exited, stage right. And who could forget Jeff Chandler’s command as he gave his men a brief respite in their trek across the Philippines in “Merrill’s Marauders”: “OK, men, take five. Smoke 'em if you got 'em!”

  • You can live in a place all your life and never really know all there is to know about it. I found that out when I lived in Oregon. I told a friend of mine that I’d traveled all over the Northwest, visiting everything from coast to wetland to mountains, but I’d not done nearly as much traveling in my home state of Georgia.

    I was thinking of this recently, and decided to track down some little known facts about my current home state of Florida. Enjoy!

    • No part of Florida should take more than an hour and a half drive to reach the ocean.

  • In 1996, Quincy was named an All-American City by the Allstate Foundation. The competition singles out cities that have been successful in identifying at least three problems facing the communities, which residents are working together to solve.

    It seems as if no one wants to work together anymore to solve anything. The attitude seems to be that if things don't go my way I will do everything and anything in my power to be as destructive as possible. That is a shame.