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Opinion

  • I discovered the wonderful month of June when I was 7 years old. We finished cutting out George and Abe’s heads in Miss Carolyn Blades’ first grade class in the middle of February. That was OK. But March must not have been a good month for presidents. We just did arithmetic and reading, and every Friday we lined up for those gosh-awful spelling contests. May was no better and it began to get insufferably hot in that small class room.

    “When does this thing end?”

  • I was thinking the other day about how different my life would have been had my mom not married my stepfather.

    What is a stepfather anyway? It’s just a new dad...not a replacement for the old one. Maybe, more like a supplement or an enhancement to the previous situation.

    Whatever.

    But in my case, my mother, my brother and myself were just getting by. Being a single mom is not an easy task, and it’s even harder when your “ex” is no help whatsoever. I can’t imagine what my mom dealt with on a daily basis.

  • My sister and I took one of our friends out to lunch Saturday. He doesn't have family here and during a recent conversation we thought it would be a nice idea. He selected the restaurant and we set out for a nice afternoon. First thing I noticed was that there weren't a lot of people out beating the rush, as they do for Mother's Day.

    We also stopped by a few shops and the shoppers were scarce. No one seemed to be planning a big day for Sunday.

  • My truck and my wife quit in the same week. Can you believe that? That old Chevy had been with me since October of 1989. The old…the old…uh…uh…my beautiful wife has been with me since...uh…for a little bit longer!

    Whew!

    I lacked four months getting 20 years from the truck. It carried me a little over 279,000 miles. Most of them pretty smooth.  Josh was 14 when I wheeled up into the yard in the shiny new vehicle. Jesse had just turned 12.

    "Take us for a spin, dad.”

    “Can we ride in the back?”

  • The corn on the cob would stick to my teeth. The barbecue was accompanied with mild, hot, or sweet sauce. The potato salad was more than adequate if they went light on the mustard and the egg halves. The hot dogs were always a might over done. And the ketchup bottles were so sticky after the first five people went through that I wouldn’t pick one up for nothing! The drinks were iced down in No. 3 washtubs. And the dessert table took up a whole corner of the town square.

  • In the distant past, the Fourth of July was a holiday of much fun and patriotic feelings. But the feeling of today’s Fourth is vastly different from that of yesteryear.

  • Well...if there’s anything that’s constant in this life, it’s change.

    I was supposed to have started a new job this past Monday. It didn’t happen. I was promised things that, when it came time to sign on the dotted line, weren’t delivered. I politely declined, and came home to the Times. I’m a lot of things, but stupid ain’t one of them.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • The sudden death of legendary pop star Michael Jackson is a reminder that no matter how iconic you are you are mortal too.

    His shocking death is no question, in my opinion, much larger than Elvis Presley's in 1977. People of all walks of life broke down in tears.

    Michael never really had the formal education he needed because his father pushed him hard growing up in show business. He was a child prodigy with a sweet singing voice, and by the time he was older, his talent was the best, bar none. He became the King of Pop and filled arenas around the world.

  • 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.

  • On behalf of America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend, we want to thank the citizens of Gadsden County for your generous support of the 2009 Stamp Out Hunger food drive held May 9. We also want to thank the Quincy post office and the many letter carriers for all of your work in collecting the food.

  • I would like to add to the accolades of Rev. Jake Till, who died recently after a very fruitful life.

    Several very good writers left out this very important ministry of Till's, and I would like to add it to the record.

    Till served for at least 25 years as chaplain to the Florida State Prison in Quincy. He preached to, counseled and baptized incarcerated young men; I would estimate around 2,500. I am tempted to wager that very few of these men never came back to prison but were instead released to a glorious adventure that Till described to them every Sunday.

  • I would like to thank Gadsden County Commissioner Doug Croley (Dist. 2) and Robert Presnell, director of the county's road and bridges department, and the county commissioners for their help in fixing Frank Smith Road.

  • Something is stirring. The Gadsden County Coalition for Change believes that students need for us to substantially raise the bar for education. The coalition is the latest of several groups, besides our heroic teachers and school board, to recognize the critical need to get students, parents, grandparents and neighbors involved in this timely endeavor for the sake of our county and our country.

  • East Gadsden High School held its Senior Class Night May 20, themed "A Night with the Stars." It's a tradition that has come to be expected. The young ladies were beautiful in their extravagant gowns and the young gentlemen were handsome and ready to take on the world in their tuxedos. How lovely they all looked.

    The gymnasium was decorated by caring hands to fit the theme. The program noted that the decorations were done by Special Occasions by Robin; however, we offer a much-needed correction and recognition for those responsible for it.

  • Sincerest thanks to everyone who helped me raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.  Together we raised over $1,800.  This was done through the contributions of friends and our fourth annual yard sale.

  • I, (Gadsden County) Sheriff Morris A. Young, along with the GCSO employees, would like to personally thank the citizens and business owners for their donations and contributions during our fundraising event for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Because of caring people like you, the ACS will one day find a cure for this dreaded and devastating disease.

  • 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.

  • Will somebody, anybody, education Gadsden County commission chairman Eugene Lamb as it relates to citizen input during the commission meetings? Lamb seems to think that a citizen giving his or her opinion about an issue must be in line with his thinking.