• It was cold; much colder than I expected. The wind was whistling down the Steadman Ridge. I turned the collar up on my lightweight jacket and slid my hands deep into the pockets. This place had a hold on me. I shivered in the late afternoon chill. But I did not move back toward the truck. This was not my first December visit. I had actually seen it colder.

  • I remember a cold winter day when as a teenager my mother sent me to the store to get a few packages. On the way, I passed a house that I had passed hundreds of times, but on this particular day, one of the woman's dogs bit me on the leg. I saw the dog from a distance and the animal seemed to be sunning himself in the yard. It didn't bother me because I was on the sidewalk. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the dog attacked me and bit my right leg.

  • In this week’s column, I’d like to pay tribute to some people who are very important to me – my friends.

    Some of them I haven’t seen in years, but they have never left my thoughts and prayers. Some of them I’ve only heard from on occasion; others, I hear from several times a day through a wonderful little thing called Facebook. There are also those that I see several times a year, and talk to on the phone at least once a week.

  • You know how you have this image, when you get a dog, of him standing by your side, wagging his tail and jumping at your every command? Hank wasn’t that dog.

    Jesse rescued him from the animal shelter. “It will be a great Christmas present for Mom.”

    “Son,” we had perused over 30 dogs in 20 different holding pens, “Let’s get one of these pretty puppies over here; that one you’re holding is about half ugly.”

  • This week is one, most agree, for the history books. The first African-American was sworn in as president of the United States Tuesday. As momentous as this week is, my thoughts go back decades to how things once were and how far we have come as a nation.

  • Now that we’ve elected and inaugurated a new president, gotten through the holiday rush and we’ve started a brand new year, it’s time, in my opinion, for a little silliness. I think we need to take a break. We’ve faced hard decisions, made tough choices and returned the ugly sweater from Aunt Agnes...it’s definitely time for some fun.

    So I’m breaking out the Southern humor card. I hope you enjoy reading these Southern expressions we’ve probably all used and heard our whole lives...

  • I don’t know about you, but I did not get invited to the inauguration. They had to swear in the new president without me. Come to think of it, Truman didn’t send for me, nor did Ike or JFK or Lyndon B... There seems to be a trend here.

    I reckon these presidents know my limitations. I’m not exactly “inaugurating” erudite. We didn’t waste much time swearing’em in back in my formative years.

  • It's called priorities.

    If anyone is tired of hearing that people in Gadsden County are so poor, so broke and so needy, it's me. There are poor people here just as they are everywhere in the world. We have no monopoly on that particular state of affairs.

  • I received a phone call last week regarding our front page. I was not in when the person called, however, I was given the message soon after I returned.

    The person’s beef? Our front page didn’t have our new president’s photo on it. I spoke with the person, and I have to say, she was quite pleasant as she made her case. We wished one another “good day” and the conversation ended.

  • Did you listen to how President Barack Obama said the word "ask" during his inauguration speech? He said "ask" not "ax." (An "ax" is a chopping or cutting tool. "Ask" means "to call on for an answer."

    If a person says "I am going to ax someone," it sounds like they are getting ready to attack somebody.

    Set aside politics for a minute and listen to how Obama speaks correctly.

    On this matter, I think we should emulate him.

    Paul Mazzotta


  • I was sitting on a life guard stand in 1962 when Gray Oliver walked around the corner. She was 6 or 7 and I thought, “What a cute little kid!” Before I could blink another one just like her appeared right behind her! I fell off the stand. They both strolled right up to me. “Are you the life guard?”

    “No, I’m an alien left here when the space ship from Nona took off without me. Are y’all twins?”

  • On behalf of Mike Layard and myself, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to the following Gadsden County businesses who gave generously towards the fifth Annual Paul Faircloth Sr. Disabled Hunt: Bay’s Seafood, Buy Rite Drugs, Bradley’s IGA, city of Chattahoochee, Focus Credit Union, Pippin Tire, Prestigious Portable Restrooms, Riverside Food Mart, Walmart Quincy, Piggly Wiggly, Stone’s, Clark Monroe Tractor, McClellan Funeral Home, Quincy Tire and William and Leslie Johnson.

  • The article printed in last week’s edition of the Times is misleading. The bid that this board of county commissioners awarded to Childers (Construction) was not the No. 2 bid. It was the third bid and no other contractor bid but Childers because, in my opinion, the commissioners wanted to give the bid to Childers.

    This is not a hospital that is being built. It is a four-bed emergency room. It won’t have the services that the citizens thought they would get when they voted on the half-cent tax.

  • On behalf of our Chattahoochee Elementary School Principal Annette Harris, Parent Liaisons Marilyne McClendon and Vira Wynn, we would like to extend greetings to all of you who made this holiday season a joyous one for our students and staff.

    Thanks to our sponsors: Dollar General, Teasures and More, Chattahoochee Police Department, Chattahoochee Recreation Department, Focus Credit Union and Dristen Shaved Ice. There were several private sponsors that helped us as well.

  • School's out and that means children will be out of their classrooms and out on the streets enjoying their long vacation.

    Unfortunately, there will also be impaired drivers on the streets as well. At this time of year when the spirit of the season is so beautiful, it can be abruptly ended when drivers mix spirit with spirits. The two do not mix!

  • I spent quite a bit of time toward the end of last week typing letters to Santa from local kids, along with our newest Times family member, Kayla. We both enjoyed the letters, particularly the way the children worded them and what they asked for.

  • My wife Sandra and I would like to invite everyone to come by and enjoy our Christmas light display again this year. We have had several people ask if we were going to have the display again this year.

    In our opinion, when financial times are as rough as they are now, we need to keep our holiday traditions alive. Our light display is one tradition that brings smiles to everyone. So please come by and see it.

  • I don’t interfere with nor attend the Gadsden County commissioners meetings on a regular basis. But since there was so much hoopla about opening the hospital, I decided to attend their meeting out of concern and curiosity, to see and hear what the commissioners had to say.

    I was not impressed and only impressed by one commissioner’s determination, Brenda Holt, to open a 25-bed facility for the people of Gadsden County.