Here are a few scattered thoughts on the day before Thanksgiving:
Oprah — years ago, I was driving Oprah someplace when she popped the question. “Have you ever read Alice Walker’s ‘Color Purple’?” No, I replied. She looked at me as though she were going to tear my steering wheel off its column and beat me over the head with it. I’ve been scared of her ever since.
Stedman Graham — back in the day, Stedman and I hung out a bit, mostly on business stuff. Nice guy. He is smarter than he looks, and he had read “The Color Purple.” I checked.
Michael Jordan — I once played a round of golf with Mike. Just the two of us. I remember we came to a 230-yard par 3 hole that had a stream running just a few yards in front of it.
He must have hit a ball in the water six times before he finally hit the green. As they say (sort of), losers never win, and champions never quit.
Rich people — I’ve met a lot of rich and famous people in my life. Although some are very nice people, the main conclusion I come away with is that the size of one’s wallet has little to do with the height of one’s IQ. Basketball great Bill Russell said: “If you were a jerk before, and you get rich, you’re just a rich jerk.”
Wise and rich — one of the wisest rich people I ever met was a comedian, the late Buddy Hackett. He once wrote to a mutual friend: “Whatever a man does, he does to please himself, regardless of whom it hurts or helps.”
About poverty — being poor is not a permanent condition, it is merely a circumstance. I grew up without a lot of material things, but we always had a roof over our heads, plenty to eat, and clean clothes to wear. We were happy and healthy, too. We were loved.
The Red Zone — my old friend, Ike Weatherly Jr., told me back when he played football for Anderson High, he would often run plays from one end of the field to the other. When the team got inside the 20-yard line, however, the quarterback would pass the ball to someone else to score. Ike might have had all kinds of scoring records if his quarterback hadn’t been so generous in the red zone.
“Franken-Storm” Sandy — my heart goes out to the tens of thousands of Americans who lost so much in the monster storm that hit the East Coast just a few weeks ago. These natural disasters seem to be happening more often, in unexpected places, and with greater severity.
People who continue to insist such disasters have nothing to do with climate change (often called global warming) need their heads examined. In most cases, I’m certain nothing would be found.
Romney’s loss explained — I recently heard Gov. Romney explaining to an audience why he so badly lost the election. He sounded like a prizefighter complaining that the only reason he got knocked out is because the other guy threw too many left hooks, right hooks, uppercuts and body blows.
Grading schools — I read the recent THB report on the new practice of giving schools A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, or F’s to show how our schools are doing. I’m no “expert” in the field, but common sense tells me this is a lousy idea. Too many variables.
Policymakers should talk to a teacher or two, and spend at least a month in a classroom with 30 or so teen-agers. Maybe then they would come up with ideas that make sense.
Early Childhood Education — I read where one Indiana county passed a referendum to increase taxes to provide for early childhood education as part of the strategy to improve their schools. What a novel idea!
More money for schools! Early childhood education! Where on earth did they get such ideas? Next they will be telling us ice melts when put on a hot stove, or that climate change is real.
Turkey Day — it’s a good thing Benjamin Franklin didn’t get his wish. He worked to prove that the noble turkey, not the bald eagle, should become our national bird.
I’m not sure, but I don’t think bald eagles make for good eating. Plus, they are way too rebellious to roast. Let’s count our blessings.
Have a nice holiday!
Primus Mootry is an Anderson resident. His columns are published each Wednesday.
Here are a few scattered thoughts on the day before Thanksgiving:
- Primus Mootry: There is a poet in each of us April is National Poetry Month. Throughout the country, colleges and universities, elementary and secondary schools, libraries and various publications have hosted poetry readings or featured unpublished poets.
- Scott Underwood: Nightmares from high school proms past I wore a salmon-colored tuxedo with a cummerbund and tails to my senior prom. I was 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds. A beanpole.
Maureen Hayden: Judge in gay marriage decision no activist
When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn’t resonate with those who know Young well.
- Charo Boyd: Social Security goes green on Earth Day and every day For years, Social Security has been at the forefront of offering convenient, easy-to-use, and secure online services. We, along with those we serve, have saved a lot of paper, shipping costs, and fuel — and cut back on a lot of carbon exhaust and pollution — by going online instead of doing things the old-fashioned, less efficient way.
- Tim Kean: Can we have a 'A New State of Mind?' I have recently read some great articles about people coming together to make a difference in the lives of children facing food insecurity. The collective effort of a group can provide some much-needed food to kids who may not have a meal when they return home from school or during the weekend.
Ken de la Bastide: County may eliminate Data Processing Board
Action two weeks ago by the Madison County commissioners to close Data Processing Board meetings to the public might run afoul of the Indiana Open Door law, and a local resident is considering filing a complaint with the Public Access Counselor’s office for a determination.
- Theresa Timmons: Dinosaurs run amok at mamaw's house I love my new job as a grandparent. It includes playing imaginary tennis with imaginary tennis rackets, making elaborate tents in the living room, and hair-pulling.
- Maleah Stringer: Volunteers needed to spend time with shelter animals Shelters can be extremely stressful places for many animals, particularly those who have been in a loving home. This is why we want people to come into the shelter and spend time with our animals — to help keep them adoptable so that when the right person comes along they are ready.
- Jim Bailey: Wages were much less back then, but so were prices If you have any questions about what economists mean by inflation, just look at yesterday’s buying power. Those old western movies talked about wages of $1 a day. That wouldn’t even buy a burger at a fast food joint today by the time sales tax is added in.
- 'Big Joe' Clark: Understanding the risks within fixed income investments Many retirees associate the concept of taking “risk” with the equity markets. However, as 2013 demonstrated, there is also principal risk in the fixed income arena if an untimely liquidation requires you to sell bonds and generate income.
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