Thinking about my kids, I really have been fortunate. I divorced my first wife when my two older kids were 5 and 3, and I was able to get custody of them. That wasn't the norm back in 1988, so I was fortunate to not be a "weekend dad." Throw in the fact that I married a wonderful woman, who raised Michael and Shannon as her own kids, and who they regard as their "mom," and you see how lucky I am.
As the holidays approach each year, we prepare for family visits, big feasts, gift exchanges and begin to reflect on the past year. Georgia has seen a tough year with the fallen financial and housing markets, job reductions and flooding that destroyed many homes, businesses and land. The affects have left many Georgians preparing a little differently this year.
This is going to be a special Thanksgiving. My great-grandson Cameron Yarbrough and I are going to begin a new family tradition this week by sharing a birthday celebration. He will hit the ripe old age of 1 tomorrow and two days later I will become slightly older than Kennesaw Mountain.
"Hey, Barack. It's me, your heart. It might be all the White House pickup basketball games or the imminent prospect of nationalizing American health insurance, but I'm feeling better than ever.
Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Dallas, tried to kill himself Nov. 8. A few days later, the former Paulding County attorney issued a news release acknowledging the suicide attempt.
Attention, National Board Certified teachers in Georgia who got hosed by the state in the last legislative session: I think I have found the guy in the white hat who plans to ride to the rescue. And he is a good one to have on the horse.
My water utility recently increased rates with tiered pricing: if you use more, you pay more. In so doing, San Francisco joined nearly 200 municipalities across the country.
Years ago, when I was still in Congress, I pulled up one day to address a public meeting in a remote and very rural part of Indiana. The sheriff, a friend of mine, met me outside the small volunteer firehouse where I was to speak. "The Ku Klux Klan is here in full regalia," he told me. "If you'd like, I'll keep them out of your meeting."
Thursday was a day I believe most educators are eager to recognize. Nov. 19 was National Parent Involvement Day, a time set aside each year to say an extra-special thank you to parents.
As the painful economic downturn forces businesses to become more efficient and refocus on their mission, state government should be no different. Across-the-board budget cuts are reaching diminishing returns. It's time to look seriously at eliminating programs that no longer serve a core government function.
On Nov. 3, the fairy tale died. The election results in Virginia and New Jersey dismantled the self-satisfied, just-so story that Democrats have been telling themselves about last year's election.
There are just a few things you can count on in this world: The sun will rise in the east; nobody will ever sing better than Ray Charles and somebody will try to make a martyr out of that piece of camel dung that killed 13 innocent men and women at Fort Hood, Texas.
The tragedy at Fort Hood last week is almost beyond comprehension. Other than the 9/11 attack or maybe the Oklahoma City bombing, I can't think of a tragedy in my lifetime that just takes your breath away.
Members of AIG's financial-products unit should take heart. Yes, Obama administration pay czar Kenneth Feinberg is coming down on them with the awesome power of his czardom, dictating that their pay not exceed $200,000 a year. In Wall Street terms, this is so draconian, they might as well be forced to earn whatever they can get by begging on street corners and finding leftover change in pay phones.
My friend Sam Griffin, the retired publisher of the Bainbridge Post-Searchlight, recently shared a letter written to him in 1942 by his father, Capt. Marvin Griffin, later to be governor of Georgia, as he and his men, members of the Georgia National Guard's 101st Coast Artillery/Anti-Aircraft Battalion, were preparing to embark for Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
I wish I had been there. In Jerusalem. With Jesus.
Congress appointed an independent commission to travel the United States and hold meetings with active and retired soldiers and their spouses. The commission is designed to see what is important to our military and their families - even though there already is a proposed budget that outlines the cuts that will affect our military families.
Editor, Have you ever received a gift that stands out in your mind more than others? Last year, 829 people in Georgia received gifts that will always have a great impact on their lives. It was the greatest gift of all - the gift of life. Will you help others receive this great gift?
It appears that Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington really believes Midway is hers to rule. Midway's charter calls for a weak-mayor/strong-council system, which means the mayor should have no formal authority outside of the council.
For years, I blamed it on those royal-blue suede high-heel pumps. The ones with the ridiculously tall, spiked heel and absurdly pointed toe. I was 22 when I bought them, 36 when I donated them to the Salvation Army.
I don't believe in illness. OK, perhaps I should rephrase that - I don't believe in a minor illness' ability to keep me down. Unless I'm dragging a limb, hospitalized or totally unable to keep food down at all, I refuse to disrupt my ultra-busy daily routine to do silly things like "rest" or "recuperate."
I am not sure that I would make a good spy. I really like to be up-front about things, so I probably would blow my cover.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Georgia, as proclaimed by Gov. Nathan Deal. Child abuse is a subject I don't like to think about, let alone write about, and you probably would just as soon not read about. But it is there, and we need to acknowledge it and demand some solutions.
In the Georgia Legislature, even a relatively simple bill can turn into one of the most important pieces of legislation that is considered.
Just a wisp of time elapsed, and the almighty sand-gnat is back with a vengeance. Like a swallow returning to Capistrano or a martin to a gourd, the little varmints are back just in time for the Blessing of the Fleet. They just refuse to give up.
They all come with some kind of a price and all with a certain amount of disappointment, but still, Rodney keeps trying.
Call me an old-timer, but moms and dads just did things differently when I was a child. The overall approach to parenting seems to have changed so much. My parents fostered independence in my siblings and me. They wanted us to learn early on that we needed to be able to speak and do things for ourselves, and the sooner we understood that, the better off we'd be.
Editor, Hmm. I read in the Coastal Courier that Liberty County's government and various cities' political leaders have declared a war on blight. You know - yada, yada, yada.
In 1965, Wilbur Mills, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, brought legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid to the floor of the U.S. House.