Last week, family and friends gathered in the small town of Chattahoochee Hills, south of Atlanta, to celebrate a life well-lived.
Our late grandson, Zack Wansley, was honored at the dedication of “Zack’s Glade,” a pristine and picturesque piece of Cochran Mill Park near where he died while training for the Atlanta Marathon in 2008.
Zack was a junior at Georgia Tech and could more than hold his own in a family of Bulldogs. At the time, I wrote that I never again could pick on Georgia Tech. My heart wasn’t in it. A lot of Tech supporters wrote and told me Zack would not have wanted that, to remember they could dish it out as well as take it, and that it’s all in good fun. I have to confess that Georgia Tech is populated with some great Americans.
• Shortly after our loss, Cameron Charles Yarbrough appeared on the scene. I’m not sure I ever will be able to explain to him how much his arrival helped the healing process. This weekend, Cameron and I will celebrate our annual birthday bash together. He will be 5 years old, and I will be a couple of years north of that number. At this point in his life, the football fortunes of UGA and Tech aren’t on his radar. He is more into fire engines and birthday cakes.
• Once upon a time, I accomplished some great feat in my work responsibilities and was called into my boss’ office expecting kudos. Instead, I got my knuckles rapped for allowing several typographical errors to appear in a speech I had prepared for him.
When I registered my protest at being fussed at rather than praised, he said, “If I can’t trust you with the little things, I can’t trust you with the big ones.”
I think about that every time I get a robocall and report it to the government’s “Do Not Call” list. The nuisance calls keep on coming. And we want to trust that this same government can manage health care? Yeah, right.
• The husband of a Republican Cobb County commissioner refused to shake Sen. Johnny Isakson’s offered hand at a recent event, because he reportedly was miffed that Isakson thought closing down government was a dumb idea. Evidently, the guy figured that the best way to register his displeasure was to exhibit infantile behavior. He might be interested to know that the woman who shares my name loves Isakson, and that for every person Mr. Petulance tries to get to vote against the senator in the next election, she will get 10 to vote for him. So will I.
• If you love UGA as I do and are looking for some holiday ideas, I have a couple of books to recommend. “Dear Old U-G-A” (Red and Black Publishing) is a well-documented chronicle of life at the university from 1893 to current times as seen through the pages of the Red and Black student newspaper. Its author is Carrol Dadisman, a retired, highly respected journalist and former Red and Black editor. The book is a wonderful trip down memory lane and reminds me of what a positive impact the place had on me. In addition, Larry Dendy, a retired public affairs official at UGA, has an excellent new book titled, “Through the Arch,” (University of Georgia Press) which profiles some 140 landmarks on the most beautiful campus on God’s green Earth.
• It won’t be long before the General Assembly gathers once again in Atlanta. I love twitting our intrepid public servants — especially the self-important among them — but they are, by and large, good people trying to do good things. I worry, however, that they still don’t understand our concern about their cozy relationship with lizard-loafered lobbyists. As stated earlier in this space, I’m going to give you a way to check who is spending money on your local legislators. From there, it is up to you to follow the money. Now is not the time to get apathetic.
• Finally, Thanksgiving is just around the corner; no better time to say “thank you” to the editors for giving me the opportunity to correspond with you. It is a privilege and one I take seriously. And thank you, dear reader, for keeping me humble. That is not as easy as you make it look.
Email Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139.