(John Baird, an army lieutenant colonel (LTC), is the brother of Rupert Baird, who wrote a number columns for the Chronicle-Independent during his deployment several years ago. LTC Baird is now doing the same. His columns will appear periodically on Mondays during his deployment.)
Last Tuesday's election here in Camden was the tightest I have seen. Mayor-elect Tony Scully won only 91 more votes than incumbent Mayor Jeffrey Graham to win the mayor's seat on council, a mere 2.5 percent difference. Councilwoman Alfred Mae Drakeford and Councilwoman-elect Laurie Parks both earned approximately 27 percent of the vote. The other challengers, Johnny Deal and Peggy Ogburn earned approximately 23 percent each. The sports complex ballot question failed by only 254 votes, or 7 percent.
My friend Waylon Fortenberry of Chesterfield County is glad the elections are over.
Colorado and Washington voted to legalize recreational marijuana use this week.
It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is upon us once again and I'll be the first to admit I'm elated. The fourth Thursday in November has always been my holiday of choice. Waiting to see if Santa has pleased all the good boys and girls under our roof weighs heavier on the stress-o-meter than does the debate on how dry my turkey is. Make no mistake, as the meaning of Christmas is at the absolute top. Thanksgiving tends to be, for me, a bit more calming in a loud, laughter-induced kind of way. Its focus is somewhat more ...
In his 2008 "More Perfect Union" speech, presidential candidate Barack Obama declared, "Race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now." Then he tried his best to ignore it.
Almost all former teachers have gifts from their pupils -- notes, pictures, jewelry, household dishes. I have an inordinate amount. One I gave back to the presenters because it was so precious: a counted cross stitch picture with a beautiful teacher dedication. You see, three students from the same family were involved. The male from the family had demanded that he be included when his sisters did the work, so he gave money to purchase it. When I retired, I thought they would have better use for it in their classroom. Only seamstresses have any idea how much work is involved ...
(Kathleen Parker's column was written Friday, prior to the election.)
It's going to be hard for a country fella from Clearwater to be the next governor of South Carolina. Even I knew that as a naïve teenager and first-time voter six years ago. Yet there I stood at the ballot box, my finger resolutely picking Tommy Moore over Mark Sanford.
Free. It's a lovely word, isn't it? For most of us this week, "free" means voting for our candidates of choice or express how we feel about certain issues.
Words have a way of coming back to haunt Mitt Romney, especially when he says them in front of television cameras.
At about 6 a.m. on October 18, 1950, a baby girl was born in the Camden Hospital. Her parents lived in Kershaw County during the Great Depression and World War II and were members of Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation."
Hear ye, hear ye! Sarah Palin hereby accuses President Barack Obama of the high crime of shucking and jiving or, more precisely, a "shuck and jive shtick" with "Benghazi lies."
There's a new television show called Nashville that's pretty eye-catching.
Trees are fascinating biological wonders. From the ancient bristle cone pines and towering redwoods out west to our widely diverse and unique southern forests, the life cycle of a tree provides us with year-round interest. One of the most intriguing and beautiful results of tree life is autumn leaf coloration. While we don't have the same level of dramatic leaf color as in the northeast, there are many trees here who's fashionable pops of color drape our southern landscapes.
Years ago, Holiday Inn had a slogan: "The best surprise is no surprise at all."
You've heard of grade inflation? Welcome to the world of degree inflation.
"No day shall erase you from the memory of time." - Virgil
It's been said, with some degree of accuracy, the newspaper business is dying. At the Chronicle-Independent we're inclined to disagree with that, at least when it comes to this paper, and I'll tell you why. Let me assure you, it's not because it's where we work and where our paychecks come from, although we do honestly appreciate it. It's because we simply are the only source our readers have for the news that really matters to them on a local, personal level.
Customers can be so demanding.
As I write these words, I'm sitting on a rustic dock overlooking a beautiful, placid pond on a coastal South Carolina island. I'm surrounded by nothing but God's creations and natural beauty.
Saturday, I watched a film adaptation of the short story, "Children on Their Birthdays" by Truman Capote, which is one of my favorite short stories. The film is pretty similar to the book with little to no alterations.
James Foley. Steven Sotloff.
As an unusually mild, rainy summer was melting away or rather frosting its way into autumn, I took to noticing signs that our mountain people have always used to judge the forthcoming severity of winter.
Three school board members in the Lowcountry took a courageous step recently when they refused to attend an executive session they felt was illegal.
In general, these columns are devoted to broad topics like the changing environment of healthcare or our recent Core Measures success and what that means to patient quality and safety. These are matters that can apply to hospitals in virtually any community, and are certainly excellent choices for discussion. However, this time, I'd like to address something anyone who has visited the Medical Center in Camden recently is certain to have noticed -- the renovations taking place, particularly in the emergency room entrance and the main lobby. They're bringing big changes to the hospital, inside and out.
Betrothed women of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your husbands' names.
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