(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.
Things I promise not to write about today:
WASHINGTON -- Flexible hours. Being your own boss. The glories and self-bootstrapping pride of entrepreneurship.
In the past two weeks, I have written, respectively, about some of the wonderful things we have here in Kershaw County and how often those things get taken for granted. Two weeks back, my focus was on the artistic and cultural offerings we have, along with recreation facilities and programs for participants of nearly any age and the economic boost that gives us when players and teams from out of town converge on us for sports tournaments, equine events and much more.
WASHINGTON -- When Democrats were looking for evidence of a Republican war on women, they overlooked Exhibit A -- Sarah Palin.
The gliders landed in the Boykin fields and pastures and the German POWs worked in Lugoff and Boykin, while a Lugoff native and a Camden businessman partnered together to raise millions of dollars for the war effort.
"Someone needs to go to jail."
OK, so I'm actually writing this on Friday, but you're reading it Monday, so that's why it's random thoughts for a Monday morning.
It happened the other day. It's funny how things so simple can remind us of things so meaningful, of those sweets that are tucked inside our hearts and unknowingly treasured.
While I was taking a finance class as part of my doctoral program in Virginia in the early 1990s, one of the topics we discussed was a lawsuit that had been filed in South Carolina, now called the Abbeville case, which challenged South Carolina's structure for funding public education. Life takes funny turns. Here I am 21 years later in South Carolina when the case is finally settled.
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