(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.
We spread Steve last week.
WASHINGTON -- We want to move out. We want to own our home. We want to marry. We want to work.
It sure has felt good to have some cooler days lately. After a long, hot summer, it's nice to know the more pleasant breeze of a pre-autumn day. I have heard many people say similar things in the past week or two, and then there's usually also a follow-up comment about how it won't be long until we're complaining about how cold it is or there's snow and ice on the roads. All true.
Hot, hot, hot! We're on the second day of 99 degrees-plus-the-heat-index weather. I'm on my wide front porch on the shady side of the house with a woven Palmetto frond fan in my hand. Back and forth, waving steadily. It helps a little -- fanning my sweat glistened cheeks and neck. The ladies a century ago would have said they were "glowing." They used these fans too -- in fact my older friend bought dozens of them for her daughter's summer wedding at Salem Black River Presbyterian years ago -- before they put in air conditioning. She gave me this ...
Music has the power to influence. It has the power to evoke deep thoughts, which ultimately lead to a flow of emotions and feelings. Driving paired with music seems to increase that flow of emotions. Maybe it is the sometimes calm rhythmic movement that the steady turn of the wheels creates that appeal to the mind and body. I make a 45 to 50 minute drive to and from work five days a week, so I get plenty of time to daydream, think and devise plans of action for any situation that is heavy on my mind. No one is ...
Though the calendar has now been flipped to the month of September and autumn is right around the corner, here in South Carolina it is still very much summer according to the thermometer. Days are getting shorter, but lower temperatures don't usually make it to South Carolina to signal the end of summer until well into October. Birds have begun their annual migrations south, but the heat and humidity that still lingers continues to keep snakes very active. Being exothermic, or cold-blooded as I was taught in elementary school, snakes take environmental warmth and warm themselves to activate processes ...
WASHINGTON -- As a South Carolinian, it befalls me to examine the peculiarities afflicting our former governor and now-congressman Mark Sanford, who, contrary to decorum and taste, continues to demand attention.
Betrothed women of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your husbands' names.
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