More than 50 years ago, I spent many a day fishing with my maternal grandfather on Lake Wateree. He was known to all as Daddy John and the lake was always called The River. Daddy John knew the location of every Bream/Crappy-Bed and Catfish-Hole at The River. Amazingly, he knew all of the fish in the lake by name. He also knew a great big turtle that he affectionately called Big Al.
This is one of those weeks where I don't have any one thing in particular to write about. That is due in part, at least, to the fact that I was sick most of last week with a touch of bronchitis. What fun.
WASHINGTON -- As the manhunt for the Boston bombers reached its climactic conclusion, Americans of all hues and backgrounds heaved a sigh of relief. Thank goodness it wasn't ... fill in the blank:
No one wants to be labeled a bigot. Not in this day or age. Not at this time in American culture, and especially not pertaining to the current battle on gay marriage.
Some media found the possibility that foreign terrorists bombed the Boston Marathon to be too tantalizing an explanation to pass up, even when it snares the wrong suspects.
When do religious affiliation and common sense collide?
I said this last month, but now I really mean it -- Happy Spring! It's evident spring is here by seeing the hordes of folks scurrying around in the garden section of many of our local stores. For many of us the allure of warm weather and blooming plants stirs us to get outside and get our hands in the dirt. If you haven't gotten outside yet to do your spring cleaning, sprucing and planting, let me offer some tips to ensure your trees provide you with decades of enjoyment.
Fancy bathrooms are all the rage.
This weekend, I will be traveling via airplane for the first time alone. Needless to say, I'm pretty nervous about the whole ordeal. For starters, I'm terrified of heights. I'm talking, if I see a photo of someone skydiving or one of those "cool" pictures in National Geographic where a person is scaling a cliff, my heart rate automatically speeds up and I feel nauseous, bordering on a panic attack, and have to turn the page as quickly as possible. I get nervous looking out the window of a third-story building window. If I ever went to ...
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- As the reporter said to the novelist: Why bother to make stuff up?
By the time you read this, a group of United States Senators will likely have introduced the first significant proposal on immigration reform in more than 20 years. While it is far too early to comment on its content -- the group has been fairly secretive as to details -- the simple fact that such a high profile group will be offering a proposal is noteworthy. And it offers a good opportunity to talk, generally about immigration.
My initial reaction was to bend over double and my next thought was to wonder what happened to all of the oxygen in the room. Johnny Jaynes and I have been good buddies for more than half a century and even though we are good friends, neither us want the other to go "one up." This day, he won.
(This column was written prior to Friday morning's events when two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing were identified and one killed.)
In George R.R. Martin's fantasy series "A Song of Ice and Fire," a Wildling woman named Ygritte often tells one of the main characters "You know nothing, Jon Snow." She says it because Jon, a member of the Nightwatch guard, tends to jump to conclusions about her people based on the stories he's heard back in his home territory. Jon's mistakes are honest ones: he grew up hearing those stories, and it's hard to shake your upbringing. At least Jon's trying.
Community support is insanely valuable in so many areas of our lives. Everyone has a dream, or at least something they hope to achieve, and more times than we may want to admit, achieving the dream requires some kind of support from the community, whether it be local, national or international. A lot of times our wildest dreams will force us to ask people for things that make us feel vulnerable in a way.
I was browsing through a community newspaper recently -- not this one -- when I came across photos from the senior prom at a particular high school.
Trigger warning: This column will include discussion of ideas which may conflict with your own.
I am a musician, so I am, of course, also a big music fan. As far back as my memory can stretch, way before I ever learned to play an instrument, I loved to listen to music. Mostly it was on the radio, but my parents and older sister had a few record albums, too.
Nothing instills fear in the heart and soul of humans as does a snake. Since the beginning of recorded history, snakes have been a symbol of evil, treachery, poison, etc., and because of this perception, misinformation and folklore, most people hate snakes. Personally I have no problem with snakes; roaches and tarantulas are a different story, but a snake? No worries.
WASHINGTON -- You know we're off to the races when the first slip of the tongue by the presumed Republican presidential front-runner consumes the news for days and launches the primary race in earnest.
I have a picture -- probably my favorite of my parents -- which sits on my desk in my office at home. It was taken circa 1960, give or take a year or two, on the evening of the West Point Founder's Day ball.
More than 60 percent of us who live in South Carolina today were born here. As native South Carolinians, we grew up imbibing the history, heritage and myths of the South. And there is no stronger myth of the South than the myth of the Lost Cause, as beautifully and brilliantly portrayed by the 1939 romantic historical film epic, Gone With the Wind.
Last week, I revealed my birthday wish come true of traveling to New Orleans next month -- my No. 1 choice of cities to visit I've never been in before.
It was over Sunday dinner when my sister told me what I did not know. A childhood friend, the red-headed, freckle-faced girl with laughing eyes and the brightest sense of humor possible, was sitting vigil with her husband as death crept close.
One of the groups I meet with on a regular basis is Student Cabinet, which is made up of students from each of our three high schools. It's always interesting and informative for me to hear the insights, opinions and perspectives from this very formidable group of young people. They don't hold back on what they think, which is a good thing.
It is a rare occurrence, but occasionally in the world of professional sports an individual comes along who becomes the standard bearer for his particular field of competition.
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