Hot, loud August

August 17, 2009 If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to visit Washington, D.C. in August, you understand the custom of the federal government releasing all its high-profile delinquents back into their home communities and calling it recess. D.C. was built on a swamp, and walking around our capital right now is like slogging through a sauna while wearing a lard-lined jogging suit made out of yak hair. But politicians seeking to escape the searing Beltway heat for some relative cool back home found themselves entering a bipartisan blast furnace of half truths and misguided indignation.

Elvis friendship via the Internet

August 17, 2009 Our first acquaintance was through an e-mail about seven years ago.  I was in high school. He, a pilot, author and retired reporter/columnist with the Memphis Press-Scimitar.I found Bill Burk through Elvis Presley. As a reporter for a Memphis paper in the 1950s Burk had plenty of stories about the king of rock ’n’ roll, some professional others personal, as he and Elvis became friends because of his career in journalism.

Dysfunctional family sometimes set course

August 14, 2009 Did you ever hear the expression, “180 degrees from sick is still sick”?The expression comes from family therapy. I first heard it some twenty years ago when I was team-teaching a course on the family with my colleague in social work, Dick Freer.The expression refers to the behavior of adults that grew up in dysfunctional families. Say, for example, that a young woman had a father who was alcoholic. And say she saw him spend his paycheck on booze, lose his jobs, get into fights, and beat her mother.

Adventures as teenagers

August 13, 2009 The passing of Cave City watermelon grower Johnny Wayne Carter hurts. He died Friday at age 58.Johnny Wayne and his brother Billy George Carter and I all grew up near Sandtown. They never lived more than four miles from my home during those times, and a couple of times they lived closer. When the Carter family owned Sandtown Store and lived there, they were only three miles away, and for a couple of years they lived in a house near Westmoreland Pond, less than a mile from my home.

Support systems in place

August 12, 2009 Do you have people in your life that you can count on to support you, no matter what?Sometimes it all depends on how you interpret the word “support.”We all need people who will be there for us in our darkest hours. People who will drop everything to come hold our hand in the hospital as we await news about a sick parent, spouse or child.And who doesn’t want to have people who will stick up for you if someone else tries to take you down?

Phone, text or post

August 12, 2009 I have no idea how I raised four children without having to phone, text or post something on Facebook to get their attention.I’m having quite a bit of fun with my 20-year-old live-in niece and since some of her friends have also let me into their social world there is no escaping the knowledge one can acquire.Those young people who thought they were exempt from having their parents/guardians pry into their lives made a grave mistake when they pushed the confirm button and accepted us as friends on Facebook.