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There is so much I could write about it when it comes to the cesspool that is national politics in this day and time.

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I’m excited to join The Times-Journal as the newest staff writer. Allow me to tell you a bit about myself and how my life has taken me around the world and back.

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It has been speculated for several years that Alabama could lose a congressional seat after the 2020 Census. It was thought to be a foregone conclusion. However, in recent days, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates indicate that we might dodge that bullet. They say we are on the cusp and if we h…

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I know, there is a song about Poncho and Lefty, but that’s not what this is. I don’t know if the preacher’s wife was lefthanded. Since Poncho was a dog, I would call him quadextrous. Poncho was my dog, long, long ago, and the preacher’s wife was my pastor’s wife, Mrs. Hodgens. This is a stor…

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There are several things I wanted to mention to our readers…

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Back when I grew up, we played with dangerous things. Amazingly, most of us survived those days...even without crash helmets! I probably wasn’t more than eight or nine years old, when I got my first pocket knife. I’ll be the first to admit, that was probably too young, but I still have all t…

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As we close the book on 2020, we will close the door on national politics and get back to the basics, good old Alabama politics. That’s my game. It is what I know and like to write and talk about. Some say my prognostications and observations on Alabama politics are sometimes accurate. Howev…

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Hello, 2021! You are SO welcome. Your predecessor was a bit dramatic for my tastes. In fact, I’m still so shell-shocked by 2020 that I’m going to hold off on giving 2021 the benefit of the doubt. None of the usual superlatives about how changing calendars means everything’s now better.

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Have you ever had friends or family members whom you loved to see coming, but perhaps, by the time they left, you were happier to see them go? As some people say, “No harm, no foul, just being honest.” Some people don’t know when to leave, or as Mama used to say, “They wear out their welcome…

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As is my annual ritual, my yearend column pays tribute to Alabama political legends who have passed away during the year.

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I am a storyteller. I love to read, hear, and tell good stories. I’ve heard some storytellers say, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” I might even agree, as long as our audience understands that our story isn’t true. Of course, we call those kinds of stories fiction. Those…

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As we close out this year of COVID and presidential politics many of you are still in discussions about Donald Trump. Some are still enthralled with the most colorful and controversial character in my presidential memory and are saying the election was stolen from him. Others are saying he i…

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We hope you all had a safe and relaxing holiday surrounded by people you love. In this gap between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s a good time to reflect on the year that was – even though we’d honestly rather forget 2020.

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I’ve really never studied much about the Nativity until this year, and I’ve found the differences in the Gospels about the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, fascinating.

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You probably know the popular Christmas hymn, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” What you may, or may not know, is who wrote it and when. The lyrics to the song began as a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem was written almost a decade prior to being set to music to be su…

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On the one hand, I can hardly believe 50 years have already passed since that night. On the other hand, it seems like that was in another lifetime. Thursday evening, December 10, 1970, is burned deeply in my memory. I have replayed it in my mind more times than I can count. I’ve wished I had…

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Presidential historians and most astute national political observers and chroniclers have concluded that the most profound legacy a president can achieve is the appointment of United States Supreme Court Justices. Presidents serve four-year terms. Justices serve for a lifetime.

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It’s been 262 days since my birthday, which just happened to be the day that DeKalb County reported its first case of COVID-19 (seriously, worst present ever). That’s eight months and 17 days. Thirty-seven weeks. But in the same way meteorologists talk about the wind chill being different th…

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Around Labor Day when this year’s presidential campaign was beginning to heat up, I wrote a column about the classic 1960 presidential contest between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. This pivotal presidential race marked the beginning of television as the premier political medium. The first …

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Thanksgiving is a funny holiday. Its origins rest in the story of a gaggle of English religious dissenters who were happy that they had the help of native Americans to avoid starvation.

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On October 3, 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation of thanksgiving that Thursday, November 26th of that year, should be set aside as a day of thanksgiving for the people of the United States. That marked the first national observance of a day of thanks and it was observed …

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I grew up in the world of trucks. My Dad operated a business that used trucks. He had trucks of all colors, shapes, and sizes. He had one plain ole boring pickup truck, but most of them were dump trucks. They ranged in size from a one-ton truck all the way up to tractor-and-trailer trucks. H…

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Three years ago, Jim Martin passed away in Gadsden at 99 years old. His beloved wife of 60 years, Pat, was by his side. He was a true Christian gentleman. Jim was one of the Fathers of the modern Republican Party in the south.

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I would like to thank Patrick Graham, the owner of our company, for selecting me to be the new publisher for The Times-Journal. I told him I wanted the best person to get the job, even if he felt that would be someone else, so it is deeply humbling to be given this opportunity to take charge…

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She grew up as an only child. Then, suddenly, at the age of thirty-three, she gained a brother. I know, I know, you’re doing the math right now and thinking what a huge age difference. You’re also wondering how that is even possible. Well, it is, and I’ll explain.

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Well, folks, it is finally here. The presidential race is next Tuesday. However, a good many Americans have already voted. True early voting is available in a half dozen states and every American can vote by absentee ballot and a good many have taken advantage of that right. A record number …

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My two favorite seasons have finally arrived – fall and football. Football fans are enjoying the season a little more than normal this year, because we thought it might not come. Even when it did, it arrived a little late. Have you ever watched a game when a dog ran down the field? I’m not t…

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Our 2020 presidential election is less than two weeks away. We Americans will either elect Republican Donald Trump for another four-year term or Democrat Joe Biden.

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How many times have you or someone you love said, “I could sure use a hug?” Long, long ago, in an ancient time, like back last February, we didn’t think anything about hugging someone or at least shaking their hand. Some may have even had the audacity, not to mention courage, to drink out of…

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As a former Sylvania High School Marching Ram, I’ve had the privilege of seeing various bands across the county and state perform throughout my high school years and after.

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The new fiscal year begins this week for Alabama government. We have two budgets, a General Fund and an Education Budget. Both budgets have seen devastating havoc to their revenues due to the coronavirus. The Education Budget was drastically destroyed from what was originally expected at the…

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Yahoo and amen! Fall has fallen. Cooler weather has arrived. Footballs are flying through the air, as well as frightened doves and falling leaves. We have survived three quarters of this unimaginable year called 2020. Nine months are behind us and only three more to go. We are now in the hom…

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It is finally fall, y’all, and I am ecstatic for it to be here! Okay, that may be a bit too much excitement, but this time of year brings all my favorite things: cool weather, warm drinks, the best decorations and memorable holiday experiences with loved ones.

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With it being a presidential election year and an election for one of our United States Senate Seats and all of the interest that goes along with those high-profile contests, it has gone under the radar that most of our cities in the state had elections for mayor and city council last month.…

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It was one of those mornings. I hardly ever use an alarm in the mornings. I always wake up at roughly the same time. Did I say always? Always is a strong word; a definite word. Always be careful about using words like always. Let me start over by saying it was one of those “rare” mornings. I…

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In the early 20th century, tobacco companies responded to emerging concerns about the health effects of smoking with a campaign to reassure the public about their products. They paid actors, athletes and even doctors to endorse their cigarettes in advertising that made outrageous claims back…

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Now that the national political party conventions are over and the nominees have been coronated, the battle royale for the White House is in full throttle. The nominees, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, will shatter the age barrier. Whoever is elected will be the oldest person ever elected Presid…

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It’s early morning. The sun is up, and so am I, but both barely. My first cup of coffee warms my fingers and then my insides as it eases down my throat. I’m sitting in one of my favorite places in this world...my back porch. I’m gazing out across my yard and into the woods behind my house. G…