Today is Ash Wednesday

Yes, today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Lent is the season in the Liturgical Church Calendar which precedes Easter. The name “Lent” comes from an Old English word “lencten,” which means spring, because the days “lengthen” with more sunlight and the growing season begins. The ancient church adopted 40 days for Lent because […]

An Oscars critique

“I want to thank the Academy and my mom and everyone I ever met plus their dog,” or so it seems after a few acceptance speeches. Most are inane, a very few are eloquently insightful and worth watching twice. I admit that I watched some of the Oscars extravaganza, again. I confess, I am drawn […]

Kudzu & change

In my early travels outside of the South, I was astounded to discover that people had never heard of kudzu. After all, Southerners have been battling to gain the upper hand of the rapidly growing plant since the 1800s. With my first book, I guested on a show in Los Angeles hosted by the likable, […]

Visitors help pay SPLOST

More than 30 years ago, the Georgia General Assembly provided local governments a funding mechanism, the special projects local option sales tax (SPLOST). Tapping the power of the penny, citizens in nearly every county in Georgia have approved SPLOSTs to fund projects ranging from basic infrastructure to visionary, impactful projects. One of the advantages of […]

Where’s conservative optimism?

I had never heard of Milo Yiannopoulos until recently, perhaps because I don’t visit some of the websites where his musings are published. Milo, as he calls himself because of the difficulty some have pronouncing his last name, was disinvited from this week’s Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) annual gathering of the right in Washington. […]

More about Chief Dode

The second high school in Fayete County is McIntosh High School, opening in 1982 with just freshmen and sophomores. Good idea. I was appointed as the official county historian in 1981 and it certainly did not include naming new schools. I felt very strongly that they should be named for old schools that had been […]

My grandson’s dream

My grandson, Isaac Epps, is a United States Marine Corps recruit finishing up his third week of boot camp at infamous Parris Island, S.C. It was 47 years ago this month that I arrived at Parris Island. It was, at the same time, the best and the worst experience of my young life. In a […]

I’ve lost it

The Drill Sargeant. That was gonna be the title of this story. That is, until I lost it. Now to some of you Dear Readers out there, that statement comes as no surprise. To others, such self-analyzing by yours truly has been long overdue. But in either case, the facts still point to one undeniable […]

Reconciling faith and politics

I have written columns that were deeply personal, some that were somewhat controversial, and some that were simply jovial reflections, but this one has gnawed at me for years. It touches on why I started writing opinion columns and why I think voices like mine are so desperately needed in this day and age. When […]