Opinion Columns & Blogs

Fodder for a conversation on a Sunday afternoon

wmarshall@macon.com

I’m behind on my reading this year, and I don’t like it. The truth: I’ve been too busy with other things. Last year, at about this time, I’d read about 30 books. This year it’s 21. I’ve been reading more lately, but I won’t read as many in 2016 as I did in 2015, but I do hope it will be at least 25 by the end of this year.

I did finish John Grisham’s latest, “The Whistler,” last weekend, and it is superb. But, more about “The Whistler” when I make my 2016 Books Report which will be either the last of December or the first of January 2017.

I’m also thinking about updating my all-time favorites book list — be it 10 books or perhaps 20. The more you read, the more your “favorites” change. We’ll see.

Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, and Christmas, which is always profound, meaningful and fun with our big family, is just around the corner. It will be here soon, and like ole’ Santa, will be gone in a flash, but it will hopefully be a time for many Americans to refocus on what’s important and get the bad taste of the 2016 presidential election (regardless of the winner — who I do not know as I write this) out of millions of mouths.

By the way, and speaking of families, as I get older, I have concluded that about the only important thing you have at the end of your road is your family and friends. So, in 2017, and possibly as my only New Year’s resolution, I intend to concentrate more on my family and more on my friends.

Let me brag a little. Last Sunday, late, just before dark, I caught what for me, was a very large, large-mouth bass. I didn’t have scales, but I’d say eight or nine pounds. I tried to stay cool, but I was pretty excited. Janice came and took pictures. I “tied it out” until she could get to where I was, and I intend to catch it again in the 2017 Perry Rotary Bass Tournament. If I do, I’ll release it again. That’s one of the cool things about this tournament. You keep the fish alive (aerators, you know) and almost everyone releases the fish after they are weighed.

I’ve gotten way ahead of myself. There’s UGA football (this season, and next) and quail hunting that I want to mention.

Let’s take football first. Regardless of how Georgia does in its next three games, it will be a disappointing season, but, I believe it will be much better next year, and it could be really good in 2018. But, I don’t have as much time as I used to, and I would like to see Georgia in the playoff picture — and soon. So? Most every other college football fan feels the same about “their” team.

Quail hunting. I love it. It’s being out-of-doors in the crisp fall and winter weather. It’s the fellowship with your hunting companions and the meals and the conversations. You sleep well at night after doing lots of walking. The guides are usually great. But, as I have written before, the heroes of the hunt are the amazing, unbelievable dogs! If you haven’t seen them work, you should, if you ever get such a chance. It’s quite an experience. I hope to once again write something about a quail hunt either later this year, or the first of next.

What about this dry weather? I don’t think I have seen it this long without substantial rains since the 1950s. Of course, I’m just going from memory and sometimes that’s not too good.

The dry weather has been good for harvesting crops (cotton, peanuts, pecans, etc.), but that presumes that the farmer got enough moisture to have a crop. I’ve seen some amazing cotton (irrigated), and I’ve seen some that doesn’t look good enough to even harvest.

I’m writing this before the presidential election and, frankly, don’t have a strong opinion as to how it might turn out. Regardless, I am hopeful the American people will accept the majority’s decision and will try to support what they feel they can of the next president’s agenda.

God Bless America. It is still the greatest country in the world. And we are very fortunate to live in this place and at this time.

Larry Walker is a practicing attorney in Perry. He served 32 years in the Georgia General Assembly and presently serves on the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. Email: lwalker@whgmlaw.com.

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