Opinion Columns & Blogs

This and that this week in Perry, Ga.

wmarshall@macon.com

By the time you read this, we will be in dog days. It’s the hot, sultry period between mid-July and September. I can almost hear my Walker grandparents talking about dog days. “Be careful, don’t step on a nail or cut your foot, it will be hard to heal up during dog days.” It’s hot and very unpleasant in Georgia during dog days. And, if you’ve lived in Georgia during dog days and without air conditioning, you’d dread dog days just like grandma and papa did.

Rattlesnakes, copperheads, coach whips, black snakes. Snakes. Unfortunately, most folks don’t differentiate between poisonous snakes and the helpful ones. They are afraid of all of them! Many have inordinate fears of snakes. Maybe the snake in the Garden of Eden had something to do with this. Well, you people with snake phobias will be pleased to know that I don’t see nearly as many snakes as I used to. I credit the feral hogs for the shrinking population. I think the hogs eat the snake eggs and the snakes. Well, that’s one way to cut down on snakes. Now, what about getting rid of some of the hogs?

I well remember when I learned that Georgia’s state bird was the Brown Thrasher. Frankly, even though I didn’t tell anyone, I was disappointed. Why didn’t we have a “prettier” bird like a red bird, blue bird or a mockingbird? I’ve changed my mind. We have lots of Brown Thrashers on our place and several “couples” are nesting in bushes around the house. Now, I think we have a wonderful state bird. And, I think they are very pretty. Funny, how your ideas change as you age.

It’s less than two months before football season begins. I am excited about it. In particular, I’m looking forward to the Georgia-Notre Dame game on September 9. Bryant Culpepper told me this week that the ticket for this game was the “hottest” ticket (which means the most expensive) in college football. Thankfully, Janice and I have our two, and if all goes well, we’ll go to South Bend to see the game. It’s kinda’ a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m predicting that Georgia is going to have an improved team this year. But, as you know, they are always undefeated before the season starts. We’ll see, won’t we?

The biggest recent disappointment for Janice and me: missing Argene Claxton’s retirement party. As I told Argene, “You are a legend in your own time.” Argene retired as the Ag teacher at Perry High School. Regardless of who takes Argene’s place, he or she will have a great teacher and a great human being to follow. Argene, you were tops. And, your students, fellow teachers and Houston County School officials say “Amen.” What happened? On Saturday afternoon and into the evening, Janice and I were working outside and just forgot the party. We were and are sorry that we weren’t present to help honor this great man.

I wrote about Robert Dickey a few weeks ago, and I mentioned lots of people that were at his Peaches and Politics political rally. But, I made a serious error. I didn’t even mention Robert’s wonderful wife, Cynde. Just like Janice was to me when I was “in politics,” Cynde is Robert’s best asset. This is not only my observation, but Larry, III and his wife, Adrienne, tell me this is so. I hope I’ve made up for my oversight because I want to be invited to the packing-shed next year for some “old-timey politicking.” Cynde, please forgive me.

Who is the best politician in Georgia? There are lots of great ones, but my present nomination is our Agriculture Commissioner, Gary Black. Gary is all over the state promoting Georgia agriculture. That’s his job, and he’s great at it. Keep it up Mr. Commissioner. We are proud of you. And, that comes from a constituent who is “Georgia Grown” and has been watching Georgia politics and elected officials for a long time.

Speaking of politics and ag, what about our nation’s secretary of agriculture? If you’re like me, you’re very proud of our former governor and present Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. He is the ideal person for his present job. He knows agriculture from the working side to the business side. He is an indefatigable worker with absolute integrity and great intelligence. Janice and I attended the service for Sonny and Mary Perdue at Second Baptist Church last Sunday night. Just like the honorees, the service and reception afterwards were first class. Jim Perdue, pastor at Second Baptist, did a masterful job handling everything. I know his parents were proud of him. And, Sonny and Mary, Georgians are proud of you.

That’s it. This and that, this week.

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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