Opinion Columns & Blogs

WALKER: Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I know that other holidays have more significance -- or do they? There’s not much that’s more important than giving thanks for what we have. Here’s my list of thanks -- big ones and small ones.

I am thankful for:

A warm-in-winter, cool-in-summer dry house. I’ve lived in ones that weren’t that way.

An inside bathroom with hot water and a shower with good water pressure. If you take away all my creature comforts, take my bathroom last.

A good, firm bed without too many pillows to throw off when I get in it at night, or when I have to get up in the night and stumble over them.

Tires that get 50,000 miles or more. They used to say “the tire companies could make tires that would go 50,000 miles or more if they wanted to.” Now they do.

A covey rise in front of two pointed dogs on a cool, autumn, Georgia-sunlit morning.

Doubling on a covey rise (you bird hunters know what that means). And a hunting companion who says, “nice shots, Larry.”

The red clad Dawgs coming out of the tunnel into Sanford Stadium on a sun-splashed Athens day.

Blue Bell Ice Cream covered with a cold Coca-Cola on a hot summer day.

A 5-pound bass striking my Super Spook top water plug.

Freedom of religion -- or even from religion -- and my right to be a Methodist and your right to worship any way you wish.

Good books to hold and to read, written by talented writers, and time to give ‘em the attention they deserve.

Banana pudding, chocolate pie, hotdogs, pizza, boiled peanuts, grits, Moon Pies, milkshakes, caramel cake and all manner of great food that’s “not good for you.” When you get my age, you ought to be able to eat what you want to eat.

Aspirin, Neosporin, Metamucil and those wonderful salves that replaced the Blis-to-Sol we used to use. You male athletes remember, don’t you?

High school football on a cool Friday night and grandchildren who have played, and played well. And especially Wade, who had 110 tackles last year and should have at least that many in 2014.

Madison, St. Simons Island, Thomasville, Dahlonega, Athens, Savannah, Blue Ridge, Clayton and so many other wonderful Georgia towns too numerous to mention.

Jerry Lee Lewis and Billy Graham. It would be a dull world if we were all alike.

Rick Bragg, Larry Brown, Terry Kay, Celestine Sibley, Pat Conroy, Harper Lee and Lewis Grizzard -- all Southern to the bone.

Dixie, Molly and Kate, Amos and Solomon (those wonderful memories of those wonderful mules and those wonderful men who plowed them). And a wonderful grandfather, Papa, who plowed, too, and could hitch up a mule in five minutes or less.

The Tams. Al Green. Jackie Wilson. Roy Hamilton. The Platters. The Embers. Frank Sinatra. The Classics IV. The Swingin’ Medallions. The Dixie Cups. Shag. Beach. MoTown. Jitterbug. Soul. And slow dancing.

“Georgia on My Mind” sung by Ray Charles.

Bream on the bed, a full moon in May and a box full of fat crickets.

“Larry, we really enjoy your columns,” and those nice emails. It keeps me writing.

My F-150 pickup truck. I’d rather have it than a Cadillac. Lots of Southern guys agree with me.

Great original stories by great original storytellers -- Dink, Hugh, Bobby, George, Roy, Lawton and Foster come to mind. And Jim Minter. He’s the best.

I have just gotten started, and I haven’t mentioned family or friends. And that’s what I am most thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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