Dick Yarbrough

I am having an identity crisis. Last week, a reader opined, “I’ve read your editorials for years and know you are a supporter of Republican Party efforts. I had hoped, in vain, that you would disavow the current Republican Party.”  I’m guessing he must have missed my snarky columns on David Perdue and Marjorie Taylor Greene. A lot of others didn’t, including another reader who said, “Mr. Yarborough, (sic) I would like to state anyone that is a domocrat like you are, is a domo-rat. We do support Perdue and OUR President Trump and what you say just don’t whole (sic) water and your opinion is fruitless.”  These particular observations remind me of the time I was called an “Obama bed-wetting liberal” and a “racist redneck” in the same week. This job isn’t as easy as I make it look. . . .

God bless our public schoolteachers. They have had to endure COVID-19, masks vs. no masks, critical race theory, revisionist history, gangs, goofy school boards and private school voucher schemes designed to undermine the public education system and yet they soldier on, making a difference in young lives. I am glad Gov. Brian Kemp and the Legislature saw fit to give them a raise. They have  more than earned it. Now, if we will just give our schoolteachers the respect they deserve. . . .

It takes a lot to flummox me but this one did. A woman in Douglas County was arrested this past week and charged with shooting a teenager in the face in a road rage incident in Metro Atlanta. A passenger with the teen happened to snap a photo of the alleged shooter who was subsequently identified and jailed without bond. That’s not the weird part. Unfortunately, road rage incidents happen all too often these days as does gun violence. What makes this one remarkable is that as soon as the shooter had popped her victim, she went and had her nails done! Hey, we all have our priorities. . . .

Much is being made of Republican U.S. senatorial hopeful Herschel Walker’s no-shows at political debates. Why should he? A recent Emerson College poll indicates he is far ahead of his Republican opponents with 57% of the vote. His closest competitor, Georgia agricultural commissioner Gary Black is a distant second at 13%. The same poll shows Walker with a slight lead over Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock. Expect his opponents and the media to continue to cast him in negative light (gaffe-prone, accused of domestic abuse, exaggerating his resume, etc. etc.) but to little avail. To a lot of people in this state Herschel Walker is the stuff of legends and I suspect they will vote accordingly. . . .

You may have missed this given what all is going on in the world today but the Ocoee Whitewater Center in Polk County, Tennessee, which hosted whitewater rafting events on the Ocoee River during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games burned to the ground a couple of weeks ago. A shame. It was the first Olympic whitewater event to have been held on a natural river. As with the rowing and canoeing venue in Gainesville, Ocoee had enjoyed a successful afterlife, unlike many of the Olympic venues which were mismanaged into oblivion. . . .

As I have quoted often on these pages, we all have an obligation to leave this a better world than we found it. One man who did just that was retired superior court judge Arthur (Mac) McLane, of Valdosta. I first met the judge when I spoke at a Boy Scout function in Valdosta many years ago. We enjoyed a regular email correspondence for many years. Judge McLane passed away last week. He will be missed in the community for his good works. I will miss his notes of encouragement. One thing is for sure: He left this a better world by his presence. . . .

And finally: I tried very hard not to bring this up. I mean I really, really tried but sometimes I just can’t help myself. It seems that the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation and home to 25 Rhodes Scholars just had 15 football scholar-athletes selected in the recent NFL draft – five in the first round. So, to those of you who think of my alma mater as just an academic oasis populated by brilliant minds, it turns out we also can play a little football, too. Woof! Woof!

•Dick Yarbrough is a four-time winner of the Best Humor Column by the Georgia Press Association. Reach him at dick@dickyarbrough.com; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb