Archive for December, 2010
By J. Randolph Evans - Why do folks read this column? Based on the letters to the editors, there are a few reasons (some not so good, some downright funny). One good reason is that readers get a pretty good preview of things to come long before they happen. As political insider Matt Towery often notes, prognosticating is a lot of fun at the time, but can be a little dicey when looking back. Well, prognostications in 2010 were fun. At the risk of an “I told you so” criticism, here are a few.
In the first column of the year (January 4, 2010), readers saw this: “In the United States Senate, 2010 will be the year of change. A five vote margin would of course be a huge change. With these numbers, an actual change in control from Democrats to Republicans is possible although unlikely.” As it turned out, Republicans gained five seats (plus Alaska Senator Murkowski (I)). It was well short of an actual change in control.
By J. Randolph Evans - The two most underused words in the world are “thank you.” So often, in the whirl of current events and the frantic pace of nonstop lifestyles, there never seems to be enough time to stop and recognize the truly priceless gifts from the few. Yet, they ask so little and give so much.
Thank you Marine Pfc. Jason H. Estopinal who died while serving his country on February 15, 2010. He was 21. He died while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Thank you Army Spc. Matthew D. Huston of Athens, Georgia. He was killed on March 1, 2010 in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his unit using small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. He was 24.
Thank you Army Spc. Lakeshia M. Bailey who died on March 8, 2010. She was 23 and from Columbus, Georgia. One of her fellow servicemen described her this way, “when I say tough, she would take grown men down to the ground.”
By Donald S. Conkey – There are two dates this week that are embedded in my mind as much as my birthday. December 15, yesterday, is a date I share with all Americans. And it should be a date special for all Americans because it was on this date in 1791; 219 years ago yesterday that America’s Bill of Rights was ratified and became the foundation for all those freedoms that all Americans cherish so much – with many willing to die for them. Without the Bill of Rights America would just be another nation, not a special nation of freedom.
The second date is very personal to me. On December 17, 1960 I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and made my covenants with him – and tomorrow will be my Golden Anniversary as His disciple.
By J. Randolph Evans – Every year about this time, folks – young and old – think about all the things that they wish for. Politicians wish for more power. Presidents wish for better approval ratings. Companies wish for more customers. And people wish for more jobs. Amidst it all, there is often a brutal reminder that puts everything back into perspective. While most people wish for many things, people with cancer only wish for one thing.
On December 8, 2010, Elizabeth Edwards died of breast cancer. There are many things that people will say when reflecting on the wife of the former Democratic Vice Presidential nominee. This column is not about any of those things. It is about one of the most frightening words in the human vocabulary – cancer.
By Donald S. Conkey – Tribune columnist Dick Yarbrough, in a recent column, quoted his successful friend Benjamin Porter several times regarding taking time in mortality to “smell the roses” and to spend time while still in mortality with family and friends. The quote that touched me was “Smell the roses, and that’s not just a flip phrase, and tell your family and friends that you love them while you are still here. You’ll both enjoy the experience. I’ll tell you this: I’d rather see and smell one sweet bouquet while I’m here (still living) than have a truckload follow me to the cemetery.” Yarbrough’s friend recently died.
Nearing 83, I understand and fully appreciate Ben Porter’s counsel. It’s good counsel for men and women of all ages. Mr. Porter strongly implied he had at times kind of ignored God’s rules for living he had learned from his parents as a child. He is not alone – many still do. And that is a shame. What would we be without family? Alone and very lonely! Many attain riches and worldly honors but die lonely. That too is a shame! It doesn’t have to be that way – people can be both happy and successful. Many are.