2019-01-09 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

2019 is a chance to do better!
by Terry Toole

It was a "restful" New Year's day. I slipped on my lounge pants and didn't leave the house all day long. I cooked a big pot of turnips, mustard greens, and turnip roots. I also cooked a couple of pounds of black-eyed peas. Oh, I put six pork chops in the turnips and peas. We had a good bit of a fresh ham and a spiral ham left over. We invited several to eat New Year's lunch with us, but it was just us two. We had plenty.

We are all back to work. It will be good to get back on schedule. You can bet one thing, we won't be going to more than one edition per week as long as I'm in charge. This was the first time in 122 years we have ever printed on Sunday. I haven't been here the entire time, but I never heard grandma or daddy or Uncle Bert mention another Sunday print day. Then we have to change to the next edition before Christmas and New Year editions are over. We had already printed the New Year edition before this year started and was working on another one. I've got good help, but they are tired, too.

The Sugar Bowl wasn't too sweet, if you are a Dawg fan. I don't think they got to practice since the last game. Texas came to beat us, and they did.

The game doesn't need to start that late, especially in New Orleans. I don't know many of the Dawgs, but if the coach let them loose in downtown New Orleans, that was a mistake. I hope there is a good reason that we got beat by Texas.

There is an old saying: "Whatever you do on January 1 of a new year, you might be doing it all year long."

Lord, I hope that isn't true. If it is, Georgia football is in for a long year, and so am I. I didn't do anything on Jan. 1, and the Dawgs got beat. So much for the old sayings.

Last week, I think I made a bad error. I forgot the date of our 63rd anniversary. I said something about it being on January 6, and it is actually Tuesday, January 8. The year was 1956. I must admit that dates don't mean too much to me, and I was there, but since it was 63 years ago, I tend to not remember, sometimes, since I couldn't tell you what I ate for breakfast this morning. I'm writing most of this on the day my first wife put the key in the lock for the last time to close the Bride & Gift Gallery store.

I can remember when I took over the Liberal from Bert and Willie back in January 1976. Like all my other jobs of life, I didn't know anything about running a newspaper, except I was born less than a block from where the Liberal is located now, and I have been around ink and type most of my life. I had no formal training except I learned to read backwards. The type was backwards when we proofed the copy.

I thought, since Grandma Zula had never run a newspaper back in 1897, and she couldn't even vote at the time, I should be able to run a small weekly newspaper. It’s amazing what you can learn in just 43 years in charge, even if you’ve been around for over 83 years.

Myfriend,BillyFleming, came by a few weeks back and said he was checking, and although I might be the oldest working editor/publisher of a Georgia newspaper, he bought his father's newspaper, The Early Co. News, the month before, and he was the longest working editor/publisher of a newspaper in Georgia. I knew I was the oldest.

Speaking of old, January 8, was our 63rd wedding anniversary. Bless her sweet heart. That’s longer than many folks live. I thank the Lord for lending Betty Jo to “ye scribe” for that long. She is a good woman. She catches up with me next Valentine’s Day.

I can sit down in a room with 50-75 people, and unless someone like "Doodle" Wells, Luther Clearman, or Clyde Jinks was there, I was. I told the other two, after Doodle died recently, to hang in there. They made me feel younger because they had me by several years.

As we look forward to the year ahead, we can thank our Lord for what has been. We just went through the worst storm most of us have ever seen, and other than some bad damage, we are still here. There is nothing we can do about the past. We can do something about the present, and the future is to come. God is good. The only prayers He can’t answer are those not prayed.

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