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Send a letter to the editor to P.O. Box 1600, Dawsonville, GA 30534; fax (706) 265-3276; or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 26,2018
This is a page of opinion — ours, yours and
others. Signed columns and cartoons are the
opinions of the writers and artists, and they
may not reflect our views.
those who made
2018 a year to
Well, we can pretty much stick a fork in the
Year of our Lord 2018. By the time you are
through roasting chestnuts on an open fire or
eating the last of the leftover turkey, 2019 will
come knocking on the door. This has been a
very good year in one respect: I did not read
my obituary and I am guessing that you didn’t
read yours, either.
I don’t do New
tions. For one
thing, that is
about as original
as a broom han
them. It is a
waste of paper. My editors don’t like me
wasting paper. Editors can resolve to be very
cranky about this kind of stuff no matter what
the time of year.
Instead, it is my policy to give out year-end
awards and to recognize those individuals and
organizations who have made this column a
thing of beauty and a joy forever. Bless their
Our first award is the Running and Gunning
Award which goes to our Gov.-elect Brian
Kemp who won a very close race after run
ning TV ads holding a shotgun and threaten
ing a little dweeb proposing to date his daugh
ter, which thrilled all the gun-toters and must
have dismayed his daughters. I just wish the
little dweeb had told Kemp that he had a
Magnum .357 pointed somewhere between
daddy’s belt buckle and his knees and one
more threat and the dweeb would make him a
The Son of a Gun Award goes to all the
gun-toters who are giddy thinking our new
governor is going to make guns his top legis
lative priority. They are going to be surprised
when they find out that public education and
rural development are likely to be his top pri
orities — as they should be.
The winner of the Nod-Nod, Wink-Wink
Award goes to outgoing Lt. Gov. Casey
Cagle, who should have done just that instead
of blabbing out loud to a former Republican
gubernatorial rival, Clay Tippins (or at least to
Tippins’ hidden cellphone) about backing an
education bill he called bad “a thousand dif
ferent ways” so another candidate, former
state Sen. Hunter Hill, wouldn’t get a few mil
lion dollars from Alice the Walmart Lady and
her deep-pocketed, out-of-state special inter
est friends. (Turns out that Alice didn’t give
the dough to either.)
The Howdy Doody Notable Quotable
Award is presented to state Rep. Earl Ehrhart,
R-Cobb. He is retiring after 30 years in the
General Assembly. Mr. Ehrhart is to notable
quotes what Michelangelo is to art. In fact,
Earl Ehrhart’s quotes are a work of art. He
once referred to Casey Cagle as “Eddie
Haskell,” the smarmy character on “Leave it
to Beaver” which stunned the two dozen peo
ple who still remembered that show. A group
of neighborhood activists earned his wrath
and the epithet, “Gladys Kravitz,” which
stunned the other two dozen people who
remembered that obscure character on
“Bewitched.” To opponents who objected to
his efforts to shield private contractors and
subcontractors doing government business
from Georgia’s Sunshine laws, he said, “I
think they need to readjust their tinfoil hat.” I
couldn’t find two dozen people anywhere
who understood that. He will be missed.
The Golden Half Award is presented to the
scholar-athletes at my beloved alma mater, the
University of Georgia. In both last year’s
national championship and this year’s SEC
championship, they decisively thrashed the
scholar-athletes from the University of
Alabama for one half. Alas, a close reading of
the rales of football indicates the game
requires two halves and, on occasion, an over
The Tell-It-Like-It-Is Award is the most dis
tinguished of them all. It is presented to a
reader who in 25 words or less can best
describe the positive impact my weekly
efforts have in making this a better world for
all people. This year was a tie. A reader on the
Georgia coast observed, “Just because you
can write that column doesn’t mean you
should” and a devoted fan in north Georgia
described me as “a jerk, knee jerk, snail poop,
bucket head.” I apologize if I get emotional,
but I love this job.
So, one year down and another one about to
begin. As in past years, I promise that if you
will keep reading, I’ll keep writing (Oops!
Was that a New Year’s resolution?) — assum
ing this meets with the editor’s approval. After
all, you and I are a team. Most of all, I wish
you peace and happiness in the coming year
and may neither of us read our obituary.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough atdick@dickyar-
brough.com; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA
31139; online atdickyarbrough.com or on
Facebook at wvwv.facebook.com/dickyarb.
Wait! It can’t be over yet! I demand a recount!"
Come next week, we get to do it again
There is something peace
ful about reflecting on the
year as we ready ourselves
for the next one.
It’s a time, at least for me,
to look back over what the
last 12 months had brought
into my life.
The moments of joy and
The obstacles that had
been dealt with, whether I
successfully bested them, or
they knocked me down.
It helps me to take a per
sonal review and see, most
importantly, where I made
mistakes and missteps and
maybe what I can do better.
And this year, like the last
few, has had its share of ups
I would get excited about
one thing, to only find
myself crestfallen the next
Granny used to not get
overly happy when good
things happened. “Life will
balance it out soon enough,”
she would say.
That always bothered me,
as if it was some self-fulfill
ing prophecy on her part to
usher in something that
would tilt the scales of joy
more towards the disap
“No, I am just not going to
get my hopes up,” she would
But this year has taught
me to get my hopes up,
because in the middle of
those high hopes, we are
holding on to a thread of
faith that can maybe be our
I know this year has had
some painful moments.
And I’m not just talking
about the tragedies we see
on the news.
Those were horrible and
hurt us as a collective whole.
But sometimes the
moments that hurt us the
most are those personal
events that cause us pain.
Grief, loss, failure — we
have all faced them this year.
Friends went through
Quite a few lost their
spouse; others lost other
family members and friends.
And some battled private
battles they didn’t share.
I know I dealt with worries
and fears that I didn’t speak
about, least they come true.
I have tried, instead, to
focus on the things I could
control, on the things that I
Sometimes, there were not
many, so I let go of the
things I couldn’t handle.
But every now and then,
something sad or unsettling
would creep its way into my
In fact, it seems like I have
been marking years by the
sad events lately more than
“It takes rain and the sun
to make the flowers grow,”
Mama reminds me.
I get it. I do. But I am hop
ing for a little less rain in the
coming year, both figurative
ly and literally.
In her sweet, gentle way
she was letting me know that
we wouldn’t be able to
appreciate the beauty of the
flowers without the rain and
the sun, two things that if in
excess can be harmful. But
in the right amounts, make
“I am just ready for things
to be stable and not so cha
otic,” I stated one day. “I
want things to be kind of on
an even keel.”
Mama sighed. “Everyone
probably wishes for that,
Kitten,” she said. “But that is
No, life is not always sta
ble or even keeled, is it?
It’s full of the ups and
downs; the good, the bad.
The sad, heartbreaking
moments followed by the
highest of joys. Sometimes,
they come in the same week
or at the least, the same year.
I know — I have been
through all of those more
times than I can count.
It’s just life.
We didn’t notice it when
we were younger, mainly
because our parents were
better deflectors and shield
ed us from a lot of the stuff
that people experience now.
But we will keep striving,
fighting, trying to find the
happiness and joy that bring
us joy, even if it means we
will have those disappoint
ments and failures that crush
This year has knocked so
many of us down and we
have dusted ourselves and
resolutely stuck our chin out
as if to say, we are not giv
ing up and out of sheer stub
bornness, we won’t either.
It has been 12 months of
chaos, hectic schedules, and
everyday moments of life,
that if we aren’t careful, will
slip by, unnoticed and unap
Days that passed so quick
ly, one would think they
were on a train, moving
from one holiday to the next.
A year of memories made,
and moments shared.
And come next week, we
get to do it all over again.
Sudie Crouch is an award
winning humor columnist and
author of the recently e-pub-
lished novel, "The Dahlman
Files: A Tony Dahlman
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
The broken rule of law
Do you believe in the idea of the
rule of law? If you ask that question
just about everyone I know will imme
diately respond with a definite “yes.”
A yes means that everyone, rich or
poor, famous or unknown, young or
old, in political office or simple citi
zen, has to play by the same rales and
that if those rules are broken you will
be arrested by an officer of the law,
tried before an impartial judge and
jury and if convicted, sentenced to
some sort of appropriate punishment.
The rule of law is pretty much intact
at the city, county and state levels
around the U.S.
In spite of the national media’s con
stant criticism, by and large those sys
tems are working. Here in Georgia I
have some confidence that the rule of
law functions at a pretty high level of
My confidence in the rule of law at
the federal level is gone. I have lived
long enough to know about the cor
ruption of the Hoover years at the FBI.
Their problems have not been fixed.
We watched a special council waste
time and money investigating a
Democrat president. Nothing produc
tive came of that long painful episode
of human failings.
We are now watching a repeat of the
Citizens are watching the current
convulsions of the federal govern
ment. That government is ignoring the
real problems facing the nation
because they are caught up in this
never ending childish food fight.
No one but a fool would now run for
federal offices or allow themselves to
be nominated for federal appointments
because of the risk of exposure of
some past sins and the very real possi
bilities that they and their friends will
do prison time for things that would
never even be examined if they
remained out of public office. It is a
The blame is at the door of the leg
islative branch, which has passed a
jungle of campaign laws that no one
can follow and which has provided
political enemies an endless basis for
accusation of criminal activity. And
we all know that the income tax laws
are so screwed up that we all probably
innocently violated some impossible -
to-understand regulation. The House
and the Senate have made a total pile
of it. And some federal judges have
helped compound the problem by leg
If you agree with this general
assessment, please send a copy of this
letter to our federal legislators. They
think they are doing a great job.
The Dawson County News welcomes your opinions on issues of public concern. Letters must be signed and
include full address and a daytime and evening phone number for verification. Names and hometowns of letter
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Mail letters to the Dawson County News, RO. Box 1600, Dawsonville, GA 30534, hand deliver to 30 Shoal Creek
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