First, an early Happy Veterans Day to everybody who put on this country’s uniform and served honorably, and by doing so fulfilled an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, etc. Take Monday off.
Second, I appreciate all the good people who ran for office in Richmond Hill and Pembroke. Win or lose they served their communities by getting out and working to make a difference.
It’s getting ever easier to complain (Facebook!) and everybody’s got an opinion on how things should be run (Facebook!!), so you need thick skin and a big heart to be a public servant (Facebook!!!).
Anyhow, if you see one of them out and about, say thanks for stepping up and serving. And if they won, be kind and give them your condolences.
This week you’re getting two opinion pages, (in the newspaper) whether you want them or not. That’s because last week we somehow wound up with zero opinion pages - at least in print, though it was there in our E-paper.
I apologize for the mess-up and can only say it came as quite the surprise.
I do have an inkling how it happened, and suspect it had something to do with PDFs and folders I tend to keep a healthy distance from in case I break something. I’d go into the nuts and bolts, but then I’d probably get it wrong.
Anyway, I’m explaining this despite sage advice I got early on in what passes for my newspaper career from the legendary Murray Poole, who told me he’d learned over the decades readers don’t care what you might’ve gone through to get a story.
Readers just care about the story.
Murray was the sports editor for the Brunswick News for 40 years and one of the best sportswriters around. We talked once in a while back in the day when newspapers still did football “tabs,” as we called them, chock full of coverage of local high school teams, and I was probably hitting up Murray for help on the Brunswick high schools.
Our conversation went sideways as I told him what had happened my first trip to Glynn County stadium, and we started swapping stories of stupid stuff that happens to sportswriters along the way to games.
For example, there was that time I got hung up in traffic and was late getting to a state tournament baseball game up in Harlem, Ga., birthplace of the legendary Oliver Hardy. I love Oliver and Hardy.
By the time I got to the diamond the team I was covering had gotten mercy ruled and was getting back on the bus. I parked, got out and started jogging up to the bus to see if I could at least get a quote or two.
I got about 50 yards when I heard a guy behind me yelling and turned around. My old pickup was rolling backwards down a pretty sizeable hill in the direction of a bunch of senior citizens having what might reasonably be described as a tailgate party.
To this day I don’t know how I got that pickup stopped.
Once, coming back home from a late night spent up in Waynesboro at a region basketball tournament, I rounded a curve on some moonlit, deserted stretch of road like you still have in other parts of Georgia and got attacked by an owl. It was like I was the only person on the planet besides that owl, which was clearly deranged.
But the weirdest thing ever was when I went to Brunswick and thought I was being shot in the groin by a mad booster with a pellet gun.
That led me out to my pickup right before a thunderstorm of epic proportions, which morphed into a shirtless, toothless drunk guy who thought he was in Valdosta bumming a lift to a Burger King and then hitting me up for the price of a Whopper, which forced me to threaten him with a 7-iron I kept in my truck just in case I needed it, and that in turn led me to miss the second half of the Effingham County-Brunswick High School game.
But the good news is I hadn’t been shot in the groin by the mad booster, after all -though the woman, who had huge hair that spiders lived in, and her blowhard husband apparently were overheard plotting some retribution at a Camden County game.
Those stabs I felt weren’t pellets. They were fire ants.
Fire ants ate my game story.
Whitten has been News editor, off and on, since 2006.