Hall of Heroes

In just a few days from now we will celebrated the Hall of Heroes.  It’s a special celebration.  Special because up until this year it only happened in one county in South Carolina and special because it should have been happening all along.


You and I go through our day and we rub shoulders with heroes every day.  Men and women who have done extraordinary things.  Some of them quite literally secured your freedom and security.  They made the name ‘American’ respected acrossEuropeand the South Pacific.


But then they came home and went to work in the mill or back on the farm and the memories were just that, only memories.  Perhaps he charged a German machine gun that had his buddies pinned down.  Maybe he landed onOmahaBeachand somehow survived.  Maybe a photo ofMount Suribachistill makes him break into a cold sweat.


Each year inLaurensCountywe honor men and women who once gave up everything and walked away.  They left farms and families.  They left sweethearts, Mommas and Daddies, and old dawgs.  And they put on a uniform and went to war.


This year we will honor some who did that and who never came back.  They gave up every one of their tomorrows for your freedoms today.


On Saturday, September 10th, I ask that you come and hear their stories.  I think you owe them that.


As a part of my duties at WLBG I cover some public meetings of government entities.  One of them I get to attend on a regular basis is Clinton City Council.  Now, those are fun.  The Mayor and all the council members, as well as Interim City Manager Frank Stovall and the rest of the city’s staff do a good job of making the business of doing the city’s business fun.  They know when to get serious but also how to have fun while tackling serious issues.  It’s actually fun.


But I wasn’t at Clinton City Council on Monday, August 22nd.  I covered a meeting of the School District 56 Board of Trustees.  Well, I covered it a while and, I must confess that I think I may have nodded off a time or two.


Why the difference?  Well……………let me preface this by saying that the men and women who serve on the school board in District 56 do so without pay.  They dedicate a huge amount of time to conduct the business of the district.  I imagine that a lot of people believe they’re paid for those services.  They are not.


Having said that, I’d like to say something to the folks on the school board……………LIGHTEN UP…………..PLEASE!!  You take yourselves WAY too seriously.  Dont’ be so defensive and stop with the semi-competition to see who can find the nit-pickiest item to point out.


The meeting in question lasted nearly 2 and 1/2 hours.  That’s 2 and 1/2 hours of long discussions of what ‘special’ means.  2 and 1/2 hours of fighting to maintain consciousness.


The one bright spot of this particular meeting?  They took a vote……….two votes actually……..that did not result in unanimous agreement.  Hats off the Ms. Elizabeth McKinney for stating her opposition to something.  I have often felt that one member or another really wanted to vote no on something but they weren’t sure that was allowed.  Ms. McKinney didn’t ask.  I actually found that refreshing.  I’m glad I was awake to see it.


Now, again, these folks serve without pay.  They come out to these meetings, do a lot of work and preparation behind the scenes and occasionally catch flak from parents……all on a volunteer basis.  So, I’m not just complaining.  I actually would like to see the mood lifted so the board members can actually have a little fun while doing the district’s business.  They could have a little fun and maybe I could stay awake.  And maybe………..just maybe……..meetings could be completed in less than 2 and 1/2 hours.


Confession of a Semi-Luddite

When the iPhone first came out I laughed at people who made complete fools of themselves.  Some of them actually slept on a sidewalk outside the store so they’d be sure to get one of the first units available.  What morons.

I was smugly amused at their antics.  There was no way I’d ever just flip completely out over something as simple as a telephone.  Okay, so it’s a cell phone.  Okay, so you can play games.  Big deal.

And then came last week.  With smart phones all around me……..even Emil has one……. I finally took the plunge.  No, I didn’t exactly get the latest and the greatest.  I got yesterday’s wonder toy……the Apple iPhone 3GS.

The thing was a bit difficult to get set up.  You have to hook it to a computer so in can do something called ‘sync’ with Apple’s site…….the one where they try to sell you all kinds of music.  It took a while but finally it was working and I made a call.

Nothing special about the call.  I dialed.  I talked.  I hung up.  Big deal.

And then I thought I’d look into these things called ‘Apps’…………..applications that you can get for the phone…..a lot of them free.  That’s when the light went off.

There are apps for just about everything you can imagine:  News, Weather, Business Tools, Music, Videos, File Storage.  You can write a letter and email it around the world with this thing.  You can get directions to a street address in New Mexico and this lady talks to you the whole way there and tells you where to turn……she’s such a nice lady.  It’s got a compass on it in case you get lost in the woods……oh, and it’s got a flashlight app too.

Email, Facebook, Weather Radar and the Al Gore’s ENTIRE internet……right here in the palm of my hand.  How oh  how did I ever live without this device.  Now I understand.  And the next time they’re gonna introduce a new version………….no way I’m sleeping on a sidewalk to get one.  I’m not THAT big of a fool.

No More Drama

Watching the major players in Washington these days is a lot like watching a soap opera isn’t it? We are being led by drama addicts.

I don’t care whether they be Democrats or Republicans, it was obvious early on that this was going to be a last minute ‘save’. I predicted with confidence several weeks ago that the debt crisis would be ‘solved’ at midnight on Sunday before the Tuesday deadline. The President’s announcement of the ‘save’ came 27 minutes earlier than I predicted.

How did I know that? Because I know they love drama, bless their hearts.

The fact is that our country is broke. The cuts this plan institutes are just the beginning………or they’d better be. Without serious cuts, painful cuts, in federal spending we go under. Completely under. Spiraling into the worst imaginable GreatEST Depression.

But, the kinds of cuts I’m talking about won’t come without making just about everyone angry about something. Whatever your pet project is most likely it will have it’s budget cut.

I’ve issued this warning on air. Let me issue it again here. If you are on public assistance, find a way out and do it now. That train is gonna stop. I just don’t think our society can economically sustain the burden for much longer. And when it does stop it’ll probably be in the middle of the wilderness somewhere.

You have the chance now to get off the train at a station. Do it. Find a job. It may not be the best job. It may not even be a good job. Doesn’t matter. Find a job. If you have nothing but public assistance to feed your family and it suddenly stops. What happens to them?

That ain’t easy to contemplate, I know, but the threat is real. When it happens I won’t enjoy saying ‘I told you so’ but the fact is………..I did.