I knew today eventually would come. This is my final column for The Times. It's been an exciting and fulfilling ride, starring my 54th consecutive year writing a regular column. I sold The Gainesville Tribune when my Air Force Reserve unit got a two-year no-notice recall to active duty during the Vietnam War. When I discharged, I was offered several jobs elsewhere but ultimately decided I didn't want to leave Gainesville. Times Publisher Lou Fockele ...
Now we know whose running for what in county, congressional district, state and nation. What's left is to sort it all out.
The good, bad and indifferent, all is part of life. I've been on a roller coaster ride on them all the past week or so.
Hall County lost a good man and true business leader when Jim Smithson died. Jim developed business parks, was a very generous charitable giver, active in his church, served on numerous boards of directors and produced mobile homes across the county. It was the latter that drew me close to Jim.
Several friends have asked me to write about the time I was killed in action in South America so they could send a copy to other friends and relatives. I don't remember whether I've written about it before but I don't think so.
Mea culpa. I boo-booed when I wrote about friend Dennis Higgins' death. He was a friend but has been dead a number of years. The G and H are next to each other and just as the phone rang, I hit the H instead of G. Dennis GRIFFIN was the fellow Lakewood Deacon leaving a wife and two children. Sorry.
A prince of a man who endured much in always good spirits and a fellow deacon at Lakewood Baptist Church died since last we visited.
Let's start with a clarification. My last column drew a wide response. Some were confused because of what seemed to me to be an innocent but incorrect editing.
Just one political note: You still can vote early at the elections office in a shopping center on the left side of Brown's Bridge road going out of Gainesville. Do this and avoid the precinct lines.
I think Newt Gingrich needed to run a closer second in Florida (within 10 points) rather than the 14 he ran behind Mitt Romney, whose super PAC backers pummeled Gingrich with $16 million of advertising vs Newt's $4 million. Newt admitted the barrage threw him off stride and message.
Contemporaries who made our community a better place to live keep falling. George H. Law was another. He was an auto dealer and ran a construction business. He served on a number of boards, was a civic leader and strong booster of our Georgia Bulldogs. He was generous with his charitable contributions. Now Ed Jared has passed. We had an unusual relationship. His daughter, Nan, was married to Jody Powell, President Jimmy Carter's press secretary. ...
Five more good friends who made positive marks in our community and state died since last we visited.
The New Year is here and plenty of things will happen. Let's hope they're for the best. Locally, the July transportation SPLOST vote outcome is iffy. Many oppose another penny sales tax saying that's going to be too many extra purpose sales taxes and claim once it expires, it'll just be renewed. Could be but not necessarily so. Methinks not passing it is being pennywise and pound foolish. We badly need the specifically named road ...
This year has brought many ugly, useless, senseless murders, muggings and molestations showing a lack of upbringing and inner anger. It's partly because of the economy, partly because of lack of upbringing and just plain meanness. Let's have a better year next.
Since last we wrote, Gainesville giant John Jacobs Jr. died at 88, five days before his 89th birthday.