Roy Exum: October’s Orchids And Onions

Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

A smattering of leaves that have fallen early clutter my garden as I step through in search of orchids and onions. The first day of October also calls for an early-morning sweater so here’s what we find on our stroll:

AN ORCHID to Lane Latimer, the Lookout Mountain heroine whose much-beloved husband “Lat” was buried on Saturday. Mr. Latimer, who built Shoney’s restaurants into an empire here during the ‘70s and ‘80s, suffered a severe stroke over five years ago and it wasn’t lost on any of their friends that Lane visited the hospital every single day until his death last week.

AN ONION to the fact our nation’s political leaders had rather fight and squabble than come together and do what is best for our country. Too many are so absorbed in making noise and striking the right pose for the media that both the Senate and the House are clearly dysfunctional and are an international embarrassment. Remember who these people are during the next election.

AN ORCHID for the fabulous way the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is showcasing the 150th anniversary of the Civil War this fall. Every weekend events are planned and the re-enactments are sensational. Check the park’s website for updated information.

AN ONION to the way Southern Cal athletic director Pat Haden fired football coach Lane Kiffin. Nobody ever got pulled off a team bus at an airport and got fired at 5 o’clock in the morning! Haden commended Kiffin for “battling for his job” after he was relieved of his duties but it is doubtful he will be a college head coach anytime soon. UConn, on the other hand, did it right; waiting at least until lame football coach Paul Pasqualoni got to the office Monday morning before giving him the axe.

AN ORCHID to Dawson Wheeler and his Rock/Creek Outfitters for being the primary reason the 10-day RiverRocks outdoor festival will start on Saturday. Some of the best rock climbers, mountain bikers and other athletes from around the country will be here and, while the city’s recreation department, or whatever it is now called, is also involved, credit Dawson’s dream for this one.

AN ONION to the wretch at Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights High School who called the father of 16-year-old Jean Fritz Pierre and harshly berated the man over his son’s increasing truancy. Jonas Pierre could only answer, “Why are you calling me? Why are you telling me this?” His son, it turns out, drowned during a school outing last spring.

AN ORCHID to the fact that if every American would buy just one more “made in America” product than usual every month, many of the companies that have gone overseas to save money would be forced to come back to the United States. Read labels – buy American – or foreign products that are manufactured in the United States like automobiles.

AN ONION to those who think flu vaccines are frivolous. Granted, some people cannot take the shots due to other medical circumstances but if the rest of us would take the position that we should take the vaccine to protect friends and strangers from getting sick, this would be a healthier place. Those over 65 should ask about “booster flu shots” and those from age one to 117 should wash their hands with warm, soapy water at least four times a day. That’s how bad today’s germs really are, according to the CDC.

AN ORCHID to Tennessee’s Butch Jones for the job he and his staff have done bolstering the admittedly weak UT football team. The Vols are a 50-something point underdog to Georgia this week before they will also play nationally-ranked South Carolina and Alabama this month. Ouch.

AN ONION to the undeniable fact that print advertising, found in magazines and newspapers, is drying up at an astonishing rate. Fewer ads mean fewer magazines and newspapers and I can’t imagine a day without either.

AN ORCHID to Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin, who appears so highly regarded on the national stage he is being mentioned to replace Kiffin at Southern Cal. Vanderbilt, caught in the throes of a rape case involving several former players, is now 3-2 but the Commodore’ October includes Missouri (4-0), Georgia (3-1) and Texas A&M (4-1.)

AN ONION to my memory, which was quick to recall on Sunday night that when Peyton Manning missed a season in the NFL due to neck problems, those in the Legion of the Miserable boldly predicted the great UT quarterback was finished. Now he’s on a record-setting pace and, in Sunday’s 52-20 win over Philadelphia, he hit of 28-of-34 passes for Denver for 327 yards and four TDs.

AN ORCHID to the Union High School football team, where every player was suspended last week for a lack-of-character (see my Saturday story). They practiced only once before the Friday night game against Emery of Castle Dale, Utah, before getting beat, 41-21. What you need to know is only 32 players were able to achieve the coach’s demands to earn their football jerseys back but this week it is expected the other players will return for practice. With improved character, I might add.

AN ONION to a conservative Saudi Arabian cleric has said women who drive cars risk damaging their ovaries and bearing children with clinical problems. It’s true; Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan said women aiming to overturn the ban of females driving cars and trucks should put "reason ahead of their hearts, emotions and passions."

royexum@aol.com


A Vote For Education Is Critical In Tennessee

In a state where just 28 percent of eighth graders are proficient in math and 33 percent are proficient in reading according to national assessments, education is deserving of more attention in 2014 elections. Across the country, more parents are making informed decisions about their child’s education, but for Volunteer State parents without resources, choices are difficult to come ... (click for more)

The Committee For Plain English On Hamilton County Ballots

First, there is no “committee.”  But there ought to be. Now I am not the brightest guy in the county. I only have a Bachelor of Science degree (five years), Graduate work in English, Philosophy and Economics (two years) and several years experience teaching at Chattanooga State and substitute teaching in Hamilton County public schools.  I recently voted in the November ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

Cold, Wet Front To Make For Chilly And Damp Trick Or Treating; Snow Showers Possible Saturday

A surge of cold, moist air will make for less-than-ideal trick or treat conditions on Halloween night. Temperatures are expected to dip below freezing this weekend. There is a possibility of snow showers in Chattanooga on Saturday. Here is the latest forecast: Today Showers likely, mainly after 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. Calm wind becoming northwest ... (click for more)

Owls Beat McMinn, 30-12, To Complete Unbeaten Regular Season

Undefeated. Sounds nice, huh. After a sluggish first half that produced only three points on a Laszlo Toser field goa., third-ranked Ooltewah came to life in the third quarter, riddled McMinn County’s defense with three Kelvin Leon touchdown passes in the third quarter and went on to beat the Cherokees, 30-12, at James N. Monroe Stadium to secure the school’s third unbeaten ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Clobbers Grundy Co. For 7-AA Title

Notre Dame coach Charles Fant is always hoping that his Fighting Irish football team can get off to a fast start. He never thought it would be as quick as what he saw Thursday night at Jim Eberle Field. With a District 7-AA championship on the line on an evening when they honored all of the fall senior athletes, a football game turned into a track meet and eventually a victory ... (click for more)