Roy Exum: Walking In My January Garden

Thursday, January 2, 2014 - by Roy Exum

It was the middle of Wednesday afternoon before the sun warmed my January garden to where a walk was actually enjoyable. Here is what I found among the shiny acorns and withered leaves:

A SHINY ACORN to the young couple in Andalusia, Ala., who just named their baby boy Krimson Tyde. Obviously University of Alabama fans, the boy’s mother (Summer Steele) told news outlets, “To people speaking negatively about us naming him Krimson, it's not their child nor family member so if they have nothing nice to say they don't need to say nothing at all.” (According to State of Alabama records, 25 girls born in 2012 were named Crimson and six more girls were named Auburn.)

A WITHERED LEAF for the tragic news and great sadness thousands of us feel as we learn Sis Morgan, wife of legendary wrestling coach Jim Morgan, died on New Year’s Eve. I remember when Jim, who was the wrestling coach at UTC during some of the best days I ever spent, was dating the pretty physical-education instructor and, when they got married, I told Jim it was his greatest victory in life. Several years ago one of their boys died, James David, so at least heaven’s reunion was sweet.

A SHINY ACORN to the football replay that confirmed the 7-yard completion from Peyton Manning to Eric Decker during Sunday’s 34-14 win over Oakland was legitimate. Peyton passed for 266 yards in the game, setting a single-season passing record with 5,477 -- one more yard than Drew Brees’ 2011 record. Manning sat on the bench during the second half after throwing 5 TDs and completing 25-of-28. Incidentally, 5,477 yards equals 3.28 miles.

A WITHERED LEAF for the uneasy feeling I got on New Year’s Days where I studied the University of Tennessee’s football schedule for 2014. The SEC games are: Sept. 27 - at Georgia; Oct. 4 – FLORIDA; Oct. 18 - at Ole Miss; Oct. 25 – ALABAMA; Nov. 1 - at South Carolina; Nov. 15 – KENTUCKY; Nov. 22 – MISSOURI; Nov. 29 - at Vanderbilt. (As Jay Greeson likes to bellow, “OUCH-standing!”)

A SHINY ACORN for the exemplary life of Freddie Lupton, a kind and gentle man who was the first heart transplant patient I ever knew after he received a female heart, of all things, back in 1990. An engineer by trade, he helped many thousands of people for decades through his philanthropic efforts. He lived a full 81 years, too, giving hope to so many transplant survivors, and what better way to embrace his memory than to sign the back of your driver’s license right now. Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Rivermont Presbyterian Church.

A WITHERED LEAF to the University of Florida, which will hardly take the place of Dalvin Cook, a sensational high school running back from Miami who just bolted from the stunned Gators to Florida State. Cook, who will enroll at FSU next week, is one of 13 four-star prospects in the Seminoles’ 2014 recruiting class, now ranked sixth overall in the country.

A SHINY ACORN to the state of Hawaii for figuring out how to get a native woman’s name on her driver’s license. Really. Janice "Lokelani" Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele has a surname that consists of 35 letters plus an okina, a mark used in the Hawaiian alphabet. She is so happy but it would almost be worth it to see her sign a check. Oh, and if you see her on the street here’s how you pronounce her last name: “KAY'-ee-hah-nah-EE'-coo-COW'-ah-KAH'-hee-HOO'-lee-heh-eh-KAH'-how-NAH-eh-leh”

A WITHERED LEAF to the New York Daily News. In a promotion leading up to this year’s Super Bowl in East Rutherford, they have been touting the best players of all time by positions. Chattanooga native Reggie White is among ten defensive linemen picked as finalists but how they left New England’s John Hannah off the list of the best offensive linemen is incredible. Hannah attended Baylor School before becoming an All-American at Alabama.

A SHINY ACORN to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife for giving the largest donation to charity in 2013. According to Chronicle of Philanthropy, the 18 million shares of Facebook transferred to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation was a gift of $990 million. Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife were second with a $500 million pledge to the University of Oregon’s cancer research project.

A WITHERED LEAF, perhaps fitting, to Steve “Heyduke”Judish who plunked down $30 cash and walked out of a Colorado marijuana store yesterday with 1/8 ounce of Larry OG, a potent strain of pot that the “connoisseurs” prefer for its rush. Judish was among the first people in America to legally buy pot. “It’s cool to be part of history,” he smirked.

Roy Exum: We Want Our City Back

Late Saturday morning, there was a driving rain as I took my khakis to be hemmed by Bruce Baird, who owns a wonderful menswear store on Broad Street, and it was glaringly obvious that what the crazies among us have done with a looney bike-lane scheme is ridiculous. There are concrete barriers, reducing Broad Street to two lanes of traffic, which I believe will impede downtown businesses ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: How We Learned To Play

A couple of years ago I was reading a fascinating story that asserted the “Little Rascals” taught generations of children how to play with each other. When the comedy show about children in a poor neighborhood originated in 1922, there were just silent movies but in 1929, when the “talkies” were introduced, children and adults alike were mesmerized by the wonderful humor that producer ... (click for more)

Baylor Student, 16, Dies After Cardiac Incident At Pool

A 16-year-old Baylor School student died after a cardiac incident at a pool on Monday afternoon. Sumner Smith died in the incident on campus. The student was taken by ambulance to Erlanger. Baylor's Barbara Kennedy said it happened during a routine swim practice. He was found unresponsive in the pool. Counselors were being provided on the Baylor campus on Tuesday. ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Decides Not To Provide Animal Pickup Service

Bradley County Commissioners on Monday finally put animal control to rest. It was not easy and it was not without confusion, but in the end, the county will not provide animal pickup service.   Confusion began when commissioners were asked to approve the agenda, which included two options for animal control pick up. Item “D” provided for the SPCA of Bradley County ... (click for more)

Lady 'Canes Beat Bradley, Set Up Showdown With Ooltewah

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – East Hamilton and Bradley Central had played four times before their District 5-3A volleyball tournament opener on Monday. The two teams split the series. Monday’s match was clearly more important than the previous four, since the winner advanced in the district tourney and the loser went home. The No. 4 seed Lady Hurricanes (21-15) rallied impressively ... (click for more)

CSAS Advances In 5-A Volleyball With Win Over Copper Basin

Samantha Green didn't have any idea what her team's overall record was, but all that matters is that her CSAS Lady Patriots won their opening-round match of the District 5-A tournament on Monday at Silverdale and will face top-seeded Grace on Tuesday in the semifinals. The Lady Patriots beat the Copper Basin Lady Cougars on Monday, needing less than an hour to advance as CSAS ... (click for more)