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.

The Message Of The GOP Is Hate And Division

Maybe it is me.  Maybe it is me that thinks the likes of Donald Trump or Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and some of the others represent the voting public.  I noticed and watched, again, with horror, that another shooting and killing happened in Colorado yesterday.  Couple that with some of the hysterical rhetoric of the Republican Party and wonder, or I do, just what is happening ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Can’t ‘Ban The Box’

I know a man who has over 20 former convicts from federal prisons who either work for him or who have retired with their dignity, pride, and self-worth restored. Better yet, I know some of them, men who have done “hard time” in prisons so wretched none of us would dare to go. So on the surface I applaud City Councilman Yusef Hakeem for seeing ways to get formerly incarcerated men ... (click for more)

Fire Breaks Out At McKee Bakery Plant 2; Damages Listed At $15,000; Propane Tanks Were Near Blaze

Fire broke out at a McKee Food plant at Collegedale on Saturday night. At 6:45 p.m. , an employee at McKee Foods called 911 call reporting a fire at McKee Foods Plant 2 located at 10260 McKee Dr. Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene reporting flames 15 feet high at one end of the building of Plant 2. According to fire officials, ... (click for more)

Woman Shot Saturday Night Near O'Rear Street

A woman was shot while driving on Saturday night. Just after  9 p.m.  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to reports of a person shot. Once on scene, police located a female victim near the 2500 block of O'Rear Street suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound to the face. The victim was driving a vehicle when the vehicle was struck by gunfire. She  ... (click for more)

UTC Defeats Fordham, 50-20, in FCS First Round Game

 "UTC has one of the best defensive lines we have played against all season ... character guys and no trash talking." -- Fordham Quarterback Kevin Anderson in post game comments    Senior quarterback Jacob Huesman threw for 211 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another 154 yards to lead UTC to a 50-20 victory against visiting Fordham ... (click for more)

Red Bank Comeback Trips Hixson In Vandergriff Duals

The last time Red Bank's wrestling Lions faced the Hixson Wildcats in the Hixson gym, Hixson won a close match to earn a spot in the State Duals. These same two teams squared off at Hixson Saturday afternoon in the championship match of the Vandergriff Duals, but the results were different as the Lions rallied for a 34-31 win. Red Bank had won its pool at Hixson Middle ... (click for more)