Roy Exum: Notes From My Pocket

Sunday, January 26, 2014 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

As we get ready for next Sunday’s Super Bowl, where the early weather forecast in East Rutherford, N.J., calls for temperatures in the 20s and the chance of snow by kickoff at 6:30 p.m., I find I have a some catching up to do with the notes that are scattered about. Here is what interests me right now:

IN A REVEALING story from Politico Magazine comes the news that “the states of our union are not all strong.” By using 14 sources including the Census Bureau, FBI crime statistics and data from the Centers for Disease Control, it was determined the top five states in America are New Hampshire, Minnesota, Vermont, Utah and Massachusetts. The worst five, from the bottom, are Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama (Georgia is No. 43).

THE BALTIMORE SUN has reported that traffic cameras over-charged residents $2.8 million in 2012 and, of 700,000 tickets issued, 10 percent were in error and 26 percent were questionable. Some of the cameras issued incorrect tickets nearly half the time and one device misfired 58 percent of the time. At $40 per ticket, the sham was quietly scrapped last spring but embarrassed officials didn’t tell anybody. Now city councilman Carl Stokes is livid. “We should have told the public immediately. We should have declared complete amnesty, that all of the tickets were null and void. If anybody paid, they should be paid back immediately.”

DEFENSIVE TACKLE Breiden Fehoko of Honolulu is only a junior in high school but the 6-foot-3, 275-pound, 16-year-old put on quite a show for some visiting college recruiters not long ago. In a test designed to measure strength and stamina, the athlete bench-pressed 225 pounds an incredible 37 times. According to NFL.com, only three prospects at the 2013 combine were able to do that. (Yes, Alabama is among the colleges recruiting him.)

THE NEW MADRID fault zone, a 150-mile area that stretches in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee “is not dead yet” and could spawn another earthquake, according to a new study by U.S. Geological seismologist Susan Hough. Powerful earthquakes in 1811 and 1812 included the Chattanooga area, created Reelfoot Lake and caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards. The reason there were not mass casualties is because the area was sparsely populated at the time.

IT WILL BE most interesting to see if Tennessee’s Republican politicians boycott President Barack Obama again when he visits Nashville this Thursday. When the President of the United States came to Chattanooga last summer, the area’s elected Republican officials apparently thought it would be funny - and make a statement - if not one was here to greet him. It was not funny but made quite a statement to many who were embarrassed, affronted, and who will vote in the 2014 elections.

RUTGERS FOOTBALL player Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed in a 2010 football game but has since become an inspiration to thousands, just earned his degree from the New Jersey university. He has written a book, started a foundation for those with spinal cord injuries and is ready to begin a career in broadcasting.

VETERAN WRESTLING writer B.B. Branton, who has probably seen more of the great matches than anyone I know, said Saturday that Friday’s bout between Baylor and McCallie was a classic for the ages, as he and John Hunt both brilliantly reported on Chattanoogan.com. It came down to the final match with the Red Raiders’ Ryan Parker triggering a 31-30 win. “There were times the floor vibrated and the building shook,” according to Hunt. Oh, but to have been there!

A GEORGIA TECH football fan died in Atlanta recently and his obituary in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said Robley Henson Tatum spent many wonderful years working for the Georgia Tech Research Institute. It noted he had fought in “The Battle of the Bulge” and said there was just one thing he lacked when he died at age 91. “He didn’t get his final wish for Tech, which to see (football coach) Paul Johnson get fired, but hey, there’s still time.”

DURING THE 27 years Nelson Mandela was in solitary confinement at Robben Island Prison, he was denied newspapers or letters from friends but, in his cell, there was what appeared to be a Hindu bible, a ragged book covered with what appeared to be Hindu deities. But what was really inside was the “Complete Works of William Shakespeare” and it is said to have helped the great South African statesman keep his sanity. Called the “Robben Island Bible,” the smuggled book has drawn attention from all over the world.

NFL COMMISSIONER Roger Goodell was asked about Richard Sherman’s brash outburst on national TV after the Seahawks beat the 49ers last Sunday and Goodell was gracious: “It's an emotional game, and you see a young man who comes off the field and he's pumped up, and there's so much excitement in the stadium, but no, I'm not cheering for that. (Richard) is a great young man, he's extremely well spoken, does great things off the field, obviously a great player on the field. I want him to present himself in the best possible way, and make sure that he's reflecting on himself and his family in a positive way. He took away a little bit from the team. That was what he said (earlier this week). I thought that was a very interesting comment and I think it's fair."

MY SUNDAY FUNNY: A group of women were at a seminar on how to live in a loving relationship with your husband. The women were asked, "How many of you love your husband?" All the women raised their hands. Then they were asked, "When was the last time you told your husband you loved him?"

Some women answered today, a few yesterday, and some couldn't remember. The women were then told to take out their cell phones and text their husband: "I love you, sweetheart."

The women were then told to exchange phones with another person, and to read aloud the text message they received, in response. Here are some of the replies:

1.   Who the (heck) is this?                                                                                                               

2.   Eh, mother of my children, are you sick or what?

3.   Yeah, and I love you too. What's up with you??

4.   What now?  Did you crash the car again?

5.   I don't understand what you mean?

6.   What the (expletive) did you do now?

7.   ?!?

8.   Don't beat about the bush, just tell me how much you need?

9.   Am I dreaming?

10. If you don't tell me who this message is actually for, someone will die.

11. I thought we agreed you wouldn't drink during the day.

12. Your mother is coming to stay with us, isn't she??

royexum@aol.com

Back To School Time In Tennessee

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, if you are a parent. For teachers, so much for the three-month vacation, huh? Most students are eager to get back to a schedule and see their friends. And for taxpayers, it is the announcement of a pending tax-free holiday. It is back to school time in Tennessee.  The truth is for most educators, public education has become a year-round ... (click for more)

Lest We Forget

Just after 9/11 I saw a cartoon of two aged veterans walking down a street lined with American flags in the window of every home and cars on the streets with flags in the windows.  One of them turned to the other and said, “You know,  this is the most colorful fall I can ever remember.”  It took a while but the patriotism waned.  Let’s not let that happen ... (click for more)

Zaxby's To Go In Across From Bass Pro Shop At New I-75 Exit 1 Development In East Ridge

A new Zaxby's will be built across from Bass Pro Shop at I-75's Exit 1 in East Ridge, developer John Healy said Thursday night. He said other restaurants and hotels are also coming to the Jordan Crossing site at the entrance to Camp Jordan Park. Mr. Healy said he hopes to make a "significantly larger" announcement soon. The East Ridge City Council, at a special called meeting, ... (click for more)

Young Man Involved In Incident That Led To A Murder Gets Diversion, Praise For Testifying

A young man who was involved in an incident that led to a murder has been given diversion and praised for testifying against co-defendants. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman said a conviction for facilitation of an aggravated robbery can be expunged if Dustin Hayes gets in no further trouble for six years. The judge said, "We wouldn't be dealing with 40 shootings a year ... (click for more)

Justin Brown Signs With Hiwassee College

Only weeks after signing Red Bank's Jalen Moore to a scholarship, Hiwassee head baseball coach Shane Gardner was back in Chattanooga on Wednesday evening. This time he was in the Scenic City looking for a player he described as "a spark plug, someone who could boost our team and contribute right away." He believes he's found that young man in former Chattanooga School for the ... (click for more)

Robert Powderly Still Active After All Of These Years

It didn’t take long for Robert Powderly to get fully involved in the running boom back in the late 70s. Millions of Americans joined the parade back in those days where running was their main source of physical fitness and Powderly was a big part of it. Powderly is now 68 and retired from U.S. Pipe where he worked in the accounting department.   He’s also had a couple ... (click for more)