As the first day of February’s sun melts the last of the snow in our garden, it’s hard to find much more than cold stones so as we look here and there, so allow me to thow in some early Valentines to balance what we find:
A VALENTINE to the late Dorsey Sims, a longtime Chattanooga high school basketball coach who will be posthumously inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame this May. Others that will be honored are Tennessee Titans star Eddie George, Nashville Sports anchor Hope Hines, Brentwood Academy football coach Carlton Flatt, former Lady Vol basketball All-America Bridgette Gordon, basketball great Popeye Jones, UT linebacker and NFL star Paul Naumoff, former major league pitcher and coach Claude Osteen, ESPN Analyst Carolyn Peck, Memphis baseball legend and minor league executive Allie Prescott and Tennessee State All- American quarterback Eldridge Dickey (posthumous).
A STONE to the “powerful lobbyists” that plague the Tennessee Legislature; it appears there is enough support for the long-awaited wine-in-grocery-stores bill to move forward so that cities can include it on future referendums but, due to the insane influence lobbyists hold over our elected representatives, it won’t actually happen until 2016. Such nonsense is inexcusable.
A VALENTINE to the news that some police departments are now equipping squad cars with a nasal drug called naloxone, which can reverse some drug overdoses almost instantly. First responders have saved 211 people in Quincy, Mass., with the stuff in the last three years.
A STONE to Tennessee’s Republicans who once again totally shunned President Barack Obama when he visited Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday. Our horribly-sad lack of statesmanship is not only embarrassing but such a classless act is an obvious indicaton of why our Senators and Representatives in Congress are part of the worst group ever assembled in Washington. The Republicans we elected to represent us properly were also arrogantly absent when the President came to Chattanooga this summer.
A VALENTINE to the person in Alabama who, in a poll of “How to tell if you are from Alabama,” quite correctly included how to make our beloved “ya’ll” into a plural: You simply say, “All ya’ll.”
A STONE to the fact a 30-second commercial in tomorrow’s sold-out Super Bowl sold for $4 million, a seat on the 50-yard line has a market value of $10,000, and a 20-ounce cup of Bud Lite at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. at 6:30 p.m. Sunday night will cost a cool $14.
A VALENTINE, the second this week, to hearing impaired Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman, who earlier this week melted our hearts with his beautiful reply to nine-year-old twin girls who also wear hearing aids and wrote to him after watching him star in a Duracell commercial. But, whoa, since Derrick is playing in the Super Bowl and his act of kindness has now gone viral, a surprise face-to-face meeting was arranged between the football star and the two girls on Good Morning America. The stunned girls laughed with delight but no one could have prepared the Kovalcik family for what they actually heard Coleman say. “On behalf of Duracell, we want to invite you guys to the Super Bowl,” he told Riley and Erin as he handed over a handful of prized tickets. “You and your little brother, your dad, your mom…come watch us play.” Is America great or what!
A STONE to the fact you can bet on how long opera star Renee Fleming takes to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. You can bet “under” or “over” what is the official guess -- two minutes, twenty-five seconds.
A VALENTINE to the Chick-fil-A store on Hwy. 280 in Birmingham where, after ice snarled up traffic earlier this week, manager Mark Meadows almost immediately started delivering free sandwiches to those who were stuck in their automobiles. They also let stranded motorists sleep on benches in the restaurant’s booths overnight. And the next morning, when they fired up the ovens for biscuits, the only thing that was closed was the cash drawer. As one grateful man said, “I just saw a Sunday School lesson.”
A STONE to the fact that the town of East Rutherford, N.J., which is where the Super Bowl will actually be played, will not be allowed by the NFL to use the words “super bowl” in a fun-filled block party that will be staged downtown. True story. The party will be called instead “The Meadowlands Tailgate Party Live from East Rutherford.” The town's website trumpets a "Game Day Tailgate."
A VALENTINE for the fact Ruby Falls on the side of Lookout Mountain got four beautiful but unexpected visitors midway through Friday morning when four young deer, sleek in the sunlight, bounded across Scenic Highway and dashed into the woods behind the caverns. Traffic stopped as the last one zipped towards the attraction’s zip lines.
A STONE for the wave of sadness that swept through Chattanooga’s Erlanger Hospital after noted emergency room expert Dr. Francis Fesmire was found dead in his office Friday at age 54. He was a brilliant guy who, after graduating from Baylor, used his expertise to save hundreds of Chattanoogans.
A VALENTINE for Birmingham, Ala., brain surgeon Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw, age 62, who walked six miles when traffic was totally blocked during Tuesday’s blizzard to successful do surgery on a brain-trauma patient whose life was in danger. “It was kind of a nice day for a walk,” he quipped after arriving at Trinity Medical Center in his slip-on shoes and scrubs.
A STONE to each of the 10 kids who “de-committed” at Vanderbilt when football coach James Franklin left for Penn State. With next week’s “official signing day” on Tuesday, at present there are only nine players who honored their word but new coach Derek Mason may sway four or five others this weekend.