Roy Exum: Strolling In June’s Garden

Sunday, June 1, 2014 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

As dawn breaks on this first day of June, my monthly walk through the garden shows there is plenty to see. This month is known for its sunshine and thunder storms, so here is my view of what is happening that both good and bad around us:

SUNSHINE to hundreds who helped Orange Grove raise $10,000 in a last-minute appeal so that all the campers could attend the fabled Double-G Ranch this week. It was feared camp director Lizzy Cheek would not have enough funds available but now “everybody gets to go” when the mentally and physically challenged kids report tomorrow. The best part is that hundreds of anonymous responses made it happen.

THUNDER to Congressman Chuck Fleischmann for voting against a bill that would prohibit the federal government from interfering with medicinal marijuana laws, this after 32 states have already adopted plans that will soon make cannabis derivatives available to those who suffer. Ironically, Fleischmann is from Ooltewah, the same town where three-year-old Piper Koozer can no longer live due to intractable epileptic seizures. The Koozers had to flee to Colorado in order to get the highly-successful cannabis oil. But don’t worry; 49 other Republicans voted for the bill, assuring it would pass despite the bumblings of “Do Nothing Chuck.”

SUNSHINE to the fed-up pro-union workers at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama who have announced even they want the dreaded United Auto Workers union tossed to the curb. After a 2½-year effort, the very workers who invited the UAW have now had enough. “People are burnt out,” said plant employee Kirk Garner, “It’s over.” Another sympathizer ruefully told the Birmingham News, “It’s all about the image of the UAW, and it’s not about the workers.” (In February a UAW effort at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant was defeated.)

THUNDER to Hamilton County Commissioner Jim Field who also wants to be appointed the new Clerk & Master of Chancery Court. In addition, he wants to continue practicing law everywhere but in Chancery Court – if he’s given what should be an elected post. Maybe we can get him a bus route with the Dept. of Education to escape the political stench he is creating.

SUNSHINE to the new fan poll of Empire Magazine that finds the greatest movie of all time is “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back.” The rest of the new Top 10? In order they are The Godfather, The Dark Knight, The Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, Star Wars – A New Hope, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Inception.

THUNDER to the old movie goers who wonder what just happened to Citizen Kane, Casablanca, High Noon, To Kill A Mocking Bird, The Sound of Music, It’s A Wonderful Life, Shane, Lawrence of Arabia, When Harry Met Sally, and the Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr version of An Affair To Remember.

SUNSHINE to the latest over-and-under lines for the upcoming SEC football season. A bettor can bet “over” or “under” the given number and win a lot of money! Here is each team’s number for 12 regular-season games: Alabama 10½, Auburn 9, Georgia 8½,  LSU 8½, Missouri 8½, South Carolina 8½, Texas A&M 8½, Florida 7½, Mississippi State 7, Ole Miss 7, Vanderbilt 6, Arkansas 5½, Tennessee 4½, and Kentucky 4. (from

THUNDER to Tenn. Senator Lamar Alexander for morphing into America’s newest champion of animal abuse. Recently he was one of 11 Senators to vote against a crackdown on dogfighting and cockfighting. (The Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act was still enacted to the 2014 Farm Bill.) Then Alexander voted to clear passage for horse slaughter operations in the United States (the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 18-12 to maintain the ban) and his bill to thwart the Prevent All Soring Act has only five sponsors while the PAST Act legislation now has 54 Senators and 284 member of Congress who have endorsed it. Alexander’s new-found beliefs are hardly in line with those of the state’s citizens.

SUNSHINE for the fuzzy feeling that I got Saturday at dawn when I happened to notice a small photographer’s creditline in the Times Free Press that confirmed J. Todd Foster, the newspaper editor who was fired some time ago for what the newspaper alleged was an improper relationship, has indeed married his lucky girlfriend. I love happily ever afters!

THUNDER to the delightful soul who sent me this tale on a joke so telling on Scotland: “A thoughtful Scottish husband was putting his hat and coat on to make his way down to the local pub. He turned to his wee wife before leaving and said, “Maggie - put your hat and coat on, lassie.” She replied, “Awe Jock that's nice - are you taking me tae the pub with you?” He replied, “Nay, I'm turning the heat off while I'm out.”

SUNSHINE for the flood of faces that spent the night with me after I grievously failed to remember so many of the guys who were such a big part of my newspaper years. Great sidekicks like Sam Woolwine, Eddie Baker, Dick Cook, Chris Hayes, George Starr …. Oh, so many shared their laughter with me. I even forgot my golf partner Bob Gary and my tennis partner Greg Thompson …. What a dummy am I!

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