Roy Exum: Orchids And Onions

Friday, August 1, 2014 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

With record low temperatures being recorded around the South, I didn’t know what I’d find in my garden on the first day of August but – sure enough -- there is a profusion of orchids and onions. The start of college football will be later this month and, with the chilly mornings, fall practice is a far cry from what it will be when the sweltering heat comes back next week. Here’s what we see:

AN ONION to University of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota on his fall class schedule. The two-time All Pac-10 player will no doubt be the top quarterback in next spring’s NFL draft and needs only “a couple of classes” to graduate with a 3.15 GPA. But don’t you think he could have carried a little heavier work load than the two classes he picked – yoga and golf?

AN ORCHID to the new best-selling book, “I Am Pilgrim.” A suspenseful thriller, the first book ever written by author Terry Hayes may well be the best book of the year if you need a late summertime read. Another must-read for late summer is “Those Who Wish Me Dead” by Michael Koryta.

AN ONION to the NFL for the decision to place tiny sensors in every players’ shoulder pads this fall so we can “track their every move” during games. At some point it seems there is an over-saturation of data – let’s go back to enjoying the games.

AN ORCHID to the life of Buck Rudisill, the great outdoorsman who was buried on Tuesday at Lookout Mountain’s Church of the Good Shepherd. There is no telling how many hundreds of boys and girls he taught to hunt and fish. And laugh.

AN ONION to Seattle where just one police officer wrote over 80 percent of the citations for public marijuana use. Chief Kathleen O’Toole said the department’s Office of Professional Accountability was looking into the matter. Washington started allowing recreational pot on June 7 and a severe shortage has hurt the eager tourist trade.

AN ORCHID to any registered voter in Hamilton County who, when asked by a politician for their vote in next Thursday’s election, will ask the candidate his or her view on traffic cameras and the auto emissions centers. Traffic cameras are clearly a money-grab and, when only four of Tennessee’s 95 counties require motorists to take part, there is clearly a discrepancy.

AN ONION to the blonde who watched a man park his car with his dog lying on the back seat, hidden from view. “Now you stay! Don’t move! Stay!” the man yelled over his shoulder as he ran into the store for a quick item. When he returned the blonde looked at the driver quizzically and asked, “Why don't you just put your car in park?”

AN ORCHID to the $8 million renovation of the Chattanooga Choo Choo and the news the popular showplace will add two new restaurants -- Sam's All American Sports Grill, a Nashville-based sports bar chain, and the Blue Fish Oyster House. And our North Shore will get a much-needed boost when the new Publix store opens on North Market next Wednesday.

AN ONION to the fact UT-Chattanooga wasn’t on the list of America’s Top Colleges by Forbes Magazine. Williams College was the best, followed by Stanford, Swarthmore, Princeton and MIT. Vanderbilt was 54, U. of Georgia 94, Sewanee 98, Covenant 282, U. of Tennessee 292, Berry College 401, Carson-Newman 577,  Middle Tenn. St. 612, and Tennessee State 643.

AN ORCHID to the fact Alabama and Auburn’s football teams are both in the top five on the recently released preseason coaches’ poll but on the Forbes list Auburn is ranked No. 204 while Alabama is No. 335 out of 650 universities that are listed.

AN ONION to the line in the old country song, “Time always flies but life takes the train.”

AN ORCHID to Mark McCarter, the author of the book celebrating the 50th anniversary of baseball’s Southern League “Never A Bad Game.” Now a columnist for the Huntsville Times, Mark started writing for the News-Free Press in high school and got caught up in the thrill of it but this week he told me that he just became a graduate of the Class of 2014 at Athens State College. Is that great or what!

AN ONION  to the news the famous grocery store in Dalton, The Green Spot, is closing after 60 years. The place was noted for its warm hospitality, its friendly service and its southern charm but owner Larry Green, a great guy and fabled writer, said a change in shopping habits had hurt the store in recent years.

AN ORCHID to the Editorial Board of the staid New York Times for announcing last weekend that group believes the time has come to legalize marijuana. We cannot control the still-illegal weed but the Times’ view is that pot is not as bad as alcohol. They are saying tax the stuff rather than demonize it. And, remember, nowhere in the Constitution does it say you must smoke or drink – that’s your decision and yours alone.

AN ONION to any registered voter who does not exercise that right next Thursday. Tomorrow is the last day for early voting and, with an unusually-long ballot, it would be a great idea to vote either today or tomorrow instead of waiting in line next Thursday.

AN ORCHID to the common sense behind the following statement: “If you think you have Alzheimer’s disease, you do not.”

AN ONION to those who claim 10 percent of Americans are gay. In a recent poll of 34,557 by the National Health Interview Study, only 2.3 percent said they were gay, lesbian or bisexual. What is troubling is 1.1 percent either didn’t know or said they were “something else.” Understandably, you might want to make a note to yourself when a loved one proclaims, “You are really something else!”

royexum@aol.com




City Puts Another Crimp In The Fading Affordable House

We love to have conversations around affordable housing and how big bad developers are only chasing the dirty dollar. But then the same administration proposes an increase in all the costs that go into an affordable house. We see countless examples of building codes and zoning ordinances tightening up regulations. A couple months ago, Red Bank increased the minimum house size (tax ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Today’s edition of The  Saturday  Funnies is the most technical savvy, advanced, software-enhanced, and modern-day genius that I have ever delivered. I can sum it up in just one sentence: I am using a new H-P Pavilion that is the newest seventh-generation Intel Core computer and, if you want to see “real funny,” go get a new computer and try switching over your tech ... (click for more)

Aaron Biddle, 21, Shot And Killed On Basswood Drive Saturday Afternoon; Suspect Detained

Aaron Biddle, 21, was shot and killed on Saturday afternoon. The Chattanooga Police Department responded around 3:45 p.m. to the 7800 block of Basswood Drive on reports of a person who had been shot.  Upon arrival, police were able to locate the victim who had succumbed to his injuries. A suspect was detained by police immediately upon their arrival.  Investigators ... (click for more)

Corker, Aide Help Gain Release Of Holts From Venezuelan Prison

 Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, welcomed the release of American citizen Josh Holt and his wife, Thamy, who have been detained in a Venezuelan prison for the last two years.   “I am pleased to join Senator Hatch and President Trump in announcing the release of Josh and Thamy Holt,” said Senator Corker. “Senator ... (click for more)

Summertown Stops Sale Creek's Bid For A State Class 1A State Softball Title, 7-5

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Sale Creek had its sight set on making some softball history Friday. The Lady Panthers reached their first TSSAA state softball championship with a 3-1 victory over Cascade, powered by a Trinity Liner three-run homer on her 18 th birthday. A few hours later, they wanted to beat Summertown and set up a second title game for all the marbles. ... (click for more)

Silverdale Wins D-II-A State Softball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Kaili Phillips got disqualified in the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Tipton-Rosemark Lady Rebels and nobody gave the Silverdale Lady Seahawks a snowball’s chance of winning that game. But they did. Nobody gave the Lady Seahawks much of a chance of repeating that feat less than 24 hours later in the winner-take-all final game, but once again, ... (click for more)