Randy Smith: A Special Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
I have always written about things I am thankful for at Thanksgiving. In 2017 however, that subject has special significance. Suddenly going through open heart surgery in the summer will do that to you. I am thankful for so many more things now; things that I perhaps took for granted in the past. Here is my list, though I would have to write a complete book to get everything in that I am truly thankful for.

I am thankful for my wonderful family. My wife Shelia has proven to be the best caregiver ever. Of course, she was taking good care of me long before I ever developed heart problems. My children Christi and Davey have made me laugh more times than I can remember, and their spouses Chris and Alison who both exemplify the kind of people you want your children to marry and spend the rest of their lives with.
My grandchildren, Coleman, Boone, DellaMae, CoraLee and Mattingly. You are all so special and wonderful.

I am thankful for my doctors and nurses whose care has been almost perfect. 

I am thankful for the wonderful people at our church, Christ United Methodist.

I am thankful for the fifty years I have been a sports journalist. Time really does fly when you're having fun.

I am thankful for the re-tooled WFLI radio, the station you grew up with, for including me in their lineup.

I am thankful for the game of football even though I'm concerned about the future of the game due to head trauma and serious injuries.

I am thankful for my dogs Sadey and Skeeter. They love me unconditionally and are a lot of company........most of the time. 

I am thankful for the Fury organization which is allowing my oldest grandchild the opportunity to play select baseball.

I am thankful for people like Bobby Dunn who has worked tirelessly to provide young people an opportunity to play sports in Harrison and all around Chattanooga.

I am thankful for all my many friends who mean a lot more to me than they will ever know.

I am thankful for the Chattanooga TSSAA Umpires Association; men and women who work for very little money because they love the game and the kids.

I am thankful for Coach Will Healy who has completely turned around the Austin Peay football program. 

I am thankful for Facebook which has given me a chance to reconnect with old friends and classmates.

I am thankful for the game of baseball;a game that I have played, coached, covered as a journalist, announced as a play by play broadcaster and officiated as an umpire. It is the greatest game.

I am thankful for the legendary Voice of the Vols John Ward and our friendship for more than forty years.

I am thankful for the men and women serving in the military. They put their lives on the line every day so we can all live safely. 

I am thankful for our wonderful country. It's not perfect; never has been and never will be. But I wouldn't live anywhere else.

Finally, I am thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday. When I was much younger, it was all about eating wonderful food. Now, while I still enjoy eating, it's about being with family and being thankful for all the many blessings we have. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!      
* * *

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer.  His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for 30 years. He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga television for more than a quarter-century. In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith. They have five grandchildren, Coleman, Boone, Mattingly, DellaMae, and CoraLee.


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