Roy Exum: My September Garden

Friday, September 1, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

My golly goodness! How did September arrive when we barely got used to August? I must say I was deeply moved by the eclipse … not because it is the grandest spectacle in all of nature but because millions of Americans came together in awe – do you know I could not find one mention of an arrest, a disagreement or a conflict. As the moon and the sun came together, never overlook the fact we did too. And I adored my dear friend John McGee’s Facebook observation – if you stare long enough at the eclipse without the special glasses, you can see Elvis! Kudos to the schools who are collecting the glasses to send to Africa so children there can safely view the next. With that, allow me to hold my umbrella on a soggy Friday as I search for orchids and onions before the leaves begin to fall …

AN ORCHID for the lifetime of joy that Will Pickard shared with thousands before he died last week of cancer. Some saw Will was just a milk man, driving that yellow Mayfield’s truck, but – no – he turned his deliveries into a mission of sorts where he left everyone he touched with a grin. I know that if you love people that they will love you back. Will was a maestro at it and I’ll predict this: When he got to the Pearly Gates he was staged by the mansion he had earned in heaven’s best neighborhoods. What a friend we had in him.

AN ONION to anyone who hasn’t yet realized the hurricane that hit Houston is this country’s worst natural disaster and, despite what you read, Trump had nothing to do with it. The best way to get financial aid in people’s hands is to Google churches in Houston and send a check made out to the church. Church donations are tax-deductible and they know of families who need money right this minute. Incidentally, you saw where Trump just gave $1 million from his own pocket for relief, right?

AN ORCHID to the amazing stories that are coming out of the storm about people-helping-people. I’ll never understand why it takes the worst circumstances to bring out the best of us.

AN ONION to the crooks and thugs who have descended on Houston with scams, robberies and other crimes. Seems there should be more “accidental drownings” reported for such riffraff.

AN ORCHID to Arizona State for unveiling a gorgeous statue of Pat Tillman that will stand in the renovated Sun Devils’ stadium. Tillman, you’ll remember, quit as a solid player in the NFL to become an Army Ranger. He was killed during a firefight in Afghanistan in 2004. At the unveiling, Pat’s brother Kevin said, “Pat spent his whole life trying to be the best person he could possibly be. He didn’t focus on money, he didn’t focus on fame, and he didn’t focus on a pretty statue. It was how can I make myself a better person in all these different facets of my life, and ASU gave him an opportunity to do that.”

AN ONION for the gym bag that was left outside a children’s hospital in Atlanta’s suburbs on Wednesday. A hospital staffer carried it inside, thinking it belonged to a patient. A closer look found the ‘patient’ inside the bag – a 4.68 pound “preemie” with the umbilical cord still attached. The “miracle” baby was quickly stabilized and police are studying surveillance tapes to find who left the infant.

AN ORCHID to the news the Senate runoff in Alabama between Roy Moore and Luther Strange has the state captivated. Almost every poll shows the two as even and hopefully there will be a good turnout in the Sept. 26 finale.

AN ONION to the three-fourths of us who balk at freezing the millage rate so the county can use the income to service a $225 million bond issue. Nobody likes taxes but everybody likes progress. Without the money we are stuck and stale. Poor and timid leadership has not allowed a tax increase for the past 10 years. Our schools are suffering badly. They provide our future. Doing the right thing is often not easy … which is why we are in the mess we must overcome. Like Willie Nelson says, “We create our own misery and unhappiness. The purpose of suffering is to remind us we are the ones who caused it.”

AN ORCHID to the Chattanooga Tent Company for realizing diapers aren’t included in emergency relief. So today (Friday) they are accepting all of the diapers people want to donate. Workers will then load their biggest truck and begin the drive to the hastily-organized Texas Diaper Bank in San Antonio. Chattanooga Tent Company is located at 1110 Oak Street (the best way is go north on Central Avenue, one block past McCallie, and turn left onto Oak.) Telephone is 423/266-6744 and if Andy Nolan is there, or either Mike or Mark Holland – tell them the diaper idea is another reason why they now supply huge party tents for half of America. (Look up Texas Diaper Company on google if you want to give direct.)

AN ONION to the new Planned Parenthood guidelines that tell parents to talk to children as young as four years old about the fact they have a penis or a vagina doesn’t necessarily mean they are male or female. When they are four years old? These people should be arrested for willful child abuse.

AN ORCHID to Garth Brooks, who has written so many dazzling country songs, for his observation “the greatest conflicts are not between two people but between one person and himself.”

AN ORCHID for the life of Joe Thatcher, he of Standard Coosa Thatcher fame. He was perhaps one of the most gentlemanly men I have ever known.

AN ONION to the 110,000-member Massachusetts state teacher’s union for not (yet) endorsing a state bill that would outlaw sex between teachers and students 19 years of age and younger, and which is strongly supported by the police. The union says they are still “studying the legislation” but parents are upset.

AN ORCHID to Jennifer Peck, Kyle Hedrick and James Exum III for being the finalists to replace the retiring Neil Thomas as a judge in Circuit Court. It is imperative that James III inform Governor Bill Haslam, who’ll make the pick, that not only are we not related but have never met. If Haslam thinks we two Exums are connected, James III ain’t got a cut dog’s chance. And don’t call me begging to get off jury duty – I have nothing to do with this.

AN ONION to the poor luck of would-be robbers Joseph McInnis III, 21, and Tyree McCoy, 22. With guns drawn they demanded cash at Monaghan’s Pub in a Baltimore suburb and the barkeep complied. As the two were running out of the door, about 50 or 60 off-duty Baltimore cops were notified who were in the next room celebrating a sergeant’s retirement. Suffice it to say Joe and Tyree didn’t make it a block before a mob of cops collared them.

AN ORCHID for Melania Trump every time she wears a pair of stiletto high heels. I mean it. I relate to fashion. To heck with any critics who decry class in a hurricane, please! And if she hooks her stockings up to a lacey garter belt while your “old lady” is tugging on her scuffed Crocs, the world ain’t exactly your oyster yet, old son. You savvy?


Equity Study - And Response

What exactly is an Equity Study? Is the the damage control that comes in the wake of the UnifiEd outburst a few weeks ago? I can save the board a whole lot of hassle since the mere mention of doing such a study means that the study will reveal inequities, regardless of any basis.  If they would like to throw a quarter million down the drain for 20 pages ... (click for more)

Coppinger And UnifiEd

I am writing in response to Mayor Jim Coppinger's puzzling quotes in Roy Exum's column this morning, wherein the mayor seems to disavow UnifiEd and its position on the socio-economic desegregation of our schools. On  April 5 , I attended a candidate forum hosted by the North Brainerd Neighborhood Council at the Eastdale Recreation Center gym. That evening, Mayor ... (click for more)

Jury Finds Donaldson Guilty Of Second-Degree Murder In Killing Of Son-In-Law

A Criminal Court jury late Friday afternoon returned a verdict of guilty of second-degree murder against Glen Donaldson in the killing of his son-in-law, Adam Levi. He is facing 15-60 years in state prison. Judge Don Poole will set the sentence at a sentencing hearing on July 12.  He has been free on bond, but was taken into custody after the verdict. The jury deliberated ... (click for more)

1st Vote On Controversial Signal Mountain Grocery Proposal Set June 13; Town To Choose Either Tennessee American Or Waldens Ridge For Water Service

The next steps in rezoning 617 Cauthen Way were discussed at the Signal Mountain work session Friday afternoon. Since the last council meeting, Town Manager Boyd Veal created a list of conditions to include in the zoning ordinance relating to the proposed commercial development designed to assure that there is no negative impact to the surrounding properties or to the interest of ... (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)