Without a hard freeze until last night, my December “walk through my garden” found four withered flowers still clinging to my bang-bang rose bush and an enormous blanket of winter rye blessing my yard. Last week we gave every plant over a foot tall an ample dose of fertilizer but the real reason for our growing season was the lush rains we have had – we are two feet over our normal water table. Let’s not forget the COVID pandemic gave our quarantined more time spent in the prettiest, well-maintained gardens in the South. This weekend’s freeze will be too tough for our annuals to survive but now that folks have learned how to garden, it’s going to be a struggle for them to wait until the first day to safely plant – April 15th.
Regardless, I came across a good number of orchids and onions to hand out, as I try to do on the first day of every month.
AN ORCHID for the beauty that pounds in the heart of Howard High’s football coach John Starr, who for five straight years has been the catalyst of the Howard Giving Celebration. He cooks mounds of food in the traditional Thanksgiving way and then, using Howard’s athletes and cheerleaders to dole it out, feeds “anyone and everyone” absolutely for free. Howard is located in an area where poverty abounds, and it is no secret that he feeds with take-away that they can eat on weekends. The man is a giant, I am telling you, and relies on donations to feed over 300 people every Thanksgiving. I wonder that if he got enough donations, would he consider an Easter feast this spring? Wanna find out? Kindly mail your donations to: Howard High Giving Celebration, Attn: John Starr; 2500 Market Street, Chattanooga, TN 37408.
AN ONION for the idea of placing a proposal to create a Police Review Committee on the city’s ballot this March. The people don’t want to interfere in police harassment; those who live in the worst areas are instead begging for a greater presence. The “Defund the Police” shout by leftist loonies has become an abysmal failure, with record shootings, crimes now spirally in the major cities run by the Dems. Be very realistic. In Seattle so many police officers have resigned because of “a serious lack of leadership” that there are now not only enough to man the city’s 9-1-1 department, but the mayor says it’s impossible for Seattle to recruit new law-enforcement officers with the city’s ludicrous track record.
AN ORCHID to Wil Healy, a Chattanooga native whose entry into college football coaching has been nothing short of miraculous. He proved his mettle at UT-Chattanooga and then, almost single-handedly, resurrected the Austin Peay football program into National prominence (He earned the national Coach of the Year). For the past two seasons he has coached at UNC-Charlotte, where he has forged a 9-9 record. It is understood that Will, age 35, is among the top favorites as the next football coach at Vanderbilt. Cute story: Will’s dad Rob was evermore a standout running back at Georgia Tech, where Will’s grandfather – Bill Healy – was arguably the best player in the history of the Atlanta-based Institute of Technology. Chip, by several years older than Rob, chose Vandy over Tech, much to the family’s shock. Freshmen were not permitted to play by the sacrosanct NCAA but whenever Chip took the field for Vandy, or later for two years with the NFL in St. Louis, he was the bell cow. In high school Rob – Will’s dad, Rob -- had a peculiar speech impediment and one day in Chip’s noble ascent, the defense came off the field for water and rest after a big turnover. There was a kid who was at the rail surrounding the playing area who began in a high-stretched voice: “Chee-UP! Chee-UP! I gotta a mess-AGE from “Dad.” What the message was, “If you don’t begin to block for your teammates, I am taking you to midfield in the fourth quarter and whipping your (tail) in front of all these people.” Vandy staged an heroic comeback and Chip played “lights out” for the remainder of the game.