Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Newsman: a Memoir is now available as an ebook. Go to kobo.com to order it.

February 5, 2017

Georgia-Auburn Columbus Memories

November 12, 2016

This is an updated version of a previous blog post.

Dick's World

 It it has been played in Columbus more times than anywhere else, 38 games, according to Wikipedia.  It was played in Columbus from 1920 to 1958, with the only break being when it was played in Athens in 1929. Memorial Stadium (now A.J. McClung Memorial  Stadium), I am told, was larger than the stadiums at Georgia and Auburn in 1920. 

Not only was the game the largest sports event in Cweolumbus, it was also arguably the biggest social even of the year. Parties were held all over town. Men wore business suits and women their Sunday best when going to the game.

When I was a boy, no one I knew went to parties or the game because we were in the depths of the Great Depression.  My dad would drive the family by the stadium so we could see the well-dressed crowds going into the game, then we would…

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You Got to Accentuate the Negative

August 19, 2016

What will the most memorable  story to come out of the Rio Olympics?

Swimming superstar Michael Phelps, the all-time medal winning Olympics champion, ending his Olympics career with even more gold medals?

The gold medal winning athletes who tear up when their national anthems are played?

The sportsmanship displayed when winners and losers hug each other after a competition?

Or, some allegedly miscreant drunken American swimmers who are accused of causing a ruckus at a Rio gas station and charged with making up a story about being robbed at gunpoint?

Unfortunately, it appears it will be the latter, but maybe not. As many reporters have said a lot at the end of a story, only time will tell. How’s that for hedging?

 

Hopefully “Pete’s Dragon” and “Florence Foster Jenkin’s” are Positive Bellwethers

August 18, 2016

Maybe those two films signal that the summer drought of quality photoplays has ended. They are, in my view, both worth our time in a movie house.

“Florence” is for grown-ups and “Pete” is for everyone. I’ve already reviewed “Florence” glowingly,  so this is about “Pete.”

Not only is the computer generated lovable dragon named Elliot stunningly realistic in this live-action computer animated film , there is an engaging story. It’s  multi-level, both kids and adults can enjoy it. We certainly did.  It should end up making a lot of money and have a long movie life. It’s Disney at it’s best.

 

 

The Music is Back!

August 15, 2016
Professor of Music  Joseph Golden, University Organist, Director of External Relations and Director Opera, Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University

Professor of Music Joseph Golden, University Organist, Director of External Relations and Director Opera, Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University, at the Allen Theater Organ.

The summer music drought is over, and the Schwob School of Music kicked off its concert season Sunday with Dueling Organs.

We  enjoyed the classical opening session featuring Naples, Florida organist Dr. James Cochran at the Jordan Concert Organ playing duets with five local organists at the Allen Classic Organ. But, to be honest, we enjoyed the closing pop section with Professor Golden at the Allen Theater Organ even more.  I mean, how are you going to beat “Over the Rainbow,” “Embraceable You,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” Cabaret,” and “I Got Rhythm?”

The Allen electric  digital organ which is both a classic and theater organ, depending, I guess, on which button the organist presses. It was trucked in from Atlanta and set up on the stage of Legacy Hall. The million-dollar Jordan Pipe Organ is permanently installed.

The Allen, with its many speakers, sounds very much like a pipe organ.  The theatrical mode really stood out when it was used to provide the music for Charlie Chaplin’s 1916 silent comedy “The Rink.”  The big movie theaters of the silent movie era all had theater organs to supply the music and sound effects for the films.

Professor Golden improvised the score. His performance was truly impressive.

The Fox Theater in Atlanta still has its huge theater pipe organ,  as does the Rylander Theater in Americus. Those organs are almost a hundred years old, and they sound great.  Of course, they have had a little maintenance over the years.

 

“Florence Foster Jenkins” is Laugh-out-loud Hilarious and Sad

August 13, 2016

Critics aren’t being kind reviewing a movie that isn’t that doesn’t portray them as a kind lot.  When informed that  the review in Friday morning’s Ledger–Enquirer  panned “Florence Foster Jenkins,” I informed my informers that a critic’s review is simply one person’s subjective opinion.  I can judge for myself whether I enjoy a movie or not. I found the film very entertaining.  A friend who I ran into in the theater after the movie said he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I told him I did both. He admitted that he did, also.

Meryl Steep being in a movie is enough to get me in the theater. And she didn’t disappoint in this one about a wealthy Manhattan socialite who a 1944 New York Post critic called the “world’s worst singer.” Streep, Hugh Grant, and Simon Helberg all turn in the great performances.

Not only did I get caught up in the emotions of the film, I found the depiction of 1940s Manhattan very entertaining. I love really good period pieces, especially ones using a lot of antique autos.

Do I recommend it? Definitely.

Oh, and we enjoyed the recliner seats Carmike has recently installed in some of its theaters.

Whatever Happened to Ciivil Discourse?

August 3, 2016

Whereas, because they wanted their children to see democracy at work, many parents in the past wanted their young children to watch presidential campaign speeches,  but they now don’t. The uncivil behavior sets a poor example for their kids. That was one of the points made by the Rev. Ed Helton when he spoke to the congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Columbus, Georgia.

Helton, a former Baptist minister who is now Director of the Leadership Institute at Columbus State University, in making his case for civil discourse, cited the Unitarian Universalist 1st Principle,  which says that Unitarian Universalist affirm “the inherent worth and dignity of  every person .”

He said that people should treat one another with respect even when they disagree.

Since I mentioned the Principles that Unitarian Universalists affirm, I may as well give you all of the them.

1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement in  spiritual growth in our congregations;

4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the Democratic process within our congregation and in society at large;

6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all;

7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Columbus is located at the end of Heiferhorn Way, which, heading north,  is the first left turn off Whitesville Road past the Williams Road intersection. Sunday services start at 10:40 a.m., and everyone is invited. Coffee,  snacks, and conversation are available before and after the service.

 

 

 

 

The Largely Unknown Story of How Georgia and Alabama Creeks were Shafted

July 12, 2016

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When William “Billy” Winn, Columbus historian and former journalist,  finished his presentation to Columbus Unitarian Universalists about his history about Creek Indian Removal from Georgia and Alabama, I asked him about the fact that very few people know anything about what really happened to Native Americans during that period. I told him I was taught almost nothing back in the 1930s and 1940s about Native American history in elementary and high  school.

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He said, in effect,  that’s because those who profited most from Indian Removal didn’t want it taught or even talked about. It was a shameful episode. To make a long story short, Indians were forced off their tribal lands in order for white settlers to operate cotton plantations, which led to importation of  African American slaves to do the work. I won’t get into the details because there are many. However, you can get the whole story by reading Billy’s impressive history The Triumph of the Ecunnau-Nuxulgee: Land Speculators, George M. Troup, States Rights, and the Removal of the Creek Indians from Georgia and Alabama, 1825 – 38.

Chatthoochee Valley Writers Conference Set for September

June 23, 2016

By Elaine Johnson

For ten years, the Chattahoochee Valley Writers has offered an annual writers conference. It’s inspired a lot of success!

T.K. Thorne was about to retire from the police force when she came to the conference years ago wanting to write. She entered the short story contest, sat in on the workshops, and went on from there to writing novels. Rev. Charles Cox retired from the ministry and went to a workshop on writing a memoir. He now is working on his fourth book of historical fiction and one of his articles, honoring his father,  is in the current issue of Georgia Forestry Today.  We think of writers working alone in an attic, but that just doesn’t happen. Every book and movie credits many people. The Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference tries to offer support and guidance to writers at all levels.

Each of the past 10 writers conferences has been great, but this year’s promises a lot. Columbus native Billy Winn will deliver the keynote speech. Ty Manns, founder of CME films here in Columbus, will present a workshop on developing strong characters. Michael Bishop, an award-winning author from Pine Mountain, will discuss fantasy and science fiction. There will be workshops on memoir writing, teaching kids to write, translating intangible feelings into precise and powerful poetry, and reviewing what written success actually looks like. We will offer one-on- one mentoring from a book agent coming from NYC and a workshop on how to market books in the 21st Century.

So enter a poetry or short story contest, network with fellow members of the writing community, and get the guidance you need to take the next steps in your writing journey. The 10 th annual Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference will be held Sept. 23 & 24. Go to www.chattwriters.org for more.

Elaine Johnson is President of Chattahoochee Valley Writers

Campaign 2016: What’s in a Name?

June 11, 2016

     Juliet:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

     By any other name would smell as sweet.”

     Romeo and Juliet (II,ii, 1-2)

Hillary Clinton is a “crook.” ” Donald Trump is a “fraud.”  ABC reporter Tom Llamas is a “sleaze.” South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is an “idiot.” Donald Trump is a “jackass.” Bernie Sanders is a “communist.” Donald Trump i s a “pathological liar.” “Bernie Sanders is a “maniac.” Donald Trump is a “nutcase.”  Marco Rubio is a “clown.” Donald Trump is a “con artist.”

Those are just some samples of name-calling in the 2016 race for the White House.  While this election seems particularly notorious when it comes to name-calling, there have been some in our nation’s history that could rival it.

It started with our Founding Fathers.  Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had hatchet men do their dirty work.  Among other things, John Adams was called a “fool.” “hypocrite,” “criminal,” “tyrant,”  and Jefferson was called a  “coward,” “weakling,” “atheist,” and “libertine.”

When Adams’ son John Quincy ran against Andrew Jackson in 1824, things really got ugly. Adams was called “pimp,” and Jackson’s wife was called “slut.”

So, name-calling in presidential elections is nothing new.  Too bad that sometimes it appears to work.  I’d really prefer to hear more from the candidates about the important issues facing the nation at this time and how they would deal with them.