Back when I was sports editor of the Howard Payne Yellowjacket — and sometimes freelance sports writer for the area — I could make as much as 50 cents a column in county weeklies.
Those were the days when all you had to do was mention a few local high school heroes (Al Langford, his little brother James; Jodie Embrey, Chester Tobey, Lloyd Corder, etc.) and who won and who lost each Friday night.
Now, when I tackle a sports story, I depend on memory. Last week I should have used Google. When I wrote the New York Yankees won the 1963 World Series I was caught by an eyewitness. Dr. Ron Cook of the Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University, was in attendance in 1963 and it was the Los Angeles Dodgers who whipped the highly favored New York Yankees for the World Series crown. (Some will remember Ron as a former pastor of the First Baptist Church of Brownwood.)
Another reader was interested in buying the 1962 Yankee-signed baseball. The ball was sold for a small fortune some years ago. I offered him a child’s Yankees T-shirt, but he was not interested.
It was encouraging to know two people read the column. If I write about wishing to see the end of the war in Iraq or Afghanistan I get a few words of encouragement. If I speak too harshly about the president or vice-president I get a few who want to set me straight. That crowd is in the minority now. According to the polls, 70 percent of the American public is not pleased with how the former Texas governor is doing in the White House.
I hear that weather experts are predicting a busy storm season, with seven to 10 Atlantic hurricanes, with many of them causing extensive damage. Last year was only the 12th since 1945 (when I was beginning my sports writing career for The Roar) without a hurricane making landfall in the United States.
Michael Chertoff, Home-land Security secretary, heard this news and warned against complacency. He said: “It’s a big mistake to count on being lucky.” We all sleep a lot better knowing our nation’s security is in the hands of a man who reads the weather news.
About all the Western nations do now is react when a terrorist or supposed terrorist drops a bomb somewhere. Reacting is not enough. But apparently it is all we can do when we do not know the enemy, cannot find them if we did and pray for wisdom for our leaders and hope for the best. If the terrorists are down to using the amateur bomb makers (part-time doctors) like last week in England, we have reason to hope.
When the president says we’re a country at war, I find it difficult to believe. Our military is at war. The military families are at war. But as columnist Bob Herbert wrote: “Everybody else is shopping.” (Remember early on in the war, that is what the president told us to do.)
But with prices what they are at the grocery store, I find shopping a bit frustrating. Who can afford the gas to drive to the stores anyway?
That is not a problem for Congress now that they have given themselves another annual raise. I do not mind such a raise if they would just get something done.
Britt Towery is a former missionary, freelance writer and published author. He welcomes reader feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.