Thursday, August 07, 2014

First Day of School

First day of high school - 9th grade


First day as a Junior - 11th grade

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Cooperstown

This article appeared in today's Athens Banner Herald.  The columnist is none other than The Last Southerner, Darrell Huckaby, and the trip was the one John and his cousins took with Nanny last week.  Cooper in this article is the Amazing Cooper B.  This amazing story happened during the induction ceremony for Cox, Glavine and Maddux into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  The man with the wheelchair - well -he is the "Amazing unnamed Angel".


What an incredible weekend it was. To begin with, any time you can visit the Big Apple with 55 of your closest friends, you are having a good day. I know a place in Little Italy that serves such good lasagna that you’d swear you were on a sidestreet in Rome. And they know my name! They didn’t know it at the Cheers Bar in Boston Monday, but they know it on Mulberry Street in New York City.
Then we got to go to the Cathedral of Baseball.  Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Yankees are the most storied franchise in the history of professional sports, and their magnificent stadium reflects their legacy and their success. They have retired more numbers than Sing Sing and tributes to their legends, past and present, are everywhere.
You have to lay your head somewhere at night — even in the city that doesn’t sleep — and we chose the Bronx Opera House — an elegant former theater where the Marx Brothers and Harry Houdini used to perform. It beats camping out in Central Park.
Hall of Fame weekend. Amazing!!! Yes, I meant to use three exclamation points. It may be poor journalism, but all three are needed to get the message across.
Maddux. Class act. Glavine. Class act. Bobby Cox. Class act. They deserved the support the South — especially Athens, Atlanta and the state of Georgia — were there to give them. Cooperstown was abuzz for two days and anyone who has ever gripped a baseball — or a bat — and dreamed, would have loved being a part of the induction weekend madness.
We saw Pete Rose, Ernie Banks, Whitey Ford, Cal Ripken, Jr., Sandy Koufax and the list goes on and on and on and on. Unbelievable. Unbelievable. Yes, I meant to say it twice.
Then we dropped by the Basketball Hall of Fame for good measure — which was a huge disappointment. I saw Betty Faith Jaynes’ picture, but Ronald Bradley was not listed among high school coaches with 1,000 wins. Somebody needs to correct that. And they had a showcase of what was supposed to be the best college coaches ever, but Adolph Rupp was nowhere to be found.
Say what?
We capped off the weekend on Monday night by watching the Red Sox get trounced in Fenway Park — but we watched from a private box on the right field roof. Not a bad way to cap off the trip. Plus we avoided a huge tornado-spawning thunderstorm.
Now I told you all of that to tell you this. None of the above is what made the trip so special.
What better way to experience baseball than through the eyes of a 10 year-old boy? We had one with us. His name is Cooper. He has red hair and freckles, is full of enthusiasm and loves baseball. Loves it. No, I don’t think the town was really named for him, but I told him it was. Cooper spends most of his waking moments getting wheeled around in a rolling chair — which doesn’t deter his good time one bit.
But his wheelchair broke on the third day of our trip, and all the king’s horses and the seven Georgia Tech engineers we had in our group couldn’t put it together again.
We were headed to Cooperstown on a Sunday. Cooperstown is a village of 1,850 people. We didn’t have any notion that we would be able to find a wheelchair on a Sunday. But I said a prayer and called the local medical center. The guy who answered the phone called his supervisor, who called a buddy at home, who called another buddy at home.
The third or fourth buddy called my cellphone. He told me that he would go to his place of business — a medical supply store that is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, and pick up a chair, fight the traffic involved with packing 50,000 people into a 1,850-person town and bring the chair to us.
Wow!!! Yes, I know I used three again.
We met our Good Samaritan and asked if we could pay for the rental with a credit card. Our hearts sank when he said no, because we had limited cash. They soared when he said, “You can’t pay me at all. This one is on the house.”
He wasn’t done. When I asked about arrangements for returning the chair, he told us to keep it. “He’ll need it in the next town,” was his logic. Yes, he gave us a wheelchair. A nice one.
Thank you, God, for angels among us. Can I get a witness?
Darrell Huckaby is an educator, author and public speaker. Contact him atwww.darrellhuckaby.net.

eball. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Yankees are the most storied franchise in the history of professional sports, and their magnificent stadium reflects their legacy and their success. They have retired more numbers than Sing Sing and tributes to their legends, past and present, are everywhere.
You have to lay your head somewhere at night — even in the city that doesn’t sleep — and we chose the Bronx Opera House — an elegant former theater where the Marx Brothers and Harry Houdini used to perform. It beats camping out in Central Park.
Hall of Fame weekend. Amazing!!! Yes, I meant to use three exclamation points. It may be poor journalism, but all three are needed to get the message across.
Maddux. Class act. Glavine. Class act. Bobby Cox. Class act. They deserved the support the South — especially Athens, Atlanta and the state of Georgia — were there to give them. Cooperstown was abuzz for two days and anyone who has ever gripped a baseball — or a bat — and dreamed, would have loved being a part of the induction weekend madness.
We saw Pete Rose, Ernie Banks, Whitey Ford, Cal Ripken, Jr., Sandy Koufax and the list goes on and on and on and on. Unbelievable. Unbelievable. Yes, I meant to say it twice.
Then we dropped by the Basketball Hall of Fame for good measure — which was a huge disappointment. I saw Betty Faith Jaynes’ picture, but Ronald Bradley was not listed among high school coaches with 1,000 wins. Somebody needs to correct that. And they had a showcase of what was supposed to be the best college coaches ever, but Adolph Rupp was nowhere to be found.
Say what?
We capped off the weekend on Monday night by watching the Red Sox get trounced in Fenway Park — but we watched from a private box on the right field roof. Not a bad way to cap off the trip. Plus we avoided a huge tornado-spawning thunderstorm.
Now I told you all of that to tell you this. None of the above is what made the trip so special.
What better way to experience baseball than through the eyes of a 10 year-old boy? We had one with us. His name is Cooper. He has red hair and freckles, is full of enthusiasm and loves baseball. Loves it. No, I don’t think the town was really named for him, but I told him it was. Cooper spends most of his waking moments getting wheeled around in a rolling chair — which doesn’t deter his good time one bit.
But his wheelchair broke on the third day of our trip, and all the king’s horses and the seven Georgia Tech engineers we had in our group couldn’t put it together again.
We were headed to Cooperstown on a Sunday. Cooperstown is a village of 1,850 people. We didn’t have any notion that we would be able to find a wheelchair on a Sunday. But I said a prayer and called the local medical center. The guy who answered the phone called his supervisor, who called a buddy at home, who called another buddy at home.
The third or fourth buddy called my cellphone. He told me that he would go to his place of business — a medical supply store that is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, and pick up a chair, fight the traffic involved with packing 50,000 people into a 1,850-person town and bring the chair to us.
Wow!!! Yes, I know I used three again.
We met our Good Samaritan and asked if we could pay for the rental with a credit card. Our hearts sank when he said no, because we had limited cash. They soared when he said, “You can’t pay me at all. This one is on the house.”
He wasn’t done. When I asked about arrangements for returning the chair, he told us to keep it. “He’ll need it in the next town,” was his logic. Yes, he gave us a wheelchair. A nice one.
Thank you, God, for angels among us. Can I get a witness?
Darrell Huckaby is an educator, author and public speaker. Contact him atwww.darrellhuckaby.net.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

National Ice Cream Day

I've shared the recipe for Homemade Butterfinger Ice Cream before.  I've described it in all its excellent yuminess and even yakked about the history of its goodness.  Suffice it to say, that it is a summer highlight for me.  Then upon second thought, isn't that true of all ice cream flavors?

Because I am an informed citizen, (and a listener of WMOQ, Bostwick/Monroe) I pay homage to all great national days of the year.  As a matter of fact, as I type this post on July 27, I am fully aware that today is "National Walk on Stilts Day".  More importantly, July 20 was National Ice Cream Day.  I did all I could to celebrate!







Thursday, July 24, 2014

Seventeen

For John's 17th birthday, we all waited until he got home from football practice (two a days) and then went to Longhorn's to celebrate.  





After this late dinner, John ambled on home to get ready for an awesome present from Nanny:
The Darrell Huckaby Honor the Braves Tour in Coopertown, NY!



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thankful

"We pray for blessings, we pray for peace, comfort for family, protection while we sleep..." are the lyrics to a popular Laura Story song.  I am here to tell you that for our family, this week, those prayers were answered.  Monday saw yet another surgery for our Pop.  After several hours in the OR, the surgeon came out and used a word which Pop has not heard in a long time to describe his health: "great."





This afternoon, I got a text from my Aunt about my beloved Uncle.  It seems that while he and my cousin slept - in a tent - in the woods - in a remote area of Canada - they survived this storm:

We are so thankful that they are okay.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fun in the Son - Hilton Head Island

Last week, J&J took off to the beach for "Fun in the Son". (Thanks to DT, who unknowingly, loaned me these pics from her Facebook page.)  This group of high schoolers from our church goes every year to a faith based camp.  This was the first year at Hilton Head.

July 13  Leaving Central Pres
I think they had a great time, judging by Julia's reviews.



She enthusiastically told me stories of worship time, soccer, running in the rain on the beach, her break out group, spending times with friends and dancing.



When asked about the trip, John just said, "good".
It is a "good" group of kids, a "good" summer activity, a "good" spiritual opportunity and I'm so glad they got to go!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Eat Georgia

Since we were out of town last weekend at the appointed time for Eat Athens, we just made a switcheroo to the plan.  We would modify our dining area.  Since we were in the Georgia Mountains, we would, of course, eat there.  I guess this installment would be more appropriately named, "Eat Hiawassee"!

This place has been around forever.  I remember eating here when I was growing up when we played football in Towns County and later as trips to the mountains would allow.  It has never disappointed.  Never. I looked forward to going this weekend.  After J&J finished their fried fish and cheeseburger, my guess is they'll look forward to their next meal there, too.

image from tripadvisor.com

We got there late and it was raining.  I didn't take any of my own pictures, but if I had... they would have been all smiles.  I've been here many times and while it has always been crowded, we never had to wait long.  I suspect that is not always the case, though.  It appears to be a favorite with locals as well as tourists.  Take time to visit nearby Sautee, Georgia and maybe Hiawassee as well.