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There are some things we can't say out loud. Perhaps no one should say them out loud. This pandemic is just as bad as advertised. People have suffered in every conceivable way, from routine inconveniences to losing loved ones. 

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I've been trying hard not to write about politics. We're two weeks from the presidential election, and it's almost impossible to escape. The birds outside my window are unusually chirpy, and I'm sure they're going at it over Trump's taxes or Biden's Supreme Court plans.

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In my attempt at a humor column loosely related to the first presidential debate, I learned a lesson. I angered two groups of people: those who thought I should have blamed Trump, and those who thought I should have blamed Biden. 

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“Shut up, man.” “This guy is a clown.”  “This guy is not smart.”

If that sounds like a scripted scene from Saturday Night Live, then you must have been visiting the space station last week during the presidential debate.

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I was about to start writing about this squirrel I saw in my backyard. It was the cutest little fella, and we were just staring each other down, and then I got a text message. It was from one of my editors.

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We have all had the unfortunate experience of attending a funeral where there is tension and discord among some of the people who are present.  This side is not speaking to that side and both sides choose to air their dirty laundry over the deceased.

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The year from hell would seem to be a perfect fit for Halloween, but many people are asking: Can we trick-or-treat safely this year?

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Here in Alabama, we love football.  Good games, bad games, ugly games.  None of that matters when our teams take the field.  If it is fall, it is time to play some football.

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In my job as an education reporter, I frequently hear from parents and teachers complaining about overcrowded classrooms. These days, that usually means 25 or more students at a time. I don't argue the point. The smaller the class size, the better, in every way.

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I was grabbing a couple of sausage biscuits and witnessed a couple of old codgers arguing over their coffee. One was a bit on the heavy side, with wild hair and a loud voice. The other was silver-haired, more soft-spoken, and would occasionally seem to lose his train of thought. 

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An open letter to the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties: We're giving you four years notice.

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Some Americans have spent the last two weeks watching their respective parties hold political conventions to officially nominate their candidate of choice.  Now the business of voting can begin.

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2020 has been the Edsel of years. For those who are too young to understand that ancient reference, it has been the New Coke of years. Am I still going back too far? Okay, it's been the Google Glass of years. There, I've covered every generation who may read this column. For all of us, the common thread is anger. 

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“No one saw this coming.” “Who knew it would be this bad?” “Who could have predicted this?”

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I like to point out how often I have been wrong in my career. It humbles me. Lord knows, we reporters have been humbled often recently. When we make mistakes, our readers point it out on social media within seconds. I am okay with that. We get a little high and mighty, so it never hurts to get taken down a notch or two.

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When I was a little girl, I remember wanting to do everything my brother did.  Not anything that involved dirt, of course, because that is taking it too far.  But I noticed he got to do things my two sisters and I did not get to do.

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Congratulations Tennessee, you're getting national attention. Out of all the states holding elections this year, you are holding “The Nastiest Primary in the Country,” according to Politico.

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One of my favorite quotes about parenting is from an unknown author.  It reads, “the trouble with being a parent is that by the time you are experienced, you are unemployed.”

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My, my, my. Look at this mess we've gotten ourselves into.

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Almost 4 million people have contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus and over 141,000 people have lost their lives in the United States.  In Alabama, we have almost 68,000 confirmed and 1180 probable cases.

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Longtime Chattanooga TV news anchorman Bob Johnson passed away last week following a 14-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 73.

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During a debate with Walter Mondale, the question of age was raised with Ronald Reagan. Reagan quipped, “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

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In my continuing quest to write about something that doesn't include the word “pandemic,” I'd like to explore how kids are spending their time during this...uh...event.

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It is always difficult for me to write about my personal life.  I would rather hang glide, and I am afraid of heights if that tells you anything.

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What a country, right? As we celebrate America’s 244th birthday this week, let’s pause and list a few reasons to love America.

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We have been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic since March.  We watched as our schools closed, businesses and churches were shut down and shortages of certain every-day items created anxiety.

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While doing some research on an upcoming book project, I was looking through some 1930s era newspapers. One theater proudly advertised, “Coming Distractions!” I don't know if that was a typo, or if they were indeed offering people “distractions” from the Great Depression. 

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Across America, a slow -moving wave is rolling through.  It is the wave of enlightenment of people to the systematic acts and symbols of racism in our country. Nationwide protests are being viewed as a wakeup call for some and as a nuisance to others.

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Last week my wife said, “Remember when we used to go to the movies?” It really hasn't been that long ago, but it sounded like one of those horse and buggy chats from the olden days. “Movin' pictures? Like in one of them there aero-condition thee-a-ters?”

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Do these names mean anything to you? Zayre. Miller Brothers. Loveman’s. Proffitt’s. Hill’s. G.C. Murphy’s. Gibson’s. Woolworth's.

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Like many of you, I have worked from home for the past three months, and it has given me a chance to familiarize myself with my new surroundings. It turns out that this place I've slept and watched ballgames on weekends for thirty years needed a few repairs. My wife says she has informed me about these problems in the past, but I was apparently distracted by the Braves and SEC football.

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We all have them, tucked away in our memory bank. The songs that make us smile, often many decades after we first heard them. In many cases, we heard them when we were growing up.

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As humans, there are two paths open to most of us on the road to our final destination.  We will either live a long and full life until it comes to a sudden end or we will survive until we become unable to perform even simple tasks for ourselves.

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Have you noticed that people often don't say what they really mean? Maybe that's a good thing. We've seen the consequences. Many TV shows and movies have featured characters who have no edit switch between their mouth and their brain. They were either “struck by lighting,” or were born with the condition, like Dr. Sheldon Cooper, the brutally honest scientist in “The Big Bang Theory.” 

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The backbone of any democracy is an independent and responsible media. In order to maintain its credibility, the media must be viewed as presenting the facts accurately.

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High school graduations have gotten a lot of attention lately, because if not for the pandemic, another group of 18-year-olds would finally get to “walk,” and accept their diploma and the accompanying cheers.

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Harold Reid had one of the most familiar voices in music history, his songs are still played on classic country radio stations, and yet most folks never knew his name. He died on April 24 from kidney failure at the age of 80. 

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I usually write a “thankful” column around Thanksgiving, as do many writers. It's an easy way to give thanks, while also clearing our pockets of all sorts of little notes we save throughout the year. 

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Dear 2020: Maybe I should wave the white flag. Usually I'll go several months before throwing in the towel. But you, 2020, are an opponent like none I have faced. 

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We are apparently approaching the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, and we are being tested. Not necessarily for the virus itself, but in other ways. 

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Last week the White House Coronavirus Task Force offered new estimates of the deaths that could result from the COVID-19 virus.  That number was between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths. Some experts say that is a low number.