KIRBY: A sweet thought for the holiday

The moon is friend for the lonesome to talk to.


— Carl Sandburg

We’re not a week into October, but my wife keeps asking me to buy Halloween candy because last year we “almost ran out.”

“That happened,” I thought, but discreetly kept to myself, “because somebody started snacking on all the bags in the pantry.”

“That happened,” I thought, but wisely did not say, “because there were busloads of young people being dropped at the entrance to the subdivision.”

“That happened,” I thought, but held my tongue, “because I forgot to set the timer on the lawn sprinkler.”

I thought all this while at the store buying candy. Don’t want to run out.

SHINE ON: The other night I watched the full Harvest Moon framed between a gap in the pine trees and thought, “just like in the song.” The old, sweet song, of course, is Georgia on My Mind, the official state song long associated with Ray Charles, a Georgia native, who sang it so beautifully.

But Charles did not write the song or its lyrics.

Those were a 1930 collaboration between two old Indiana University friends Hoagy Carmichael and lyricist Stuart Gorrell. It was written, Gorrell later admitted, looking out a New York City apartment window on a cold, rainy night.

Its haunting lyrics would be the last Gorrell ever wrote. He left songwriting for a banking career.

WHICH GEORGIA? When Gorrell shared the song’s lyrics with his mother, she asked if “Georgia” was the state or a woman? Carmichael had a sister named Georgia and, some suggested, perhaps his pal, Stuart, was smitten. In newspaper interviews, Gorrell seemed to enjoy adding to the mystery.

Most accounts, however, say the song resulted from a request from bandleader Frankie Trumbauer who wanted a song about the state.

NATURE NEWS: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this month that the Barbour’s map turtle, the Florida Keys mole skink and the Big Blue Springs cave crayfish do not face the threat of extinction now or in the foreseeable future and do not require Endangered Species Act protections.

“Based on a rigorous review of the science, the Service has determined that all three species have healthy and stable populations, primary stressors do not threaten their survival in the wild, and adequate conservation measures are in place for each,” stated a news release sent my way.

“His eye is on the sparrow …,” I answered.

TODAY’S JOKE: After many years of difficult marriage an older woman turned to her husband one morning and asked, “Just what would you do if I won the lottery?”

“To be honest,” he said gruffly, “I’d take half your winnings and walk out the door.”

“Well, that’s wonderful,” she responded quickly. “I won $12 yesterday. Here’s six bucks. Now hit the road!”

Reach Bill Kirby at



Sun, 02/25/2018 - 00:00

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