Four be the things I am wiser to know: Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe. Four be the things I'd be better without: Love, curiosity, freckles and doubt.
- Dorothy Parker
It's time to stuff a ballot box.
I don't know if you noticed the brief item in USA Today last week, but the national newspaper is working on a feature about why we love our hometowns.
I take it they're going to use this in conjunction with Valentine's Day.
Here's what they say they want:
"You tell us about the faces and features that create a unique community ...
"Maybe the finest qualities of your city, the ones by which it thrives day by day, are hidden from a casual visitor. ... Send us a valentine for your town - 100 words or less on why yours is a city with heart. Specify the qualities that earned your affection. On Feb. 12, we'll share a selection of tributes."
Write: City with Heart, USA Today, 1000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22229. Entries must be received by Jan. 29.
(I plan to write them early and often.)
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MAILBAG: Larry Rachels comments on Sunday's column. He writes: "I couldn't agree with you more about meetings. I also take it another step into our civic life. Don't ask me to come to planning meetings for fund raisers, etc. Just call me with what you want me to do and I'll do my best to do it."
Paul and Anne Cook comment on my solution to dry hands.
"The best skin care we've found for cracked and chapped skin is olive oil. Putting a light coat on at bedtime works wonders. Olive oil was used way back in biblical times for everything from lamp oil to medicinal purposes."
Wilma Franz has a different solution. She writes: "Newskin at the drugstore works best on finger cracks. Also plenty of Neosporin at night ..."
Claire and Joel send a postcard showing a Northern snow shoveler and a sunny Florida beach. Unfortunately, they say, they're not in Florida, but in Augusta where the weather has been rather winter-like.
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TODAY'S BIRTHDAY: On the top of a bookcase at home I have a photo of my father and a small bust of Robert E. Lee - two excellent role models.
The latter's 194th birthday is today.
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TODAY'S JOKE: Ruth Tewes passes this one along ...
A family left the farm and moved to the big city.
Early their first morning in town, their 4-year-old ran into the bedroom to wake everyone up.
The mother dressed him and told him to play in the yard and to quit bothering everybody.
About 20 minutes later, he came running back. "Mommy, Mommy," he said, "everybody on this street has doorbells - and they all work!"
Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 107.