So I go shake up the Okies for a change, give you guys a rest from Art Lawler fatigue.
Seriously, I'm getting sick of the guy. He needs to transfer out of state. Find somebody new to pick on.
Besides, they raised me in Oklahoma to be a handful. High time they took over the consequences.
It means I'll have to leave the Athens Daily Review, swim back across the Red River where I came from, and go to work for an old buddy, Gene Lehmann, in Ada, Indian Territory.
No, it's not you. We've been friends for nearly a dozen years. Don't you go blamin' yourself now. OK, so a few times we disagreed. We got over it, right? Well I did, anyway. Stop holding grudges.
You're not seeing who I'm talking to, are you? Don't worry about it. He's just idle thought. Shows up every time I start ramblin'.
Anyway, I'm not leaving this paper because of any ill will. I love these folks. They put up with me. They understand me. I understand them.
I left them once before, and they welcomed me back. It's that kind of newspaper. Seriously. It doesn't hold grudges, even if you do.
There's magic in this newspaper that most of you civilians who don't live in ink barrels, wouldn't understand.
Jayson Larson, who should have been tarred and feathered for leaving and returning to the Review five times — count 'em, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 — still works here.
If he leaves again, I've given orders for APD Chief Buddy Hill to arrest him on abandonment charges.
Enough is enough, son.
With me, it's different. I'm leaving mostly for some very personal reasons. My friends will clue you in, but this isn't the place.
I also had a generous offer from a close friend that almost seemed divinely inspired in its timing.
Anyway, I'm tired of doing angst. Weary of nuance. Bored with blather. I'm going to offer less unsolicited opinions, and I'm going to refrain from popping off at other people's expense.
I may just swing at them, instead. They can't swing back at an elderly man can they?
No, just kiddin'. It's like our publisher, Lange Svehlak, says, “Just because you think it, doesn't mean you have to go there. You have a choice not to say anything.” He wasn't talking about me, of course.
In the end, “I guess we're all gonna be what we're gonna be, so what do you do with good ol' boys like me.”
Yes, I just plagiarized a Don Williams' country song. I just gave him credit, too. Most of my “deep” philosophical thinking comes from country music, anyway.
Theory: the cornier the country song, the closer it is to the truth.
On the remote chance that some few of you might actually look me up on the Internet, just Google the Ada News. That's it. A no-frills, three-letter, two vowel, town with a no-nonsense banner for its newspaper.
Actually, I grew up in part, just a few miles from Ada. My mother and my sister, Leta, both graduated from East Central University in Ada on the same day.
Their current president, Dr. John Hargrave, says ECU has the prettiest college campus in Oklahoma.
You can go to the bank on that one.
It's not unfamiliar territory, but to be honest, I'm pretty much starting over again after an absence of a half hundred years.
I do remember some things:
I was raised by a Methodist preacher, so I learned how to move every three years growing up in Oklahoma. My sister's ex-husband, also a preacher man near Ada, is still around the area, retired I believe. I'll look him up when I get settled.
As for a boss, Gene and I have the same sick sense of humor, and our ideas about journalism are very close. We'll just do it his way. He's taller.
The guy can pick a fiddle, and cook a fair-to-midland steak. As a 47-percenter in good standing, I feel an entitlement to a T-bone (medium), soon as I get there.
OK, to stop all this ramblin' and be honest with you, I leave much sadder than before. I've got no real hometown, if it's not Athens. And let's face it – I didn't see this place until I was in my mid-to-late 50s.
So, if I get up there, and die for some strange reason like an irate reader strangling me, just bury a third of my ashes in Texas, a third in Oklahoma, and a third with my late daughter, Shari, up in Boise.
No pressure. God bless you. Gotta run.
P.S. All my friends at the paper just gave me a $150 gift certificate, and a card with chicken scratches I can't read to get me to leave town. The money should put enough gas in the U-Haul to get me as far as Ardmore.
I can hitch a ride on the back of a live chicken truck the rest of the way.
Thanks guys. I knew you loved me.
Art Lawler has been a Staff Writer for the Athens Daily Review.
So I go shake up the Okies for a change, give you guys a rest from Art Lawler fatigue.
The greatest country in the world has hungry children
No child should go hungry. We are the greatest country in the world, yet we have hungry children.
An article I recently read said that if a child in school can't afford lunch, they will be given a sandwich and water. I was told the sandwich is cheese between two pieces of bread.
I hope everyone realizes that is what they serve in the county jail. Not that I know this from personal experience. I was told from someone who did know from experience.
Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase
Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase.
Hakuna Matata! Ain't no passing craze.
It means no worries for the rest of your days.
It's our problem-free philosophy.
Congratulations, if you have watched the Lion King a couple of times you now have this song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
It was a week in the depth of heat, then cooler
Sunday and Monday of this week have been very uncomfortable. The air conditioner at our house has been down, and the temperature outside and in the house have been way up.
Thank God for the blessing of the cool temperatures and the rain that fell on Tuesday, then on Wednesday. It changed things just a little bit.
Time away is necessary for everyone
I can remember as a kid writing essays on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” As the years pass, and we are more in-tune with the workplace, those vacations get shorter and shorter.
Do you ever have those days when you just need a vacation? Sometimes you just need to get away.
Taking time off work should be fun and rejuvenating. We all need a recharge every now and then. But vacations aren't what they use to be. We rarely disconnect ourselves from our jobs.
Student athletes: Time to wake up and get to work
Hey student athletes, it is about time for you to wake up and get to work.
Your summer is coming to an end, and the early morning wake up calls for practices are right around the corner.
I am talking to the football players, volleyball players, cross country kids, band members, drill team members and cheerleaders.
Remember who you are
Are you running so fast that you have forgotten why you started the race in the first place?
Life moving at a blistering pace that it is tough to keep up?
Maybe it is time to stop, take a deep look into the pool of water and remember. Remember who you are.
On numerous occasions, I have had to do just that. Ironically, various movies have caused me to look inside.
CSUMC provided a memorable experience
My wife Jean and I went to a very interesting, and what I consider a very unique event last Saturday night.
I had heard that the church where we are members, Carroll Springs United Methodist Church, was having an event in which people sitting in the audience would sing their favorite hymns into a microphone.
Independence ultimately won on battlefield
I always enjoy celebrating Independence Day, and hearing some of the stirring words written in the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Jefferson wrote that our Creator has given us certain rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The way I see it, if I have life and liberty, that gives me a pretty good start on the third one.
But as eloquent as our founding fathers were, and how moving the texts they left behind, one fact can’t be overlooked. Our independence was ultimately won and secured on the battlefield.
22 years – and they said it wouldn’t last
I was a high school senior when I first entered the world of newspapers.
I found my way to the The Dallas Times Herald after graduation, when a number of kids I went to school with were working part-time at the paper.
It was summer, and I needed a job. I first applied for what was referred to as the night crew.
Roadblocks happen - find a way to power through them
You ever had writer’s block? Everyone gets it once in a while, especially journalists.
Charles Bukowski once said, “Writing about a writer's block is better than not writing at all.”
People always ask “how do you come up with your ideas?” Those are easy when it comes to writing sports, finding the right way to make it intriguing at the start is when it can get interesting.
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