Art Parker

Originally I was going to take a week off from writing a column. You occasionally get tired of doing the same thing week after week and you need to catch your breath. That was the plan. I did not write a column over the weekend, which is the usual time I complete that task. My plan seemed workable and on track until late Monday when our publisher, Jeff Martin, told me he couldn’t get a column done. That means I must fill his space and then find something else for mine.

So much for the best laid plans.

The sudden reversal in plans threw a monkey wrench into my schedule. First and foremost the weekly edition of the newspaper must get to press early Tuesday afternoon. Also, I had two meetings scheduled for Tuesday. Now I was faced with no time to do something I wanted to avoid.

Here I sit, Tuesday morning at my office at home. I’m in a hurry to get to the real office because I have work to do. I just took my morning medication which means my heart should keep a good rhythm but it also means that I will need to go to the bathroom every five minutes (for those of you in similar circumstances you understand entirely). Those brief but necessary interruptions consumes valuable time and ruins trains of thought, especially for a dummy like me.

I’m sure you remember the old lesson we learned when we were young. “If you can’t say something nice about someone then say nothing at all.” Guys in my profession never adhere to that lesson. We wouldn’t be called all the nasty names if we did adhere. But, since I brought that up, let me nice this week.

I had a political science professor in college that walked into the classroom the day of our final exam and wrote one question on the chalkboard, “What’s right with America?” He turned around and said “that is your final and you got one hour.” All of us young idiots looked at each other and thought the professor had been smoking some real good stuff.

I wish I had my final from that day because I wouldn’t be laboring to remember what all I wrote. I got a good grade even though the professor said I could have done better (so what else is new?).

I got a few minutes before I leave so let me quickly, and without much thought and preparation, tell you some of the things I see that’s right with America, or if you prefer, what I love about America (in no particular order because I do not have time to make a priority list. I only have time to spew things out).

I can to go to the church of my choice when I want and believe what I want to believe about God, and others can do the same or do something different as long as they do not interfere with my choice.

I can jump on a plane or get in the car and go visit my daughter in Washington D.C. whenever I want.

I have exercised my freedom to choose my wife, my partner in life, and I am extremely happy with that choice.

I have chosen where I want to live and Alabama is fine with me.

I have chosen what I wish to do with my life.

I can vote for whom I wish and criticize government and officials however much I want to, and I will do just that because to shirk that responsibility would be unpatriotic, and I firmly believe that.  

I can read another newspaper and if I don’t like what is on the page I can exercise the freedom to turn the page. I can do the same thing when I watch television except I just use a remote.

I can choose which vehicle I drive, and since I love my 23 year old little pickup truck, I’m not getting rid of it no matter how much my wife of choice screams!

I can enjoy a wide variety of sports, especially horse racing, baseball, golf and football. I can watch as a spectator. In some I can be a participant, or I can report on these and tell you about them.

I can eat what I wish even though most of it is bad for me (especially a very good hot dog with kraut).

I could go on but it appears I have filled the space. What I do know is that while the list is far from complete, these things are important to me. I’m sure you have a list of your own and I’m glad you do. Just being able to have a long list of things you can have or do without interference makes America “right.”

More right than any other place I know.

Managing Editor