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Wallow in this kerfuffle


Recently I saw a cartoon (by cartoonist Doug Hall) on in which the word wallow was used. There was a seated group with a man standing in the back and a man in front pointing to a board which read, The last shall be first, and the first, last. The caption for the cartoon was the comment of the guy standing in the back, I dont want to be first or last. I want to wallow somewhere in the middle. That word wallow is one I almost never hear, yet I think we all still know what it means. Hey, you could do a column on outdated words and phrases?-A Good Friend

Great cartoon, noting a long-established human failing. We really do want to stay safe, hidden in the crowd, whether its opinion, fashion, or politics. The verse cited is Matthew 20: 16. So the last will be first, and the first will be last. (New International Version).

Antiquated words like wallow or, one I read the other day, hoyden (an unruly young girl), are interesting because they reflect both our propensity for change and for avoiding change.

Hiking Virgin Falls


The early morning sunlight filtered through the new leaf growth on the trees at the top of the Cumberland Plateau. We were beginning a hike to Virgin Falls, a State natural area, a wilderness pocket located just south of DeRosset, Tenn. It was cool in the early morning amidst the shadows of the trees and the Mount Laurel bushes that grew high above our heads at the top of the trail.

We wound back and forth on a well-marked and maintained trail beside a small creek that descended to the first rock limestone outcrop and fell 20 feet into the clear deep pool below it, Big Branch Falls. There was an outcrop there with a smooth floor beneath, a place where the Native Americans used to be sheltered from the elements. A place also used by our guide, John McFadden, of the Tennessee Environmental Council. He went to school at Tennessee Tech and had used these woods as his playground for most of his 50 years.

Ask Anne: Unveiling the mystery of lb


Where did lb for pound come from? (I know thats a preposition at the end of the sentence, but Ill stand with Winston Churchill on this as he replied to an editors correction of a sentence Churchill wrote with a preposition at the end: This is the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put.)-A Friend Who Wishes to Satisfy Her Curiosity

Im glad to know people who know things about Winston Churchill. (Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, 1874-1965, British statesman, author, prime minister, seen as one of the outstanding figures of the 20th century for his leadership of Britain during World War II. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values. His skirmish with prepositions unnoted, but not unforgotten.)

Im also glad to know our county Register of Deeds, John Beverly Bev Spickard, who hailed me in our church parking lot on a recent Sunday to give me a newspaper photograph of his dad Johnny Spickard, also Register of Deeds, former Lebanon Mayor Tex Maddox and son Buddy Maddox. And why am I getting this? Because theyre enjoying a street sign (in front of the old courthouse on the Square) which reads, NO DOUBLE PARKNIG ANYTIME.

No trouble in Mexico


With the news coverage of gang wars and killings in the border towns of Mexico, it was with some reservations that we booked a tour in Mexico to the city of Oaxaca. Even if there were no warnings from the United States Department of Homeland Security, I was still uneasy. My wife wanted to do some birding because of good reports from the region, and we would be finishing a sailing trip to Costa Rica and coming back through this part of the country that was new to us.

We were pleasantly surprised by the clean and beautiful city of 800,000 people at 5,000 feet altitude. It was located in the valley of the southern reaches of the Rocky Mountain range with nearby peaks going up to 10,000 feet and a wonderful climate for hiking and outdoor activities.

Ideas sought on protecting, preserving Social Security, Medicare programs

AARP Tennessee Volunteer Leader

Do you wonder what your retirement would be like without Social Security or Medicare? What would it be like for your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren?

Do you have some ideas about how to protect and preserve these crucial programs?

AARP believes that Youve Earned a Say and we want to hear those ideas.

Thats why we are launching a listening tour to ensure you and all the people of Tennessee have a say in the future of Medicare and Social Security.

Attorney General Encourages Tennessee Citizens to Help Prevent Youth Access to Tobacco

ByTennessee Attorney GeneralBOB COOPER

Tobacco use continues to be the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and worldwide. Tobacco kills more than 400,000 Americans and more than 5 million people worldwide every year, Tobacco Free Kids statistics show. Additionally, the organization discovered almost 90 percent of all adult smokers started smoking before they reached the age of 18 and that more than 2.6 million kids under the age of 18 currently use tobacco.

For these reasons, I want to encourage Tennesseans of all ages to support Kick Butts Day on March 21 this year. On that day, please stop by the Legislative Plaza in Nashville to see the youth-organized event, Lives Cut Short, sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Preventive Services, through the Oasis Center. There will be a display of cut-off shorts decorated by high school students in memory of friends or family whose lives were cut short by tobacco use.

In Memory of Fran Moscardelli


Our community lost one of its best last week when Fran Moscardelli died at St. Thomas Hospital. In his quiet unassuming way, Fran Moscardelli went about his life making things better for everyone. We will miss him. He cannot be easily replaced.

It was on a summer night in 1970, as my wife and I meandered around the Lebanon Parent Back Clubs carnival grounds, when we ran into good friends who introduced us to their new next door neighbors who had recently moved to Lebanon. These new people had a strange sounding name. It was Moscardelli. Fran and Alexa Moscardelli soon became our close friends. Few, if any, such encounters have affected our lives so positively. They truly became members of our family and we of theirs.

Mayor Craighead details thoughts behind sales tax increase

City of Lebanon

With growth comes responsibility.

Over the last decade our city has grown in size and in total population. Associated with this growth is a price tag which reflects the maintenance of our present level of services as well as increased services that are needed due to our continued growth.

For the last three years, I and members of the City Council have been consumed with discussions on how to balance a budget during a challenging economy that reflected large increases in cost for utilities, fuel and health insurance, while revenue receipts remained far below previous highs and unemployment rates soared over 10 percent.

IRS has $16.1 million for Tennesseans who have not filed '08 income tax return

Refunds totaling $16,130,000 may be waiting for about 18,400 Tennesseans who did not file a federal income tax return for 2008, the Internal Revenue Service announces.

Nationwide, the IRS has over $1 billion for about 1 million people who haven't filed for 2008 yet.

To collect the money, a return for 2008 must be filed with the IRS no later than Tuesday, April 17. There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.

Technology triumphs


It finally happened. Our computer went on the blink. The monitor wouldnt come on and we had to bite the bullet and get it fixed. Actually, we didnt really have to have a computer. There are still many homes without one, but after being wrapped up in the many facets of the technology it was as if we couldnt live without one. After all, what would the grandchildren do with nothing to play their games on.

We took the malfunctioning, now ancient, instrument (one 5 years old) to a local repair shop and was told that repairing it was not an option, since the technology had advanced so far beyond what we had that there would no longer be parts for it. My thoughts returned to the repairing my old 1953 Ford auto. If the fuel pump or something else went out I could always find a parts store for the replacement and even put it in myself.

What happened to the snow?


I must admit that I have enjoyed the mild winter so far, but I did get a little excited when we had a forecast of snow recently. Up until then the sleds had just been rusting in the storehouse and the heavy winter coats, gloves and hats were catching dust in the closet.

Even the suggestion of snow sends my thoughts back to the fun times when everyone would get out of school and business as usual came to a standstill. I think we all need a break from the fast pace of life, and any excuse, like a snowfall that shuts things down, is a welcome relief. Looking back on times like that I've never been left with remorse on not having completed that day at work.

The Mannings, a family with character


As we observe happenings in our world, so often we see the values of good families making them evident to us.

Recently, the Super Bowl was played and Eli Manning and the New York Giants carried the day. Eli was voted the Most Valuable Player and I believe rightfully so. As I read his words after the win, the quality of Elis inner being made itself evident. How did he come to be such a man?

In days of yore, Elis father, Archie Manning, was the quarterback for the old New Orleans Saints pro team. Archie was considered one of the top quarterbacks of his era and yet he won few games. Just the same, he gave his all and never complained about his lot as a player. Somewhere along the line he married a lovely girl, Olivia. How do I know this? Look at the quality sons they have reared. Look at the quiet way she and Archie observe their two sons who live in the limelight of todays professional players. With money and fame, why do some people stick to the high road and set such great examples?

You know Archie and Olivia have a third son, Cooper. He was hurt playing football and had to give up the game. Whenever you see him mentioned you see no evidence of jealousy of his brothers who are in the news daily.

Most of us know Peyton Manning and we know he is one of the greats of all times with Indianapolis Colts. We know that he was disabled this year with numerous neck operations. It was his leadership of this team that caused the great field house where the Super Bowl game was played to be built. Did you see Peyton at the game? I did not, but I bet somewhere in that structure he sat where he could not be seen. It was his brothers day and he did not want to detract from his play in any way. You know some think Peyton will never play again. I hope he does, and I hope he plays well.

When did I learn of the quality of Peyton Manning? At the University of Tennessee he was a great college quarterback. He was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. He graduated from college in three years but stayed and played his fourth year of eligibility. I wrote of him at that time, Peyton Manning, if he never plays a down of professional football, will be a success at whatever he seeks to do. With a level head, high IQ and the will to succeed, one has all the attributes but his home had taught him the virtues so needed in our society.

Eli is much quieter than is his older brother. Nevertheless, it is evident that he leads his team and they react to him much the same as Peytons team reacts to him. Eli was a great college quarterback at Ole Miss. With this ability and an IQ that has to be high, he is moving toward greater fame each year.

Our society seems to have to have a winner in every walk of life. Peyton is hurt and it seems some dont want him to return to football. Some believe Eli is as great, or greater, than is his brother. I look at the reaction of two brothers and what do I see?

Archie says Peyton and Eli talk to each other most every day. They confide in one another. There is no evidence of animosity. Eli is quoted as being very unhappy with the comparisons being made at this time.

It appears that Archie and his wife raised boys who love one another. They pull for one another. They let each other have their day of glory with no jealousy.

How much better our world would be if we all reared our children to walk the high road of life as have the Mannings.

Editors Note: Mr. W.H. Waters is a resident of Lebanon and a contributor to The Wilson Posts Opinions page.
Frost, it happens to everyone


Seeing the wilted flowers after the last killing frost brought a touch of sadness as I surveyed the garden and yard. I had heard that the cold weather was coming and at the same time I knew I couldn't protect those sensitive plants indefinitely. Even if I covered them tonight, what about tomorrow night and the night after that? Sooner or later I would have to give them up to the inevitable consequences of winter.

The killing frost had nipped the young buds of my winter squash vines. It had put an end to the growing season and stopped even the cold weather crops in their tracks. The Impatiens growing by the front walk were now a lifeless crumple of faded green. The herbs growing in the backyard were beat down but surviving. The influence of the frost was broad reaching and final.

But there were some good consequences of the killing freeze. It meant that I would not have to mow the grass again until spring. It also put the finishing touches on the leaves that were increasing their beautiful colors along the roadside. The maple trees lining my neighbor's yard were now a deeper orange and yellow as the last sap drained from them and the green chlorophyll gave way to the other colors beneath.

The weed patch by the mailbox now was becoming brittle so that my weed sling (my low-tech energy-saving answer to the bush hog) could now chop off the once thick green cover to turn it into a bear area again. I could slice through the weeds and identify the egg cases of the praying mantis insect and expose the old moss undergrowth of the surface roots below.

The seed pod of the milkweed would now pop open releasing its promise of new life in the form of a parachute into the wind, helping me to reaffirm that even in the cold and darkness of death there is the hope of new life. So even as the leaves on the oak trees were becoming brown and crumpled and brittle, new buds for the next year form beneath, pushing them out into the chilling wind. And I can appreciate the cycle of life that also ends in death.

Editors Note: George Robertson is a physician with Family Medical Associates, PC, in Lebanon.

Experiment: Is it ever too early to plant Irish potatoes?


Just looking at the bare garden plot in the middle of winter brought a feeling of sadness. It's seemed like such a waste of time and resources to see it idle -- unproductive, naked to the rain and sun.

One year my wife insisted on a cover crop and chose Harry Vetch which really took off just when it was time to clear it off for the spring planting. It seems as if I nearly tore up my tiller and irrigation pipes getting the tangled greenery off of the garden spot.

So the next year after noticing the potatoes in the garage growing long shoots, I decided to go ahead and plant them even though it was Feb. 15

You will remember that we had several snows last year and the temperature was below freezing many days after I had put the seed potatoes in the ground. Well it didn't seem to make any difference to the plants because as soon as it warmed up a bit, I started seeing little green shoots and leaves in the garden rows. We wound up digging the spuds with plenty of time afterward to grow another summer crop behind them.

So this year when the potatoes we hadn't eaten yet started growing shoots beginning as early as November, I began to wonder if I could go ahead and plant them. The shoots got longer and longer and finally I decided Jan. 22 to put them in the ground which was still a little wet from the last heavy rains.

Trying to work up the earth was too tiring and frustrating since the moles had made tunnels all through my beds, so I finally knocked off some of the grass and took a rod and made a hole to bury the seed potatoes in. I promised myself I'd come back later to finish cleaning off the ground when the weather was warmer. This no-till farming is definitely easier.

It's just been a few days since my experiment started but already the shoots, some of which I left above ground, have started to green up. I'll let you know in the spring how the crop is coming along, or better yet, invite you over for some French fries fresh from the new potato patch.

Editors Note: George Robertson is a physician with Family Medical Associates, PC, in Lebanon.

2012 Festival celebrates rare birds


People came from all over the United States and three foreign countries to Birchwood, Tenn., to see the rare Asian Hooded Crane. Only three sightings of this large charcoal gray bird have ever been recorded in the United States.

Since the emigrant usually lives in Korea and Japan, to get from there to the States would be quite a feat of flying not to mention the navigation required to get back and forth.

Since the Sandhill Crane, a close relative, summers in Siberia it would not be inconceivable that the similar appearing and habitat minded Crane could link up with the Sandhills on their journey to the warmer wintering grounds in Tennessee.

City council hurting growth

Frustration: a deep chronic sense or state of insecurity and dissatisfaction arising from unresolved problems or unfilled needs; to make ineffectual: bring to nothing: impede, obstruct. (Merriam-Webster).

This is the feeling I have with the Lebanon City Council, not only on the latest issue of the Entertainment District but their inability to lead, cooperate, compromise, budget or plan for the future of Lebanon.

'Hometown' favorite son served in great fashion
Last week we published the obituary of Don Franklin, a Wilson County native who in every sense of theword was a "hometown" favorite son.

Educated in public schools here, hewas an outstanding football player at Lebanon High School and then later at Middle Tennessee State University

The late Dr. Joe Bryant

Although Dr. Joe and I have been friends and professional colleagues since the early 1960s, it was 10 years ago that, while undergoing treatment for cancer, I saw another side of Dr. Bryant as my physician and myself as his patient under his care.

Hardly a day passed that he did not visit or call to check up on me. He knew all the right questions to ask. His calls were simple and straightforward. Joe, hed say. Hows Robert? My wife Connie would report on my latest condition. Just checking was often his response. His humility was well known in the community for his good works and I experienced this first hand when I later learned he had studied at the most prestigious hospital in the world for my kind of cancer, the Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in NYC.

Dr. Bryant and Mrs. Jeanette Rudy RN, founder of the Rudy School of Nursing, not only shared a long, close friendship and commitment to Cumberland University and this community but also a keen interest in history. I remember Mrs. Rudy wanted to attend the second funeral of a Confederate general, a Cumberland University graduate, who died along with six other generals in the battle of Franklin. Dr. Bryant took Mrs. Rudy and me to the new gravesite where the general was to be honored. We all sat together, reflecting on the impact of Cumberland and its connection with this great historical event.

Dr. Bryant was instrumental in relocating the School of Nursing from the Cumberland campus to the McFarland hospital campus. Being close to his own home, he was able to continue to be intimately involved in the development of the School. Dr. Bryant and Mrs. Rudys leadership were pivotal in developing this school for nurses as the largest and most successful undergraduate school in Cumberlands history. Because of the phenomenal success of this school, Mrs. Rudy was recognized as Chair of the board, followed by Dr. Bryant.

As Chairman of the Board of Trust, Dr. Joe Bryant believed that the remaining debt should be retired. He worked diligently each year to accomplish that goal. He subscribed to the strategy that Cumberland should live within its means; for example, Dr. Bryant supported the notion of boot-strapping and always got more than a dollars worth for every dollar spent. In previous years, the independent William D. Baird Wilson County Scholarship Fund had been nearly depleted. Dr. Bryant invested wisely and restored the corpus of the trust, leaving it financially healthy.

Joe Bryant and I shared the vision that the principal historical influence in Lebanon and Cumberlands importance was the Cumberland Law School. He and I met many times brain-storming and strategizing to find a way to return a law school to Cumberland. From decisions of the federal court to allow a law school to be built, to a positive feasibility study from the American Bar Association, to donations of land, to visits and negotiations with other law schools, we were encouraged that this dream was possible. I often wondered why Dr. Bryant was so knowledgeable about all this.

Only in the past month I learned that while Dr. Bryant was beginning medical school in Memphis, he was also going to law school. No wonder he understood so much about our project. Characteristic of Dr. Bryant, he was a man of few words.

At the hospital and elsewhere, Dr. Bryants signature attire was a scrub suit with a fresh towel around his neck. The hospital was his second home where he felt most comfortable in the doctors dining room, walking the halls but most of all, in the operating room. Always a gentleman, never raising his voice, he spoke quietly during surgery. But what he said carried great weight.

He not only helped those hospital personnel who needed him but also helped the senior surgeons who were already accomplished broaden their perspective to serve their patients even more. Dr. Joe would go anywhere to learn new procedures; I remember his asking me to go to Richmond, Va. to learn about new robotic surgery techniques.

Dr. Bryants primary commitment as a physician and surgeon was to champion the cause of the patient. He believed that the physician had a better understanding that any other element of society of what really mattered for the greatest well being of a person. He felt that this role of doctors was being replaced by administrators, health care companies, insurance companies, and government. He felt that the physicians should be in charge of the health care system.

Dr. Bryant was the type of physician from the old school who did it all. He could deliver babies, perform C-sections, treat heart attacks, perform heart surgery, set hip fractures, as well as abdominal surgery from appendectomy to aortic aneurysms. He had a keen sense of medicine and a wealth of medical experience that he brought to the bedside of many patients whose condition warranted intricate care.

I was always deeply impressed with his profound medical knowledge and compassion. I know the people of Lebanon and Wilson County, Cumberland University and the entire medical community will greatly miss him as much as I will.

Editors Note: Dr. Robert C. Bone is a general surgeon at University Medical Center in Lebanon.

It Takes A Village

By TERESA HATCHER It takes a village is a phrase that has many meanings.

It can refer to raising children, getting a job, or in the case of last Saturdays School Store at College Hills Church, putting many, many details together in an effort to serve those in our community in need.

Lets join Einstein

Why do we have to listen to so much elaborate gobbledygook? Why can’t medical experts, legal experts, scientists, scholars, and any one else who gets a microphone stuck in front of him or her just speak plainly? 

  -Tired of all the UNNECESSARY Verbiage

Howell reflects on TASC office

It’s been 30 years since I’ve been Tennessee Association of Student Councils Vice President of 1980-1981, where I embraced the vision with fellow TASC members of how important it is to give back to our communities.

I did not know how it would unveil, however I did know that the mission existed without compromise. The mission was to develop, improve and participate as a leader for the betterment of our schools and community. 

A word from Jack Pratt

Wilson County Assessor of Property
Every six years, all of the taxable property in Wilson County is reassessed for tax purposes per state law (T.C.A. 67-5-1601), and the year 2011 marks our next state-mandated reappraisal.

This week your Property Assessor’s office will be sending out assessment change notices to all property owners. The notice you will receive includes this year’s appraisal and assessment values and last year’s assessment value. This isn’t your tax bill; this is your notice of value.

Public Notice is under threat

This year several bills have the State Legislature considering doing away with the publication of public notices in local newspapers in order to save money. Before you conclude that this is a good idea, consider a few facts.

The state Constitution and state law require publication of public notices. This is due to an important principle of civil societies: if the government is going to take some action to limit or change our rights, or take away our property, it must go out and seek to provide public notice to the citizens of the potential action. It is not mandatory that you read it but a good faith effort must be made by the state to provide the information.

Publication has always meant that the notice must be outside of Government’s own halls; in newspapers of general circulation where the community can read them. But to get around this provision, the legislature wants the government to publish legal notices on the state’s website and charge for the posting.

National Ag Day 2011 Honoring Homegrown Security

By GENE DAVIDSON, State Executive Director
USDA Farm Service Agency-Tennessee

In the past few weeks, there has been much talk and media coverage about unrest in the Middle East driving up the prices of fuel in the U.S. There is a certain sense of vulnerability when we realize events that occur half a world away affects our quality of life right here at home... in our own backyard. However, when it comes to food, fiber and yes, biofuels, we suffer no sense of vulnerability – Why? Because, thanks to America’s farmers and ranchers, we have what I refer to as, "Homegrown Security."

A solution offered on fire service

I have been frustrated since 2002 about the fire service issue. It has been handled poorly by all the representative governments in Wilson County. The issue has been here since 1986 and finally went to Court in 1995. My feeling is that the court told Wilson County what to do but Wilson County Emergency Management Agency did the very poorest of jobs in carrying out the court decision.

Finally, in 2006, the Wilson County Commission passed a resolution to terminate service to Mt. Juliet. The County Mayor, at that time, established a special committee to present the County Commission a solution to the problem. That body failed in its mission and recommended that the current agreement be extended, thereby, making the problem more difficult for future County Commissions. I attended all those committee meetings and NEVER was there an elected official of the City of Lebanon in attendance. Therefore, there was no input.

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