I cast my first vote for President in 1956. I voted for Adlai Stevenson even though I could not read his name on the ballot as I was only four years old.
I cast my next vote for President in 1960 when I was eight. I voted for John F. Kennedy.
In 1964, at the age of 12, I voted for Lyndon Johnson.
Clearly, I was a young Democrat. A very young Democrat.
SOUTH PITTSBURG, TENNESSEE – This pretty little town (population 3,018) about 20 miles west of Chattanooga, is not Rocky Top. But you can get corn from a jar here. You can also get a slice of cornbread and a round of golf, maybe even with Peyton Manning.
In 1920, Tennessee House members Joseph Hanover, Banks Turner and Harry T. Burn helped pass the 19th Amendment despite powerful opposition.
Major League Baseball returns next week. The Boys of Summer will be the boys of half a summer in a 60-game season condensed by the pandemic. They will play in empty ballparks. There will be no spitting, and it may be that it won’t be just the catchers who will be wearing masks.
I can tell you exactly where I was when I fell in love with baseball. Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis.
It was the summer of 1960, and I was just 8 years old. My father took me to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play the Milwaukee Braves. Dad taught me that day how to keep a score card, something all real baseball fans do.
On a cold November day in 1956, I attended my first college football game. I saw the Tennessee Volunteers defeat the Kentucky Wildcats 20-7 at Shields Watkins Field on the campus of the University of Tennessee.
Reliving Billy Graham's 1970 East Tennessee Crusade at Neyland Stadium, featuring the 37th President of the United States, Richard Nixon.
When I was a child growing up in the 1950s, I watched a lot of TV. Too much, in fact, but my parents let me watch TV every night so long as I finished my homework first.
My favorite TV show was then and remains now Leave It To Beaver, the adventures of Beaver Cleaver, his brother Wally, and his parents Ward and June.
A hand-written letter or note is a powerful means of communication.
One of my prize possessions is a photograph of my father and mother and me that was taken on Easter Sunday, 1956. I was 4 years old.
Mom and Dad and I are standing in our driveway by our Ford Fairlane about to head to church. Dad is wearing his navy blue preacher’s suit that he wore every Sunday. He is clutching his Bible in his right hand.
Just a few weeks ago, most Americans had never heard the term “social distance.” Now we are told we must practice it. Until the Coronavirus curve is flattened, we must stay at home. The offices are closed. The schools are closed. Even the church doors are shuttered. We are to work from home, homeschool the kids, and stay in our houses and apartments except for occasional scavenger hunts for groceries and toilet paper.
JUPITER, FLORIDA, FEBRUARY 22–In his wonderful book, “Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend,” James Hirsch frequently quotes the “Say Hey” kid saying something other than “Hey!” “There’s something in the air, “ a beaming Willie would say each February at the start of Spring Training.
This column was published in the January 31, 2020 edition of the Tennessean, and is republished with the permission of the Tennessean.