I’m addicted to newspapers. For nearly sixty years, I have started each day reading the morning paper.
I learned to read in the first grade not only by meeting Dick and Jane (“Run, Dick Run!”) in my elementary school reading primers, but also by perusing the Commercial Appeal with my father each morning at the breakfast table.
After graduating from the University of Tennessee Law School, he sat for the Bar Exam. But he didn’t sit for long. Just an hour into the exam, he got up from his seat, turned in an incomplete exam paper, and walked out the door. He hadn’t studied for the exam, and he quickly realized there was no way he could pass it.
One of my favorite politicians is Howard “Cotton” Ivy. He is an old “yeller dawg” Democrat from Decatur County, Tennessee who served in the legislature for a number of years, and was Tennessee’s Commissioner of Agriculture under Governor Ned Ray McWherter.
Several years ago Cotton joined former Tennessee State Senator Roy Herron in writing a delightfully-titled book, Tennessee Political Humor: Some of These Jokes You Voted For.
The title of the 1966 surf movie said it all: The Endless Summer.
I fondly recall when summer was long and seemingly endless. When I was a boy, summer began with the end of the school year around Memorial Day and extended over three months, not ending until the day after Labor Day. Other than Vacation Bible School and a week at Boy Scout Camp, there was basically nothing on my agenda during the endless summers decades ago. My days were spent swimming in a nearby river or riding my bicycle anywhere I wanted to go. My nights were spent chasing lightening bugs or playing hide and go seek with the other kids in my neighborhood while the crickets chirped.
But summers are no longer endless, even for our children.
On Sunday over two billion sports fans across the planet will be watching the World Cup Finals between France and Croatia.
We American football fans who tune in will be watching “soccer.” But in all other nations, the fans will be watching “football,” which in the truest sense of the word it really is.