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George Smith: An Old Man just trying to get by ...

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Wednesday’s beans ’n greens ’n other things ...


TYLER CENTER News and Sick Room Report:

It is just a wee bit past 7 Monday morning when the Old Man walks into Tyler Center. Due to circumstances over which he had complete control, it had been just over four weeks since he had shown up for agony if not ecstasy.

“Well ... hello, stranger,” beams Lady Ella, who seems to know what everybody else is doing even if they don’t.

“Lazarus is back,” offers Old Man as he heads for the walking track and four laps of stumbling and mumbling before moving to one of a dozen or more machines remindful of a modern-day Spanish Inquisitor’s chamber.

There is ONE the Old Man really likes.

The brand name is NUSTEP and is something called a “receptacle walking machine.” What you do is settle into a comfortable leather seat, place feet in stirrups, push and pull on handles, glance at a couple of TVs hanging from the ceiling, and watch the passing traffic out on East Eighth Street.

The Old Man also keeps up with How Great He Art by a control panel on the “dash.” It tells him of his “time aboard,” steps per minute, mileage, watts burned and calories.

Time limit is 10 minutes ... and “Great Job” on the control screen.

Well Monday, the Old Man did two minutes, stopped, then three at a slower pace, then a minute of rest, another two minutes of “flying time,” and then two minutes of a crawl that wouldn’t lap a turtle in half a day.

Guess what?

The screen still flashed “GREAT JOB.”

With that bit of wonder, the Old Man does eight more laps, 24 leg lifts, and heads home for ... a two-hour nap.

Life sure gets complicated, thought the Old Man as he drifts into a two-hour nap ... that stretches into three.



The knife and the fork,

Got into a fight,

The knife was right,

So the fork left.

That from Helen Robinson, the “other” grandmother, and she got a bit of pleasure when I had no idea what she was talking about.

What it is is how you set the table when company’s coming ... which I’ve never had to do.


BIRTHDAYS: Jan. 28 — Patrick Doss and Carol Welch; Feb. 1 — Ken Swader and Joe Duckett.


TOP TEEN: The good folks at Jacksonville Christian Academy would love for you to meet Sidney Hancock, who has nailed salutatorian honor for the Class of ’19 with 4.0 GPA.

Young Miss Hancock also carries a 4.0 GPA in 12 completed semester hours through dual enrollment as an Advantage Student with Oral Roberts University.

The respect of her peers is in her selection as president of the Student Government Association and vice president of the National Honor Society.

She also has been voted JCA’s 2018 Homecoming Queen, is head coach of the JCA elementary basketball team, a member of Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership of Calhoun County and a Jacksonville State University Emerging Leader.

An active member of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, she has a summer mission trip to Birmingham on her resume, and volunteer work in the Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center’s annual canned food drive sponsored by the SGA Community tornado relief center.

Sidney plans to pursue a degree in nursing.

“Sidney is a great student and a great person,” says Principal Tommy Miller. “She has been at JCA for 13 years and is a blessing each year. We are very fortunate to have Sidney and we will miss her”

Proud parents are Gary and Tomya Hancock of Jacksonville.

Take a bow, young lady ...


George Smith can be reached at 256-239-5286 or