A Sunday drive . . .


MY SERMON on cold weather, white socks, and my grandmother’s feather bed this past Sunday, kicked in memories of the late Ludie Banks Cobb, my maternal grandmother and one of the greatest persons I’ve ever known.

A memory . . .

Times were hard out on the rural route back in the 1930s-40s and my maternal grandfather, the late Rev. George D. Cobb, eked out a living on a 40-acre farm on Bain’s Gap Road in Choccolocco Valley. He also maybe got $2, maybe $3 for his Sunday preaching.

Enter Ludie Banks Cobb and her eggs, chickens, and such that she traded for “store” necessities from a rolling store that came up a dusty Chocolocco Road once a week.

With her eggs and chickens, we walked a quarter of a mile or so to meet the rolling store. The minute we stepped up into the store, Ludie Banks Cobb’s first words were:

“Now George Houston, you get you some candy.”

The memory of her buying me candy before trading for what was needed in her kitchen still brings misty eyes to her favorite (only one at the time) grandson.

I’ll love you forever, Ludie Banks Cobb.


EARLY LAST week I ran into Joe Burney, an old friend and former radio personality in our town, at Walmart.

I asked Joe how he was doing.

The answer was wrapped in sadness:

“Not too good, George. My son has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He doesn’t have long . . .”

In our front page obituary listing Friday, the first name was that of Donald Joe Burney. He was 58.

From my own loss of a son, I’ve lived with “You never expect to outlive your child.”

To love is to grieve and the loss of a child is a grief that never goes away.

May God bless, Joe . . . and He’s now looking after your “kid.”



Q – What lies on its back 100 feet in the air?

A – A dead centipede.


FROM AN EMAIL . . . consider these thoughts:

-- You realize you’re never going to be really good at anything like golf.

-- The things you used to care to do, you aren’t as interested in anymore, but you really do care that you are no longer as interested as you were.

-- You sleep better in a recliner chair with the TV on than in bed. It’s called “pre-sleep.”

-- You miss the days when everything worked with just an “ON” and “OFF” switch.

-- But OLD is good in some things: Old songs, old movies, and best of all, old friends.

I don’t remember who passed that along, but I identify with all of it . . . bet a bunch of you  do, too.


ANOTHER RECENT email wanted to know what I knew about “Donkey Basketball,” which apparently is in the writer’s past.

The answer is zilch . . . but I do KNOW about donkey basketball.

As a teenager at Ohatchee, the donkeys  came to town one year and I was among the crazies that lined up to play in the game.

Guess what?

I got put on the meanest donkey, hit the old gym floor with my fanny more times than I care to remember. The memory still brings pain to my fanny.

Would I do it again?

In that day and time, probably.



--- Maryland has the ugliest helmets in football . . . pro, college, or high school.

--- What do you call 500 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start. A local attorney told me that one.


George Smith can be reached at 256-239-5286 or email: gsmith731@gmail.com