Here's Johnny - Laboring on Labor Day (and more!)
I was going to gripe about having to work on the national holiday that was my birthday Monday until I went out to the old Kroger shopping center and spent a bit of time with people who were really working. Salvation Army Kettle Queen (I made that title up) Debbie Tichenor, perennial volunteer Bill Phelps, Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott and the entire Versailles City Council (Ken Kerkhoff didn't hold a kettle, but he did contribute, Traugott said), Versailles firefighters and others spent a good chunk of their holiday weekend soliciting contributions for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. It was yet another display of why Woodford County is one of the best places in the world, and I'm not writing that just because it's graced with my presence. When I went back to my office Monday to download the not-all-that-great photo of the Salvation Army volunteers (sorry, I'm still getting used to my new phone) and write the Carl Rollins piece, I felt a little guilty about my first inclination. That's partly because I also went back to work on the birthday brownies baked and delivered by P.C.S. on Friday and, later, opened her present - a fab beach shirt I'll be sure to wear before the weather turns cold. She also dropped off a Chinese-made blue plastic horn I'll keep ready whenever I need to toot my own horn or just want to startle passers-by. Man, those brownies are good, but I gotta remember to wash my hands afterwards, even though my keyboard is much the same color as the brownies. Thank you, P.C.S., thank you to Ms. Tichenor and crew for your work for even more deserving folks, and thank you to all the Dear Readers and others who called, texted and emailed me wishes for a good birthday. In the end, it was a good 'un. By the way, my Facebook page (John McGary - Woodford Sun) says I am 112 years old. (Thanks for the reminder, Mr. Morgan.) That is false. I'm (far) less than half that age. My right knee, however, is indeed 112 years old, and aging rapidly. Oh well, some folks don't have right knees. Tweets by an unhappy person Seems like the fellow in the White House isn't the only person tweeting like a college freshman. UK wide receiver Lynn Bowden, who is a college freshman, apparently wasn't happy with his playing time or "touches" during last Saturday's opening game against Southern Mississippi. As John Clay pointed out in the Lexington Herald-Leader, after the game, Bowden issued two tweets. One said, "This close" and was accompanied by a "this close" emoticon, and the other said, "Been struggling ever since here." Bowden's struggles may be related to his starting practice a week late for academic reasons, but I'm not sure that griping about decisions by your coaches is the best way to get on the field. Still, head coach Mark Stoops defended Bowden and attributed the highly touted freshman's venting to a competitive nature. "I've been a lot of places with some very, very talented young men and the competitive nature comes out in kids sometimes and we'll be fine. There's no issue at all," Stoops said. However, maybe there was just a wee bit of an issue. Bowden (or someone) else later made his Twitter feed protected, meaning it can only be viewed by people that he (or someone else) grants permission. I can't help but wonder how all-time winningest UK head coach Bear Bryant (1946-1953) would have handled such a situation. I'd wager there would have been at least one fearsome growl directing Bowden to begin a lengthy tour of every stadium step at Commonwealth Stadium. Excuse me, Kroger Field. Ugh. Kroger Field There are only four commonwealths in the U.S.A. There are perhaps four million Kroger stores - including, as every Dear Reader knows, Kroger World - the largest in the state - right here in Versailles. UK Athletics Mitch Barnhart is, like most ADs at big-time college sports institutions, chasing every last dollar in an effort to pay coaches more and build ever-grander facilities to attract recruits. However, Barnhart's decisions to jack up the price of parking passes, tickets, and seat licenses that give fans the right/honor to buy tickets have chased away more than one long-time UK fan. Why, I know someone who's been a football season-ticket since before Commonwealth Stadium - excuse me, Kroger Field - who stopped going to games last year. He could still afford to go, but he felt a bit unappreciated, and I don't blame him. Besides, the rumor that folks will get Kroger gas points for purchasing seat licenses, seats and parking passes at Kroger Field turned out to be just that. Anyway, "Go Cats" - and, by the way, if Nike allows, please lose the Purina checkerboard logos on the shoulder pads. It makes the players look like they're wearing blue versions of Tennessee's end zone.