Loran Smith’s Thanksgiving Column
Published 5:14 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Each of us is given the gift of 86,400 seconds each day. How often
have you used one of those seconds to say, “Thank you?” To those who
extend a helping hand; those who are doing good for the world. A
neighbor, a family member, or a waitress, or a bellman, or a construction
worker, or a friend.
I’m thankful to have another Thanksgiving season to be thankful for; I
am blessed to have so many friends to whom I offer generous thanks.
Friendships mean more as you get older, as you become more
appreciative of meaningful relationships.
I’m thankful for watermelon in late summer, especially the moon and
star variety which I seldom see anymore. I’m thankful for garden plots and
those who tend those plots with tender loving care.
I’m thankful for the memory of Dean Rusk, former Secretary of State
and UGA professor, a most decent man with a brilliant mind who had this
assessment of what happens if there ever is an all-out nuclear war: “There
not only would not be any answers,” he said. “There would not be any
I’m thankful for Christmas carols, jingle bells and the ongoing goal of
someday enjoying a “White Christmas,” to have that opportunity to go
dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh.
I’m thankful for gospel music, always flush with lyrics of gratefulness,
humility, and goodwill.
I’m thankful for a hamburger cookout, featuring Christmas tree
shaped Bubba Burgers sizzling on a grill with friends gathered around in
pleasant conversation; enjoying down home company and friendly
I’m thankful for railroads. When I travel by rail, which, unfortunately is
not very often, I am always wishing there were more rail systems to
complement our Interstate highways which are overcrowded and always
seem to be under repair.
I’m thankful for Whisperin’ Bill Anderson, still singing at the Grand Ole
Opry, still writing songs, still enjoying life, and still treating people right. I
am thankful for his sense of humor and his “don’t take yourself serious”
personality—laughing about the elderly couple he met recently who gushed
about being long-time fans and saying, “We remember you when you were
I’m thankful for cheese straws from Beryl Dixon of Rutledge. She has
a special touch with her recipe.
I’m thankful for the smell of bacon frying in a pan on the stove on
Saturday mornings when the house awakens slowly and without fuss, with
guests coming into the kitchen with smiles on their faces and engaging in
conversation that is cheerful and garnished with good thoughts.
I’m thankful for Dubliner cheese, my favorite cheese, which reminds
me of the pleasant scenes and enrapturing ballads that make the Emerald
Isle so enchanting.
I’m thankful for the Marshes of Glynn and cannot wait to return to the
Georgia coast and enjoy one of the most blissful landscapes on earth.
I’m thankful that red barns still exist and dot the countryside in several
states across the country; I’m thankful for organ music at a baseball game
and for strawberry ice cream pie at the Georgia Center but regret the loss
of its vegetable soup of yesteryear. That soup was the best.
I’m thankful for the smell of a fresh rain shower on a hot summer’s
day when dry conditions are ameliorated by one of nature’s rich blessings.
I’m thankful for Silver Queen corn; I’m thankful for purple hull crowder
peas, and I’m thankful for shade trees in summer, especially a giant oak
with an encompassing canopy that is so restful when the thermometer
approaches 95 degrees.
I am thankful for the “Field of Dreams” stadium in Iowa and the
nostalgia it stimulates by hosting a big-league game with DeKalb hybrid
corn growing right up to the playing field. Americana at its best.
I’m thankful for the three military academies and appreciate my good
fortunate to have visited all three campuses where patriotism is in abundant
I’m thankful when the cursor on my computer comes out of hiding and
thankful, too, for Cameron Forshee who can cure a disabled computer with
Lastly, I’m thankful that Katherine Bates was moved to write “America
the Beautiful” after visiting Pike’s Peak (she got there on a mule).
“O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain,
“For purple majesty mountain majesties, above the fruited plain,
“America, America, God shed his grace on thee;
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.”
Those humbling lyrics should be taken to heart by every American,
not only on Thanksgiving but every day.