Loran Smith’s Thanksgiving Column

Published 5:14 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2023

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I’m Thankful


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

fluid alacrity.


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.