Loran Smith's blog

In the fall of the year, visiting with some long-time friends

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CASHIERS, N. C. — Heat, being as scarce as it is here in summer, is easily managed and even appreciated. In the peak of summer, there are but a few days when people turn on their air conditioners. And that’s for only about two months. The rest of the year, everyone builds fires. Even in June, you stop by the General Store at Mountain Top and there will be a wood fire burning. Come back in September and you’ll find fireplaces active. Read More»

Blake Sailors: Playing for love

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College football has been enjoying a steep incline on the graph of popularity, but big money is affecting the game and this fact will have to be addressed in the immediate future. Read More»

Once, politicians had a sense of humor

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An election year creates excitement, as it always has, but colorful politicians seem to be a relic of the past.

Sometimes you wonder why some politicians aren’t football coaches. They would make fine defensive coordinators. All they do is attack. All that insult and accusation must work because most politicians seem to always be in attack mode.

Little in politics seems to be amusing these days, although there are plenty of shenanigans to turn our heads. Shenanigans are nothing new in politics, however. There was plenty of underhandedness in the old days. Read More»

Watkinsville — and the Eagle Tavern — worth a stop

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WATKINSVILLE – For years if it hadn’t been for the merging traffic of Ga. Highway 15 and U.S. 441, Watkinsville wouldn’t have had a stop sign.

Now it has three traffic lights and the prospects of more as this laid-back town experiences stirring growth as the seat of Oconee County where so many people are choosing to live — principally because of the county’s highly regarded school system.

It is interesting to note that in the early years, Watkinsville, along with Athens, was part of Franklin County, which was named for Ben Franklin. Read More»

Remembering a Georgia star whose greatness was cut too short

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When we watch SportsCenter, the stars on our high-definition screens, more often than not, are young men in their twenties — in some cases thirties, and in rare cases their forties.

Old for an athlete can often be 35 years of age. Quarterbacks may last beyond 40. Kickers, the graybeards of football, for obvious reasons, last longer. Wizened, crafty pitchers sometimes hang around longer than others. Golfers have the best chance to win after their 40th birthday. Read More»

Georgia’s anchor offensive lineman Ben Jones knows discipline

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Those who should know give Ben Jones high marks as a prospect for Sunday employment in the National Football League. If he realizes his lifelong ambition, there will be many reasons noted for his reaching his goal.

For starters, the Georgia center has adequate physical dimensions (6-foot-2, 300 pounds) and the footwork, which can enhance the balance he needs to thwart the bull rushes of opposing linemen. Further, he has the quickness to make the cutoff and “reach” blocks, but there is more. Read More»