Rick Ryckeley's blog

Life's not a spectator sport

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There’s crispness in the air once again that can only mean one thing – it’s football time!

Future superstars in elementary and high schools took to the fields around our fair county last month. Practices now grind on for hours and hours, long after the other students have gone. Once finally back home, tired football players wolf down dinner and then struggle to finish piles of homework before falling asleep. Some things haven’t changed in 40 years. Read More»

Once every third day

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Today, as I sit down in front of the computer, I find myself oddly at a loss for words. As a firefighter for over a quarter of a century and a columnist for the last decade, what do I write about, on this the tenth anniversary of 9/11, that hasn’t already been written?

Long before the attacks I was a firefighter, and I was profoundly moved by the events that happened that day as one could imagine. Instantly the public now saw all firefighters as heroes – a heavy burden to carry and even heavier still to live up to. Read More»

Blinded by the light

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It started out as a typical day. The Wife reminded me of something I’d forgotten. Leaving for work, she gave me a hug and said, “Eye doctor’s appointment is at 10 today.” I must’ve had a funny look because then she kissed me and added, “You’ve already forgotten, haven’t you?”

I do that quite often: look funny and forget things. Some say that’s a result of getting older. I think it’s just a result of my forgetting things and, of course, me looking funny. Read More»

The English Teacher

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Mrs. Newsome was my tenth-grade English teacher at Briarwood High School, home of the Mighty Buccaneers. For years I’ve written about her and how she was a stickler for the Queen’s English. Her red correction pen, now infamous, was used often when it came to me. My book reports and term papers were returned with so many corrections they looked as though they were bleeding. Read More»

Sir Clueless

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Let’s get it out into the open. It’s my fault. But do I have an excuse? Yes, I’m a husband. Although somewhat housebroken, a husband I still am.

You’d think that after 12 years of marriage I’d be able to communicate with The Wife at least to an extent that I could understand exactly what it is I’m supposed to do. Sadly though, sometimes we speak different languages. Read More»

The naked truth

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The phone call came early Friday morning. Because of charitable donations our business had made, The Wife and I had received an award from the local area baseball team. The plaque could be picked up at the head of the sponsorship committee’s house.

Picking up an award not interesting enough to keep you reading? Well. then, what about yours truly stripping off his clothes in front of a strange lady, dancing around a porch for the whole world to see, and The Wife not even getting mad? Read More»

110 Flamingo Street

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They say the most important things in life are learned by the fifth grade. Now I don’t profess to know just who “they” are, but if I did, I’d tell them “they” were wrong. I learned the important stuff about life during the seven years I spent at 110 Flamingo Street.

I learned about being different. The Sister was the only girl amongst us four boys, and she never really fit in. She spent her time gathering small rocks down by Cripple Creek and reading books. Read More»

Bug school

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The first day of school is tougher on some than others. Whether you look forward to this day or dread its dawning depends on where you stand in the pecking order of society.
For the next week, parents will pull kids from one back-to-school sale to the next, trying their best not to lose tempers with offspring who are anything but attentive to the task at hand.

But if we search our memories, our real memories, we’ll remember what it was like and how we too felt on that first day of school. Welcome, dear reader, to the first day at Bug School. Read More»

A random series of events

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Some believe there is no such thing as a random event, that all things happen for a reason. Others believe we’re just down here lumbering along with no more control over what happens to us than we have control over the wind. What do I believe? Read More»

The $1,000 tomato

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If you live in Georgia, then you must have a garden. And if you have a garden, then you must grow tomatoes. It’s the law.

At least that’s what The Wife told me when she asked where her homegrown tomatoes were. Those would be the ones I didn’t plant in the spring like everyone else. Now, in the heat of July, I’m out planting tomato plants.

But that’s the end of the story; the beginning actually starts a long time ago – in the backyard of 110 Flamingo Street. Read More»

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