Ponderings by Dan Ponder

Welcome to Aggieland

I realize that many readers of this column were focused on the Georgia versus Notre Dame football game held in Athens this past week.  Congratulations to the Dawg Nation on a significant win.  I am sure the atmosphere in Sanford Stadium assisted the team in UGA’s victory. Mary Lou and I continued our quest of…

Read More

Family. Past. Present. Future.

Like most of you in Southwest Georgia and Northwest Florida, I still deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.  Our community is slowly recovering from what seemed to be insurmountable odds last October. We are still trying to find that new normal that everyone talks about, but at the same time things for our city…

Read More

A sad song of Summer

An unpleasant part of retirement is the dreaded downsizing.  This includes cleaning out closets and storage rooms, some of which have been untouched for decades.  It can be a bit depressing, especially when you try on clothes that haven’t fit you for years. I will admit I am a bit sentimental when it comes to…

Read More

City of Roses

It has been a while since I wrote a travelogue in this column.  This past week, Mary Lou and I, along with my brother, sister, mother and most of my cousins on my mother’s side spent a long Labor Day weekend in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. It was a bittersweet time as my Aunt…

Read More

Good news for the Arts

What is culture?  It seems like a simple enough question.  The answer is a bit more elusive. I consulted several dictionaries to find a few short words that define the meaning of culture. It is not that easy. Perhaps the description that I liked the most was culture refers to the values, norms, and beliefs…

Read More

The Promotion

It was an extraordinary Summer. My childhood friend, Keith Granger, and I took the first flight of our lives. We flew from Atlanta to St. Louis where we changed planes before continuing to Salt Lake City.  From there, we drove four hours south with a total stranger in a station wagon. We arrived in Koosharem,…

Read More

From watermelons to retirement

It was just after dawn when we headed out from home. We were picked up at the peanut mill and taken to the watermelon field.  It was our first day on the job. Six dollars a day with a dollar deducted for lunch. Lunch consisted of two packs of crackers and a Coca-Cola. We were…

Read More

Rainbow of a lifetime

The severe thunderstorm warning came over my radio just as I was headed south from Dothan. A huge ominous cloud hung back to the east and was headed my way. The storm hit me north of Cottondale. It was a powerful, blinding rainstorm, with sheets of rain blowing across the four lane highway. Cars were…

Read More

Wide World of Sports

The words came from my father and grandfather.  The circumstances were not great, but the result is a memory that I have carried with me for the past 50 years. Now history repeats itself. After elementary school, I attended the Dothan City Schools starting in the seventh grade. But I still played Summer baseball with…

Read More

Records are meant to be broken

The hottest June on record!  Not the hottest in the past few years, or the hottest since I was working in the watermelon fields. No.  June of 2019 was the hottest June since they started keeping records back in the 1800s. That would be enough for one year, but in the past nine months we…

Read More