Weddings, politics and homecoming

I’m not really much of an authority on weddings, even though I’ve had three of them. But I thought the one I attended recently in the Faulkner Literary Garden at the Union County Heritage Museum was a good one, as weddings go.

The tranquil garden setting and the crisp, sunny afternoon set the tone. The wedding party was just the bride and groom, the bride’s 11-year-old daughter, and Chris Childers, who did the ceremony. A small circle of relatives and friends watched approvingly.
And there were not a lot of extra frills – just the vows, the pronouncement, the kiss, and cake and punch afterward in the museum.
The no-nonsense approach is what I had expected from the groom, our managing editor David Johnson, who has quietly gone about his job of running the Gazette newsroom for six years. David’s the kind of guy who shows up at work the morning of his wedding to finish writing a story he had promised to get done.
The bride is Shannon Dyson (now Johnson), who works on the advertising design staff at the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo.
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Last Wednesday, my morning routine got back to normal. Every weekday morning, I do the same things. After walking our dogs and taking a shower, I pour a glass of tomato juice and lightly butter two pieces of toast. Then, while munching on my toast at the kitchen table, I settle in for a few minutes with my friends.
Well, they’re not really my friends, but it seems like it because they’re there every morning. Robert Byers and Keegan Foxx join me via WTVA while I scan the morning paper. They deliver the news without a lot of the hokum and phony urgency that you see in on some television news programs. They’re calm; I like calm.
But for the past month, the morning news program had been anything but calm. Oh, Robert and Keegan were the same. But every few minutes, the morning calm would be interrupted by obnoxious political commercials.
Elections tend to bring out another side of people who otherwise seem normal and nice. And where do you suppose candidates get those awful pictures of their opponents? You know the ones — they make their opponents look like overweight bubbas or felons.
I suppose there is research somewhere showing that all the negativity in commercials works. At least it is over for a while, and I can enjoy my breakfast with Robert and Keegan again.
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Jenny and I were in the stands at the University of Mississippi football game Saturday against Louisiana Tech. It just didn’t seem right, somehow. No, I don’t mean the score. That’s another story. What I’m talking about is playing the college homecoming football game at night.
I don’t know whether an afternoon game would have filled any more of the nearly 20,000 empty seats. But it would have made it a bit more pleasant for the 40,000 of us who were there in the brisk, cold wind.
It’s all in what you are used to, I suppose, but to me, college homecoming games ought to be in the afternoon. It’s the way it usually is at my alma mater, the University of Missouri, where “homecoming” was invented a hundred years ago.
Jenny says I should know, because I was there.

 T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at