Furman Bisher gives thanks

Oh, ho, thought you were rid of me, eh? Well, I can’t go away without our annual Thanksgiving visit. I’m in a state of what is known as “retirement,” but I’m not sure I’m a contented convert.

Retiring, I’ve come to realize, requires a certain talent that doesn’t come naturally in some cases, and I guess I’m one of those cases.

You can play just so much golf, catch just so many fish, get caught up on luncheons in a hurry — not that I’ve done a lot of any of them — and come to realize that one of your most valuable functions is getting the garbage out.

As you have surmised, I don’t know that I’ve retired very well.

I have come to appreciate an afternoon nap, but after that, what?

Best of all, there’s Lynda (“y” instead of “i”), and I know now why in Spanish her name translates to “pretty,” and thus my entree to the list of other gifts of life to be thankful for, some with tongue in cheek:

● That Matt Ryan came along before I drew the curtain.

● That I was able to wangle my way through college without taking math — or I’d probably still be there.

● That Jeff Francoeur found peace — of all places — in Flushing.

● When the cat wants out (of course

he’ll want back in in five minutes.)

● I’m thankful for those little Georgia towns with the unique names of Dry Branch, Deep Step, Centerpost, Rising Fawn and Pine Log, for somebody calls them home.

● I’ll be thankful when MARTA finally finds its way to Turner Field.

● I’m thankful that I never took up motorcycling.

● When the driver in the car next to mine at the stoplight smiles instead of scowls.

● That I knew Tommy Lasorda when there was about half as much of him as there is now. (Sorry, Tommy.)

● I’m thankful for the player with a “team” attitude.

● I’m thankful for whoever gave us the word “stuff,” for how would we ever get along without “stuff?”

● When I get to the cocktail party before somebody has picked out all the cashews.

● When a “touchdown’ meant just that — cross the goal line, touch the ball to the ground.

● For the coach who is honest enough to say it was his fault.

● For the time when the football coach could win without fearing a Gatorade shower.

● When one of your colleagues says, “Hey, nice going.” (You never get too old for that.)

● For the accuracy of my newspaper delivery guy, who has a true arm — always right at the front step.

● I’m thankful when the phone rings and it’s one of the “kids” on the other end.

● I’m thankful that wrinkles don’t hurt — until you look into the mirror.

● For the sound of Neal Boortz signing off. (Just kiddin’, Hall of Famer.)

Time for me to sign off as well, sorrowful that Thanksgiving Day comes only once a year.


Furman Bisher, a sports columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for more than 50 years, retired earlier this year

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