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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Lewis Grizzard titles released in e-book form

Lewis+GrizzardMy path and the late, great Lewis Grizzard’s never crossed here at the AJC, but colleagues still talk about him sometimes. Namely, how he’d never touch a computer. An assistant would input the legendary columnist’s missives, while he remained a typewriter man.

“They sent him to the 1991 World Series in Minneapolis and he walked in with his portable Smith Corona,” recalled my colleague Tom Stinson. “He typed out a live column on deadline, then got on the phone to dictate it to his personal secretary. She in turn keyboarded it into the AJC computer system.”

Another colleague, Todd Duncan, recalled that Lewis once sent him an email to compliment a headline Duncan wrote for one of his columns – via his assistant, as Grizzard wanted nothing to do with email, either.

So this seems sort of amusing: Grizzard’s books are being re-released in electronic form.

Here is Lewis Grizzard in 1978. He remained a typewriter man. These are all AJC file photos by the way.

Here is Lewis Grizzard in 1978. He remained a typewriter man. These are all AJC file photos by the way.

Publishers NewSouth Books and Green-E Books plan to reintroduce Grizzard to a new generation of techno-savvy readers. NewSouth Books has re-released “Elvis Is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself” and “They Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat” in paperback and e-versions. Green E-Books has re-released four other titles as e-books: “If Love Were Oil, I’d Be About A Quart Low;” ” Don’t Bend Over In The Garden Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes;” “I Took A Lickin’ And Kept on Tickin’ and Now I Believe in Miracles;” and “When My Love Returns From The Ladies Room, Will I Be Too Old To Care?”

NewSouth also plans to re-release two more titles in early 2012: “If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I’m Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground” and “My Daddy Was a Pistol and I’m a Son of a Gun.”

All the re-released titles are available at www.amazon.com and www.bn.com. You can also see the  New South site or the Lewis Grizzard sites – www.newsouthbooks.com and  www.lewisgrizzard.com – for information.

I did a little noodling around (on the computer) and unearthed this vintage Grizzard column which is not only holiday themed, but also gives you a sense of how what he thought of computers. It originally ran on Dec. 2, 1983

Here's Lewis Grizzard in 1979. Someone thought he should run for mayor back then, evidently. He slapped the campaign sticker on his typewriter. Where else?

Here's Lewis Grizzard in 1979. Someone thought he should run for mayor back then, evidently. He slapped the campaign sticker on his typewriter. Where else?

“Santa pines for old days”

Lewis Grizzard/staff

THE NORTH POLE – Santa Claus, in a rare, exclusive interview this week, indicated he is ’seriously considering’ retirement from Christmas.

The once-jolly old fellow, who looked somewhat beat as he took a brief break from preparing for Christmas 1983, said the demands upon his time and energy are continuing to grow with each holiday season.

‘I’m not as young as I used to be, ‘ said Claus, ‘And Christmas isn’t what it used to be, either. Christmas used to be a snap for us up here. We’d hold our first staff meeting around the middle of November, and we never had any trouble having the sleigh loaded and everything ready to go by Christmas eve.’

And now?

When Lewis Grizzard died, AJC cartoonist Mike Luckovich drew this cartoon of him being greeted in heaven by his dog, Catfish.

When Lewis Grizzard died, AJC cartoonist Mike Luckovich drew this cartoon of him being greeted in heaven by his dog, Catfish.

‘Now, ‘ Claus went on, ‘the elves and I hold our first organizational meeting in July and we’re still lucky to meet our deadline and budget. Christmas is no longer just another holiday. It’s big business, big bucks and big Christmas lists.’

A smile broke across the old man’s bearded face as he began to muse about the old days of Christmas.

It used to be simple

‘It was simple back then, ‘ he said. ‘A toy train for little Johnny, a doll for sister Sue. A few nuts and candy sticks in the stockings, that’s all anybody really expected of me.

‘And the treats they used to leave for me. Milk, homemade cookies. Today, I get a bottle of Perrier water and what was left over from the cheese ball.’

The caption for this photo of Lewis Grizzard, taken in the 1980s, noted that he told a TV interviwer, "I'm not a modern man." Wonder what he'd think of his books being released in electronic form?

The caption for this photo of Lewis Grizzard, taken in the 1980s, noted that he told a TV interviewer, "I'm not a modern man." Wonder what he'd think of his books being released in electronic form?

Claus was asked if anything specific had happened during his preparation for this Christmas that had caused him to consider getting out of the Christmas game.

‘It’s those dolls, ‘ he said. ‘What do they call ‘em? Cabbage Patch Kids, that’s it. Thirty million boys and girls on my Christmas list and every one of ‘em wants a Cabbage Patch doll.’

Again, Claus remembered the good old days.

‘I’ll tell you about dolls, ‘ he began. ‘There was Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy. Now, those were great dolls. And then kids wanted dolls that cried and talked and even dolls that had to have their diapers changed.

‘What’s with this Cabbage Patch doll? It doesn’t do any of those things. And why would anybody want a doll that looks like an elf with his face mashed in?’

One of the elves mugged

Claus was asked what he intended to do about filling the Christmas wishes of all the children who fully expected to find Cabbage Patch dolls under their trees Christmas morning.

‘You tell me, ‘ he answered. ‘I sent one of the elves down to see if he could pick up a few. He stood out front of a department store for three hours and when he finally got inside, he managed to buy two dolls, but a woman mugged him in the parking lot and took ‘em both. Elves are easy to mug, you know.

Lewis Grizzard is buried in Moreland.

Lewis Grizzard is buried in Moreland.

‘In my many, many years of being involved with Christmas I have never seen anything like this. Grown people fighting over dolls. If that’s the Christmas spirit, Rudolph doesn’t have a sinus problem.’

Claus was asked what, if anything, could make him change his mind about retiring from Christmas.

‘Maybe if we got back to basics, I would consider sticking around a few more years, ‘ he said. ‘Maybe if people stopped their mad rushes to the shopping malls and quit fighting over parking places and got back to the old Christmas habits of giving and sharing, Christmas could be fun again. It’s all the greed that has me thinking about hanging up my reindeer for good.’

Claus was asked if the interviewer could have one ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ before leaving, just for old times’ sake.

‘I’d like to, ‘ he answered, ‘but I’ve got to get back to my computer.’

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

61 comments Add your comment

tamaratattles

December 12th, 2011
12:26 pm

Thanks so much for this. Lewis Grizzard was very popular with my Dad. This article makes me miss them both. I got my first dog and named him Banjo just last year. Lately, I keep thinking about getting a companion for Banjo, and I had already selected the name Catfish. I didn’t realize it until I read this but the name must have stuck in my head all those years ago reading Lewis Grizzards books. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

The Reverend Baby Doctor Bedpan

December 12th, 2011
12:46 pm

This is celebrity buzz?

WE want more on skanky house wives!

Jennifer Brett

December 12th, 2011
3:26 pm

LewisGrizzardfan

December 12th, 2011
4:17 pm

I breath of fresh air! I grew up reading his articles and enjoyed every minute of it. I remarkable writer, journalist and gentleman. I miss him.

John

December 12th, 2011
4:26 pm

You can pretty much guess what a Luckovich cartoon is going to be every time a celebrity-local or otherwise-is going to be. The Grizzard cartoon was no exception.

Brian Freeman

December 12th, 2011
4:28 pm

What about “Shoot Low, Boys. They’re ridin’ shetland ponies”? I still have that one on my book shelf at home.

JOD

December 12th, 2011
4:30 pm

This was a treat, thanks. I’m working my way through his books, and it’s great to remember how hilarious he was.

Yosista Fromanotha Mista

December 12th, 2011
4:30 pm

I love it! LG was my favorite column, even as a child. His sense of humor reminds me a lot of my dad’s. It is nice to hear both their “voices” again.

MaliGirl

December 12th, 2011
4:50 pm

Thanks for sharing. I loved reading his columns and books. Still love to quote him. He is missed. This column is so true simplier times would be really nice now.

Maddox

December 12th, 2011
4:51 pm

A Damn Good Dawg. Lewis Grizzard was Georgia’s version of Mark Twain. No one like him out there today, Foxworthy is funny, but he’s not got Grizzard’s insight into the daily comings and goings of the common man.

Carolyn Reefves-Wills

December 12th, 2011
4:54 pm

Lewis Grizzard was one of my most favorite collumists. I have several of his books and a tape
he did of a Georgia football game which is very, very funny. I still miss reading his daily
column in the AJC. Wonderful Writer.
Thanks so much for this article.

American

December 12th, 2011
5:01 pm

Lewis Grizzard is great. I love his writing.

Tracy

December 12th, 2011
5:03 pm

Don’t Bend Over In the Garden, Granny – You Know Them Taters Got Eyes!

He is greatly missed!

B.D. Seals

December 12th, 2011
5:20 pm

Lewis Grizzard was uniquely one of a kind. He gave his fans a lot of laughs and every now and then he’d pull at your heart strings. Guess now I’ll have to buy all of his e-books to go along with my hard copy collection. I still pull out one of his books and read it occasionally. I saw him do his stand up routine once at a convention and he was an absolute riot. Thanks for the memories.

Legend of Len Barker

December 12th, 2011
5:23 pm

“Son, I’ve got a marvelous job. I’m teaching mechanical drawing at Headland High.”
“But Daddy, you don’t know anything about mechanical drawing.”
“Neither, son, do my students.”

Victoria

December 12th, 2011
5:25 pm

My favorite LG quote – for all them Yankees that don’t like the South – “Delta is ready when you are!” Back then, that was the Delta slogan. Love him!

Randy

December 12th, 2011
5:30 pm

I wish the AJC would release a book of some of his best columns from his time there. There was some that made me laugh so hard I could not catch my breath.

HENRY

December 12th, 2011
5:33 pm

I worked at the AJC when Lewis was there and he was a riot. He was funnier in person than in his columns. We all miss him so much. I often think about what my children and other children are missing not having him around. I’ll have to have a talk with my dog, Cornbread, and tell him about the release of the e-books. He’ll have something to read now instead of the New York Times while he’s on the toilet. They taught him how to read at UGA, you know………….

Charlotte

December 12th, 2011
5:34 pm

Great article Jenn. This is wonderful news because I am big fan of Lewis Grizzard and e-books!

just me

December 12th, 2011
6:00 pm

Lewis was so funny without being profane. I was fortunate enough to see his last perforance at the Fox. Was a great show, but you could tell his health was failing.
We lost a true humorist when Lewis passed.
Can’t wait to download his books to my Nook

Joel

December 12th, 2011
6:05 pm

Thanks for the wonderful article, Jenn. I’ve really missed Lewis Grizzard and it’s so nice to see his books being issued as e-books. Of course, I still have most of his books and print form and I have a scrapbook of some of his AJC articles. Republishing “the best of” Grizzard’s newspaper articles in either e-book or .pdf file form would also be welcomed.

ozzfest

December 12th, 2011
6:12 pm

GRIZZARD & MUNSON…….as it turns out, they were BOTH “sons of the south”.

BoPeep

December 12th, 2011
6:51 pm

I waiting for Mike Luckovich to do a drawing of Grizzard welcoming Munson into Bulldog (or Bulldawg) Heaven.

bill

December 12th, 2011
6:59 pm

I never missed one of Lewis’ columns and even included him in a golf column I wrote for my local paper…Lewis was in my “dream” foursome, playing the Augusta National. It turned out to be just that, a dream, but I did have a chance encounter a few years before his death when I not only could have become a member of his golf group at St. Simons, I could have been included in one of his columns. I was visiting a friend who was the starter at the Island Club when a cart drove up to where Ernie and I were standing. The men stopped to speak with Ernie and he asked them if I could join them for their back nine. I couldn’t play because of a meeting I had to attend on Jekyll and, as they drove away, Ernie said,”you know who that was, don’t you”. I thought one of them looked familiar but when Ernie said that he was Lewis Grizzard I almost lost it. Long story short…Lewis had his first hole-in-one a few holes later and wrote a column about it. I missed my chance to play golf with him, and to be included in one of my idol’s columns. He was so special…RIP Lewis.

Ms. Art Teacher

December 12th, 2011
7:00 pm

Love love love Lewis Grizzard.

When I was about 8 years old my pregnant mother took me, my 2 younger siblings, and my 3 god-siblings to the mall to get a Grizzard book signed for my Dad.

She said Lewis looked over his glasses at her and said only this: “But my, YOU’VE been BUSY.”

Jbzm

December 12th, 2011
7:03 pm

Back in the 90’s I always wanted to hear what LG was thinking about the Clintons, especially Hillary. I know his spin would have been hilarious. He always had a special view on everyday life.
He really loved UGA and my favorite was “He would bite you!”. Thanks Jen for the memories.

[...] AJC file photos by the way. Publishers NewSouth Books and Green-E Books plan to …Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Posts Related to Tunisia After Revolt Can Alter E-Mails With Big Brother Softwareyouchange Launches [...]

landover

December 12th, 2011
8:09 pm

At his book signings, Lewis Grizzard would smilingly tell everyone he appreciated them coming out so he wouldn’t have to go out and get a real job.
Enjoyed the article.

gcs

December 12th, 2011
11:51 pm

“In the south there’s a difference between ‘Naked’ and ‘Nekkid.’ ‘Naked’ means you don’t have any clothes on. Nekkid’ means you don’t have any clothes on … and you’re up to somethin!”

Rich Black

December 13th, 2011
8:19 am

Never heard of him.

Tom

December 13th, 2011
8:28 am

I now live in Upstate New York…As a native son of the South, I do so miss his work! He made me laugh, cry, and think….what more could you ever need in life!
I often qoute him to the peeps i work with now, most of whom just look at me and say, “Huh?”
God Bless You, and thanks for the news!

Scott

December 13th, 2011
8:33 am

“I was held prisoner of war in Chicago” I miss him very much. Funny guy.

Mike

December 13th, 2011
8:37 am

Still miss Lewis after all these years. I’ll just add the topic of his books being available in e-book format to my list of columns I wish he could write.

[...] If I did have one of those new fangled gadgets, you’d better believe that I WOULD NOT put Lewi…  [...]

Greg

December 13th, 2011
8:47 am

He was a true southern original, and his voice is missed. Can you imaine what he would have said about times today?

Some of his best books are not on this list though… they include “Don’t Sit Under the Grits Tree With Anyone Else but Me” and “Won’t You Come Home, Billy Bob Bailey?” They are collections of his columns, and they are brilliant. If you are a Grizzed fan, or just a fan of good writing, be sure to check them out.

I have a cassette tape of an interview I did with Grizzard for my high school paper around 1985. I wonder if the Grizzard museum in Moreland, or anyone one else, would want to have it?

Vashtai

December 13th, 2011
8:48 am

I loved him as Julia and Suzanne Sugarbaker’s ne’er do well (crazy) brother in that one episode of “Designing Women.”

Sugardawg

December 13th, 2011
8:49 am

Lewis was one of a kind, and I miss starting my day reading his column. I’ve often thought of how much fun readers have missed because Lewis died before Bill Clinton and Monica, Barack and Joe, Harry and Nancy, etc. Even Newt and the other conservatives were fair game to Lewis!

Alaska Mike

December 13th, 2011
8:49 am

My buddy & I used to have lunch at the Techwood Soda Co and see Lewis & Rod Hudspeth there all the time. He always said hello when we saw him and his writing was an inspiration to all folks especially us Southerners! RIP Lewis

WCW III

December 13th, 2011
8:51 am

My grandaddy got me reading Lewis when I was in my late teens and I loved them both. Lewis was Bull Dawg born, and Bull Dawg bred, and now he’s By Gog Bull Dawg dead and I miss him.
I had the chance to fly Lewis to several events that he did around the south. Lewis Did. Not. Like. To. Fly….Period. He told me so every time he got on the plane. And even though he was doing something that he hated, he was just as warm and funny and genuine a person as you could ever hope to meet.
I’ve got his books in hardback and soon on my iPad, I can only imagine what he’d say about that, Luckovich’s “Lewis at the Pearly Gates” on the wall, and a lot of great memories from being around him a bit. He done Moreland proud.

martha

December 13th, 2011
8:51 am

miss lewis grizzard so much — to the person who never heard of him — would suggest you make the effort to find out — your life will be brighter — there should be a book with a collection of his columns –lewis grizzard you are missed

destin dawg

December 13th, 2011
9:02 am

I remember going to see him long before he was a house hold name in the basement of Russell Hall on the UGA campus. My friends had brought a small cooler we were trying to hide, it was mandatory to drink Bud everywhere we went back then. While making an effort to pop a top secretly in the back of the room while Lewis spoke, the fizz made just a little too much noise. Lewis stopped in mid sentence, we didn’t know what to expect. “Boys” he said, ” you mind sharing?” My buddy ran him a beer to the podium and he continued the lecture like nothing had happened. Love that guy.

Animal Control

December 13th, 2011
9:04 am

Lewis Grizzard has served as a great memory of my and my grandfather riding to the lake listening to his cassette tapes. As a Tech fan I love that I can still listen to his jokes about UGAG even though he was a die hard Bulldawg. Good times!

rick

December 13th, 2011
9:04 am

The last friend UGA had at the AJC. He is missed.

SuzieQ

December 13th, 2011
9:14 am

I still remember his column on the front page, left side of the Living Section. One of the favorite columns that I remember was very early on when Georgia Tech beat Georgia and in his column on Monday morning was only one sentence….”I don’t even want to talk about it.” The rest of the column was blank. Classic Grizzard.

Biggus Canis

December 13th, 2011
9:24 am

Lewis was a guest speaker for my Journalism 101 class at UGA in the 80’s. He spoke for an hour and then answered questions for another hour. He then shook the hand of every student that wanted to come down to the podium. Can you imagine how many would want their picture taken with him using their smart/i phone? Boy times sure have changed. Grizzard….a dang good DAWG!

JD Harris

December 13th, 2011
9:53 am

Loved Lewis Grizzard, I met him when he came to Gastonia, NC in 1987. I had every book he had written, and he stood there and autographed every single one for me. Miss him terribly. Reading him on an e-book, though….hmmmm. Like listening to a live concert thru an iPod.

Roman Runaway

December 13th, 2011
10:05 am

Lewis died on my 24th birthday. When I think of Lewis, I think of my grandfather and my dad. My grandfather was a news editor, and my dad a radio announcer. I wound up being a radio newscaster. The first 6 years of my career I would read Lewis religiously. His books are a treasure, as were his collums and monologues.
Speaking of computers in the newsroom, my grandfather actually made the transition, but prior to that used a 1940 Remington Rand Typewriter instead of the modern electrics of the day. I love the fact that Lewis stayed on the keys. He was a treasure that went way before his time. God Bless Lewis Grizzard. Lord only knows what’s going on now that Ludlow has joined him….

Bill

December 13th, 2011
10:18 am

Thanks for the walk down memory lane Jenn.Even as a Florida Grad I still have his books.They are a treasure.

As said many times here he could be outrageously funny but also poignant.I remember his rage in a column he wrote after a woman was shot downtown near the ajc office.

I would love to read what he would say about Atlanta and the world today.

Greg

December 13th, 2011
10:37 am

Bill,

I remember that exact same column, too. It taught me something about good, powerful, emotional writing. I’ll never forget the last sentence in that column. It read, “God help us all. Especially the children.”

Jon

December 13th, 2011
10:39 am

Lewis Fans have a chance to hear his words again live in a “Tribute to Lewis Grizzard” performed by Bill Oberst, Jr. at ART Station in Stone Mountain Village on January 20 – 22, 2012. Bill worked with Lewis’ widow Dedra to create this wonderful remembrance with stand-up, columns and book material performed by a man who looks and sounds like the real thing. Call ART Station 770-469-1105 for more details or http://www.artstation.org.