Terry, Kip, tornadoes & Trump


By Gary Abernathy - gabernathy@civitasmedia.com



A little of this and that today…

Remembering Terry Roush

Terry Roush, a beloved teacher, friend and great Christian example to all who knew him, died last week at the young age of 70.

Everyone who knew Terry was aware of serious health issues he had been battling for quite a while. Still, news of his passing was heartbreaking. Last I heard, more than 1,300 had come to pay their respects at a visitation service Friday evening at the Danville Church of Christ.

Terry was a young teacher at Lynchburg-Clay when I attended there. He and his wife, Gloria, were favorites of everyone who was fortunate to know them. I fondly recall hayrides at their farm that they would host for students. When you ran into him through the years, you were excited to talk with him and catch up. He always had a positive attitude, a caring heart, and a great sense of humor.

Terry was also one of the best Christian examples I have known. You knew Terry was a Christian not because he told you so, but because you watched how he lived his life.

Condolences to Gloria and their children, Becky, J.R. and Troy, and all his other family members. We were all blessed to know Terry. Thanks for sharing him with us.

Catching up with Kip

I enjoyed talking with Kip Young for a story last week. Kip graduated from Whiteoak a couple of years before Lynchburg-Clay let me out, but his exploits as a baseball player were already legendary. Everyone in the region was proud of Kip’s accomplishments, and we all followed him closely when he pitched for the Detroit Tigers.

I played men’s league basketball against Kip back in the day shortly after he quit baseball, and he was also an outstanding basketball player, with an amazing leaping ability for a guy 5’11. He could easily dunk, which I envied, and had a good jump shot.

Last week we spoke for probably an hour or so, and I loved hearing more of his stories from Big League and minor league baseball, only a couple of which ended up in the article. Every so often he would start to tell a story and say, “Well, you’re probably not interested in that.” I would assure him that I was, personally, even if not for the story, and he would tell another story. It was great catching up.

Incidentally, since that story appeared I’ve heard from online readers in far flung places who were Detroit Tigers fans and who well remember the excitement over Kip’s early success with the Tigers in 1978. He left a big impression on the fans.

Tornado coverage

Big thanks to Jim Lyle, director of the Highland County Emergency Management Agency, for his accessibility and for providing information in the immediate aftermath of last Wednesday’s tornadoes.

Jim spent the rest of the week on the road all around the county, working with other officials to determine the extent of the damage, but he always took time to take my calls or call me back very soon. He also took pictures from around the county and shared them with us, also much appreciated.

It’s somewhat amusing to have to wait for an official determination as to whether a storm event like that represented a tornado or just high winds. Local residents had no doubt they were hit with a tornado.

“Trust me, it was a tornado,” one eyewitness assured us from one of the areas where one of the three tornadoes hit. Eventually, the National Weather Service agreed.

Good for the goose

Finally, with the manufactured hullabaloo over the Trump-Russia issue and the subject of Russia’s interference in U.S. elections, I came across an interesting tidbit about U.S. ambassadors.

On the United States diplomacy section of the U.S. State Department website, one of the roles of a public diplomacy officer stationed in a foreign country is described as follows: “Build mutual understanding and support for U.S. policies by reaching directly to publics in foreign countries working with traditional and social media; websites; educational, cultural and sports programs; and all manner of people-to-people exchange.”

Hmmm. Again, “Build mutual understanding and support for U.S. policies by reaching directly to publics in foreign countries working with traditional social media, websites” etc.

In other words, bypass the government and try to influence the people directly. Could that be called trying to interfere in things like elections? And we’re outraged that the Russians may have tried to influence the U.S. presidential election? It’s what governments do in regard to other countries, and, in the case of the United States, we’re pretty open about the fact that we do it, too.

There’s no evidence that anyone connected to Trump helped the Russians do anything. But that won’t deter the media from creating smoke with no fire, even as they insert a kernel of truth in the middle of their hysterical stories.

For example, an online CNN story on Monday with the headline, “Trump and Russia: What the fallout could be,” included this paragraph buried in the middle of an otherwise salacious and damning recap of events: “Constitutional law experts say there will unlikely be legal ramifications over the Trump-Russia ties at this point. The fallout is far more likely to be political, and possibly within Trump’s own Republican Party.”

In other words, “We tried, but we can’t come up with anything illegal, so we’ll keep reporting it like it’s Watergate anyway, because if we keep doing that we can make the political fallout worse than the actual legal ramifications.”

Is Bernard Shaw still available? CNN could use him again.

Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or by email at gabernathy@civitasmedia.com.

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By Gary Abernathy

gabernathy@civitasmedia.com