11 months ago

Home of the throwed roll

Foley, Alabama—I’m sitting in Lambert’s restaurant. This is the “home of throwed rolls.” Servers stroll the dining rooms, tossing yeast rolls at customers like four-seam fastballs.

A waiter lobs one at me. It hits me square in the teeth. He laughs. So does my wife.

It leaves a mark.

Our waitress brings our plates. Chicken-fried steak, collards, fried potatoes. She wishes me a happy New Year’s and asks, “Have you had a good twenty-sixteen?”

You bet your suspenders I have.

While I haven’t done anything noteworthy this year, I did get rid of our rusted 1974 mobile home. That was a biggie.

It got hauled to the county dump by a team of highly specialized ambulatory demolition experts with names like, Delmar, and—I’m not making this up—Willie Joe Mavis.

When the lovable single-wide left our property, it bore a yellow banner, reading, “oversized load.”

Willie played “Taps” on the bugle.

Another 2016 highpoint: I kept a New Year’s resolution. A little over three hundred days ago, I resolved before King and country to go fishing every weekday at 2 P.M.—even if only for ten minutes—and if need be, to include beer.

It wasn’t always easy, but the Lord provides.

The truth is, this has been the best year of my life. And I’m not just saying that.

Let me tell you about Randy.

We grew up together. He was a kindhearted soul who raised four kids on a millworker’s salary. He and his wife were salt-of-the earth folks. They ate healthy, abstained from alcohol, sodas, sugar, and barbecue.

He was raised as a foot-washing Baptist and could quote the Old Testament backwards—eyes shut.

I once watched Randy get caught in a fistfight outside a beer-joint. Randy wasn’t drinking. He refused to throw a punch and he got beat to a pulp. His soft-spokeness was something to see.

Randy died this year. Doctors never saw it coming. Nobody did. His wife stood on their porch watching an ambulance escort the body of a forty-two-year-old to the county morgue.


It rattled me. What’s my point?

This: tonight I watched a sunset in a peanut field. Beside me was a woman who once promised she’d grow old with me. She hooked her arm around mine and said, “I’m cold, honey.”

So we went to Lambert’s.

I’m no fool. I know that nothing lasts forever. One day, she or I will give up breathing, and the other will give up smiling. One day, there will be no peanut fields, no arm-hooking, and no yeast rolls.

Don’t let anyone tell you the best is yet to come. We’re alive.

It’s already here.

Sean Dietrich is a columnist, and novelist, known for his commentary on life in the American South. His columns have appeared in The Birmingham News, The Tallahassee Democrat, South Magazine, the Bitter Southerner, Thom Magazine, Mobile Bay Magazine, and he has authored five books.
You can read more of his work on his website here.

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13 hours ago

Alabama wins private property rights case against Obama-era regulations

In a victory for private property rights this week, the federal government agreed to reconsider rules adopted during the Obama-era that unreasonably restrict the freedom of Americans to use their land.

“We are encouraged that the Trump administration has agreed to revisit these rules, which threaten property owners’ rights to use any land that the federal government could dream that an endangered species might ever inhabit,” Alabama Attorney General Marshall said in a statement.

Why this matters: Under these rules, unelected federal bureaucrats could designate a piece of private property as “critical habitat” for an endangered species even if the land doesn’t contain that particular species and, moreover, doesn’t even contain some of the features needed to support that species. Use of the land would then be severely limited. 


The details:

— The state filed a lawsuit, Alabama v. National Marine Fisheries Service, in November of 2016 challenging the rules, calling them “an unlawful federal overreach.”

— Nearly 20 other states joined the lawsuit, along with four large trade associations.

— The settlement forces federal agencies to submit revised rules for public review within 60 days and retains our freedom to file another lawsuit if their new rules are as excessive as the old ones.

@jpepperbryars is the editor of Yellowhammer News and the author of American Warfighter

13 hours ago

Jeff Sessions is right to sue California for ignoring federal immigration laws

America may be a country of immigrants, but it’s also a country of laws. No one is exempt from those laws regardless of what some local officials in sanctuary cities may think.

As you may have seen on the news recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced a lawsuit against the State of California for failure to completely cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officers.  I stand with AG Sessions’ decision.

From the mayors and local politicians disregarding federal immigration law to the illegal immigrants they are prioritizing over American citizens, it’s about time we hold these lawless individuals accountable.


The “leaders” in these cities are violating their oath of office and the Constitution.  They should be immediately removed from their positions and the illegal immigrants they are protecting should be deported. Period.

I agree with President Trump that we need to strengthen our borders.  We should build the wall and we should continue to support law enforcement’s crackdown on violent foreign gangs like MS-13.

These efforts mean nothing though if illegal immigrants and criminals can continue to seek refuge in some of our country’s largest cities.

It boils down to fairness, safety and what it means to be a sovereign nation.

A country without borders is hardly a country at all. I’m fed up with seeing the tax dollars from hard-working families across East Alabama go to cities who snub their nose at the very ideals that make America great.  Congress should withhold funding from sanctuary cities that refuse to uphold federal law.

President Trump has proven his tough stance on illegal immigration is much more than just campaign rhetoric. He has already done so much to curtail our illegal immigration crisis but he can’t do it alone.

Elected officials – from the state and local level to Members of Congress – must do their part.

And if they refuse, then they aren’t fit for public service.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers is a Republican from Saks.

(Image:U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Flickr)

14 hours ago

WATCH: Cam Newton’s leadership message resonates with Boy Scouts

When Cam Newton speaks, people listen.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback had the full attention of the audience at the 11th annual American Values Luncheon.

Boy Scouts were among attendees that filled the meeting room at the North Exhibition Hall of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.


Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn joined Newton during a question and answer session. Famous for leading the Auburn Tigers to the 2010 National Championship under Malzahn’s leadership, Newton’s talk followed in the tradition of several other football greats, including Nick Saban, Shaquille O’Neal and Bo Jackson.

Dr. James Andrews, Dr. Jesse Lewis Sr. and Jimmy Rane were honored at the luncheon for their contributions to the community.

Newton shared his life experiences and lessons learned.

(Courtesy Alabama News Center)

15 hours ago

Celtic Pride! Joel Blankenship shares his Irish roots with The Ford Faction

Joel Blankenship makes his weekly return to The Ford Faction to talk the St. Patrick’s Day parade held in Birmingham and what the holiday means to him.  Joel mentions the law that can be passed to put Police K9’s in schools to help sniff out guns or drugs.  He provides feedback on what this could mean for schools and how it will benefit the need for police K9’s.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Presents The Ford Faction podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

16 hours ago

VIDEO: Alabama Rep. Roby thanks Air Force secretary for decision to bring F-35s to Montgomery

U.S. Representative Martha Roby participated in a defense appropriations subcommittee hearing this week where she expressed her appreciation to Secretary Heather Wilson for the Air Force’s decision to base F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at Dannelly Field in Montgomery.

Roby also discussed other military-related programs in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, including helicopter training at Fort Rucker near Enterprise and the professional education programs at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery.

(Image: Representative Martha Roby/YouTube)