A.C. Snow

Know your grammar to win this scholarship

A.C. Snow
A.C. Snow ehyman@newsobserver.com

Some faculty members at Montreat College in the mountains are resigning rather than signing a newly required covenant stating that they are anti-abortion and that they oppose same-sex marriage. Some observers think the restrictive policy is related to the recent gift of $100,000 from the Rev. Franklin Graham’s ministry.

It’s not unusual for scholarship gifts to carry certain provisos. But pitting faculty members’ religious freedom against their job security seems somewhat extreme.

My daughter and I have a modest scholarship at the UNC-CH School of Media and Journalism. The only stipulation attached requires that the recipient knows how to use correctly the verbs “to lie” and “to lay.”

Why does he do it?

I’m referring to our president and his unprovoked criticism of the Mayor of London’s comments aimed at comforting the citizenry after the terrorist attack at London Bridge.

Why does Mr. Trump court controversy for no good reason? He reminds me of a line from Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “Everything That Rises Must Converge.” Describing a woman sitting on a bus, she wrote, “Her face was set not only to meet opposition but to seek it out.”

The president’s criticism during a time of grief for Britain was not unlike someone announcing during a funeral service that he or she doesn’t like the color of the casket.

Hark the sound!

Thanks for your responses to my recent memorial column on the death of the governor’s dog, Chloe, and our Amazing Grace.

Recalling pet funerals reminded me of an anecdote related by a Chapel Hill mother.

Her young son came into the house for lunch after playing outside with friends.

Asked what he and his buddies had been doing, the boy explained that they found a dead bird and gave it a funeral.

Asked for details, he described how they had dug a grave and made a cross of sticks for a headstone marker. One of the friends had said some words of comfort over the deceased and then they had sung a hymn.

“And what did you sing?” his mom asked.

“We sang ‘We don’t give a damn for Duke University,’” the lad replied. “It was the only song we all knew.”

Family reunion

Family reunions, Southern style, are mixed blessings. We eat too much and probably talk too much. Ours, held recently in the foothills town of Yadkinville, was characterized by both excesses.

I couldn’t help being saddened by the dwindling size of the attendance. So many have passed on.

As I sat at a table observing the activity around me, I imagined that perhaps in Heaven my departed relatives also might be holding their own reunion.

And some angel might be asking St. Peter, “What’s going on over on Cloud Nine? It’s so noisy over there.”

And St. Pete might answer, “Oh, don’t worry. That’s the Snows having their family reunion. They’ve always tended to talk a lot, eat a lot and laugh a lot. I’ll ask them to tone it down a little.”

My reverie was interrupted by Ralph, a favorite relative who again reminded me that he’s 94 and has never taken a pill, except aspirins for occasional headaches.

As I lingered over the long table laden with desserts, I again missed my late sister Zetta’s popular strawberry cake.

Her cake was so delicious that some of us, as soon as the blessing was said, would head straight for it instead of serving our plates from the entree and vegetable table.

I always feel sorry for the little people at these events. There is so little to amuse them. But the few present managed by creating their own entertainment: chasing each other around the tables or just standing in one place and simply jumping up and down.

I gathered four or five around me at a couch in the corner and plied them with questions about school, hobbies, etc. I was especially amused by the comments of one little guy of about six years wearing a T-shirt reading, “Will trade little brother for tractor.”

My attention was rewarded by a pretty little girl who shyly “gifted me” with a beautiful seashell that she had brought to show off.

Time slipped away, along with the kinfolks kissing goodbye, lugging leftovers and promising optimistically “See you next year!”