Columnist looking for heaven after days of pure hell
by Dick Yarbrough
February 01, 2014 12:00 AM | 865 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dick Yarbrough
Dick Yarbrough
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After this past week, Hell has new meaning. I had been taught that if I didn’t get it right in this life, I would spend the next one being eternally charbroiled, complete with fire and brimstone.

We should be so lucky.

Like many of you, I found out that true hell was trying to get around Cobb County in a snowfall like the one that occurred Tuesday and that no one seems to have seen coming, including Gov. Nathan Deal, Cobb Commission Chair Tim Lee and one modest and much-beloved columnist, who claims to know everything.

Hell also is having to listen to your Rhode Island relatives chortle after watching us on national television become paralyzed by two inches of snow. Two inches of snow in Rhode Island is called the month of May. Next time I get to select my relatives, I will make sure they live in Key West.

On Tuesday morning, I was at Clay Oven restaurant on Powder Springs Street, a mile or so off the Square, painting my little heart out in an art studio affixed to the restaurant. That is where my instructor, friend and paint-mixing guru, Kristopher Meadows, conducts his weekly art classes. Some of you know where it is because you come by for lunch and marvel at how one person can get more paint on himself than on his canvas.

I am working on a portrait of my friend and media colleague, the late Dick Pettys, who covered state government for the Associated Press during his distinguished career. Members of the Legislature, including House Speaker David Ralston, had such respect for Pettys that they decided to commission his portrait to hang in the press offices at the State Capitol. I was given the honor of painting the portrait. Perhaps they thought if I was preoccupied with painting, I wouldn’t have time to share with them my highly-valued advice on how to run the state. They thought wrong.

I stayed on high alert Tuesday, peeking out the window on a regular basis to check conditions. Somehow, between peeks Powder Springs Street suddenly became covered in snow and automobiles going nowhere. Adios, portrait. Hello, reality. It’s Snow Time!

In retrospect, my ordeal had a relatively happy ending. The normal 20-minute trip home took only a couple of hours. Had I waited another 30 minutes to leave, I might be writing this epistle sitting on the side of Atlanta Road.

It was not the county’s finest hour and I hope my colleagues at the MDJ will dig further into what went wrong and why. For starters, Cobb School Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa owes us an explanation on why he went home mid-afternoon in the middle of the crisis. Good leaders don’t go home in the middle of a crisis. They need to be seen and to lead by example. Perception is reality and the perception is that Hinojosa left teachers, students, parents and support staff to fend for themselves while he sat at home. I assume he has a good explanation. Otherwise, this episode is going to stick to him like white on rice.

OK, enough talk about hell. The sun is shining, the snow has melted and, hopefully, life will get back to what passes for normal in Cobb County.

Let’s talk about heaven.

Next Friday, Feb. 7, the aforementioned Kristopher Meadows will show us once again that he can paint as well as teach. He, along with artist Holly Irwin, will feature their paintings at dk Gallery, on the Square. It is the gallery’s annual Valentine’s Day salute to the “Romance of the Figure and Nude.”

I asked Kris Meadows about the show and the theme. He said, “I am always surprised when people say ‘How can you paint nudes?’ I tell them this is the way we come into the world. The human body is one of God’s great creations. It is God’s artwork. I ask them, ‘Are you telling me that God’s artwork is somehow shameful? I find that kind of ironic.’” Amen.

“Romance of the Figure and Nude” will run from 6 to 9 p.m. at dk Gallery. I hope you will drop by and say hello to Ms. Irwin and Mr. Meadows and to two of my favorite people, gallery owner Donna Krueger and her colleague, Mary Koronkowski. Be sure and congratulate Kris Meadows on having the patience to teach a guy like me to paint a lick or two. I submit it would be easier for Jack Nicklaus to teach Gomer Pyle how to hit a golf ball.

Friday’s soiree on the Square should make for a heavenly evening. I hope so. We’ve had enough pure hell to hold us for a while.

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.
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