Dick Yarbrough: In the Dog House
by Dick Yarbrough
August 16, 2009 01:00 AM | 1176 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dick Yarbrough
Dick Yarbrough
Last week, I made some observations in this space about media reports of men soliciting illicit sex from other men in Wildwood and Burruss Parks in Marietta. My comments got some people upset and they let me know about it. Ironically, the intended target of my barbs, the Marietta City Council was not among that group.

What raised my ire were statements by a couple of the members of the council that they had been aware of the situation in these two parks for a long time; by one account, as much as 20 years. That's 240 months. 87,600 days. And more hours than my abacus can handle. My point was the city has had more than enough time to deal with the problem. Now, all of a sudden with a bond referendum looming, the council has gotten serious about cleaning up these parks.

I also noted that Councilman Van Pearlberg had suggested banning dogs in the public parks and I opined that maybe the dogs could be trained to bite the illicit lovers "in the fanny and chase them back to Atlanta where they belong." That earned me a bunch of indignant letters from gays, and rightfully so.

Truth is I made a bad joke about siccing dogs on people. That brings up images of a former time in the South that I don't like to recall and it was inappropriate. Like David Letterman said about the controversial shot he took at Sarah Palin's daughter, if you have to explain it afterward, it wasn't very funny to start with. And frankly I don't blame people - gay or otherwise - for thinking that was over the top.

What makes all of this ironic is that back in 1996, I was vilified by a whole lot of people around the country for my high profile role on behalf of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games in moving a preliminary volleyball event from Cobb County because of what I perceived to be an anti-gay resolution that had been adopted by the County Commission. Remember Gordon Wysong? Remember Jon Ivan Weaver?

I said at that time that there was no place for discrimination in the Olympics, or anywhere else for that matter. Including Cobb County. I was considered an ignoramus by the anti-gay groups back then and here I am 13 years later with the shoe on the other foot. Now I'm considered an ignoramus by the other side.

But as long as I am on the subject, let me make this point as clear as I can. I don't give a flying fig what people do in the privacy of their own home or who with or why. They can fry water, for all I care.

But don't try to justify soliciting illicit sex in public parks as some form of discrimination. The reason it is called "illicit" is because it is (duh!) illegal. And all the righteous indignation in the world isn't going to change that. No more than having to endure a bunch of ladies of the night trolling Glover Park. My objection is to anybody having sex in a public park, regardless of whether they are gay, straight or whatever. Got it?

By the way, I have already heard from Sheila the Family Wonderdog, who told me in no uncertain terms that she and her friends don't have a - well, you know - in that fight and I need to calibrate more carefully in the future or she would run me up a tree.


ON ANOTHER SUBJECT, the 23rd Annual Swordsman's Ball, sponsored by WellStar Health System and Lockheed Martin, will take place at the Cobb Galleria Centre Aug. 22. The cocktail reception is at 6:30 pm and dinner at 7:30 pm. As always, it will be a festive affair.

This year's theme is "Turning the Tide Against Cancer." As a cancer survivor, I'm all for that and I will be participating in the Silent Auction. I will host four people for lunch or dinner on my dime at Shillings on the Square. Nothing fancy, just my way of saying "thank you" to all of those who have joined the fight against cancer. And just so you know, you won't be getting broccoli. I hate broccoli - and that's no joke.

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net, P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139, or Web site: www.dickyarbrough.com.
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