As 50 looms, there are still a few surprises

From grits to UGA football to the Atlanta Opera, legendary humorist and columnist Lewis Grizzard wrote about it all. On Nov. 7, 2019, Grizzard, one of Atlanta’s most beloved columnists, will be inducted into the Atlanta Press Club Hall of Fame.

As a special gift to readers, we’re sharing some of Grizzard’s most memorable columns, published many years ago on the pages of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. We hope you enjoy Grizzard’s work — whether you’ve savored them before or are just reading them for the first time.

Check out the Nov. 10 print edition of the AJC for a special section collecting these columns; you can also view the section online in the AJC ePaper on Nov. 10.

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Once you begin staring at the half-century mark as I am, you figure it rather unlikely there are any completely new experiences left.

I’d already been to Paris and the Texas State Fair, and I played golf with Arnold Palmer once.


Her mother and I have been keeping company, and when it was Daddy Day at her pre-school, Jordan picked me to go with her.

Jordan is 3 and she has blond hair and she wore a pretty white dress and had a yellow ribbon in her hair.

We had a difficult time finding her school. Every time I would turn, following her mother’s directions, Jordan would scream, “No, no, you are going the wrong way!” Here I was, a grown man trying to locate a school in rush hour traffic with what turned out to be a terrible set of directions and a 3-year-old screaming, “You’re going the wrong way!” Women.

We found the school, however, and there I stood with 15 other pre- schoolers and their daddies.

The first thing we did is paint with a golf ball. I know it doesn’t sound possible, but it is. What you do is take a golf ball, dip it into some green paint and then dip it into some blue paint.

Then you put the golf ball on a piece of paper in a box. You put a lid on the box, and then you shake the box and make the ball roll around inside it.

The result is a piece of paper with a lot of green and blue lines and splotches on it.

I gave Jordan the Grizzard Golf Ball Blot Test. “What does this look like to you?” I asked her, holding the piece of paper in front of her.

She pondered for a moment and then said, “Catfish.”

Catfish is my dog, the black Lab. Jordan likes to pull his tail. He likes to hide from Jordan.

Actually, the green and blue lines and splotches didn’t look like Catfish at all. They looked like the USA Today weather map gone berserk.

Or like a blue-and-green Edsel. What do I know about golf-ball painting? After that, we went to the music room. The daddies had to sit down on a rug with their children.

Each child was given a felt outline of a different farm animal. When that animal was called by the music teacher, the child with that animal went to a board and stuck his or her animal on it, and then we all made the sound that particular animal makes.

It had been a long time since I sat on a rug and did animal sounds.

I oinked like a pig, barked like a dog, baaa-ed like a lamb, whinnied like a horse, meowed like a kitten and mooed when Jordan went to the board with her cow.

I was a little disappointed they didn’t have a donkey, because I do a dynamite donkey. A college roommate of mine, George Cobb, who was in West Virginia the last time I heard of him, taught me.

You whistle through your front two teeth and then go “Ha wwnk!” Well, it was fun in college when you’d had a few beers.

I made a note to teach Jordan how to do a donkey in case they get one at her school.

The last thing that happened was the children sang a song and when they got to, “I love you,” they were supposed to point to their daddies.

Jordan pointed to me.

It was, in fact, a completely new experience, and it was also the first time, I was thinking, a female had ever asked me out.

As the daddies were leaving, all the children gave their hug. Jordan put her arms around me, and I think she really enjoyed having me there.

I may have missed something in my first 45 years. I really may have missed something.

March 27, 1992

» Check out some other memorable Grizzard columns