Nineteen and Georgia

It’s not what you think…it’s not about being 19 years old and a student at UGA.

“Nineteen” it’s about what happens every 19 minutes in the USA, and the majority of the incidents don’t receive national press as the recent event in the news has. It is a tragic set of statistics  caused by a prescription medication epidemic that is enmeshed in addiction, denial, dishonesty, and codependency. The fact that only 10 percent of the 23,000,000 estimated addicts in the USA receive treatment says it all.

We live in the most prosperous nation in the world, with unlimited resources and freedoms. I ask you: why are deaths caused by accidental overdose of prescription meds at an all time high? Have we lived by the mantra “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t see, don’t face reality” far too long? Have we made too many excuses for one another? Is our dishonesty about who we are and why we do what we do catching up with us?

Talk to me.

On Georgia: It was one of the song choices for American Idol contestants last night (yes, I watch that, too – and, your point is?). Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell wrote it in 1930 and neither were from Georgia. Carmichael’s sister was named “Georgia.”

However, it was Georgia-born Ray Charles who gave the song immortality, and it was Ray Charles who always sang it as if he were crossing back over the state line after a long absence. For me, the song represents coming home, being centered, connecting…those things that are so precious when we have strayed.

‘Tis true our fair state is not perfect, but to all the critics I say: “Who cares what you think? We got Ray Charles on our side, and if you don’t like it here, move.”

About Pam Avery Printed

I graduated from the University of Georgia in 1972 with a major in journalism (public relations) and a minor in business (marketing). My experience for the last 40 years includes working in the corporate world (banking), the newspaper industry (advertising design and sales), owning and selling a restaurant, restoring and utilizing several old buildings on the property, teaching private dance and drama lessons for 20 years, free-lance writing for a national textile firm, publishing two children’s books, and ghost writing a book. My last tour of duty before beginning the current chapter was working as a reporter, photographer, and columnist for five weekly community newspapers. And now I teach...media writing at Columbus State University in Columbus Ga. I consider myself very fortunate--I get to be around intelligent, energetic and enthusiastic young people. What a joy. I believe the written word is one of the most powerful tools known to humankind. And now we have the ability to reach millions with a simple click of the mouse. Wow.
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