Derek Osborn

Derek Osborn

Executive Director at PRIDE of Tuscaloosa, the only  non-profit agency in the Tuscaloosa area that informs and educates the parents, students, and community about the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs.

Typically, when you come to my column, it’s to read my poor attempts at humor and maybe momentarily escape reality. For this one, we get a little more serious. 

As a general rule, I sidestep political remark as much as humanly possible. In this bizarre day and age in which we live, tolerance of others’ beliefs and values seems to be almost non-existent. Everyone seems to have an agenda, while almost no one seems to be willing to listen to dissenting opinion with an open mind. And that is a long-term recipe for disaster. 

Land of Oz: Solving first-world problems, one monthly 500-word op-ed at a time.  

First of all, where in the heck did summer go? Never mind… we discussed it last year. 

If you’ve got kids in local schools, then most likely, your most recent store list size has increased exponentially. And it probably includes a lot of odd items such as, but not limited to:

Google it. I couldn't find another one. 

I recently acquired a new “Tuscaloosa: The One and Only” t-shirt from Mrs. Oz and proudly represented my hometown, donning it on a recent weekend excursion to the Gulf. 

If you are unaware, the “One and Only” campaign is a product of Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports. And it’s a good one, both in a literal sense and as an overall description of what makes Tuscaloosa a great “one of a kind” location to visit (much to the chagrin of Sally Field). 

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (actually, it was just down the road), there lived a little boy who thought the world, and the people that inhabited it, had its proverbial (expletive) together.  

 There are countless variables in the success of a non-profit in the world in which we live. Two of the most vital are funding and volunteers. One requires the gift of money. The other requires the gift of time. Both are crucial, and for some non-profits, the volunteer is even more important.   

One of the most rewarding volunteer opportunities I have every year is to volunteer for Junior Achievement. And if you don't know what they do, you should.  

Seriously, “spring fever” sounds like an illness contracted during allergy season. Or an unreleased Bee Gees tune.  

The first time I ever heard the term, I thought people were crazy. Does this refer to the time of year when we should all be compelled to load up and go to the disco? Will Travolta be there wearing a suit covered in tulips and daisies? Do you even have a clue what I’m referring to? If not, congratulations. It means you are young. 

In a country full of divide based on gender, color, political affiliation, equal rights, religious views and differing opinions, there is still one place in America where none of it matters, so long as you have money to spend or your credit card is not maxed. I submit to you that the unlikeliest of locales of which I speak sits in the middle of a desert in Nevada. 

Welcome to Las Vegas, where what happens no longer stays there, but is blasted across social media platforms worldwide. 

2016 was kind of a dumpster fire, wasn't it? 

Let’s think about it a minute, and then expeditiously move on.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Time to hang the stockings, nail up the lights, fall off a ladder, attempt to build snowman in 70-degree weather, check-off your gift list, and sing along to Christmas carols you’ve been listening to since you were a kid.   

I intentionally shy away from political discourse for reasons that likely need no explanation. Uncle Jim knows exactly what unethical practices (candidate name redacted) will do if they are elected and Aunt June knows the diabolical plan of (candidate name redacted) if they end up in the Oval Office. Sometimes they agree. Sometimes Uncle Jim sleeps in the barn.  

Everyone has their opinion. And mine is no better than yours. 

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

Most Popular