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.

I don't know if I buy into New Year’s resolutions.  A couple of years ago, I wrote about how most them fail before January 30. In fact, 33 percent of resoluters (is that a word?) admit defeat just from failure to keep track of progress. And 23 percent forget about what they set out to alter in the first place. Approximately 88 percent fail in total. Sort of pointless, huh?

“Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?”Clark W. Griswold

If you are reading this, then most likely there is a reminder in your immediate vicinity that Christmas is coming. Soon.

Full disclosure: I struggled mightily with a topic of conversation for this months’ installment of the award-winning op-ed known as LoO. Okay, maybe not award-winning – but someday? 

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. 

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



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