Saturday, February 14, 2015

‘Broken Together’ … finding hope and inspiration on Valentine’s Day

By Kathy Walton Lafon
Guest Post
Broken Together: As I was delivering singing Valentines yesterday, I was traveling in Augusta County and flipping through radio stations. This song came on and as I listened, I decided I needed to pull off on the country road and really listen. I did … then I had a good cry, blew my nose, and went back to singing love songs.... (read more at

Friday, February 13, 2015

George W. Bush: 'Evil is real'

George W. Bush 34 
By Lynn R. Mitchell
"Evil is real. There is no light grey. Murdering innocent people to move a political point of view has been, is, and always will be evil." -George W. Bush (2015)

Former President George W. Bush had a heaping helping of his usual optimistic leadership advice for an audience earlier this week at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor as part of the McLane Lecture series (see Former President George W. Bush visits Central Texas). But he was also a realist about terrorism that continues in today's world.

Tim Tebow hosts 'Night to Shine' Valentine proms tonight for special needs students

Tim Tebow 
By Lynn R. Mitchell

"Night to Shine." Worldwide. 15,000 volunteers. Countless smiles. Overflowing love. Tonight.

Tim Tebow is an impressive young man. Besides his athletic skills on a football field, he has a heart of gold and has proven it throughout the years. As his income has grown, he has shared and given back in many ways, some of which I have written about in the past (see Tim Tebow: Christian, role model, athlete and Tim Tebow Foundation helping Philippines victims and Mother's Day 2012 ... Tim Tebow and his mom). Valentine 2

This Valentine's Day he will once again help others with "Night to Shine" proms (see Tim Tebow's Valentine's game plan: Special needs proms throughout nation):
On Feb. 13, a parade of special guests, each with an entourage and some requiring special accommodations, will appear at the non-denominational church for a night Fasano vows they will never forget. The church is one of dozens across the country taking part in “Night to Shine,” a prom-style evening of dining and dancing for special needs teenagers organized by the foundation of former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow. The same scenario is playing out at 49 other churches in 26 states as well as Amazing Grace International Ministries, in Nairobi, Kenya, and Ekisa Ministries, in Jinja, Uganda.
Tebow, 27, a devout Christian who quarterbacked the Florida Gators to two national championships and won the Heisman Trophy before a brief NFL career, said the special night will honor teens who struggle with a variety of disabilities.

Hitting the ‘Back Roads’ with Bob Brown and Bill Lohmann

 By Lynn R. Mitchell

 Book Back Roads

I have been wanting a copy of "Back Roads: People, Places and Pie Around Virginia" featuring photos by Bob Brown and narrative by Bill Lohmann, both with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, so for my birthday my step-dad presented a copy with the inscription, "Happy birthday to our ultimate 'back road' traveler."

Bill Lohmann dedicated one of his RTD columns to this work of art from these two friends, writing remembrances in his comfortable story-telling style that has made him a favorite for years (see Lohmann: Bob Brown still focused on work and fun):
It doesn't amaze me so much when we're driving down a winding back road in the hinterlands of Virginia that I can't even find on a map and Bob Brown matter-of-factly says that just around the next bend, there's a terrific little diner that serves the best breakfast (and outstanding pie at lunch). Or just over that hill coming up, on the right, next to a giant oak and across from a swinging bridge, there's a pawn shop where he once found a great deal on a really old pocketknife. Bought it for $10 and later traded it for a small Harley. Or something like that.
No, what amazes me is when we walk into these places and people know him. ... Brown and I have been gallivanting around the countryside - when we can get away with it - since I arrived at The News Leader 25 years ago. I like to tell people we discovered early on that we were a good match because we shared the same ambition: to stay out of the office as much as possible.
The visual imagery of Brown and the verbal imagery of Lohmann. It doesn't get much better than that. I actually talked with Bob Brown about this book -- I believe it was when we were at the U.S. Senate debate at the Greenbriar in July 2014 -- and how much I have always enjoyed his photos from around the Commonwealth. It is a delight to now have "Back Roads" to read and linger over the words and pictures. Now if I can catch up with these two and have them sign it....

Crossposted at

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Eric Cantor, Jeb Bush to host fundraiser in RVA

By Lynn R. Mitchell

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) will benefit from a fundraiser being hosted by former Majority Leader Eric Cantor and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush later this month at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. The long-time friends will team up for the February 16th event that was first mentioned by Cantor at an event in January (see Virginia Republicans look to the future).

Cross-posted at