Lee St. John's Blog

February 17, 2019

If Men Wrote Candy Hearts

Necco’s candy hearts will not be sold in 2019 but according to Fortune Magazine, the company that took over the rights confirmed they’d return in 2020. Maybe they are looking for a few good men to expand the conversation starters. For instance:

You’ll Do
You Can Die 1st
Adore Me
Rub My Swollen Feet
Let’s Talk Never
Shhh. Football Is On.
Wink, Wink
Lover Boy
U Sound Like UR Mother

Or maybe they are searching for some creative women to answer back. Women always have a comeback, you know.

Too Hot (Crank The A.C.)
R Those Your Toenails?
Not Tonight
R U Listening?
Pick Up UR Socks
U Snore
Oh, And Another Thing
Girl Power
You’ve Got The 2AM Feeding

Am I right?

My hubby and I are opposites. And you know what they say: opposites attract. I married him because he knows math. He’s an accountant. I only went as high as Algebra. I never took Trig. I don’t think I even took a math course in college. And I needed someone to balance my checkbook for me.

For our first Valentine’s Day, the divide was tremendous. Usually a new bride likes girlie objects of devotion – perfume, flowers, candy, showers of affection, etc. An accountant isn’t accustomed to thinking like that. “Let’s be practical,” he’d say. He also uses words like “disposable income”, “expenses” (whether it’s fixed, variable, accrued, or operation), “net income”, “spreadsheet”, “return on investment”, “1031 Tax Free Exchange”, and such in every day jargon. And I do mean every day.

After 35 years of marriage, the accountant has softened and I have become another person. Hubby tends to let go of his money a little easier. I tend to shop more for bargains and deals – or I might even DIY…on the cheap. We have crossed over the divide…in some ways.

Cut flowers for Valentine? Nah. I’ll take a living plant to place in my yard or house to enjoy over and over. Chocolates ? Nope. Just learned I am diabetic. Beautiful jewelry? I’d rather have my windows washed and let them sparkle. I have become the practical one when receiving presents.

If you are married to an accountant you know what I am talking about:

They might not be romantic gifts like candle-lit dinners, but you can expect gifts that should yield income.

You don’t have to worry about the budgets, income, and expenses of your family. They will take care of it.

They are pretty good at forecasting.

They know the importance of money and won’t overspend and prevent you from wasting it.

You will be lucky if your spouse let’s you use a credit card. I have one but we pay it off every month. Not going to give away hard-earned money in “interest”.

They like the term “cash inflows” or any kind of income generating term and they love to invest.

Accountants know how compound interest works and have invested at a very early age.
You don’t have to hire a person to do your taxes.

They are ethical and abide standards throughout their career. They don’t break rules in real life, too.

They are trustworthy. Without any fear you can tell your secrets.

So, this is my love note to you, Hubby. Although I sometimes am really cranky about how tight you are with money, thank you for having taken care of me and our family the way you do.

And I’ll just take some of those candy hearts this year. Oh, they don’t make them any longer? Brach’s continues to sell THE. EXACT. SAME. THING.


from: http://fayette-news.net/if-men-wrote-...
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Published on February 17, 2019 10:19 Tags: amazon-books-e-books, author, essay-newspaper, hearts, humor, leestjohn-shesakeeper-candy, love, valentine

July 1, 2018

Spilling The Beans FB LIVE!

Beginning Monday, April 30th and continuing every Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on WQEE 99.1 FM radio, you are invited to: Spilling The Beans Book Club hosted by me.

Please join us. We are LIVE on the radio and on FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/leestjohnauthor

Lee St. John, author, comedienne, stand-up comic, humorist, columnist, international guest speaker, former English teacher, and all-around swell Southern Belle is hosting a new show called

SPILLING THE BEANS BOOK CLUB. https://www.facebook.com/leestjohnauthor

The premise is: invite guests to stop by, have a cup of coffee with Lee while mentioning their favorite book from school (elementary, middle, high, or college) and also telling Lee and her listeners what genre you especially like to read and what you’re currently reading now.

It’s that simple…

We hope to provide listeners (and future guests) – students of all ages, book clubs, teachers, library associates, general readers, business leaders, shut-ins, etc. – not only the opportunity to learn what others are reading but also to help decide what book to read next. Like a movie trailer that would entice someone to want to see that particular movie, this radio book club hopefully will entice someone to hear about a particular book and want read it.

Lee St. John premieres April 30th at 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

We are LIVE on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/leestjohnauthor
and encore performance on FB after live show.

And this is your invitation!


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Published on July 01, 2018 14:32 Tags: book-club, books, live-facebook, podcast, radio, reading

April 22, 2018

The Purloined Letter

The Purloined Letter?
from The Newnan Times-Herald

I saw “Murder on the Orient Express” recently. This 2017 mystery/drama/comedy, adapted from Agatha Christie’s book of the same title, has been produced many times. So many that Christie’s world-renowned detective, Hercule Poirot, has been played by 21 actors, some of whom you might recognize over the decades: Charles Laughton, Orson Welles, Jose Ferrer, Tony Randall, Albert Finney, Peter Ustinov, Ian Holm, John Moffatt, Alfred Molina, and this year, Kenneth Branaugh.

The film is in the fourth adaptation of her novel and the storyline reveals that this acclaimed detective seeks to solve a murder on the famous European train in the 1930’s. Poirot is a Belgian former police officer, now a private investigator. Christie’s inspiration of his creation was the stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In An Autobiography, Christie states, "I was still writing in the Sherlock Holmes tradition – eccentric detective, stooge assistant, with an Inspector-Lestrade-type Scotland Yard detective…” For his part, Conan Doyle acknowledged basing his detective stories on the model of Edgar Allan Poe's sleuth.

Poe’s "The Purloined Letter" is an American short story and the third of his three detective stories featuring the fictional C. Auguste Dupin. These stories of 1844 are considered to be important early forerunners of the modern detective story. Do you like mysteries? I do, and my mother needed a private-eye to figure out a letter she received from my father during WWII. Let’s see if you can solve her dilemma.

Here are the facts:
1. Woman (my mother) is in her small town working as a teacher. Her husband (my father) is in the Navy on a destroyer outside of Italy during WWII.
2. Only form of communication between them is letter writing.
3. Mail is not fast communication.
4. They write letters religiously back and forth.
5. My father could not relay information in his letters about his naval activities or his locations because of the tempestuous war situation.
6. The war office read the outgoing letters being sent back home to the United States to make sure the correspondence mailed from the young service men did not carry any information in them which could be intercepted and used against our country in the war if intercepted by the enemy.
7. There was a saying at that time, “Loose lips sink ships.”
8. Mother received a letter from Father that started in the normal way, “Dear Darling,”
9. The entire body/middle part of the letter was totally cut out.
10. The letter was signed, “Your Loving Husband”.
11. In other words, Mother received a mailed document with an empty-rectangle-shaped cut-out in the middle.
12. Mother asked herself, “What did he say? Did he write secrets that should not have been revealed? Will he get into trouble if so?”
13. My worried Mother wrote back to my Father to determine what happened.
14. Weeks passed.
15. The next letter that she received relinquished the secret of the letter’s missing body content.

What do you think happened?

Read below for answer, written backwards. You must decipher it, because, after all, it is a mystery.

In Mother’s own words:
“siH rewsna tuoba eht suoiverp tuo-tuc rettel saw taht eh dewo em a rettel, saw oot derit ot etirw, dna detnaw tsuj ot tel em wonk eh saw evila”

Good luck!

P.S. This is a true story. My Daddy – that prankster!

Let me help you get started in deciphering. It begins, “His answer about the previous cut-out letter…”
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Published on April 22, 2018 09:27 Tags: blog, clues, essays, humor, journalist, mystery, non-fiction

April 19, 2018

I Am Groot

For The Newnan Times-Herald

Title confuses you? Me, too. Mostly likely, if you live in a world over forty years of age, you’ve never heard of it. I hadn’t. You might have if you are a fan of fantasy no matter what your age but I am not. As an English teacher, I love words. Characters’ names in sci-fi or fantasy are just too non-Anglican for me to grab hold and remember who they are from page to page.

Supposing to be well read, you’ll hardly catch me reading that genre. I’ll admit to some Ray Bradbury or Kurt Vonnegut. But I’m not a fan of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones. Names from these stories just confuse me.

Here are some from Harry: Godric Gryffindor, Mafalda Hopkirk, or Salazar Slytherin. In Lord of the Rings you’ll find: Meriadoc, Eowyn, plus Denethor and more; while in Games of Thrones there are: Daenerys Targaryen, Tormund Giantsbane, or Missandei. Once names like this popped up, I was trying my best to keep up. I gave Godric the name Gordy or Meriadoc’s name was Merridy, and Missandei was now Missy. I don’t know if these characters were male or female but I made an attempt to read these novels until about page ten.

I’m sorry. No, wait, no I am not, unless those of you reading this have those names as your given names. It’s not your fault if you do. Sure there was Beowulf and Grendel in British Lit. But I didn’t stay in the 10th & 11th century all that long either. I did teach it for the people who like that sort of reading. Beowulf, set in Scandanavia, was written by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon. Those popular books mentioned I think are full of fantasy about their origins. I like history – therefore non-fiction – and being absolute is something I can count on.

So, when I saw the word GROOT and an image in the bottom corner of a video I recorded on my FB page, I was puzzled. There was this little guy rather hard to describe he was so small but I did see he had golden hair, he was smiling, had a hand in the air like he was waving, wore a burgundy coat and pants, and the word GROOT written by his head with streaks of fire or either something that looks like veins protruding from the word. Not only WHAT was it, but who put it there? I didn’t know anything about such a thing.

I did what I always do. Just like in the three novels I mentioned above where I didn’t remember any of the book’s characters for this essay, I researched. I didn’t even know GROOT was a name yet. People my age who saw it on-line were asking me the same question as I was asking myself, “What is that?” Then I find that young people, (Lordy, when I start calling youthful people “young people” like my parents used to) know exactly who GROOT is. GROOT is a fictional superhero. He first appeared in Marvel Comics’ GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY’s Tales of Astonish #13 (November 1960) as an extraterrestrial, sentient tree-like creature who was an invader that intended to capture humans for experimentation.

The character was reintroduced in 2006 as a heroic, noble being and now has become a pop culture icon and internet meme with his repeated line, “I am GROOT”. But what does this all have to do with me? I never read these comic books nor saw THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movies. I’m only telling you because as life-long learners, I suppose this is something we are supposed to know. I don’t know WHY I need to know about it, but somebody thought I should and added it to my video and I CAN’T GET IT OFF!

BTW – I know you know what a meme is, right?
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Published on April 19, 2018 17:32 Tags: blog, columnist, essays, groot, humor, marvel-comics, newspaper, non-fiction

March 25, 2018

Been There. Done That.

Found in The Newnan Times-Herald.

Let’s see how IN-TUNE you are with today’s new verbiage. Here are sentences using 25 out of the 1,000 new words added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2017. As you might expect, the latest batch features plenty of internet-bred slang terms. Even if you’ve never heard of the words, I bet you’ve acted on them. Keeping up to date with this new jargon will freak our children and grand-children out. Let’s do! (Words to match sentences below.)

1. How many of you, while throwing something into the trash have completely missed the basket or if you were shooting a basketball missed the rim or backboard?

2. Since I found Amazon Prime’s THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, I’ve watched every episode in rapid succession.

3. How much are you finding the increased popularity of the elderberry flower on the labels in the making of wines, liqueurs, and teas?

4. If you tell me the elderberry flower has always been popular in wines and such then I’ll need to cover my face with my hand in embarrassment.

5. With maturity I do not take the quick and cheap approach to wanting to wear the latest fashion trends.

6. Some people of affluence or privilege like to think their minor or trivial problems or annoyances, like their phone not working, supersede people in poor and underdeveloped parts of the world.

7. There are those who are unable to consistently access or afford adequate food.

8. One friend abruptly cut off all contact with a long-time friend by no longer accepting or responding to her friend’s phone calls or any other lines of communication.

9. OUTLANDER’s Jamie Frazer is called RED JAMIE because of his red hair.

10. Do politicians running for office make seemingly modest, self-critical, or casual statements or reference that are meant to draw attention to their admirable or impressive qualities or achievements?

11.After finding a new recipe, I will take the magazine article with me to the grocery which contains a series of items presented as a list.

12.One friend I know will subtly and often make a comment, unintentionally, expressing a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group.

13. I don’t like to think about the community of microorganisms that live in or on my body.

14. Young Adult stories in film are popular and tend to focus primarily on the intimate lives of the young characters with ample dialogue and minimal action.

15. Does your workplace announce some websites, email attachments, etc. are not suitable for viewing?

16. Have you ever moved into the frame of a photograph as it is being taken as a joke or prank?

17.Detectives are now able to find the guilty from signals sent from one computer to another across a network for usually diagnostic purposes.

18. It’s a real problem when people are not able to recognize faces of people they know.

19. Who didn’t love Dr. Suess’ books?

20.We parents have seen those sidelong glances expressing scorn, suspicion, disapproval, or veiled curiosity from our children.

21. I know I am an utter disaster or mess and source of trouble.

22.Think our large news organizations are a part of a powerful conspiracy concealing important subjects or events?

23. I tend to use the back of my SUV a lot.

24. What would you call something outlandishly mystical, supernatural, or unscientific?

25.And then how would you surprisingly express it?

Matching words:
Airball (v.)
Binge-watch (v.)
Elderflower (n.)
Face-palm (v.)
Fast fashion (n.)
First world problem (n.)
Food insecure (adj.)
Ghost (v.)
Humblebrag (v.)
Listicle (n.)
Microaggression (n.)
Microbiome (n.)
Mumblecore (n.)
NSFW (abbr.)
Photobomb (v.)
Ping (n.)
Prosopagnosia (n.)
Seussian (adj.)
Side-eye (n.)
Train wreck (n.)
Truther (n.)
Way back (n.)
Woo-Woo (adj.)
Yowza (interj.)

How did you do?
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Published on March 25, 2018 16:04 Tags: dictionary, humor, jargon, newspaper, verbiage

March 20, 2018

Bienvenue Press Welcomes Lee St. John into Their Fold

Bienvenue Press would like to welcome Lee St. John to our company/family! She’s a writer from Georgia who writes funny Southern stories. We look forward to working with her and sharing her books with you. Today, she stops by the front porch to share a little about herself.

Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?

I’ll be saying plenty below. But I will tell you two things that surprise people:
a) I made TERRIBLE grades in high school.
b) I am an Oxfordian. You are going to have to look it up.

What made you want to become a writer?

I consider myself a journalist first. My hometown newspaper selected a high school senior representative to cover school news with a weekly column regarding school events. I was chosen. In college I majored in communications which included all kinds of writing – radio ads, news releases for the PR department, human interest stories, etc. When I came home for the summers, I continued writing for my paper. Even after I married and had children, I was again asked to write a social column. This gave me a lot of practice. And that’s my brand – short, concise, but packed with a lot of punch. While working for the newspaper, my publisher told me I should write a book someday. I had another idea totally in mind but ended up in the humor department when I realized it was more my forte.

What is your advice a) to Indie Authors? b) On writing? c) Marketing?

a) Tenacity. b) Write. c) Step our of your comfort zone if you are not one who likes to aggrandize and self-promote. It’s just something you must do and have to do.

Music or silence? If music, what do you normally listen to?

Silence except for my tinnitus.

What is/are your book(s) about?

Non-conforming behaviors of a well-brought up Southern Belle. Think Margaret Mitchell. If you don’t know her background, think Scarlett. One in the same.

What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?

Laughter. When I hear them laughing during my speaking engagements or they tell me they relate to an essay I have written and laughed, I’m good to go.

What book that you have read has most influenced your life? Why?

As a retired high school English teacher one might think I’d put forth a more serious book for consideration. But in 1978 I was twenty-five and a coming of age story affected me by one quote in the book. It was THE LAST CONVERTIBLE by Anton Myrer and the quote was, “Life is fair. It hurts everyone.” With this awakening and my middle and high school students whining about “That isn’t fair!” or such statements, I busted out that quote. Of course there were other books I loved, but at that moment in time, I identified with that character’s statement.

Who is your favorite author? If you could ask this author one question, what would you ask?

I want to say Harper Lee and telling her Southern story of injustice but I have to admire the female courage of Margaret Mitchell who put herself out there and personally stayed true to herself. I feel like I know what her answer would be to this question, “Was your maverick behavior worth it?”

What gives you inspiration for your book(s)?

Ill-timed behaviors, practical jokes, inept verbiage, wild excursions, and wacky real-life personalities.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

My characters ARE real people.

Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?

On Facebook recently someone wrote that she was getting tired with the downer “must read” book club books and wishes she could find a good book that would make her laugh. She said she had not laughed out loud since The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. With all the harsh worldly news today, a book to make your sides hurt from laughing would be a good thing. I think these short essay humor books sharing a slice of life from unconventional but real behaviors are just the ticket to get out of the doldrums. But make sure you are wearing your “I-am-not-overly-sensitive-to-political-incorrectness” glasses because we’re having none of that in these true stories of yester-year. It happened the way the story is told and that’s that.

What do you love most about the writing process?

I like thinking about how the story lines unravel in my brain while I am writing. I like creating suspense by starting a simple story and then taking the reader down a rabbit hole with a parallel story, usually, which makes the reader think they are getting another kind of adventure but then bringing them back up for air and for the punch-line or resolution. It’s all about keeping them engaged with your narrative. Think Twain. And when I do, I think of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. What a yarn that was. Bottom line: man plays trick with frog to win a bet.

What is the biggest surprise that you experienced after becoming a writer?

I have a publishing contract!

Tell us a little about your plans for the future. Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years?

I know my place. I have likened myself to the descriptions of certain national magazines and by those characteristics can tell you who I am NOT: I am NOT Traditional Home’s sleek designs. I am NOT Architectural Digest’s ultra-formal décor. I am NOT HGTV magazine’s informal mostly-craft decorating. I am NOT Garden and Gun’s rustic-outdoorsy living and appearance. I am NOT Martha Stewart’s perfectly placed designs, and I am NOT as simple as Real Simple magazine. But I, as a person, embody SOUTHERN LIVING magazine, which includes a smidgen of all of the above without being just one identifiable characteristic. I am a small-town girl who was cocooned in a Mayberry existence, later living and learning faster and sleeker ways through young adulthood in Georgia’s capital. So my writing reflects that – a barefooted, pearl-wearing girl, who uses her formal silver possibly with store-bought potato salad (who wants to peel all those potatoes?), and who’s strong personality always exudes, “Don’t tell me ‘NO!’” And since I know who I am, it is my goal to actually be featured IN Southern Living Magazine as I feel such a connection with the quality of the South it represents – down-home panache.

Where can we find you online?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leestjohnauthor
Instagram: https://instagram.com/leestjohnauthor/
Website and Blog: http://www.leestjohnauthor.com/
Twitter: @LeeStJohnauthor
Newspaper: Newnan Times-Herald Contributor, Newnan, Georgia
The Fayette County News, Fayetteville, Georgia
Radio/podcast: upcoming “Spilling the Beans Book Club” with Lee St. John on 99FM
Pinterest: LeeStJohnAuthor
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Atlanta Writers Club
Can be found on Amazon.com
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March 4, 2018

Bon Voyage!

Bon Voyage! found in the Newnan Times-Herald.

I was late to the traveling party but once I was invited, there was no turning back. As a small town girl, I didn’t even ride in an airplane until I graduated from college. My family always drove to our family excursions from Georgia. That obviously meant we didn’t travel extremely far. By the time I stepped foot on that first airplane jaunt, I had only been as far west as the Mississippi River; north to Williamsburg, Virginia; east as far as Nags Head, North Carolina; and south to Daytona Beach, Florida.

Then a new adventure was waiting. My parents were forty when I was born and I am an only child. In their retirement, they now had the time and money to spend on travel. Daddy said that after all the time at sea on a destroyer during World War II off the coast of Italy that he had all the travel experiences he wanted for a lifetime. So it was mother’s turn and I was the recipient of their benevolence. Where to first? It was Hawaii including a long San Francisco, California weekend! Later England, Scotland, and France were among other big travel exploits. By the time I married, hubby and I were on our way to Germany, Austria, back to France, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Mexico. We also traveled together and separately to the four corners of the United States: Alaska; Maine; Miami, Florida; San Diego, California.

Many of these exploits were also taken with children in tow. One of our sons is a millennial and you know about those millennials – they LOVE to travel! So before he settles down he’s spending his time and money capturing memories and those collections include New Zealand; South Africa; Iceland; Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and other far off places in the United States.

What will be next? Well, hubby LOVES to fish and play golf and was invited by a group of guys who rented a house last month to do just that in Costa Rica. He only stayed a week but we certainly encouraged him to go with all that deep sea fishing they are known for as well as their plush golf courses. The ‘Where’s Waldo’ son? He was off last month to China to visit a friend who is teaching English as a second language.

But I think I have the best upcoming trip and it will be my first time there. Celebrities, such as Phil Donahue, Dave Barry, Art Buchwald, and Roy Blount Jr., have been there. I’ll be staying in a plush Marriott and be feted to wonderful meals. Being among a selective few other humorists and only existing every other year, I will be learning and laughing my head off in April at the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop in… Dayton, Ohio! Bon Voyage!
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Published on March 04, 2018 08:24 Tags: humor-travel-essays-erma-bombeck

February 11, 2018

Spoiled Rotten

From The Newnan Times-Herald

My mother pampered my father before I arrived. He in turn kept the toilet seat lid down after its use. That is L-O-V-E in my book. I came to expect that as normal, but the boys in my house – all of them – never did that for me.

For instance, even while the toilet seat continued to stay up, I indulged my boys. When I made lasagna for my family, one fourth was created for our baby who liked his meal as though he was ordering a meat-lovers pizza – nothing but pasta, sauce and meat. The more meat the better - anything a carnivore would eat, just hold the onions and mushrooms. My portion was meatless but made with oodles of onions, mushrooms, and cheese. HUBBY and older brother liked everything in theirs – but whereas HUBBY liked even amounts of all the ingredients, THE HEIR liked less onions and mushrooms in his quarter section. One lasagna constructed in fourths. It was trouble doing that but was sprinkled with a dash of love.

OB (pronounced OBIE), is also the recipient of lots of my attention. I know dog treats are for discipline/training. But I give mine away for cuteness. Walking in the house after being gone for a while, OB is all over me. And because he is so cute, I give him a treat. We call him our tater-tot-dog because he looks like one. Our vet said he needs to go on a diet.

Mother pampered me like that, too. Sometimes while running errands, she brought home girlish goodies. Spoiling me like this for no reason, people around town made comments to her about it whereas she responded, “It’s just showing lots of love.” The only disappointments I remember when she came home without any presents were the best requests…a baby brother or sister. Hadn’t she gone to visit someone in the hospital where those babies were lined up behind the window just for the picking? Didn’t you check them out like library books? Each time she left to see someone there I ALWAYS pleaded, “Please bring home a baby brother or sister.” She consistently answered, “I’ll try.” Of course, she’d come through the door empty-handed.

When my parents retired, my mother really wanted to travel. Daddy had already been places with his professional baseball career and being on a destroyer during WWII. But mother had not and now they had the time and the money. Daddy told us to go without him. He felt like he had seen enough. We did. Our first excursion was to Hawaii and San Francisco in 1977. Leaving daddy alone for twelve days, she made sure he was taken care of by planning and cooking twelve different dinners to enjoy while we were gone. Although the countertop microwave oven was introduced in 1967, we didn’t have one.

Not only did my mother cook the dinners, she wrapped them in aluminum foil labeled for each day of the week we were gone, and placed the dozen in the freezer so all daddy had to do was take one out, lay it on the counter to thaw, and warm it up for that night’s dinner. With only the Dairy Queen available for fast food, this solved her worry about what he would do for his meals while we were gone. She knew he could fend for himself at lunch. Here was another example of spoiling – I mean love.

When we returned, she found all that energy of creating all those meals just for him was wasted. They had not been touched and were still in the freezer. Friends and family swooped in to also look after daddy and took him out every day for lunch and dinner. My daddy, my own boys, my dog, oh, and me…just tiny examples of being spoiled rotten.

Books can be found on Amazon here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leestjohnauthor
Instagram: https://instagram.com/leestjohnauthor/
Website: http://www.leestjohnauthor.com/
Twitter: @LeeStJohnauthor
Newspaper: Newnan Times-Herald Contributor
Television & Radio: WAXC-TV Alabama Charter Cable Network; 97.5 FM
Kowaliga Radio
Blog: www.leestjohnauthor.com/
Pinterest: LeeStJohnAuthor
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Published on February 11, 2018 16:07 Tags: children, family, humor, spoiling

February 4, 2018

BOOM! says Auburn Coach


From The Newnan Times-Herald

An NCAA football champion has been crowned. 2017 football is over. Way to go SEC!

But while all the fussing, fighting, and finger-pointing was going on during the regular schedule, I was struck by one fan’s unnecessary disappointment in general for his alma mater. I studied at the University of Georgia for my Master’s. Afterwards I married an Auburn man. I became a good Auburn wife, too. No house divided. I may have been a devout Georgia fan when we married but I quickly became the perfect Auburn wife. Why? Here’s my rationalization.

• Falling in love with and playing during your college years yet not really studying is a right of passage as an undergraduate.
• In graduate school you have to study to maintain that “B” average. You appreciate your school but there’s not much play time.
• When Auburn husband came into the picture, I acquiesced to keep harmony BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY: he pays for all my charge card expenses, which makes me happy and love him more. I mean, you never know which bunch of 18-22 year old ‘boys’ will show up on any given Saturday, so I shouldn’t get too attached.

But I really do love football probably because my dad coached all high school sports after his stint with the Chicago Cubs (the war came in the middle of his contract).

And when I heard uncalled-for digs about a good coach I became irked. I remember my mother sharing this story: After my dad quit coaching and teaching, he went into another profession but still called the football plays from the press box and refereed high school basketball games. One time a booster was either oblivious or didn’t care that the ref’s wife was sitting behind him. He objected to the referee’s calls and was letting everyone in the stands know it. But being the lady she was, she kept silent.

I am not that lady. Oh, I was brought up to be a Southern Belle, but like Scarlett O’Hara, I will speak my mind. I decided to pull a prank to make my point.

It concerns Auburn’s football coach. We SEC schools can’t all win every game. Toppling the #1 and #2 teams in the nation in one season is huge and this fan should be happy but he wanted all season to ditch Malzahn. I wanted to teach him a lesson.

This fraternity brother of my husband’s pays big bucks for the Scholarship section seating at Jordan-Hare Stadium. You know about the Scholarship section, right? Food comes ‘free’, you have a great view right under the press box, and you don’t have to walk around those spiral ramps a zillion times. It’s so good that once you are there, you really don’t want to go back to general seating.

I guess that gives him the right to spout off because he is paying a lot of money for not only all that comfort at the football games but also to the university scholarship committee (some of which probably goes to the athletic department). I decided to see if he could take my frivolity about his remarks when he figures out who set this deception in motion:

This Tiger fan received an Auburn-designed Christmas card from ‘Head Coach Gus Malzahn’. The holiday greeting not only was ‘personally’ signed by Malzahn but also had a hand-written inscription in the card from the coach. It thanked him for his endowment to the Scholarship fund and his continued support of “all things Auburn” and hoped he was looking forward to 2018’s season. Auburn Athletics’ street address was posted on the envelope’s return corner and the post mark revealed Opelika, Alabama (close enough).

And at the bottom beside the coach’s scrawny and almost undecipherable signature was the word, “BOOM!”

Randy Beavers, Mark Pass, Frank Farmer, and Hugh Farmer…mums the word.

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Published on February 04, 2018 11:47 Tags: auburn-university, essays, football, humor



From Newnan Times-Herald

The back book cover and Amazon’s description of my books read: “Lee St. is a rogue Southern Belle, a high-jinx expert, and mayhem confessor. You'll see. Twisted, uproarious, revealing, delicious, quirky, surprising, warm, humorous, heartfelt, or scandalous. Take your pick. You'll find them all in these true stories about family, friends, co-workers, and others whose names she cloaks when telling her tales. Well, she had to.”

Of course I had to but they are the only things that aren’t real. Even I operate in disguise. Lee St. John is my nom de plume. I am a MAVERICK which by definition means: an unorthodox or independent-minded person. Synonyms: individualist, nonconformist, free spirit, original, eccentric. I’ll take any of those.

My high school conduct grades support this notion. When my husband married me he stated that he wanted a challenge. Well, he sure got one. Bless his heart. Rules don’t apply to me. Where other teachers hung a behavior chart on their classroom wall with line-item rules, my chart just said “Behave.” When a 4th grade teacher once told me to put my second child on a behavior chart at home, I stated, “I can’t.”

“What do you mean you can’t?” she asked.

“Well, I tried to do a chart with my first son. It just didn’t work. Not so much for him, but for me. I tried to follow-through doing things on a set schedule. I really tried. I had stickers for accomplishments, rewarded him with activities or special food, etc. but I personally just couldn’t do it. And my way of thinking is what kind of example am I setting if my children saw that I had set goals of some kind and couldn’t carry them through? I thought that display would be worse. ‘Do as I say, not as I do’? What kind of precedent would I be setting?”

I only behaved for my parents out of shame. My mother knew how to work me and I’ve said many times she should have been a travel agent for guilt trips.

I like mavericks. One of my favorite authors was one. This winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was as unorthodox as they came in the 1920’s. She was an average college student and did not excel in any of the area academics. She was a working woman at a time women didn’t work that much and decided to pursue a career in journalism. She began writing feature articles for The Atlanta Journal where she received almost no encouragement from her family or “society”.

She was flamboyant, wild, and unrestrained but because of her family’s standing in Atlanta, she was asked to join the Atlanta Junior League. For her debut at the Georgian Terrace Hotel, she prepared to dance with a friend from Georgia Tech the ‘Apache’, a provocative Parisian street dance of the Jazz Age. It was a sensational (from what I read, SINsational for her day) performance and afterwards she was denied membership.

She collected erotic Parisian postcards. She smoked. She drank. She married. She divorced. She remarried.

And she authored Gone with the Wind which was the top American fiction bestseller in 1936 and 1937. As of 2014, a Harris Poll found it to be the second favorite book of American readers behind the Bible. More than 30 million copies have been printed worldwide.

Margaret Mitchell again displayed her non-conformist side when decades later the Atlanta Junior League hosted the jubilant citywide premiere party for the film “Gone with the Wind”. Everyone who was anyone associated with the film would be there. Gable, Howard, Leigh, deHavilland, Selznick, and their just as popular dates or spouses. Stubborn, gutsy, and defiant, she declined their invitation.

Maverick Margaret Mitchell. Maverick Lee St. John. I like it.
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Published on February 04, 2018 11:44 Tags: essays, humor, margaret-mitchell, mavericks