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Dalton Roberts

Stories by Dalton

After well over 1,000 weekly columns, I have sadly determined to quit writing for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. I've always told you the truth and will tell you the truth about this decision.

Not long ago, several of my picker friends suggested that I let Sonny Thomas "set up'' the action on one of my favorite instruments, Eppie.

Monk was one of the finest guitar players I've ever heard.

I like boxing. Eye-closing, lip-busting, nose-smashing boxing.

Out of the Blue Restaurant in Brainerd is closing, and my family is mourning as though we were losing one of our own.

A group called Tobacco Free Chattanooga is calling for smoking to be banned in all our public parks. While I would prefer to see this act applied only to concerts and events where people are in close proximity, I must say that smokers have brought all their problems upon themselves.

Craving my first tomato sandwich, (hereafter referred to in the Southern vernacular as 'mater sandwich) a wonderful human being named Don Loftis, former superintendent of Hamilton County schools, brought us two baskets of tomatoes.

I want to tie some political points into a story you may find humorous. First, the story.

I can’t stand a tail that insists on wagging the dog. The tea party is such a tail and it’s trying its best to wag the Republican Party.

The thought surprises even me when I say it was poverty that gave me my love of country cooking.

My friend Lana Sutton speaks intelligently and frequently in favor of teaching citizens the joys of self-sufficiency.

The question today is: Does a person have to love politics to be good at it?

Two topics in the news recently have been on my mind. The first is the city's proposed ordinance to allow chickens to be housed and raised inside the city being voted on tonight. The other is the Chattanooga Folk School's problems. Frankly, I doubt I know enough about either subject to write a complete column on it.

Sometimes in the very writing of a song, a person’s inner being will respond exactly to the words being written on the paper.

"Every song needs at least one zinger," Vance Bulla told me in my earliest days in Nashville.

With Father's Day upon us on Sunday, I'd like to share some thoughts about how valuable the whole concept of fatherhood is and to introduce you to some pieces of fatherhood that may have changed your life.

Robert Brault may have had NPH when he said, "An optimist is someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's a cha-cha-cha."

The only thing that would have shocked me more than seeing our Sen. Bob Corker and President Barack Obama agree on selling TVA or selling it out through some new managerial structure would have been seeing former Mayor Ron Littlefield running as a tea party candidate.

The happiest people in the world are people being released from the hospital.

The main things we get from our parents are good habits.

I never knew the guy who did the Rossville Furniture Co. ads a few years ago.

Judge Russell Bean is a bird lover, and I'm going to ask him to appoint me to preside over a bird court and see if we can curb some of these rampant illegal activities in the avian kingdom.

Today I propose ways to make a lot of money for the public treasury while at the same time controlling pests.

Eating new foods at early ages can create a lifetime affinity with a little touch of addiction in the affinity.

If you don't know about gout, you've never had it. If you've ever had it, you will remember it well.

I am a well-known proponent of tomato sandwiches made from real home grown tomatoes.

For years I have wanted to share some stories about the extent to which some people will go to get their opinion or request for some political favor before you.

In 2004 I wrote a column on how you can look back on your total life and see little "mini lives" hidden in the big picture. This is especially true when you are writing your autobiography.

Now that Fannie Lee Crowe Owen has completed her earthly journey and is with the Lord she loved and served so well, I can write about a question I have been asked many times.

One of the quickest and surest roads to wealth in songwriting is writing the theme for a network TV show.

Early rides are so influential that sometimes one of them can end up influencing our life decisions.

When Gene Roberts stepped down from being mayor of Chattanooga in 1996, he went on the Fort Wood Board, where he served with such distinction, he was given an appreciation luncheon to celebrate his decade of service.

Change is afoot at Erlanger and I see little to be lost by it. However, some of it has not been thoroughly reasoned out yet.

An interviewer once asked Merle Haggard, "What is it like to be a big-time country music icon?"

When a person starts writing songs, they soon discover that their life doesn't belong to them any longer. It belongs to their songs.

The late Ralph Barger was both mayor of Red Bank and a Hamilton County commissioner.

Most of the TV ministers and counselors are telling you to make resolutions for 2013, to set new goals and commit yourself to a better way of life.

Every year it seems that one Christmas present will endear itself to me.

I am amazed at how paralyzed we get when a disaster strikes like the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Hunter S. Thompson said, "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. Then there's the negative side."

Unless some excellent historian like the late James Livingood sets his mind and hand to it, few will fully appreciate the work of the first Hamilton County Commission. I say without hesitation, it was the grandest legislative body in local history.

I guess it's because of the way I was raised, but I see life is an interaction between us and the Creator of all life.

We see people in one way, not realizing they have been in many roles and economic conditions in their lives.

Self-image is so important. It is not a silly idea of Norman Vincent Peale and his merry little band of positive thinkers. It is a fundamental law of the universe.

In the last few columns, I have been urging more regional cooperation in building infrastructure, like the bridges at highways 30 and 60. The same benefits would flow to us in new jobs if we truly practiced regional job development.

After my election in 1978, six county executives from nearby counties came to ask me to serve as chairman of the Southeast Tennessee Development District.

Signal Mountain is one of our most prized residential areas, despite having only one dependable access route (Signal Mountain Road).

Frequently when I pass the Ooltewah interchange on I-75 and see how it is still booming, I remember a conversation I had with then-Hamilton County Commissioner Bill Bennett, who represented that area so well for many years.

The people of Chattanooga have a heavy investment in me.

When a politician talks about religion, most people think he is just panhandling for votes, so I never mentioned when I ran in ’78 that I had a spiritual experience the previous summer.

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