Going for the turkey Grand Slam

By G. Sam Piatt - Contributing Columnist



When the wild turkey season opens later this month in Ohio and Kentucky, hunters will be happy if they can bring down the two bearded turkeys they are allowed for the season. Most of them will be hunting close to home, usually in their home county.

But there is a breed of turkey hunter that has been successful in completing the “Grand Slam” – bagging a turkey in all the 49 states they exist in (Alaska is the only state in which they are not found).

One by one, these individuals topo-mapped their way across the country, methodically planning hunt after hunt, and tagging a prize bird in state after state, year after year, until, on one magic-like spring day, they pulled the trigger on the bird in their 49th state.

And that wears me out, just thinking about it, and knowing how hard I must work to bring down one wild turkey with a shot from a gun and a camera.

There will be some youngsters, hunting with a parent or grandparent, who will know the thrill of calling ol’ Tom within range and taking that big bird home.

I wish them luck.


Readers of The Daily Independent are going to be missing a familiar byline with the decision this past Wednesday of long-time reporter Mike James to retire.

This is especially so of teachers and others involved in the education of our children and grandchildren. The education beat was Mike’s regular assignment, although he could do an excellent job of covering any story that came his way.

He wrote complex stories in a way that we could easily understand. You could be reading one of his stories when a question would pop into your mind. Three of four paragraphs later your question was answered.

Charles Anderson Dana (1819-1897), a newspaper writer/editor for more than 40 years, once said his constant aim was not only to write in such a way that he could be understood, but to write in such a way that he could not be misunderstood.

And that was the way Mike James wrote his stories.

Yes, we’ll miss seeing that byline. And I wonder how much he’ll miss tackling a good story in the face of the all-consuming deadline.

He and his family have a home in Ironton, where he started his journalism career with the Ironton Tribune, the voice of Lawrence County. How long will it be before the Tribune tries to lure him out of retirement, at least for a year or two?

My advice? Grab a fishing pole, Mike, stay out on the lake. And leave your cell phone at home.


In Chapter 28 of the Gospel of Matthew, the writer reports that “an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled the stone away and sat upon it.”

The Roman guards who had been posted just outside the tomb, “shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.”

When they went into the city and reported to the chief priests what had happened, they gave the guards a “large sum of money” to say that Jesus’ disciples had come and stolen the body away while they slept. The Jewish leaders would lie to the authorities to protect the guards from punishment.

Ha! The disciples were hiding behind locked doors, fearing that they, as followers of Jesus for three years, might be next to suffer the cruel fate of death on a cross.

They didn’t believe the women who came to tell them of the empty tomb. John tells how he and Peter ran a foot race to the tomb. They saw the linen wrappings and the face cloth, but no body.

Later that day, when the disciples were behind closed doors, Jesus appeared to them, saying “peace be with you.”

And later they turned the city and the countryside upside down, preaching the risen Christ.

And so, all the evidence needed is there to prove that Jesus Christ arose from the dead on the third day.

And He is alive forevermore.

How does that old church hymn go? “You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.”


By G. Sam Piatt

Contributing Columnist

Reach G. SAM PIATT at [email protected] or (606) 932-3619.

Reach G. SAM PIATT at [email protected] or (606) 932-3619.