Lewis Grizzard Is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself

By Dennis Tucker

The title of this article is a takeoff from a book written by Lewis Grizzard, “Elvis Is Dead And I Don’t Feel So Good Myself.”

Regena came to me on March 22, 1994, to tell me that Lewis Grizzard had died. Keep in mind that the University of Kentucky Wildcats was in the process of losing to Marquette in the NCAA basketball tournament. This was a sad day indeed.

Who was Lewis Grizzard? He was a true southern humorist. Born in Georgia, he was of the opinion that the south was the only place to live. He took a job in Chicago that he later regretted. After one year, he quit and returned to Georgia. Later, he wrote that he promised God. that if he ever got back to Georgia he would never leave again.

I became acquainted with Lewis Grizzard in the early 1980s. This was when my family moved to Macon, Georgia. Lewis had a nightly time slot on the Atlanta television news. Many newspapers carried his syndicated column and he wrote about twenty books. The titles of his books told you something about the man. “They Tore My Heart Out and Stomped That Sucker Flat,” or “My Daddy Was A Pistol And I Am a Son of A Gun.” Do you see what I mean?

Through his writings I learned about his dog, Catfish and that Lewis’ father was an alcoholic and had abandoned Lewis when he was a child. I could read the sadness in many of the lines of humor that he wrote. Lewis’ failed marriages, poor heart, and his dog dying really broke his heart; all of this led to his sad and satirical writings.

I learned how Lewis thought. He believed that the Yankees should either stay up north or at least not try to ruin the south. He liked boiled peanuts. Actually, only a person in Georgia can relate to “(boled) peanuts” but he liked them. Now Lewis was not a racist or a bigot. He was old fashioned, practical, and many times he was right. Oklahomans had Will Rogers but the south had Lewis Grizzard.

Why am I telling you this about Lewis? By reading the writings of Lewis Grizzard I became familiar with him. I understood his logic and in a way he became a good friend. I knew that his heart was failing and he was supposed to have another operation. While I did not cry at the news of his death, I imagine many others did. All of this could happen only through reading his writings.

If you want to get to know God you have to read the Bible. You can learn about his Son and faithful servants by opening up the good book. You can hear the heart of Paul breaking as he writes how Demas left him and went back into the world (2 Tim. 4:10). We see Paul’s determination as he spoke of being beaten with rods, shipwrecked, stoned, left for dead, cast into prison and many other trials in 2 Corinthians 11:23-25. We can see the meaning of love as Jesus died on that cruel cross for you and me in Matthew 27. We see the astonishment of the audience in Acts 2 as they heard the sound of the mighty wind and saw the tongues of fire.

If you ever felt that the Bible is just not interesting, important, or just impersonal and not for you  try reading it!

Guardian of Truth XXXIX: 10 p. 8
May 18, 1995