Attendees watch behind the reserved seating area as Doug E. Fresh performs the early show on the Coca Cola Stage at the Riverbend Festival on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. / Staff photo by John Rawlston

Cellphone injuries among pedestrians are at an all-time high. Seriously.

Yes, as we are fighting to stop the truly dangerous craze of texting and driving, we now have to recognize the undeniably stupid habit of ... texting and walking. Again, seriously.

From a recent study of recent head and neck injuries, get a load of this paragraph: "Cellphone–related injuries to the head and neck have increased steeply over the recent 20-year period, with many cases resulting from distraction. Although the disposition of most cases is simple, some injuries bear a risk of long-term complications. Many of these injuries occurred among those aged 13 to 29 years and were associated with common activities, such as texting while walking. These findings suggest a need for patient education about injury prevention and the dangers of activity while using these devices."

And, while no one wants anyone to be hurt, if someone is going to walk three blocks with his or her head in their iPhone and walks into a light pole, well, who's to blame there?

Irony or justice?


Making good change

Count me among the folks impressed with the overhauls that have happened at Riverbend.

I have been a fan of the festival since moving here almost 20 years ago. And without these sizable shifts, Riverbend was destined to go away. That's business; that's the plain and simple truth.

And emulating the successes of Moon River — the acts announced Friday included Ashley McBryde and Brothers Osbourne represent a similar approach — makes more than good sense.

It makes a whole lot of cents.

Kudos to Mickey McCamish and the Friends of the Festival. (And the decision to announce the acts and the plans before Christmas so folks can give tickets as gifts is also smart.)


Saying goodbye

I got so much feedback at the last time we were together for a Saturday chat about pet obituaries that I felt obligated to include a couple today.

Here's No. 1 from Bruce:

"Dr. Keller and his assistant and me watched my dog, Toss, take his last breath. I kissed his little nose at that time. It was the toughest thing I have ever done. You see he was 16 years old, a rescue dog a mix of border collie and other we got when I turned 40 when living in Greensboro NC.

I grew up with dogs but none had the effect on me that Toss did. He was smart and all you would ever want in a pet. He was at my side whenever we were together. I cried like a baby but not till I got home... I walked in the house and dropped to the floor crying like never before.

I lost my Dad in 2009 and a day doesn't go by without me thinking of him. Since that terrible day in August 2016 I think of my Dad and my dog Toss.

The best days of my life were put to an end by a needle. But it was time and that's what gets me through it. I watched my Dad suffer and I'll be damned if I was going to watch my best friend go through something similar."


And then there was this one — despite the fact that I said no cat obits — which quickly reminded me that all pets are beloved, be them K-nine or Fee-line):

"On August 20, 2018, Pumpkin 'the kitty cat' let go of his final life on earth.

The big, orange tabby was born on the Tennessee River and enjoyed living at River Landing for over 18 years. He was much loved by one, loved by some others, and tolerated by many. Pumpkin served the community with distinction, and proudly bore the honorary title, "The Mayor of River Landing." Though known to drop in on outdoor board meetings, stop to visit neighbors...and in his younger days, even hang out by the pool; he was most proud of his predatory hunting skills...occasionally gifting his friends with his 'catch of the day', whether they wanted a gift or not! Pumpkin brought joy to all who let him, lacerations to a few, and roamed the condo property with pride and the spirit of the lion of his dreams.

Although diabetes and glaucoma robbed his health and dimmed his sight at the end, he stayed loyal to the resident he adopted over a decade ago; but only got to live with the last 5 years."

Have a great weekend, friends.

Contact Jay Greeson at