Well, the coronavirus and the demand for business owners to find ways to make up lost revenue have hit us in ways that maybe we could have expected and in ways that no one could have expected. For Pete's sake, a local McDonald's closed.

So let's talk here.

Who in a world before coronavirus would have ever imagined that the need for a revenue bump would put Cracker Barrel in the beer and wine business?

That's right, Cracker Barrel, the home of home-style cookin' across the country, is on tap to offer beer and wine in its dining rooms — even right here in its home state of Tennessee.

Man, think of the options. Farm-raised catfish, and Boone's Farm. Biscuits and Budweiser.

Chicken and cheers, y'all.


Speaking of revenue

OK, there was something lost amid the news of Big Ten football returning to the field next month.

Under the cover of emotion — elation or angst — and the question of why now and if President Trump deserves credit for the reversal, something else went unanswered.

At places like Minnesota and Iowa, where nonrevenue sports such as men's gymnastics and tennis as well as men's and women's swimming and diving, the money crunch centered on the effects of the coronavirus and an uncertain future.

The lead two sentences from a post on titled "Open Letter to the University of Iowa and Hawkeye Athletics" starts this way: "The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a financial exigency which threatens our continued ability to adequately support 24 intercollegiate athletics programs at the desired championship level. With the Big Ten Conference's postponement of fall competition on Aug. 11, University of Iowa Athletics now projects lost revenue of approximately $100 million and an overall deficit between $60-75 million this fiscal year."

Well, football's back — at least scheduled to be back — so maybe instead of hyperbole about how the Big Ten caved or catered to Trump or sold its soul, maybe the national media types can ask the Iowa folks if the women's diving team can plan to compete beyond the 2020-21 academic year?


OK, we would all guess that Hannibal Lecter’s country cousin Hank from Pikeville would order chicken livers with pinto beans and a nice chianti if his Cracker Barrel sells beer and wine.

What would be your suggested beer or wine pairings for Cracker Barrel entrees, serious or not? Send your suggestions to



Well done

We can all get snarky. Well, you guys can. I'm snark free.

But when a good idea pops up, let's praise it.

In this space earlier this summer, we offered a couple of atta-boys and atta-gals to the EPB folks who worked with the Hamilton County Department of Education to find ways to get internet to all students. Those efforts continue and should be congratulated.

In an effort to find the same goal in a way more rural circumstance, major tips of the visor to Walker County, Georgia, school leaders, who are using school buses as de facto mobile hot spots in areas with students — roughly 8 percent of their enrollment, according to the story on — without internet access.

Nice job finding multiple paths to a much-needed solution.


Obit observations

There were a lot of notable obituaries this week, but this one made me think of a couple of things.

Of course, the words of family and faith of Betty Hughes show a life well-led. She was married to Bill for 58 years and her relationship with her savior was clear.

Like many grandmothers, the words highlighting her devotion to her grandsons were especially poignant. And her joy for cooking, cards and cry-fests on the Hallmark Channel make her like family to so many of us related to someone similar.

But this phrase "Betty was also an Army wife" should make us all pause. We have holidays for the brave men and women who pick up a gun and stand a post to protect us around the clock and around the world. We should probably have more.

But think of the significant others of those making the most significant sacrifice for our American way of life. The women and men who keep the home fires lit and allow their loved ones serving our country to make a difference in the world are noteworthy as well.

Thanks Betty — and to all those who filled that role gladly like she did — and rest easy, ma'am.

Contact Jay Greeson at

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Jay Greeson