Today, in observance of Thanksgiving, I will list some of what comes to mind as I think about what I’m thankful for, based on the past year or so of “What I know” columns:

  • For AT&T and Nexstar Media working out their differences by the time college football started so my wife didn’t have to change our service or resort to streaming, and I didn’t have to try to rig up an antenna as a couple of readers (who have way too much confidence in me) suggested.
  • For the John P. Holt Brentwood Library, which continues to provide an endless supply of outstanding reading material, both the kind I can hold in my hand and in which I turn pages, and now, thanks to the wonders of technology, the kind I can download to my electronic device and have the virtual pages turned for me with the touch of my finger.
  • For technology itself, which I often malign, but which enhances my life in countless ways. Those include, but are not limited to, the aforementioned electronic reader; working remotely; the ability to find my way as I gradually lose any sense of direction I ever had; and the ability to watch a television show after it has aired. (“Appointment TV” is clearly a thing of the past).
  • For the travel I get to enjoy, and for my wife’s planning of same. Next year promises more adventures.
  • For a great place to live. We recently hit the 22-year mark of moving to the Nashville area, more specifically Williamson County, which means it’s the longest I have ever lived anywhere. Sometimes I want to stop the growth, but how can I blame people who want to move here?
  • For all the new housing in Williamson County, as well as the houses for sale, both of which fuel hours of conversation between my wife and me regarding when and where we will move. I’m even more thankful for our current home, which we still prefer over anything else we’ve seen.
  • For baseball, the greatest of games. Can’t wait until next season.
  • For our government and political system, even though that system allows Donald Trump to be president. Perfect it’s not, but it’s so much better than anything else in the world that we should never miss the opportunity to vote. And we should thank the Almighty every time we have the privilege of doing so.
  • For the First Amendment to the Constitution. In only a few words we are guaranteed, among other things, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press. May we never have to be without them to truly appreciate them.
  • For Lake Superior State University’s annual “List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use, or General Uselessness.” My obsession with this list of buzz words and phrases, the gold standard for buzz word usage the world over, cements my qualification as a language nerd, a banner I wear proudly. Look for my column on the latest installment from LSSU in January.
  • For my former editor, Mark, and my current editor, Amanda, who have been patient with me when I’ve been running behind, have corrected my mistakes and have responded to my whining emails when I have felt the need to send them.
  • For my fellow columnist, Ramon Presson, who sends the occasional witty email and has even used some of my suggestions for his own columns, which always bring a smile.
  • For the memory of my parents and brother, who still give me plenty to write about.
  • For my family, all of whom provide a bounteous supply of storytelling material. When I got married, I thought it couldn’t get any better. Then along came three children. Then two of them married. Now there are three grands. We’ve had a 500 percent return over 35 years. What a ride it’s been and continues to be. 
  • For all you who read this column. That you would read what I write still boggles my mind. The fact that some of you take time to tell me about it astounds even more.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Bob McKinney is a longtime Brentwood resident, happy husband and proud father, father-in-law and grandfather. Email him at


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