Lewis Grizzard
1946 - 1994
BORN
1946
DIED
1994


Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Lewis Grizzard died ten years ago, yet he still lives in the hearts of his legions of fans. To mark this anniversary, the AJC presents this obituary from the front page of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Monday, March 21, 1994 and Lewis' own tribute to his faithful companion, Catfish.


A son of the South Famed columnist dies at 47 following fourth heart surgery
By Charles Seabrook,Tom Bennett
Staff WRITERS


Toward the end, Lewis Grizzard, knowing his chances of seeing another springtime in his beloved Georgia were slim, still made people laugh.

Even his doctors.

They recounted Sunday that in a tense moment last week, after they had explained to Grizzard that he had less than a 50-50 chance of surviving his fourth open-heart surgery, he responded:

"When's the next bus to Albuquerque?"

Grizzard, whose thrice-weekly syndicated humor column made hundreds of thousands of readers laugh, died Sunday morning at Emory University Hospital in an intensive care unit after a life-support system was removed. He was 47.

Death came from massive brain damage, apparently caused by an obstruction that broke off from his aorta before or during surgery and lodged in an artery that fed oxygenated blood to his brain.

His body will be on public view at the McKoon Funeral Home in Newnan from 3-9 p.m. today. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Moreland Methodist Church, the church he called "so dear to my childhood."

He married there for the first time (at age 19) in 1966 to Nancy Jones. He married for the fourth time four days ago (to Dedra Kyle) in the hospital where he died.

He once said he wanted "somebody, preferably Willie Nelson," to sing his favorite hymn, "Precious Memories," at his funeral. His body, however, will be cremated, and the ashes buried next to his mother's grave in Moreland.

His mother, Christine Word Atkinson, died in 1989 after a long illness. In many poignant columns and books, Grizzard wrote with near reverence of the former first-grade schoolteacher.

"Mama taught me that an education was necessary for a fuller life," he wrote. "She taught me an appreciation of the language. She taught a love of words, of how they should be used and how they can fill a creative soul with a passion and lead it to a life's work."

The Washington Post wrote: "He compares every woman to his mother, who spoiled him rotten."

But he reserved some of his most moving columns for his father, Lewis Grizzard Sr., a highly decorated veteran of World War II and the Korean War who died in 1970 of a stroke.

Grizzard said that after his father returned from the Korean War, he was a changed man. "He began to bender-drink heavily. He couldn't handle the family finances and borrowed large sums of money. He eventually left the army, or the army left him.

"My mother could no longer cope with my father's problems and had a 6-year-old on her hands. She moved us to her parents' home and eventually divorced my father."

Jim Minter, a former Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor and one of Grizzard's closest friends, said "one of Lewis's worries . . . was that he didn't measure up to his dad."

Grizzard said his book about his father, "Daddy Was a Pistol and I'm a Son of a Gun," was his favorite.

Humor to the hilt

In large part, his family roots were responsible for making Grizzard a fiercely proud Southerner. His 20 books and syndicated columns in the Journal-Constitution and 450 other newspapers played redneck humor to the hilt. He took special delight in attacking Yankees, liberal politicians, draft evaders and feminists.

Many readers, instead of laughing at his wit, became enraged. Some called him a racist, a label Grizzard vehemently denied.

Divorced three times, Grizzard wrote that women's activities should be limited to rubbing his back, hugging his neck, baking pies, frying chicken and washing his clothes.

"He's pricked some people once considered off-limits to pricking," Minter said. "He [was] absolutely the best of anyone I know at walking up to the edge of bad taste without being in bad taste."

Pat Conroy, another best-selling Southern author whose novels often decried racism and other problems of the South, once suggested that Grizzard represented mostly what was wrong with the South.

Conroy wrote that he "loathed" the South that Grizzard revered.

Grizzard, who loathed neckties, once acknowledged in a television interview that "I'm not a modern man." Many of his friends said he was born two centuries too late.

Grizzard poked fun at his record of marital problems and his greatest phobia - flying in airplanes. Whenever possible, he preferred to travel by car or bus.

A favorite target was Georgia Tech, the football rival of his alma mater, the University of Georgia. Grizzard was a fixture at Sanford Stadium on the Georgia campus on Saturday afternoons when his beloved football Dawgs played at home.

Former Georgia head football coach Vince Dooley, whose team won the national championship in 1980 with running great Herschel Walker, was one of Grizzard's closest friends. Dooley's successor, Ray Goff, was at the hospital Sunday when Grizzard died.

Grizzard left the university needing one course to graduate. Years later, UGA gave it to him and awarded him a journalism degree.

Popular on lecture circuit

Grizzard was a popular figure on the lecture circuit, commanding up to $20,000 a speech. He occasionally appeared on television, including guest spots on "The Tonight Show," "Designing Women" and "Larry King Live."

The columns, books and personal appearances made him wealthy, but Grizzard yearned to be taken seriously as a writer.

"I wish one time in my life I could do what other writers do . . . get me a villa in Spain and go there to write a book," he said in a 1992 magazine interview. "I'd like to know what I could do if I really had the time to spend on writing a book, with no columns or shows to do at the same time."

Lewis McDonald Grizzard Jr. was born Oct. 20, 1946, at Fort Benning, Ga.

After his mother divorced his father, she returned to Moreland and remarried. The young Grizzard grew up there and went to Moreland Elementary. He graduated from high school in nearby Newnan in 1964.

As a UGA freshman, he was a summertime feature writer for the Newnan Times-Herald. That September, he joined the 2-month-old Athens Daily News.

Newspaper 'boy wonder'

He became a "boy wonder" of the newspaper business. He was named sports editor of the Athens newspaper at 19, and, at 21, became sports editor of The Atlanta Journal. He became an assistant city editor of The Journal in 1975, but left after a short stint to free-lance for Sports Illustrated and other publications.

Later that year, however, he joined the sports department of the Chicago Sun-Times, and that October was named executive sports editor.

But Grizzard disliked Chicago intensely, especially its bitter winters. Last year, when he was facing his third open-heart operation, which almost killed him, he said the surgery would be about as pleasant as "having to move back to Chicago."

In April 1977, pining for Georgia, Grizzard phoned his old friend and mentor, Minter, then The Constitution's managing editor. Minter said he was thinking of hiring a sports columnist.

"Hire me!" Grizzard said, and Minter did. The column began in The Constitution's sports section.

In February 1978, the newspaper announced that Grizzard's column would move over to the news section. Veteran reporters at the newspaper speculated that Grizzard might fall flat on his face because he lacked experience in news.

Column caught on

But his columns caught on like wildfire. They became the talk of Atlanta, and then the South. He was syndicated to other papers by King Features.

Decrying computers, he pounded out his columns on a vintage Royal manual typewriter, and phoned them in to his assistant, Gerrie Ferris - "Wanda Fribish" in his columns.

The fictional characters from his childhood, so familiar to his readers, began to emerge: Weyman C. Wannamaker Jr., Kathy Sue Loudermilk and Cordie Mae Poovey.

His move into book-writing became a Southern publishing event. Peachtree Publishers of Atlanta distributed his first book, the 1979 collection of his columns titled "Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You," and it sold 75,000 copies the first week.

His second book, "Elvis Is Dead And I Don't Feel So Good Myself," made The New York Times best-seller list. He was annually the region's best-selling author.

He chronicled his newspaper career in a book that also summed up his feelings about the South: "If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I'm Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground."

At the time of his death, he was planning his 21st book - about dogs, especially his Labrador retriever, Catfish, who died five months ago.

Stage and album

Grizzard added concert stage appearances in 1985. A favorite closing line: "Life is like a dog-sled team; if you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes."

That same year he released a comedy album, "On the Road With Lewis Grizzard - I've Seen England, I've Seen France, I've Seen Miss America Without Her Underpants."

Most readers, however, knew him through his newspaper columns.

As his fame spread, he let readers and audiences in on the details of a playboy lifestyle he had adopted. In one column, the onetime country boy from Moreland described how he had shot the rapids on a river in Idaho; in another, how he had spent the day sunning himself on the Cote d'Azur in the south of France - and taking note of the topless swimsuit attire.

Some of his newspaper colleagues were models for some of the characters. Journal-Constitution reporter Bill Robinson, his longtime friend, became Billy Bob Bailey, the world's most obnoxious Alabama fan.

He wrote about things he liked - home-grown tomatoes, Moon Pies, doughnuts and especially barbecue - and things he disliked: buttermilk, fishing, computers, electric typewriters, Dom DeLuise and TV evangelists.

Columnists are fair game for every cause and complaint, and Grizzard frequently gave the space to them - a hit-and-run victim, a couple whose home had been burglarized.

But more commonly he wrote about his passions: trains, patriotism, pickup trucks, cowboys, his dog Catfish and country music.

The trivialities of his life filled the column: He couldn't build or repair anything. At age 7 he wanted to be Roy Rogers. His mother made him bathe. No one could cook eggs over medium-well the way his mother could.

Commentary and criticism

But he also ventured into social commentary, sometimes drawing sharp criticism.

When some friends who had been rafting on the Chattahoochee River found themselves in the midst of a gay raft race, Grizzard wrote that people "have a right to float down the river without having to see a sex show, gay or otherwise. If sex had been meant to be an outdoor activity, we would never have been given motel rooms." Gays blasted the column as unfair.

But he frustrated his conservative readers, too, when he supported abortion and gun control. Of the latter, he wrote: "The National Rifle Association [members] are bullet brains. I'd like to see the animals armed."

After his 1993 heart surgery, Grizzard took a softer tone in his columns, writing appreciatively of his recovery and his relationship with Dedra.

Mainly, he loved life, and it showed, said his friends. Grizzard said one of his big worries was that "somewhere there is a great party going on, and I'm missing it."


HIS BOOKS

The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture called Lewis Grizzard "the Faulkner of the common man." Here's a list of his books:

"Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You," 1979.

"Elvis Is Dead and I Don't Feel So Good Myself" and "Won't You Come Home, Billy Bob Bailey?," 1980.

`Don't Sit Under the Grits Tree With Anyone Else But Me," 1981.

"They Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat," about his first open-heart surgery, 1982.

"If Love Were Oil, I'd Be About a Quart Low," 1983.

"Shoot Low Boys, They're Ridin' Shetland Ponies," 1985.

"My Daddy Was a Pistol and I'm a Son of a Gun" and "When My Love Returns From the Ladies Room, Will I Be Too Old to Care?," 1987.

"Don't Bend Over in the Garden, Granny, You Know Them 'Taters Got Eyes," 1988.

"Chili Dawgs Always Bark at Night" and "Lewis Grizzard on Fear of Flying," 1989.

"If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I'm Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground," "Advice to Newly Wed . . . & the Newly Divorced" and "Does a Wild Bear Chip in the Woods?," about golf, 1990.

"You Can't Put No Boogie-Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll," "Don't Forget to Call Your Mama, I Wish I Could Call Mine," and "Heapin' Helping of True Grizzard: Down Home Again With Lewis Grizzard," 1991.
"I Haven't Understood Anything Since 1962: And Other Nekkid Truths," 1992.

"I Took a Lickin' and Kept on Tickin' and Now I Believe in Miracles," 1993.

Source: Books on File, 1992-93
© The Atlanta Journal - Constitution




***


Originally published November 28, 1993 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Reprinted Monday, March 21, 1994:

Catfish, the black Lab, has up and died By Lewis Grizzard
STAFF

    My dog Catfish, the black Lab, died Thanksgiving night.

The vet said his heart gave out.

Down in the country, they would have said, "Lewis's dog up and died." He would have been 12 had he lived until January.

Catfish had a good life. He slept indoors. Mostly he ate what I ate. We shared our last meal Tuesday evening in our living room in front of the television.

We had a Wendy's double cheeseburger and some chili.

Catfish was a gift from my friends Barbara and Vince Dooley. Vince, of course, is the athletic director at the University of Georgia. Barbara is a noted speaker and author.

I named him driving back to Atlanta from Athens where I had picked him up at the Dooleys' home. I don't know why I named him what I named him. He was all curled up in a blanket on my back seat. And I looked at him and it just came out. I called him: "Catfish."

I swear he raised up from the blanket and acknowledged. Then he severely fouled the blanket and my back seat.

A powerful set of jaws

He was a most destructive animal the first three years of his life.

He chewed things. He chewed books. He chewed shoes.

"I said to Catfish, 'Heel,' " I used to offer from behind the dais, "and he went to my closet and chewed up my best pair of Guccis."

Catfish chewed television remote control devices. Batteries and all.

He chewed my glasses. Five pairs of them.

One day, when he was still a puppy, he got out of the house without my knowledge. The doorbell rang. It was a young man who said, "I hit your dog with my car, but I think he's OK."

He was. He had a small cut on his head and he was frightened, but he was otherwise unhurt.

"I came around the corner," the young man explained, "and he was in the road chewing on something. I hit my brakes the second I saw him."

"Could you tell what he was chewing on?" I asked.

"I know this sounds crazy," the young man answered, "but I think it was a beer bottle."

Catfish stopped chewing while I still had a house. Barely.

Known far and wide

He was a celebrity, Catfish. I spoke recently in Michigan.

Afterwards a lady came up to me and said, "I was real disappointed with your speech. You didn't mention Catfish."

Catfish used to get his own mail. Just the other day the manufacturer of a new brand of dog food called "Country Gold," with none other than George Jones's picture on the package, sent Catfish a sample of its new product. For the record, he stil preferred cheeseburgers and chili.

Catfish was once grand marshal of the Scottsboro, Ala., annual Catfish Festival. He was on television and got to ride in the front seat of a police car with its siren on.

He was a patient, good-natured dog, too. Jordan, who is 5, has been pulling his ears since she was 2. She even tried to ride him at times. He abided with nary a growl.

Oh, that face and those eyes. What he could do to me with that face and those eyes. He would perch himself next to me on the sofa in the living room and look at me.

And love and loyalty would pour out with that look, and as long as I had that, there was very little the human race could do to harm my self- esteem.

Good dogs don't love bad people.

He was smart. He was fun. And he loved to ride in cars. There were times he was all that I had.

And now he has up and died. My own heart, or what is left of it, is breaking.

© The Atlanta Journal - Constitution
Published by Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Mar. 19, 2004.
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401 Entries
Lewis was a friend that I never got to meet. He helped me through so much, and he never even knew it.
Ricky E Byrd
Friend
September 15, 2021
Love me some Lewis!
Just like Lewis I am an American by birth and a Southerner by the grace of God!
Lakeshia Richmond
Acquaintance
June 8, 2021
I’m an admirer of Lewis
Jim Blackwell
June 7, 2021
He was a wonderful writer, I laughed so hard at some of his adventures of growing up. There will never be another Author like him, I loved his writings,
Jeannie
Friend
February 21, 2021
Lewis, when you left us, it was like losing a member of our family. I couldn't wait to see the Designing Women episode because I had never seen you in person, and you did not disappoint. As time went by, I didn't forget you, I was just busy being married, having 3 babies and working. After my mother and step father passed away, I inherited their Lewis books and am in heaven again. How can you not love a man who wrote a book "Shoot low boys, they're riding shetland ponies". You were God awesome and still missed. I am signing this as friend because that's what you were to my family and me.
Rhonda Berry
Friend
February 19, 2021
He was my favorite writer, read his columns everyday in the Huntsville News. I laughed so hard I cried in some of them. I have read every one of his books. I loved him and I miss reading his columns. RIP Lewis.
Jeannie
Friend
September 15, 2020
Lewis checked out when the gettin' was good, I can't feel bad about that. Likely as not, he'll come back around when things get better.
KingCola
Friend
September 12, 2020
My husband has the cartoon of Catfish meeting you in heaven, framed and on his office wall. I noticed it today and went online to learn all I can about you and Catfish. After reading for three hours, I know we lost a remarkable person! I am glad that you and Catfish are together again.
Joanne McLaurin
Acquaintance
July 29, 2020
You are greatly missed old friend.
Wayne Lutz
September 3, 2019
Didn't discover the writing of Lewis Grizzard until I was stationed in Jacksonville, FL (Mayport NS) and started dating my wife, who lived in Atlanta at the time ( around 1993)... miss you, Lewis. RIP...
Kevin Kuehler
Student
July 31, 2019
Sure do miss you! Still have all of your books and love to look back at a simpler time - even though we didn't think it was. If you could see how things are now! Nah, you were an old soul, and I consider myself an old soul. I treasure meeting you briefly and my personally signed book. Thank you for all that you were. Your humor is timeless.
Carol Bates
July 26, 2019
I realize this is a late entry-But I want to say, I've read almost all your books, and loved them all. I am a liberal Democrat and you are the only republican I could ever like. Your writing was a true gift and your life was a blessing to many. God bless you dear man, you are remembered with admiration.
Marie Williams
July 25, 2019
My flesh never met you, but my soul did. Each time I picked up one of your books. In high school, sometimes you were all I had. You helped me through alot of hell, and never even knew it.
Ricky E Byrd
May 13, 2018
From Carole--Living in California--not my idea, but never really left Georgia and when I get too homesick, I pick up one of your books I own and drift back to God's Country via The Big Chicken and Peachtree Street. Remember, Lewis--American by birth, and Southern by the grace of GOD:) See y'all later!!!
CArole Morrison
December 24, 2017
Just imagine how proud Lewis would be of his beloved UGA Dawgs for winning the SEC championship and soon to be playing for the NCAA football national championship.
December 24, 2017
What a tragic loss, but how great it was to know him through his writings. You are remembered Lewis. Carry on!
KB Pate
December 23, 2017
Lewis Grizzard is dead and I don't feel so good myself. To paraphrase Lewis, in some ways I'm glad he "didn't live long enough to see the trash we have entertaining the youth today." I hate that he died so young, but also can't imagine how much he would have been vilified over the last 20 years of political correctness. Rest in peace.
Rob W
September 7, 2017
A great humorist. Our modern day Mark Twain. I reread his
books frequently.
KATHY Etheridge
August 9, 2016
Carole Morrison
August 7, 2016
A gem!
May 12, 2016
I have read all of Mr. Grizzard's books several times, in fact my daughter bought me his entire catalog and gave it to me as a Christmas present this year which prompted my search leading me here. Lewis is easily my favorite author but I am a bit prejudiced as I started reading him in the Sports section of the Atlanta Journal in my youth. I have very proudly instilled a fondness of Lewis in my daughter as well. I prayed for him when he was ill and I cried like a baby when he left this world. Lewis you will always be both loved and missed by your readers. A fellow Georgian and admirer for life.
Timothy Blinkhorn
May 5, 2016
Good Lord we need Lewis now so bad! Thank you Lewis for leaving us your heart in words.
EB Abrams
August 17, 2015
Only Lewis could come up with something funny to say about underwear. He talked about the ones that "ride up", and "made you look like you had a letter in your mail-slot. You are missed Lewis!
Tony Rush
August 5, 2015
21 years now. Miss you Lewis. Go Dawgs!
L Allen
August 4, 2015
When I was in high school, before school started, I would go to the library and read Lewis' column in the Atlanta Journal. After a while the librarian would see me coming and would go ahead and have the paper ready for me. She knew that I loved reading Lewis' columns. When his books would come in, she made sure I was the first one to check them out. I now own all of his books and albums. I still love reading and listening to them.
Gene Callan
February 14, 2015
think of all the humor we have lost thru the years!!!!!!
mary jane nodine
October 4, 2014
Missed
K Doby
October 3, 2014
Has it really been 20 years??? I'm fixin to introduce my 13 year old son to you. He and his friends are TRUE sons of the South...you'd be proud.
Kim G
August 24, 2014
20 years ago this Spring, I was driving back from Savannah to Atlanta on a Sunday mid day. Recently divorced, I had gone down to Savannah to visit my kids. I might have gotten a divorce, but I never planned on not having my kids in my life. I pulled into the Metter Mcdonalds for a coke when the announcement came over the radio. Lewis had died, I parked and cried as though a brother had died. Life can be cruel.
Larry Shinall
June 4, 2014
still reading his books! they make me smile and laugh outloud!!! hope to visit moreland, ga. someday.......... mary jane nodine
mary jane nodine
January 13, 2014
I LOVE YOUR BOOKS.
GINA ROBINSON
January 8, 2014
My mother loves collecting depression glass, we go to 2nd hand stores, antique malls etc...I lost her May 26, 2011 to Breast Cancer. This past Monday I stopped spur of the moment at a new shop that just opened. On a table was a book that "literally" spoke to me. Don't forget to call your mama...I wish I could call mine. I was dumbstruck and knew I had to buy it. Straining to read the price, I noticed on the side of the sticker in smaller print DEb. That's my NAME! Oh My, definitely a sign from above that momma was with me. So on that day I was introduced to Lewis Grizzard, and the values his mother instilled in him, just as my mother had done for me. The most bizzare co-incidence was on page 129 when Lewis learns of his heart murmur. I have a heart murmur. More specifically a Bicuspid Aortic Valve.
Why was I led that day to Lewis Grizzard? I will let you know when I found out.
Debbie
Debra McKay
October 7, 2013
Lewis was a Son of the South and a Dawg through and through - I hope somehow he understood how much happiness and food for thought he gave us and I'm thankful that God let us borrow him for an all to short a time. God has a good man with him now, a kind, gentle and funny man and I'm sure Lewis insisted that his mansion be in Southern part of heaven right next to his Mama's. I know that right now he's sitting there scratching Catfish on the head, sipping a cold one and waiting on the next Georgia game to start. Lewis, we all miss you so much. Your work was timeless and a whole new generation is getting to know and love you.
D. Wood
October 6, 2013
I discovered Lewis Grizzard as a youngster and read most of his books and his columns. He was an amazing, original, true, honest, and loved individual. I cried when he died; he died the year I graduated high school. Now I am 37 and can't believe he was only 10 years older than I am now when he died. The South and the world lost a treasure when he died but he'll always live on in our hearts and funny bones. Love and miss you Lewis
Becky Byars
June 18, 2013
Lewis continues, even today, to bring joy to my heart and a smile to my lips. I read 1 article from 1 of his books each night before I go to sleep to create a fun sleep time.
Debbie Egbert
May 16, 2013
Lewis and I were fraternity brothers at UGA and he convinced me to quit wearing oaks in 1966 and I still do not wear socks except when its below 32 degrees. His driver, James Shannon, was Los a good friend, who saved me many times from getting a DUI by taking me home.
Al Wise
March 31, 2013
I met Lewis in the early 90's when the radio station I worked for at the time hosted him for a live appearance. My girlfriend (now my wife) and I still have the photographs of us with Lewis & the two books he autographed for us. She was still in school at the time and actually got class credit for attending his live show. Lewis thought that was funny & congratulated her for pulling one over on her teacher. I agreed with his opinions more than I disagreed with him. He died much too young and I truly believe our country would be better off if Lewis were still regularly sharing his opinions on politics, culture, and current events. I enjoy re-reading his books. The internet and devices like Kindles have opened up a new opportunity for people to enjoy his work but I truly believe Lewis would have turned his nose up at the whole scene. I think about Lewis often and miss his wit and wisdom. Somewhere, he's kicked back in a recliner eating a moon pie, watching SEC football while Catfish chews a show.
Joe Wiggins
March 22, 2013
I found Lewis after moving to Atlanta 25 years ago. Collected and read all of his books (still have them), absolutely heart broken when I heard of his death that Sunday afternoon. My wife gave me a couple of framed pictures from his museum that still hang on my walls today.
Jay Edge
March 22, 2013
AS A MODERN DAY . SON OF THE SOUTH, I HAVE LIVED A MUCH ENRICHED LIFE....THANKS TO MR. GRIZZARD , SHARING HIS TALENT.....LEWIS,I'LL SEE YOU AND CATFISH,,,, JUST INSIDE THE GATES..SIGNED DON (PROFESSOR BOLLWEEVIL) ARMSTRONG.....
DON ARMSTRONG
March 22, 2013
ALL THE FANS OF MR. GRIZZARD SHOULD GET TOGETHER AT SOME POINT FOR SOME LONG NECKS, FRIED CHICKEN, AND TRADE STORIES. I WOULD JUST LOVE TO!!!!!!!!!!
February 27, 2013
I miss him so much, read all his books, Enjoyed his column in the newspaper too,
Jeannie Medlen
February 23, 2013
ONE OF THE FIRST TEMP JOBS I HAD WHEN I MOVED TO GA WAS FOR MR. GRIZZARD. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO READ ALL OF HIS BOOKS, AND I AM STILL LAUGHING. THAT WAS OVER 22YEARS AGO. HE WAS TRUELY A FUNNY MAN. HOPE HE AND TINY ARE TOGETHER.
MARILYN HACKNEY-HOLLIS
February 23, 2013
My Vet has the cartoon in his office of Lewis being greeted by Catfish at the Pearly Gates. Lewis you are missed especially today when there is so little to laugh about in our government.
February 22, 2013
I Enjoyed Lewis for many years.. He lives on in our hearts! God Bless Lewis and Catfish!
Bruce Smith
January 3, 2013
stew kellum i read in the Winston Journal in the editorial page a pundit Dana Millbank quoptesd from Erskine Bowles or Alan Simpsom said about Congress from Lewis Grizzard said "Do you know the diference between being naked and nekid? Naked you don
't have any clothes on and nekid you are naked ,but up to something" Hey that's Congress, Carry on,Ol;'Sopn
December 3, 2012
He was great
November 13, 2012
The world needs some humor and you are greatly missed.
Benjamin Dentre
October 22, 2012
Recently moved to a new home and unpacked my collection of books by Lewis; I remember the 2 hours I stood in line to get an autographed copy - thanks so much for the memories and making me laugh so much. You were a great American - I don't think you would like the America of today too much.
Carol Bates
October 1, 2012
Mark TIDD
September 21, 2012
Lewis and Catfish will stay alive in our hearts always.
Marilyn Mauldin
September 8, 2012
I still miss Lewis' columns in the AJC every day. I have been rereading some of his books and just went through Moreland this past weekend and couldn't help but imagine him as a young newly wed coming out of the Methodist Church. I can only imagine the columns he would be writing today with the new technology and the pants around the young men's knees. Lewis, you are truly missed.
Cathy Culverhouse
August 28, 2012
I'm reading your book and love it. RIP.
Bonnie Campbell, Leavenworth, KS
August 19, 2012
My lunch buddies talked about you and Catfish today at Rotary.

My wife and I were fortunate enough to see you perform in Jonesboro, AR for the first annual Heart Foundation fundraiser.
Russell Patton
August 7, 2012
Only you can make me laugh & cry in the same moment. Your accounts make my own more poignant. Miss you always.
Ashli McCall
August 1, 2012
I miss his writing those hilarious books, world lost one of the best writers ever.
Jeannie Medlen
July 16, 2012
Lewis was another "Great American" and will be missed forever.
Tony Rush
July 14, 2012
The world has lost one of the best writers in the world. Never be another like him. I have read all his books. Love u Lewis
June 14, 2012
Lewis,
This old world just ain't been the same place since you left it.
Bruce Walters
June 11, 2012
Lewis, you and Catfish be good up there . . . hear?
Buddy Brown
May 9, 2012
MELINDA GRIZZARD
MELINDA GRIZZARD
May 7, 2012
Dennis Holland
February 2, 2012
Lewis You are bringing a smile to your southern brothers faces. RIP brother,a true son of the souh.
Todd True
January 28, 2012
Still missing him, read his column daily.
January 8, 2012
Just saw "Oh Brother" for maybe the billionth time, but only just now discovered this vulnerable, hilarious Southern gent is no longer with us. My condolences to his family and friends. I know he will be greatly missed by those he touched on a daily basis.

Robi Cook (Phoenix, Arizona)
January 7, 2012
jer kANE
January 3, 2012
Dear Great American,
I have moved 47 times and lived all over this country. Everywhere I moved I had your books to keep my beloved south tickling my heart. I am now living outside of Atlanta and enjoying those same books in my later years. Having never met you, I still feel like you were my friend. That's the way it is in the south, but your talent made that even more real. So many of your phrases are repeated every day by people who don't know from whence they came. But I do. I've practically memorized your books. Wish I could read your latest......but God is surely proofreading it now. Thank you for touching my life while I was living north, east and west and helping me keep the faith until I nailed my feet to Georgia.Thank you! Still missing you!
Deborah
October 3, 2011
Lewis, I am a 47 year old black woman and I just realized a couple of days ago that I haven't lauged the way you made me and my mama laugh. I really miss you and I miss catfish as much. I tried to explain to my yankee boss who you were and I did a right decent recounting of a lot of your stories and he howled! There is a huge hole left where you resided on the pages of the AJC and nothing like you have been able to fill it. I content myself with the thought of you and Catfish sitting on a porch with your dear mother. You are sincerely missed.
yolanda glenn
July 25, 2011
Dear Lewis, I know that you are at rest, but my dear father loved your stories and your humor so very much, and I know why. I am also touched by your love for "Catfish", as I love dogs and one in particular that was a best friend to me.
What a gift you were to our funny-bones and our Southern hearts! May you rest in humorous and happy peace and may God bless those you love.
J Purvis
June 29, 2011
He is my favorite comedy writer, I have laughed till tears rolled down at his boyhood antics. I miss and love him.
Jeannie Medlen
June 10, 2011
It has been many years since Lewis left this life and moved on to the heaven of
Georgia. I still miss his columns, they brought me many days of joy.
Tom Miller
June 8, 2011
I just loved his newspaper column in the Atlanta paper. I also loved his cassette recording titled "Don't believe I'da told that. It was hilarious.
eleanor leszczak
May 21, 2011
To this day, I can't get enough of Lewis Grizzard. What a talent! I've driven down the road many times with tears laughing so hard as I listened to his tapes. A real gem of a writer!
David Grimm
May 5, 2011
What a great southern man as well Georgian.If more people had Lewis's outlook on things we may all be just a tad better off.
May 1, 2011
Lewis- I am writing an Essay about you for my collage Southern Culture Class this weekend on March 20, 2011. I am 49 years old and from the great state of North Carolina. You have made me laugh and for that I am grateful. God Bless you and the South.
James Calvin Johnson III
March 20, 2011
Lewis - Many years ago my sainted wife took me to one of your live shows in Greensboro, NC - she bought the best tickets possible and we sat right down front - I laughed so hard that when I woke up the next morning my chest hurt so bad I had trouble drawing a deep breath, thanks for a great show - I've read many of your books also.
Guy Sinclair
Graham, NC
February 21, 2011
Lewis: I miss you every day. I hope you and Catfish are enjoying yourselves up there.
Bill Hiers
February 17, 2011
I listened to your tape "Don't Think I'da Told That!" the other day and I had forgotten how you made people laugh. Still miss your column in our paper. RIP Lewis.
Daryl Young, Jr.
February 11, 2011
Lewis, It's been 17 years and I still miss you.
jan foster
February 2, 2011
Lewis, whatever you can do to help Uga VIII bite off Albert E. Gator's tail Saturday would be greatly appreciated. CMR and his 2010 Dawgs indeed need a miracle! Please, please, please, no embarrassing stunts or stupid Halloween costumes!
October 29, 2010
Lewis, thought about you on October 20 -- Happy 64th birthday! Gawd, we're getting older...and you still look the same! Sending you cheers and a belated "Double Shot of My Baby's Love" from our favorite original Swingin' Medallions of Greenwood SC, the South's (and UGA's) Best Party Band!

Uga VIII, grandson of Uga VI, has finally arrived. All his great granddaddies will be proud. He's a mighty fine looking mascot. Trust he can help inspire these 2010 Dawgs! Football at UGA has changed more than your old ticker would have been able to withstand! Sure do miss our Junkyard Dawgs, Dooley Days and you! The lights went out in Georgia and Sanford Stadium when you (and Vince) left! Atlanta and UGA were forever changed.

Thanks for the memories! Am glad we'll be able to listen to audios and read your stories in our twilight years transporting us back to our "Glory Days." We definitely need more humor on this planet. Hugs and Kisses! GG
October 29, 2010
Oh God, how I miss you Lewis!! There will never be another you, more's the pity..... Denise Andrews (Daleville, Alabama)
October 28, 2010
We miss you Lewis, the world is a much too serious place these days.
Jason Wegner
September 23, 2010
I've come back to read about Grizzard & Catfish today (many years later). My own dawg died this morning. I got this half-lab/half Aus.Shepherd about the same time that Catfish died. Named my new dawg in honor of Grizzard's Catfish. RIP, Perch. Sept. 20, 2010
September 20, 2010
You are missed.
Wade Wichman
September 5, 2010
THE GREATEST COMEDY WRITER OF ALL TIME! Love you Lewis
July 29, 2010
Sorry i meant that i dated Lewis grizzards cousin Neil Grizzard in the 50;s we love you Lewis Frank Carder now 67
Frank Carder
July 27, 2010
I have said before, he is the greatest comedy writer of all time. I miss reading his books so much. RIP Lewis.
April 26, 2010
I cried the day he died.
Sheilah P
April 24, 2010
Lewis Grizzard is becomming one of my favorite authors.I adore when people are just people. Im 31 and my husband and I have 2 kids. one nicknamed kenzie and the other is 17mos old boy named Bubba. uuhhgg Mr Grizzard you passion and wit will be so missed. i think im going to give out your books for christmas presents this year. even to the yankie lovin one. thank you for the passion.
keely horn
April 2, 2010
WE MISS YOU CUZ!
LEWIS AND I SHARE THE SAME GREAT-GRANDFATHER.
WHENEVER I CHECKED INTO A HOTEL I ATLANTA, IT WAS ALWAYS AN EVENT. THEY LOVED HIM AND SO DID I.
ANDY GRIZZARD, MIAMI FLORIDA
February 17, 2010
I was born in Spain, spent my childhood in the Philippines and went to college in the US, and im back in Spain, for now. Grizzard's books always went with me, they were a great way to kill time during those mind-numbing, leg-cramping flights i had to take everywhere. He seemed to me to be exactly like his idol, Weyman C. Wannamaker...a great american.
Lewis, rest in peace, hope you and Catfish are having a great time up there. Save me a comfortable chair and a cool tallboy, will ya?
Juan Manuel Trigo Bonnin
February 11, 2010

I enjoyed reading Mr.Grizzard's column in the Pensacola News Journal in the 70's. I have read all of his books and will surely miss his writing.
May God bless you and your family.
Kenny Humphreys
October 2, 2009
I have a copy of Mike Luckkovich's "A CELEBRATION OF LEWIS GRIZZARD" framed above my desk at home each day I see Catfish and Lewis every day.
John Shoeel
April 20, 2009
I was going through some old papers today and ran across the poster of Catfish greeting Lewis at the Pearly Gates - and it still brings tears to my eyes. Like so many - I loved Lewis and when I saw this site and read all the wonderful tributes, it did my heart good to see he is still so much alive in our hearts. I guess we'll always love and miss Lewis!
Carolyn Otworth
April 19, 2009
Anyone who knew you or read your writings knew that we gotta appreciate it all! And We thank you for making us realize that!

Love ya, a reader
liz
December 11, 2008
I hope that Mr. Grizzard is in heaven, one more reason for me to go there. You made me laugh about things when I didn't think it was possible to laugh about anything. Rest in peace, sir
Milissa Benson
December 9, 2008
I think the stuff he wrote is the truth. You can tell he love the dawgs. I think is a great writer.
TIM HUSK
November 19, 2008
I love Lewis Grizzard, there will never be another author as great as he was. His southern knowledge of the good ole boys and girls are right on the money. I have laughed out loud reading his books, priceless reading. Gone from the world at too young an age. Had he lived, he would have written some more best sellers and I would read them all. He is missed by us all.
Jeannie Medlen
November 1, 2008
Lewis,

Know you'll love this photo of Uga VI between the hedges in Sanford Stadium...your favorite place on Earth.
Go Dawgs! Sic'em Woof! Woof!
Judith
July 2, 2008
Dear Lewis and Beloved Damn Good Dogs!

Uga VI has come back home to be with you, Catfish and his Heavenly UGA family, both two-legged and four-legged ones (including my Sophie, Suzy, Winston and Lucky). When his welcoming committee, including Damn Good Dogs Uga I, Uga II, Uga III, Uga IV and Uga V, met him at the Rainbow Bridge, know you were beaming and shouting “Come on over here, big boy. How ‘bout them Dawgs! Sic’em Uga! Woof! Woof! His Sanford Stadium tribute was very dignified and heart wrenching especially seeing his jersey, collar and leash on top of his kennel. Many tears were shed. Momma Cecelia was so distraught she said her goodbyes at home. Daddy Sonny was strong and proud but his heart was heavy laden as always when one of his beloved Uga family leaves. He loved all his children equally...none were better than the other...all unique and special.

If any man ever needed a hug, Sonny Seiler needed one when he picked up Uga VI’s leash, collar and jersey...also Charles Seiler after he brought his buddy across Sanford Stadium. My heart went out to both men and a flotilla of angels wrapped them in their arms. Swann, Sarah, little William and many other loved family and friends were sad beyond words. Tusk, the Arkansas Razorback mascot thoughtfully sent a beautiful wreath. Except playing UGA, Fayetteville is a nice place to be. Unsure if the Bumble Bee sent anything. Loran Smith wrote a beautiful tribute in the Athens paper to his namesake Uga V’s Whatchagot Loran. We can only imagine the tribute you would have written in the AJC? You loved UGA!.

The Dawgs have a big season this Fall and we need little Uga VII to lead UGA to the National Championship. The Bulldog Nation would be greatly appreciative if y’all could “assist” on those “short and inches” and when necessary, tip the ball over into our end zones. Am aware the opponents also have Heavenly coaches, refs and fans, but 2008 really is the Dawgs’ year for the Big One! Shout across the Heavenly Galaxy. Dawgs are Great in 2008--Pure Heaven for Uga VI!

Another request, please help ease the pain of all the Seiler family, and wipe away their many tears at the physical loss of their dear family member. The Seiler family gives unconditionally to the Bulldog Nation accepting no money for all Uga’s work, playing their own expenses and season tickets, and giving body, mind, soul and spirit to the University of Georgia and all she represents. UGA and it’s extended family are indeed blessed to have their generous hearts and spirits. Brother Charles, having lead Uga III onto the field in 1972, has been a wonderful sideline companion to his loyal buddies for 26 years. Momma Cecelia and Daddy Sonny are indeed the best doting parents any Dawg would be blessed to enjoy. Swann, at the age of 10, rode in the backseat of the family car with a young Uga snuggled in her pocket. Lewis, was also difficult accepting your spirit leaving so soon. Yes, we all are selfish... we want what we want...however, many of us would love for our spirits to also soar with the angels. What a glorious sight looking down on our beautiful planet. Your heart puckered out with those heart-stopping Dawg football moments! Even Uga VI’s big loving S’vanah heart finally said “Enough of those hot Saturday afternoons sitting on ice bags with 92,000 screaming fans. Time to rest my heart and soul and let my spirit soar with the angels.”

Lewis, many of the younger Bulldog Nation never got to know and love you like us “older Dawgs” who will always cherish your authentic wit and Southern humor. When I’m feeling down I listen to some of your tapes... love the story about the Yankee buying the black lab...and the Yankee wearing shorts and birkenstocks....“Delta is ready when you are.” Often wonder what you’d be writing in your AJC columns. Yankees and Georgia football were your favorite subjects. I also would venture that your spirit showed up in most of Uga V’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil movie scenes. You always did love Clint Eastwood and media attention (let’s forget that embarrassing Johnny Carson Tonight Show experience!). Am sure your ole heart would have a difficult time understanding all that is going on these days. Long way from our Hot’lana Days. Would certainly fill your daily AJC columns...especially the political dog and pony shows. Maybe Sam will come save America! Maybe the “spiritual Lewis Grizzard” has aa more enlightening perspective... maybe you and Uga VI just knew the right time to leave. Always said when Harrison’s closed the time would be right to leave Atlanta...and we both did!

Your guest book with 33 pages is large with many fans from all over the world; however, in just six days Uga VI’s guest book will have 200 pages with condolences from fans and friends all over the football world--even from Auburn, Florida, LSU and Arkansas...and maybe one or two from the trade school. We love and miss you! Save ice from your daily toddy for the Chilly Dawgs. Watch over them (and us) and enjoy heavenly walks and runs (maybe catch some Auburn, FL, LSU, Tech running backs.

See y’all Between the Hedges August 30! As a wise Lewis Grizzard once wrote...“When I get back to Georgia I’m gonna nail my feet to the ground.” Dawg hugs and sweet kisses from an Uga II ‘71 Perry Ga. Peach enduring ACC territory. Thank God for Direct TV, SEC Football and the UGA Motto...Go Dawgs! Sic’em, Woof! Woof!
Judith
July 2, 2008
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