Asking for Help

By Dr. Jim Ferguson I’ve been thinking about self-sufficiency as I watch the pears, apples, plums and peaches on my fruit trees mature and wait for my garden to produce. We live in the humid and warm south so you must use insecticides and fungicides if you want any harvest. And I learned from reading […]

The Mask

By Dr. Jim Ferguson The sign of our times is the “Mask.” I was always curious seeing Asian cultures such as the Chinese and Japanese wearing masks in public. Understandably, the polluted air of Beijing and industrial areas of China might require a filter – or an oxygen mask. Masks other than the specially fitted […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson The Right Reverend Martin Luther King’s famous words, “Free at last, free at last…” popped into my mind last week as I severed my connection with Facebook. For years I enjoyed pictures of my friends and their families, memories and conversations, as well as the occasional interest piece. But unfortunately, Facebook […]

Mots Justes

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Somewhere along the way, I developed an appreciation of history and language. Maybe I was born with recessive historical or writing genes which somehow became activated. I don’t know how this occurred, but I’ve come to understand there are a lot of things I don’t know, and there are things I’ll […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson As I write this column, it is day forty-four of our “sheltering in place,” and we’ve had enough. Tonight, our neighborhood friends will join us in Blount County at our favorite Mexican restaurant to celebrate “liberation” with margaritas and Tex-Mex. The straw that broke the camels back occurred when I found […]

Skeptic or cynic?

By Dr. Jim Ferguson I have to admit that the more I listen to “experts” the more confused I become. As a citizen and physician, I believe it is my duty to stay informed. So, I read widely.  And I watch the daily White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings. Admittedly, I have an a priori […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson A common idiom holds that there are two sides of a coin. The interpretation of this saying, or dichotomy, is a contrast between oppositional perspectives. Philosophically, I’ve always held that with any concept you can conceive of its opposite. Simple examples are left/right, up/down or matter/anti-matter. I am a monotheist and […]

Coronavirus connections

By Dr. Jim Ferguson I’m tired of thinking about the coronavirus crisis, though it is difficult not to be in its clutches. Becky’s mother just celebrated her 103rd birthday and Becky organized family and friends to parade by our matriarch within their cars because of social distancing! It was a unique celebration. So much so […]

Keeping the Faith

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Few Americans would argue that life has changed dramatically in the last month. For me, even 9/11 and retirement pale in comparison to the COVID–19 pandemic. All my life I was racing somewhere: college, then medical school, my office or the hospital, even family dinners or my daughters’ activities. In the […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson The coronavirus crisis continues and obscures all other news such as Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and this year’s flu which has already killed 41,000 Americans. Actually, Biden is fortunate that he’s sheltered from crowds and gaffs. In some ways I feel sorry for Ole Joe, coerced into his presidential run and […]