dwain walden.tif

Dwain Walden is editor and publisher of The Moultrie Observer.

If I were asked to give an example of irony it would be that I was the only one in my family born in a hospital, but yet the state has no record of my birth. Go figure.

I presently am on a quest to get a birth certificate after discovering that the document I’ve had all these years is not legitimate. So if my company wanted to send me to the Ukraine to cover the turmoil there, I couldn’t go because I couldn’t get a passport without a birth certificate. Here’s some more irony: In 1968 the U.S. government was ready to send me to Vietnam without a passport.

Not only that, the IRS is confident that I was born and that I’m real. And I know that I’m real because I’ve had kidney stones, shingles, gout and appendicitis and they all were very painful. When you hurt that much, you know that you were born.

Meanwhile, I have been to two health departments and two probate courts with a sack full of documents. And I think I have successfully run the gauntlet. In three to six months I can expect to receive a birth certificate.

 Now don’t get me wrong. The staffers in these offices were very understanding, proficient, kind and helpful in my quest. They, too, thought it strange that I was the only one in my family born in a hospital but the state had no record of that event. And the fact that my dog had more papers on her than I had on me has not impacted my self-esteem.

Now when I say that I should have a legitimate birth certificate in two to six months, I must qualify that statement. At least one of the documents I presented had to have both my mother’s and father’s names on it. They were on my application for my marriage license. But with all that’s happened so far, I’m afraid that a wrinkle still exists. You see my mom’s maiden name was the same as my father’s last name.

When I was a teenager and got my social security card, I had great difficulty in that process. Apparently the Social Security Administration had never heard of two people with the same last names getting married. I think they thought I was from Alabama or something. Eventually I convinced them that I knew what “maiden” meant.

So I won’t be surprised if I have to further explain myself in this case. I’m just hoping that all of this can be settled before I renew my driver’s license. I have no reason to believe that I will need a passport right away, although I did get a couple of emails recently from people who suggested I go some place that might require one. That’s not uncommon in the news business. In fact, had I known of all the free advice I would get in this profession, I wouldn’t have had to go to college.

Here’s some more irony. It soon could be easier to get a permit to carry a gun to church in Georgia than it is to get a birth certificate. In that regard, I’m still wondering what kind of church would allow you to pack heat in a gathering that is supposed to promote peace, harmony and brotherly love. I do realize that some churches will try to scare the hell out of you so maybe this fits the bill.

Just a few paragraphs above, I besmirched Alabama just a bit. So to be fair and balanced, Georgia’s gun law proposals are termed the most drastic (and absurd) in the country. And I must also note that Georgia plays host to the filming of “The Walking Dead” and “Honey Boo Boo.”

Now let me close this rambling by saying that you should check your birth document to make sure it’s legitimate. If it was issued by a hardware store or tire emporium, then you might want to get the ball rolling for a real one.

So now I can’t help but wonder now how much my life might have changed if all along my birth document had been legitimate.

(Email: dwain.walden@gaflnews.com)


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