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Manchester, Georgia
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September 2, 1999     The Hogansville Herald
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September 2, 1999
 

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OPINION PAGE 4 - HOGANSVILLE HOME NEWS - SEPTEMBER 2, 1999 THE HOGANSVILLE HOME NEWS  USPS 62---"----0  : MInE HALZ JSHEtffADVERTIShNG DIRECTOR ASS(K:IA'I: PU BLISIJt/EDITOR " _, L::, WnET A (grime uhliatim, Mlllard B. Grimes, President Phone (7() 846-3188. Fax (706) 846-2205 R O. Box 426 1 toansville, (orgia .tl)230 ( )] c ! l ',,, ' (hX, dr ( ; .l / ,,, ,' ,vd/c Acts of Kindness "'Kindness is loving people more than they deserve." - Joseph Joubert. One of the best parts of my job is the mail I get. And one of the most delightful things about having my particular job in the South, which is the land of thank you notes, is that I get a lot of mail. One of the things that Southerners probably don't realize is the power of those profuse thank you prose. You take it for granted that this simple yet time- and stamp-consuming gesture will be made. Elsewhere that is not necessarily the case. Having started into a new profession relatively late in life - a profession that demands one lay one's heart, soul, and reputation on the line week after week- I can tell you every single thank you note, gesture, or word I get is deeply appreciated. I wrestle with tendencies. towards anger, depression and obsession on an almost dally basis. I am high-strung and stress-prone to start with, and newspaper work compounds that - exponentially some days. It's amazing how, in a pre- dictable, almost miraculous way, a thank you note, kind letter or word of encourage- ment arrives, just when I need it the most. And that pool of anger, self- pity, self-righteousness or doubt I was wallowing in melts away. The other day (and it was a wallowing kind of day), I got just such a note from a woman who said she liked my column about wanting some tiny hands to hold on the first day of school because, at 79, she still feels the same way. Imagine that! After all those first days of school, she still feels that way. On another particularly rough day, a woman appeared with two of her famiy's prized pound cake recipes. I had mentioned in a col- umn months before that I was becoming increasingly fond of the South and that I knew I'd finally feel like I "belong" when someone gives me a family pound cake recipe. How did that delightful woman know how much I needed to feel like I "belonged" on that very day? One of my personal news- paper heroes, Celestine Sibley, died recently. Lodn Sinn- Clark Columnist She too had the fortune to work in newspaper, but on a much grander scale than I. She too touched lives with her column, but with much more talent than I. And she too, I judge from reading the coverage her newspaper has honored her with since her death, got lots of mail, bags and bags, of course, more than I. In reading about the way Celestine's readers treated her during the 55 years of her column writing career, I was touched by how similarly my readers treat me. With that realization, I was humbled and impressed. Reading about the simple kindnesses Celestine received during her long and success- ful career made me realize how greatly I've been blessed, because in your acts of kind- ness, praise and encourage- ment, my "realness" in this profession is expressed. Ma)*be, someday if I keep at it, I will be as well-loved (of course on a much smaller scale) as Celestine was - by people she'd never even met. The ability to write is a gift, a blessing and in my case, a surprise. Acknowledging it is frightening enough, but to exercise it publicly day after day, as it gradually comes to dominate your life, takes more than courage. It takes encouragement, And that is what those thank you notes, kind letters, gifts and acts of appreciation pro- vide. For people to take time out of their busy lives, to let a writer know that some of the words he or she strung togeth- er touched them, is so kind. And for them to do that as often as they do, as genuine- ly as they do, profoundly inspires me. So thank you kind readers, for all that you do. I don't know how column writers get started in the rest of the country, but I'm glad my start came here in the land of thank you notes. Maybe that's why so many good writers come from the South. TIlE Htx;assvu,i,: HomL N:vs is published weekly by the Star-Mercury Publishing Company, a division of Grimes Publications, a! 3051 Roosevelt Highway, Manchester, Georgia 31816. USPS 620-040. Subscnption rates by mail: $15 in Meriwether, Talbot or Harris Counties; $20 a year elsewhere. Prices include all ,sales taxes. Second class postage paid at Hogansville, Georgia "0230, FOR SUaSt'RIPTIONS call (706) 846-3188 or write to Circulation Manager, Star Mercury Publications, P. O. Box 426, Manchester, Georgia 31816. POSl"MAS'IXR: Send address chmlges to E O. Box 426, Hogansville, GA 30230. STAFF Publisher and Advertising Director .................................................................... Mike Hale Associate Publisher and Fzlitor ................................................................. John Kuykendatl Managing Editor and Technic',d Director ........................................... Marion (Ted) Smith Business Manager ....................................................................................... LeeAnn Wflbert Associate Editors .......................... Billy Bant/Talbotton, Michael Snider/Hams County Bryan Geter/ltogansville. Camhne Yeager/Greenville, Lee N. Howell Staff Writer ........................................................................................................ J. Daa Stout Assistant Advertising Manager ....................................................................... Laurie Lewis Advertising Sales ............................................................................................. l.Anda Lester Photography ............................................................................................... Michael Snider Composing ................................................................................ Valinda lvery, Dori Green Legals ................................................................................................................ Valinda lvery Receptionist and Classifieds .............................................................................. Cleta Young Pressroom ..................................................................... David Boggs, Wayne Grochowski CORI )RA'I'F OFFICERS President ......................................................................................................... Millard C__aimes Vice President ........................................................................................ Charlotte S. Cain,s Secretary ................................................................................................ Laura Grimes Cofer Treasurer .............................................................................................. Kathy  Gan Legal Counsel and Assistant Secretary .................................................... James S. C_aimes Nothing Like Friday Night Football Without a doubt, the fall of dium on a nice fall Saturday years about football. Let the year is most definitely my afternoon watching your share a few of them with favorite time. The trees begin favorite team is a real treat. Tfibble At a high school to turn, the weather begins to The tailgate gatherings, either game some years ago, cool (thank goodness) and foot- before or after the game, adds home team was F bails begin to fill the air. After another area of enjoyment, teen yards for a late hit. a long hot summer, these things Then there is professional coach didn't like it at all football. There was a time Former hollered at the referee are much looked forward to. In my book, there is no bet- ter place to spend a Friday night thaw at a high school foot- ball game. It seems that our town, and most of those towns where we publish newspapers, revolve around their high school football team. The atmosphere at these games is one of excitement as the band plays, the cheerleaders get everyone into the right spirit and the team takes the field. There is nothing like high school football on a Friday night. Next in my book is college football. Sitting in a large sta- You Get It when I thought that if profes- sional football was on televi- sion, it was a sin not to watch the game. Those thoughts have changed though over the years with so many games now on television during prime time. High school football rank- ings came out last week for Georgia, and Manchester is the third place pick (AP) in Class AA. The number one team is Carrollton, last year's AA state champions. Mitchell-Baker, whom Manchester slid by in last yea's state playoffs, is the number two team. Washington County, Class AA state cham- PuNisher pions in 1996 and 1997, is in the number five spot, and Brooks County, who beat Manchester for the Class A state title in 1994, is ranked number seven in the pre-season picks. In the AAA rankings, Peach County is in the number nine spot, while in Class A, Dooley County was picked as the number five team. Twiggs County tied with Bowdon for the tenth slot. There have been many funny stories told over the By Ray King hFTgI00, t00tDtttfilh'l", Bu-00 a; sHo00,' DO NEED SoME c00gAN 14 L l, tozlc." REMF-MBEP, You "You stink. You stink." The eree marched off another teen yards, turned around the coach and asked, I smell from here?" The Dean at the of Georgia told the head that he wasn't takin football players unless interviewed them first. It n't long before the coach in with a 259-pound seven-inch player. The asked him to add seven two. The big fellow "Seven and two equals The coach said another chance anther chance." Someone once asked Phillips, head coach Houston, why his team beaten so badly one afternoon. Bum said, "It mixup. We started playing three and the kickoff was two." And finally, this high team had the football on own two-yard line. t.he quarterback to run quarterback sneaks and kick. On the first play, terback sneak five yards. sneak, he went for yards. Then the dropped back and kicked ball plum out of the The coach called the back over to the sideline asked "What in the you thinking about?' The quarterback just wanted the sorry plays you called." Most high school teams, will be-.iteet4on Friday night and there is better place to spend a of hours. What Roosevelt Learned from Polio (Another in a series.) Elliott Roosevelt said in later years he never saw his father depressed. James wrote that he saw him display a lack of self-confidence once and only once. That was the night he was elected President. James helped him into bed on 65th Street. Roosevelt said he'd never been afraid of anything till then. "I'm of raid I may not have the strength to do the job." He prayed for strength. In the White House Roosevelt's emotional equilib- rium never failed him. "Sometimes he would revolt against his wheelchair and the fate that had put him there," wrote White House seam- stress and maid Lillian Park Rogers. "Then he would com- plain and become irritable. At such times there was only one thing to do--give him a rub- down to soothe his weary, wasted muscles and relax his mind." Miss Rogers was one of the two polios on the White House staff. She had been there when Hoover was President. Antoinette Bachelder, a Warm Springs acquaintance of Roosevelt's, came after Roosevelt moved in. The President's rare moody revolts were never seen by the public, or even suspected, it appears. He knew the importance of a leader's displaying his sunny side in a dark era. Either by force of will or simple chem- istry of personality, the moods passed quickly, anyway. Walter Trohan, the White House correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, understood how Roosevelt's leadership qualities were obvious at a glance. "Although he could not walk, he had the face of a marching man. His chin was tilted high in confidence, his eyes were bright with pur- pose, and his spirits were gay." James Farley, Roosevelt's campaign manager in 1932, wrote letter that "he was the most alive man I had ever met...when he talked, he emphasized his points with sharp gestures and constant changes of facial expressions. He would have been a great actor." Such qualities, and espe- cially such behavior, tended to distract audiences and inti- mates from Roosevelt's hand- icap. As newspaper reporter Ernest K. Lindley put it, "The thing about Roosevelt that necessarily strikes you when you see him walking the first time is the thing about him of which you first become unconscious." He mesmerized people, to the extent that they thought of him as a physically sound man. "Don't get up," Madame Chiang Kai-shek said,without thinking, on leaving the White House one evening. There is another school of thought to the effect that polios with useless legs com- pensate for inability to move about normally with exagger- ated motions of hands, arms, shoulders, face. But Dr. Stuart Raper, an orthopedic surgeon who came to Warm Springs in the 1930s and got to know Roosevelt, says that is not an automatic reaction. It was not natural for Roosevelt to so project himself. He learned it. It was prob- ably quite a complicated learning task. Edward Herrmann, the actor who portrayed Roosevelt in two television dramas in the 1970s, studied many old newsreels and home movies to learn dozens of Roosevelt's different ges- tures. Not one was a "natural" way to express an emotion or a point. Roosevelt had devel- oped a repertoire and was careful not to overwork any single gesture. That jutted jaw and clenched cigarette The Squire of Warm Springs By Theo holder came to be regarded as a clich6, but otherwise Roosevelt was a careful, thoughtful actor who knew how not to bore his audience with predictable bits of "busi- ness" or cause his audience to mistrust his gestures and pos- tures. Did Roosevelt learn other things from his polio? Eleanor Roosevelt believed he learned "the greatest of all lessons infinite patience and never- ending persistence." She said his illness gave him "strength and courage he had not had before" and made him "more aware of the feelings of peo- ple." People who had known him less well, before and after, and people who had not known him at all before, observed what they took to be benefits fro his illness. Colonel Edmund Starling, chief of the White House Secret Service detail in 1932, said of Roosevelt after watch- ing him on Inauguration Day, "I realized he had somehow overcome more than a physi- cal illness. He had somehow acquired a vigor, an optimism, a feel- ing of sureness in himself which hehad never before possessed." Starling had had no expe- rience with Roosevelt, but he had had experience with another crippled President, Woodrow Wilson, who suf- fered a stroke in the White House. Wilson, Starling wrote, reacted with bad temper and pettiness to his marked contrast t( In a profile of for the New York Times March 1933, Anne McCormack wrote, "A of Hoover, an men who ha since the days of the administration, on the change in the President. 'Two years saw Roosevelt after a interval. Today I saw again. He is no more like the who was here in Wilson's than the capital is like the  it was then. He has in all directions, far what seemed his capacity. I attribute the chan his physical overcome that of anything. Franklin Roosevelt tions smoothly because he learned to function chains.'" In other, lesser Roosevelt's affliction have been a blessing to The New York said of him once that sity has lifted him aboVe bickering." He seemed how ungrasping unselfish. Contrast that would have been 1924 and 1928 if been the handsome, wealthy, unmarked , Yorker he was before he tracted polio. He would still have an imposing figure; hardly what he became' might even party in 1924 and again in 1925. if he had? No have been elected in either of those yearS. Roosevelt would s$ have lost, and in 1932 the party time loser? Probably (Next week: "A region. ")