Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

The quickening of time

Back when we had a storehouse of youth to spend, my brown-eyed beauty and the three children would sit at the kitchen table and enjoy a good Thanksgiving dinner. We always ate the traditional fare of turkey, dressing, sweet potato pie and trimmings. Later in the day we would walk on one of the trails in the woods behind our subdivision, but unlike the forest of Robert Frost it was not filled with snow and we didn’t know its owner.

Once while hiking we came upon a decayed tree about eight or 10 feet tall and I asked the children to stand back while I pushed it to the ground. I did an outstanding performance of pushing and grunting on the rotting tree while they watched wide-eyed in awe until it fell. One of the three children excitedly ran over to a nearby solid oak maybe 40 feet tall and exclaimed, “Daddy push this one over next.”

Time moved on as it always does and the world became a blur for about 15 years as we chauffeured children to school, meetings, ball games and a hundred other places while we held full time jobs. Homework, baths, brush-your-teeth, off the telephone, no television tonight and no, you can’t go out with anyone that drives a van with a sign that says: “girls who smoke can put their butts in here.”

I vaguely recall the moon landing, Nixon’s impeachment, the Marlboro Man and the Beatles because there was always something to do, but my recollection of a neighbor leaving her pet hamster named Humbug with our 13-year-old daughter and it’s encounter with our cat Tuxedo is yet clear. I won’t bother with the details.

The years passed and wedding bells started ringing because handsome young men have a way of finding pretty young ladies and leading them to an alter, or maybe it is the other way around.

Twice I stood there with a radiant daughter and the only thing the preacher ever said to me was: “Please step back carefully because there is a table of lighted candles behind you.”

After the second wedding, our house, especially at night, was an empty tomb and I would look at my brown-eyed beauty and ask where did the years go? She managed the empty nest period better than I because she understood the perpetration of life from the vantage point of a woman.

A few years later, each of our daughters brought news to us of growing new life and I was invited to sit in on the sonogram of our first grandson. No one ever believed it but I am sure he winked at me during the procedure. After that, Mama became Nanny and I became Papa and the nest again filled bountifully with happiness sprinkled with a few of life’s disappointments.

Four generations will sit at our Thanksgiving table this year, sixteen in all, with another princess of the family calling on Skype from Ohio. Of course the fare will be traditional with all the trimmings.

Our storehouse now is almost bare of time, and unfortunately, it can’t be replenished at the Black Friday sale later this week. We take comfort in believing some of the memories from there are safely in the storehouse of others where they will rest for a long, long while.

Time moves swiftly; even for a king or queen, it won’t take a day off.

John G. Kelley Jr.

Macon

Patience

I could make a career out of reporting oncoming drivers who cross the center line, but alas, citizens can’t make arrests for traffic violations. It’s dangerous, and it’s illegal, whether it’s from inattention, using their cellphones, or the most common, because they mistakenly think they have the right-of-way when a stopped vehicle is in your lane. Drive responsibly by being alert and by staying in your lane. If you have to avoid a stopped vehicle or other obstruction, wait until it’s safe to go around by crossing the center line.

-- Lee Martin

Macon

Griswoldville success

I just wanted to thank all who attended the Griswoldville Commemorative Service. Estimates were set at 175-200 people not counting program participants. God gave us outstanding weather and it was just a perfect day of remembering the historic battle exactly 150 years ago on the exact spot it occurred.

If there was a downside it was the lack of media coverage. But, even if they did not remember many others surely recalled the gallant Georgia men who dared to contest Sherman’s March to the Sea.

-- John Wayne Dobson

Macon

Three issues

Apparently Bibb County does not have the ability to deal with our drug, educational and poverty situations. We are not even close to rationalizing the facts about even one of these major problems.

Drugs are found throughout our county. The areas of concentration are well known, from little Korea to Bloomfield, the dealers and gangs operate seemingly unchallenged. The GBI and FBI have led the only sizeable attacks on crime. The gambling on Forest Hill Road has been going on at that gas station for an extended period.

We are spending millions of dollars, but the profile of crime has not changed. Is it weak ineffective leadership or a corruptive culture? I know for a fact there are extremely dedicated officers, but no one has circled the wagons and altered the crime waves.

Education suffers from the lack of a true desire to learn. The culture is totally out of control. Teachers are constantly being abused verbally and totally overwhelmed by the required work load. Why do some schools like Howard and others constantly excel? (Is it solely racial?) If I were made aware of all of the turmoil in Bibb County schools, I would not want the superintendent’s job. Education is a primary reason our job market is not flourishing.

Poverty is directly tied to drugs and a failing educational system. Parenting is deplorable. Children living in an environment of failure and hostility seemingly bring all of that to school with them.

The recent story about the millions of dollars spent on worthless technology is nothing new. Fraud seems to be imbedded in all too many government departments.

-- Joe Hubbard

Macon

Two bucks?

The price of crude oil has dropped 30 percent and gas sells for around $2.70 a gallon, a four year low. Every 10 cent drop in gas prices gives Americans an extra $3 billion to spend on something else they need. The reason for lower gas prices is that the U.S. now produces 11 million barrels of oil a day while protecting the land it comes from. This lessens our dependence on foreign oil.

Thousands of jobs have been created in the regions around the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Permian Basin fields. Dozens of other basins are being considered for investment and production. This American renaissance in crude exploration has reduced the need for foreign oil, cut down on our trade deficit, put people to work and scaled down our need to protect the Middle Eastern oil supply.

But this wonderful news angers two groups of people: Arab nations and environmentalists. Competition lowers the profit of greedy foreign oil producers while more dollars for your family to enjoy a better lifestyle diminishes the influence of the scare tactics used by hysterical environmentalists.

Personally, I like cheaper gas, made in America, by Americans, utilizing safe production methods. I see $2 a gallon next year.

-- Bob Norcott

Byron

Gruber/Dallemand?

Who do y’all think is the Jonathan Gruber of the Dallemand fiasco? Somewhere there is a person who was just laughing all the way to the bank due to the stupidity of the Macon voters even though there were many who knew they were being deceived. Now your community is saddled with millions of dollars worth of computers and software that will not help one single student. Add that to the leased school for Promise Neighborhood that the taxpayers once owned but now lease for an obscene amount of money.

I can just picture Dallemand sipping tropical drinks in Haiti, living large off the money pilfered through crooked contracts. How he must laugh at the cowardice of the BOE who refused to challenge his authority for fear of being called racist. I imagine he got a kick out of everyone falling in line on the teaching of Mandarin Chinese in a region in more need of Spanish.

-- Gregory Payne

Byron

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