Braselton News

June 11, 2008


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MainStreetNews.Com
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Column
By Kerri Testement

How do you honor dad?
What do you get for the man who doesn’t completely realize he’s a father?
My husband has been a great father to our little girl — but it still doesn’t “click” with him at times that’s a daddy.
And it still slips his mind that I’m a mommy, too.
Let me be clear: We know we’re parents. It’s just when Mother’s Day or Father’s Day roll around, we think about our own parents. We get them cards. We try to give them a gift or take them out for a special dinner.
But we have forgotten that we, too, are parents to our daughter for the special occasions.
On Mother’s Day, my husband was preparing to take his mom out for lunch. I had to work later that afternoon and couldn’t join them.
It wasn’t until later in the afternoon that it suddenly “clicked” for my husband.
“Oh! Hey, babe! Happy Mother’s Day,” he said in the middle of another task. I was just happy that he remembered — and I didn’t have to say a word to remind him about myself now being included in Mother’s Day.
While I know that Father’s Day is approaching this weekend, I don’t know how to celebrate a man that’s been a terrific daddy for his little girl.
The Census Bureau provides some interesting information about where to shop for Father’s Day.
I could buy a shirt or tie at one of more than 8,685 men’s clothing stores around the country. I could buy some tools at one of the nation’s 14,257 hardware stores or 5,925 home centers. Or, I could buy a football at one of 23,195 sporting goods stores in the country.
There are an estimated 64.3 million fathers in this country, according to the Census Bureau. About 26.5 million men are fathers who are part of married-couple families with children younger than 18, as of 2006.
Father’s Day started after a Spokane, Wash., woman listened to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. She wanted a special day to honor her father, a widowed Civil War veteran who raised his six children.
Spokane’s mayor selected Father’s Day with a June celebration because that’s when the Civil War veteran was born.
The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966, when President Lyndon B. Johnson named the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day, according to the Census Bureau.
Father’s Day has been celebrated every year since 1972, when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.
So, how do you honor a man that’s been a great father? The answer to that question shouldn’t come just one day a year.
Kerri Testement is the news editor of The Braselton News. Her e-mail address is kerri@mainstreetnews.com.


Time to move beyond election pabulum
The talking by local candidates in Jackson and Barrow Counties has begun in earnest at some early political forums in the two counties.
But if these events are like so many in the past, they will be more about style than substance. In reality, few people attend political forums to learn about candidates. Most of the time, candidates bring in their core supporters as a cheering section. Average citizens, by and large, simply don’t attend these events.
And why should they? All too often, political forums become nothing but boring monologues where candidates employ every kind of double-speak possible to keep from actually saying anything. They will talk about “moving the county forward” and being “fiscally conservative” and the need for “new infrastructure.”
What candidates will not do, however, is talk about specifics. It’s all vague, generalities that mean nothing.
So here’s a challenge for candidates in Barrow and Jackson Counties this year: Give voters some details about what you’d do if elected. Be specific. Talk about specific budget items and funding issues. If you say you’re going to “cut spending,” be specific and say where exactly you’d make cuts.
If you’re an incumbent, be specific about what you think you’ve done good for the county. Talk about where tax dollars are being spent and why you think those items are worth funding.
If you’re a challenger, then take the time to actually read the county budgets and audits and tell voters where you would change the county’s spending priorities. Don’t just make generic comments that the incumbent is spending too much, be specific about such allegations and be prepared to defend your comments with actual facts, not street-talk rumor.
Many citizens tune out the political process and don’t vote in local elections. That may be, in part, the fault of our culture and lack of civic upbringing.
But a large part of the problem are candidates who lack the ability to communicate their thoughts clearly and directly. Instead, they employ double-talk nonsense that leaves prospective voters numb and uninspired.
So this year, candidates, move beyond this usual political pabulum. Talk with substance and detail.
Don’t bore us to death with inane platitudes that mean nothing.



 

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