The Banks County News
May 31, 2000
Say 'Yes' to law
aimed at good manners
Several southern states, unfortunately, not Georgia, are considering
a "Yes ma'am" law that would require school children
to use good manners. This is something that should be taught
by parents. However, some children learn curse words without
ever learning to say "yes ma'am" or "yes sir."
The law aimed at good manners passed in Louisiana but was voted
down in South Carolina. While there hasn't been an open effort
in Georgia to make this a law, it should be something that schoolteachers
and principals push in their own schools. It doesn't have to
be a law for it to be enforced. It could be a policy that teachers
make in their own classroom.
When the next school year rolls around, let's all say "Yes"
to good manners. Adults should also use good manners, such as
saying please and thank you, to serve as positive role models
for the children. It may be the only time some children hear
By Drew Brantley
The Banks County News
May 31, 2000
All children are scolded by their parents at some time for acting
out of turn.
Parents teach their children the way to behave in hopes that
someday even when the childern are on their own, they will still
As a surrogate parent to everyone he encountered, Bobby Morris
has left a tough standard of friendship, patience and loyalty
for all of us live up to.
While no one ever stands perfect, it is hard to imagine that
any of us could match the shadow he quietly cast.
Unfortunately, the power of a simple smile is not so easily felt
until it is gone.
When it became my responsibility to write a story about what
Bobby Morris meant to Banks County, I learned two things very
The first lesson was that I did not have the time to talk to
everyone with something good to say about him.
Longtime friend and fellow coach Dennis Marlow summed up that
point for me.
"If you fill your paper up from front to back, you couldn't
cover what kind of person he was and what he meant to this community,"
I suppose it would have made a better story to talk to more people,
but the second thing I learned was that I could not take hearing
those things. It is hard to grieve for a lost friend or loved
one. It is not easy to hear people going through that grief.
While everyone who knew him has their own special stories, many
of them share similar themes.
People will remember his smiles. It is hard to think about anger
and Bobby Morris at the same time.
How many kids from Banks County are there out there whom he taught
Marlow said he spent more time with Bobby Morris than he did
with his family while they were coaching together.
"You can't replace a man like Bobby Morris. It's just not
possible," Marlow said.
"A lot of the kids looked up to him because they knew. Give
kids some credit. Kids know deep down in their heart who they
can trust. He was a friend to every student he came in contact
Banks County High School principal Jan Bertrang said she was
amazed at how he could remain calm in in the passenger seat of
the driver's education car.
"When I would ride with him for evaluations, he was very
patient with them when I was ready to start screaming. He made
every opportunity a learning experience."
Marlow said he got a refresher course in loyalty before the last
season the two coached football together.
"We had been to the playoffs the past two years," Marlow
said. "We talked a long time about the coming year. We knew
it was going to be tough. We knew the team was going to be young.
"We debated whether we wanted to come back and coach another
year. He looked at me and said, 'We can't turn our backs on them.'
He was right. And that was the last we talked about not coaching
the next year."
Everyone who knew him can add their memories of him. We can share
those memories with each other.
We can remember.
After that, it is up to us to take his example and live right.
Drew Brantley is the sports editor of The Banks County News
and The Commerce News.
(read the story on the Banks County News front
The Banks County News
May 31, 2000
Views from the
I was scolded for not making it to one
of my nephew's recreation league basketball games during the
winter, so I made sure I got to at least one of his teeball games.
It was the next-to-last one, which doesn't say much for me as
an aunt, but I did get there.
But I planned to go to a basketball game, but there was that
ice storm, but, but....It's really hard for me to get away from
work early on Tuesdays, but, but...
When I say I was scolded, I mean it came from the source, from
my 6-year-old nephew Bryson. You read my excuses, could you look
at his upturned freckled face and clear brown eyes and tell him
those things in any way that would make sense? No. I couldn't
Actually, it wasn't a scolding, it was a straightforward, sharp
jab into the regret plexus.
"Bryson, I'm sorry I didn't get to see you play basketball,"
I said after a Sunday lunch one day at my grandmother's house.
"That's because you didn't come to a game," he said.
Well. How do you respond to that? Yeah, that's true, sorry? But,
see, I work late on Tuesdays....Nope, that doesn't get it. After
all, what is more important?
So I made inquiries early on into the teeball status - when were
the games going to be, when did it start, etc. It didn't seem
to start for a long time. They were still practicing, still practicing,
not yet, no, not yet. I went about my work and usual routine,
then suddenly there were only two games left.
I headed out on a Tuesday evening to the Jefferson ball field
and arrived just as my sister Lisa and niece Kate did. My brother-in-law
Steve was already on the field in his coach mode, so we headed
up the hill, me armed with my camera, Lisa carrying a water bottle
and Kate holding tightly to an orange candy lipstick. As we neared
the field, I saw that Bryson was stepping up to bat. I hurried
and got - I hope - a shot of him making contact with the ball.
A good thing, too, since I learned that in teeball, the players
on each team bat twice and then the game is over. At each bat,
the player gets three chances to hit a pitch thrown by his or
her coach, then can hit off the tee until successful contact
We and other fans watched and cheered from the bleachers while
little players in big uniforms stepped up to bat, one after the
next. Bryson played for the Braves this year, and his team was
dressed out in blue jerseys and caps, with gray pants bunched
into white socks pulled high to the knees.
"Hey, Jana!" Bryson called out from right field, waving,
and I was glad to be there.
Patience is crucial to the game - patience from the coaches who
slow-pitch at a close range and patience from the outfielders
waiting for action.
But at the crack or clank of the bat, all chaos breaks loose.
The pitcher/coach steps out of the way, the batter runs hopefully
toward first base and players in the outfield, infield, or both,
depending on where the hit goes, scramble together for the ball.
When the dust settles, usually the batter is standing on a base
and the pitcher ends up with the ball again. In some cases, I
saw the batter just run and run and run, making his way around
all the bases without regard for the ball. In other cases, I
saw a young player jump up and snatch the ball out of the air
with his glove or one crack the ball into the outfield at the
first swing. Runners slid into first base, second base, third
base and home plate gleeful in their newfound experience with
There was no way to know what to expect. And it really didn't
matter. There was no winner, no loser, just happy kids and parents
talking and laughing on the sidelines.
Jana Adams is features editor of The Jackson Herald.