More Jackson County Opinions...

 July 19, 2000

By Tim Thomas
The Jackson Herald
July 19, 2000

Why can't we all get along?
Why is it that one can no longer participate in anything without getting involved in some sort of feud?
Last week's story about the City of Jefferson possibly getting back into the recreation business opened the door for me to learn much about the nasty political inner workings of a local sports program.
Watching my son play in baseball games at the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department has offered an opportunity to see the worst in parents and coaches.
At one high school baseball game this spring, a parent from a visiting team was on the verge of assaulting a local parent over a baseball. That's right, a baseball! Of course, it didn't help that the visitor was somewhat intoxicated at the time.
Recent trips to our local speedways have provided insight into some of the most vicious and dastardly acts I've ever seen in the sports world. Think Tonya Harding. She'd make a good race groupie. Again, consumption of alcohol seems to add fuel to the fire.
Don't get me wrong: there are a lot of good folks involved in all the aforementioned programs. Most coaches and parents in the local sports scene are sane and mature. A majority of the race drivers I've met this year have greeted me with a smile, and spoken of their own cars and crews rather than bashing someone else. I'm honored to be acquainted with a number of quality people who work and race at our local tracks.
It's that small, vocal minority ­ both competing in our sports and regulating them ­ that leaves me shaking my head and wondering how we got to this point. At one time, you could count on those operating sports venues to be honest and straightforward, even if the participants were not. That time has passed.
We shouldn't be surprised, I suppose. Those who stand before us as supposed leaders can no longer debate a point without drawing party lines. The concept of honest, open debate in the political arena has given way to an "us against them" mentality.
And so that mentality has carried over to our everyday lives, and those of our children. We are a people who quickly forget good deeds and long remember the times we were wronged. What makes the situation even worse is that it can be found in other aspects of life as well - work, worship and school, to mention a few.
We have become a society of gossips and confrontationalists. If we lack the ability to beat the living tar out of an adversary, we're content to tear down their reputation with rumor and innuendo.
The greatest loss in this is that our hearts have become cold. But the next greatest loss is that the heart of sport has become cold. Sporting events are no longer about comparing abilities or good-natured competition. Today's sporting world is all about things like money, favoritism and pride.
Those of you out there who are good-natured about competing, thank you. To the rest, get a clue. If you want to stab someone in the back and promote yourself by bashing others, run for office.
Tim Thomas is a reporter for The Jackson Herald.

Letter To The Editor
The Jackson Herald
July 19, 2000

Upset over how principal handled situation
Dear Editor:
I am writing to let the people of Jackson County know how the principal of East Jackson Middle School has acted. On the day of July 14, 2000, we were having a phone conversation about my son breaking the dress code. I wanted to work out something with him so that my son could finish the last three days of school.
Mr. Goodman was not wanting to work with me because he said my son knew what he was supposed to do. Mr. Goodman was yelling at me, so, I politely asked him to stop yelling and speak to me in a better tone of voice. As soon as I said that, he told me that he had made up his mind. My son was to be thrown out of summer school and would have to repeat the sixth grade. At this time, I was crying and begging him to work out the problem. He told me that my son was going to be a high school dropout if we did not do something at this time. He also told me that he only had two years left before retiring so he really did not care which way this went with him.
There was more conversation between us concerning the 504 program. Then he decided he would allow my son to stay in summer school. My son had to stay at home on Monday and go back to school on Tuesday, which was the last day of summer school. But Mr. Goodman said he will still recommend that my son repeat the sixth grade. My son has a 91 grade average. I think that him not wearing a belt to school shouldn't result in him having to repeat the sixth grade.
Sincerely, Lisa Lyles

By Adam Fouche
The Jackson Herald
July 19, 2000

Ode to my beloved, departed car
It's been almost a year now since I had my first wreck. I can remember that day clearly. I remember the song I was listening too, and I remember what I was drinking (not alcohol) when it happened.
That wreck totaled my car and led to the purchase of my Thunderbird. And ever since, I've been trying to sell it.
Now, my nightmare is over. Just a few days ago, I got shut of the T-bird, for good.
We did have our share of good times together. And as I move into a new era with a new vehicle, I would like to pay homage to my old car.
To you, T-bird, I offer these thanks:
Thank you for breaking down the day after I bought you. You left me stranded in a strange neighborhood in Athens in the scorching summer heat.
Thanks for the 14 times I had to have your transmission worked on, and thanks for what I had to put up with to get it fixed.
Thanks for the time you let fire ants build a mound inside you. I remember getting bit many times until I figured out what was going on.
Thank you for trying to kill me that time you let all of your brake fluid leak out. And thanks for the other time you tried to kill me when you let the gas leak out of the fuel pump.
I appreciate the blown head gaskets and having to wait for two weeks while someone found the parts to rebuild your radiator core.
I remember the speaker in the front on the driver's side that didn't work, the window on the passenger's side that was broken and the light that dangled down around my feet.
Thank you for the time you opened your sunroof and poured water all over Lori at the carwash.
I will never forget the way the tint in the back window would not come off. I couldn't see a thing out of my rearview mirror.
I remember the two sets of brake pads I had to put on you and the rotor I had to have turned.
Thanks for the balding tires and the constant air conditioner problems.
I remember the way you idled really high and how you seemed to lunge forward when I put you in gear. I can still hear the noise you made while I was stopped at red lights and drive-through windows.
Thank you for the dead battery, the torn seat, the mysterious disappearing bushings and the three $16 bottles of supercharger fluid I had to use.
Thank you for only costing me several thousands of dollars. I guess it was all worth it.
I will miss seeing all the people where I take my car to get worked on. I will miss not knowing if my car is going to break down or not. I will miss the worrying and the money and the cost of the premium gas I had to use.
T-bird, I will miss you. May your next owner be more lucky than I.
Thunderbird, August 1999-July 2000.
Adam Fouche is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.





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