Banks County Opinions...

September 20, 2000

By Drew Brantley
The Banks County News
September 20, 2000

Bad times will become good memories soon
Sometimes you catch the ball. Sometimes you drop the ball. Sometimes you drop the ball, and it breaks into a million pieces with such force that they blow away into a tornado that levels the entire countryside. But as long as the ball is in the air, you've got a chance to catch it.
It is funny how little I think about the worst things I have done. I have thoroughly covered all those unfortunate actions I have taken. Nothing can change them. What I dwell on the most are the little things that I did wrong.
Take the time I told a joke about a three-fingered waitress to a person who was born with a birth defect and had deformed hands. Now in the long run, it was an uncomfortable moment, but it didn't really matter. Yet, these are the things that keep me awake at night.
The pass I dropped as a high school freshman in the last regular season game of the year. We were up by four touchdowns in the fourth quarter when the coach put me in. It didn't matter that I missed it. But I know I could have caught it.
But the real mistakes that I have made in life get a passing thought every few years. I suppose that's the way we have to be. If all we did was dwell on the worst parts of ourselves, we could never function.
On the other side of regret are the things we never got around to. Someone once told me that we shouldn't regret the things we do. He said only regret what you don't do. I don't know if that is completely true. But it is partly so.
I think I could have had a decent career as a singer, if I had only had lessons when I was younger. If I had built on that training, I think I had enough natural talent to do something. Now, I can not embarrass myself in church or singing the national anthem at a ballgame. I don't really want to be a singer. I really didn't want to be a singer when I was young.
But I still have regrets that I never tried to be one.
Recently, I have felt like every football on the bus has been thrown at me. It seems that everything important is unsettled to the point of being near disaster. A few months from now it will not seem so, I'm sure. But that doesn't mean that this is a good time.
I feel very much like trying to decide which plates to set on the table after I have thrown the entire cupboard into the air.
But what I have learned is to start with one of the objectives and move on.
I got my measurements in to the tailor for my tuxedo to be used in my brother's wedding on the last possible day to do so. I have the loan application in.
I have just about packed up everything to move out of my apartment. I am up on a one-ton paperweight at the junkyard and down one friend.
Some of the balls are down. If I get anywhere close to touching some of them, I might escape with some amount of sanity. Maybe.
Drew Brantley is the sports editor for The Commerce News and The Banks County News.




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By Shar Porier
The Banks County News
September 20, 2000

The 'I hate to cook' reporter
One of the nice things about being a reporter is getting to eat out... a lot!
Now, I could eat at home before an assignment, or pack a lunch, but where's the fun in that?
It's much more enjoyable to find an out-of-the-way place and check out their food. Besides, then I don't have to CLEAN UP THE MESS!
I guess that's my biggest gripe about cooking. The clean-up. Because, actually, I rather enjoy acting "chefly" now and then. It's just having to wash all those dishes and pans. (No, I don't have a dishwasher. But, I do have a dog that's a great pot cleaner - should have named her "Brillo." She can clean out baked-on cheese from a casserole without a single scratch to the pot. Amazing!)
Now, there are very few places to eat that aren't part of a chain in our county. And I like to find the out-of-the-way spots that cater to the locals.
In Maysville, one afternoon, I stopped in at "The Fish House." One would think that fish would be served in a place called "The Fish House." But not only was there no fish on the menu, there was no menu - unless you count the poster on the kitchen door.
It's a quaint old place. A wall full of family photos greets you as you enter. Long cracks in the walls. You can tell the floor has had many feet tromping over it through the years.
It's a help-yourself-kind-of-place. You get your own coffee, tea, soft drink. I liked that part. Get my own coffee when I wanted to without having to catch a waitress's attention.
Lots of locals come to eat there. And as I found out, people from many places, even as far away as Toccoa, have found their way to the little restaurant in the little town.
There was a buffet of various buffet-type foods set up. People going through the line filling up their plates.
I ordered off the "door." The waitress who brought my sandwich was the owner's wife. And to my complete amazement, she told me the cook was his 84-year-old mother.
Here I was complaining about cooking, and a little old lady is out in the kitchen making my sandwich!
Then a thought crossed my mind, one that I had almost forgot. A daydream about having my own little café. A place that had two floors. Downstairs would be the cafe and upstairs would be living quarters. Just a little place where folks could come and have a good meal, a healthy meal.
I tried to imagine myself in the kitchen. The image my mind conjured up that afternoon wasn't as pleasant as the dream I'd had years ago. It wasn't a pretty sight. Hair askew, flour on my face, smoking burgers on the grill, swollen feet, smart remarks from the dishwasher who came in late, and 20 little tickets stuck on a wheel that meant 20 orders to fill...
I decided that it was probably a good thing I had forgotten it. Some things are better left as daydreams.
Allene, you have my respect. How you manage to do what you do at your age is remarkable. And, by the way, good sandwich!
Shar Porier is a reporter for The Banks County News.

The Banks County News
September 20, 2000

Road requests to BOC change
"Improve our roads" has been the demand that members of the board of commissioners in Banks and other counties have heard for decades.
Citizens have complained about dirt roads, roads in need of gravel, safety concerns on roads and similar problems for years. Commissioners have had to juggle money for the road department and improve these roads as they could. Paving and road improvements are costly and it takes time for a county to cover everything that is needed.
This situation has changed somewhat in Banks County over the last few months. The commissioners have actually been met with cries of "Leave our road alone...Don't make any improvements to our road." This is quite a reversal of the usual demands the commissioners are hit with concering roads.
It appears as if residents of at least two county roads would rather drive on roads in need of improvements rather than have the changes made and growth come to their neighborhood. The residents are so afraid that subdivisions or other similar growth will come that they would rather drive on dirt or even unsafe roads.
Some people apparently value their rural quality of life more than they do a newly paved or improved road. This leaves the commissioners in a dilemma. Whose needs come first? The general rule should be that the safety of the traveling public comes before anything else. A road with an unsafe curve or other obstacles should be improved­regardless of what will come after it is upgraded.
The Banks County News
Homer, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233 Fax: (706) 367-8056

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