The Banks County News
October 11, 2000
Hobbies cost money. Pastimes are free,
or so I have heard. But I have a hobby that was passed down.
My mother grew up in East Point, a city in Fulton County. She
used to tell me stories about how, as a child, she would ride
the trolley in downtown Atlanta to the wonders that the city
In addition to just being a part of the electricity of the state's
capital, she also used to talk about going to matinee movies.
She passed her love of film watching down to me. As movies are
not free, I suppose that they must be classified as a hobby.
Whatever their classification, I have enjoyed watching movies.
Even now, my mother and I will talk about what movies we have
seen. During a recent phone conversation, I talked with my mother
about a recent football film release, "Remember The Titans."
My mother and I have a code that we live by. If one of us has
not seen a movie, we do not talk about any plot points that are
not revealed in the first 10 minutes of the film. We can make
vague comments about whether the movie is good, bad, believable
or exceptional. Since she had not seen the Titan movie, I did
not reveal too much. Though you are not blood kin, I will extend
the you the same courtesy.
Set in 1971 Alexandria, Va., during integration, racial tensions
and high school football collide for a story of trial, triumph,
tragedy and touchdowns.
(I must say that I am proud of that description. I think it would
fit nicely on the back of the videotape or DVD.)
When I saw the first preview for this movie some months ago,
I decided that I would not watch it. I thought that too much
was revealed in the trailer. It seems that Hollywood cares nothing
for the code my mother and I share. Most previews seem to tell
the whole story.
But on the weekend that the movie was released, I saw a special
on ESPN about the real-life story upon which the film is based.
It turns out that the school featured in the movie is one that
was covered by a newspaper that I used to work for. That changed
my mind completely. I had to see this film. I am glad I did.
It is a little sappy. Things work out a little too nicely in
some instances. But it is still quite enjoyable.
In general, I like sports movies. But almost all of them have
some problems when they deal with the reality of the sport. A
few movies get it right on. The "Titans" is pretty
I recently saw "Varsity Blues" on cable. I had a lot
of problems with the football action. There are several technical
problems that should have been caught by whatever football adviser
the movie had.
"The Titans" had only a few problems. At one point
during a game sequence, actor Denzel Washington, playing the
part of the head coach, tells his quarterback to run the inside
Executed well, the inside veer can expose a defense with a triple
option starting with the fullback dive and continuing to a run-pitch
option between the quarterback and halfback.
What is not, is a drop-back pass. Yet this is what the Titan
quarterback does. Now I am sure that I was one of the five percent
of viewers who was aware of this glitch. It did not detract from
my overall enjoyment of the film. And if you forget that I revealed
it here, you probably won't notice it.
Drew Brantley is the sports editor for The Commerce News and
The Banks County News.
The Banks County News
October 11, 2000
What WOULD Jesus
While covering a meeting on domestic violence,
I had the opportunity to talk with some of the members of the
task force. In talking with them, I came to understand how hard
it is for the general population to comprehend how it is that
a woman would remain in a dangerous situation at her own risk
and that of her children, with a man who beats them and torments
Yes, it's a hard concept to believe. And unfortunately, one that
has kept the organization from finding adequate funding for shelters,
food, clothing and training for these women and their families.
One member brought up, with great concern on her face, the question
as to why don't the churches give to worthy charities like Peace
Place. She could not understand why it is that a church will
send thousands of dollars abroad to help children, but refuse
to help those in their own back yard.
Well, I have to admit, I had no answer. That same question has
been on my mind for a few years now.
Not long ago, I worked and volunteered at a pre-school for children
with and without disabilities, called Challenged Child and Friends,
Inc. in Gainesville. Part of my job was to help raise funds,
for both the operating budget and the new school that had to
CC & F had a waiting list for children who needed the special
care that was only available there. On staff are special education
teachers, therapists, nurses, a family counselor: every service
a child with special needs could want. The new school would provide
the space needed to place them in a classroom sooner. After all,
it was now documented through numerous studies that the sooner
a child receives intervention, the better chance the child has
to develop strengths and work on weaknesses. The better chance
he or she has of being mainstreamed into the regular school system.
The better chance for becoming a productive citizen within our
communities and not a burden to society.
A worthy cause, we all thought!
We applied to numerous foundations, corporate giving programs,
civic organizations trying to raise the $1.5 million needed to
build the new school.
In the process, we approached several churches with huge congregations,
thinking we would be a charity any church would be proud to involved
with. It was a rude awakening, and a sobering acceptance.
No, children with disabilities living just down the way did not
meet the criteria of most of the churches' missions. The money
had to be spent to bring the word of God and the teachings of
Jesus to the less fortunate in other countries. Couldn't help
here in their own communities. Couldn't take up a "Special
Love Offering." Couldn't hold a special dinner or barbecue.
Nope, just could not help in any way. Not a dime, not a penny.
That same "other country" condition is being used to
refuse many worthy causes in our towns and in our county.
Not even battered and abused women and children are considered
for financial help in bettering their lives from the religious
community. I don't understand it and I never will.
Maybe helping kids at home here just isn't exotic enough. Not
grand enough in the scheme of things. Maybe the church's pride
in saying they helped this village in Africa counts more in the
grand plan of getting and keeping members of the congregation.
It makes me wonder about Christians' commitment and beliefs.
What happened to "Love Thy Neighbor"? I ask them, "What
WOULD Jesus do?"
Shar Porier is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.
The Banks County News
October 11, 2000
Shining a light
on domestic violence
The pages of this newspaper are filled with reports of domestic
violence each week. Women are physically and mentally abused
by their husbands. Parents are hurt at the hands of their children.
Brothers fight with brothers, sisters hit sisters. It can be
a never-ending cycle.
One way to stop this problem is to bring attention to it. Those
who are abused need to come forward. Their friends and neighbors
need to offer support to them in this time, which is scary and
even embarrassing to some victims.
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is observed throughout
October to bring attention to the problem. Everyone needs to
get involved in this effort. One way to do so here in Banks County
is by supporting Peace Place, a shelter for victims of domestic
violence. District attorney Tim Madison's office has been a part
of this effort and can direct those interested in helping.