The Jackson Herald
March 7, 2001
scrapbook of good thoughts to promote good thinking."
Until about three years ago, Ed Thompson kept the scrapbook "one
drawer up from my sock and underwear drawer." Then he loaned
it to me.
I looked at it and promptly filed it away in a drawer, desk,
About six months ago, Ed asked me about his scrapbook. He didn't
say so, but I think he was wondering if I was going to do anything
with it, and if I wasn't, could he have it back.
So I started looking for it. After about two months, the looking
became searching. There is a difference between looking and searching,
you know. Two more months passed and I began to search frantically.
If you've ever lost a passionate love letter, picture of a loved
one, an important document-and couldn't find it-you know how
I'm not talking about car keys or glasses here. I'm talking about
something really important. A lost scrapbook of experiences that
go back more than 50 years is no laughing matter. These were
good thoughts that inspired Ed to think good thoughts most of
I asked him one day if he didn't come by and pick up his scrapbook.
He said he didn't think so, but he'd look one drawer up from
his sock and underwear drawer and see. Negative, he said, the
next time I saw him.
So I resumed the frantic search at my house-to no avail.
Ed told me not to worry about it. "It's not important,"
But I knew it was-very important. Later in this story, I'll tell
you why. It was so important that I continued the frantic search-until
I found it.
There are many sources of the good thoughts in Ed's scrapbook,
but the main one is a legend: Cobern Kelley, long-time director
of the Athens Y. The man was a teacher, leader, encourager and
role model for thousands of young men, and Ed considers himself
blessed to have been one of them. He has many memories of the
giant of a man in T-shirt and swim trunks, but his most vivid
memory is how Kelley influenced his life.
Ed and the YMCA got together 55 years ago when the boy was an
11-year-old fifth grader.
The Y back then was not the big building and sprawling athletic
fields on Hawthorne Avenue. It was a small and simple structure
at the corner of Broad and Lumpkin Streets where the Athens Holiday
Inn now stands.
The thing Ed remembers best about it was the indoor, heated swimming
pool. After working out or playing sports, the boys were herded
into shower stalls for a hot, soapy bath. Only then could they
go swimming- and only in their birthday suits. Kelley allowed
no contaminants in the pool. He not only emphasized clean minds,
but clean, healthy bodies as well.
On page 1 of Ed's "good thoughts for good thinking"
scrapbook are three sentences that set the stage for 34 more
pages of wisdom:
"Fill your minds with those things that are good and deserve
praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and
"As one thinks in his heart, so he is."-Proverbs 23:7.
"Refined manners give dignity and grace to the body; refined
thoughts give dignity and grace to the mind."
Listening to Ed talk about his YMCA experiences and thumbing
through his scrapbook, you wish Cobern Kelley were still alive
to influence today's young men the way he did in the 1940s and
Even today - now that I found it and returned it - Ed turns to
the scrapbook for inspiration. It means as much - maybe more
- to him at age 66 as it did when he was 11.
Ed's citizenship and service in the community, his church, his
circle of friends, the business world (he retired from Georgia
Power in 1992 with 35 years of service) are well known. Still,
he turns occasionally to page 4 in his scrapbook, the page headed
TEAM, and reviews 18 team traits. Among them:
"We are all part of a team, the team of the great game of
"Our head coach in all of our activities is God...."
"We are quarterbacks of our own lives; if we make bad calls
we will not get very far in the game of life or with our teammates."
"We will often need additional help, so we will call on
"For our blessings, we will thank God."
"For our errors, we will ask God's forgiveness."
"We will help and encourage those who are weak."
"We will forgive those who do us wrong."
"Our faith will not weaken and we will not become discouraged
by failures, but will hold fast to the truth that 'all things
work together for good to those who love God'."
There are many other good thoughts in Ed's YMCA scrapbook. We'll
share more of them with you next week, and will tell you why
his Y experience was so important.
* * *
Note from Virgil: When I checked this with Ed, he expressed concern
that I was writing too much about him and not enough about Kelley
and the Y. That's pretty good evidence, isn't it, that the principles
in the "good thoughts/good thinking" scrapbook are
still bearing fruit.
Virgil Adams is a former owner-editor of The Jackson Herald.
The Jackson Herald
March 7, 2001
Woman points are the keys to a lady's heart
Around Valentine's Day last year, I sent
ripples through the dating community by offering my foolproof
ways to get a woman.
Sure, my methods worked. And sure, hundreds, if not thousands,
of lonely fellows out there found a potential mate by following
I never asked for any praise or even any thanks. That's just
the kind of guy I am.
But I feel there are more love-hungry people out there in the
greater Banks-Jackson-Madison metropolitan area. So, being the
great love therapist that I am not, I have new and improved tips
to get a woman.
I developed a system last month after years and years of research.
My system, based on woman points, holds that once you get 10
woman points from a lady, you have her hooked.
How do you get woman points, you say? Read on.
·Get some nice shoes. Women don't look at your pants.
They don't care about your $95 white designer T-shirt. All they
care about are your shoes. Put on a nice pair of shoes and you
could be wearing a tie-dye shirt, a yellow tie and blue pants.
It won't matter. Now, how do you get nice shoes? When shoe shopping,
tell the lady at the store that you are buying a pair of shoes
for your brother's birthday present. Ask her to help you pick
them out. She'll pick out a nice pair that you will buy and wear
yourself. The worth: two woman points.
·Act like you don't care. This is a hard concept to master.
There are only a few things you want to not care about. Don't
care about price. Don't even look at the price tag. Just buy
it to display your seemingly sound financial position. Don't
care about beautiful women. Whenever you see a really beautiful
woman when you are around the lady you want to hook up with,
say the following: "Her Barbie doll physique and air of
self-confidence strikes discord at the very core of all that
I hold to be simple and natural. I find her presence unbearable
and I hope she has a piece of broccoli stuck in her teeth."
Of course, you will have no idea what you just said. But the
ladies will love it. And by saying that about a seemingly flawless
woman, you will gain three woman points.
·Act like you do care. Again, another hard concept. Allow
me to illustrate an example. Go into a fast food restaurant with
your potential lady. Then, ask one of the employees if they use
recycled paper products. After the employee answers, say the
following: "Recycled products are exigent. Decimation of
the Earth's foliage is unscrupulous and shan't be countenanced."
You'll sound intelligent and caring-worth three more woman points.
·Be mysterious and deep. I have preached on this topic
before. But I believe it to be of utmost importance. Being mysterious
and deep is easy. Just sit and stare off into sky. To an unsuspecting
woman, you will appear to be pondering your own existence and
your purpose in life. Then, when she asks you what you are thinking
about, say the following: "The Earth is a huge conglobe
of torrid constituents. I descry my purpose to be infinite"
Trail off the sentence by mumbling to yourself. Then say, "I
just don't know what to think." You will instantly seem
deep and mysterious. You will gain four woman points, the most
under my system.
So, that's all there is to it. You can gain 12 woman points and
get any woman you want and all you had to do was buy some new
shoes and memorize a few lines.
When you try my methods and see that they work, don't thank me.
Just know that I feel better knowing that maybe I helped one
person out there.
And if you need my help, just call on me.
In the meantime, I'll be pondering my own existence as my girlfriend
takes away all my woman points.
Adam Fouche is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers. His email
address is firstname.lastname@example.org.