More Jackson County Opinions...

March 7, 2001


Column
By Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
March 7, 2001

"My YMCA 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, box, cabinet-something-somewhere.
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 felt.
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 his life.
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," he said.
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 honorable."-Philippians 4:8.
"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 '50s.
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 life."
"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 God...."
"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.

Column
By Adam Fouche
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 my tips.
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 fouche@nbank.net.

 

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