The Madison County Journal
June 27, 2001
Words From Me
On Sunday my daughter was baptized into the Catholic Church.
She wore a long white dress, the same dress her cousins wore
before her for their baptisms. Her head and her feet were bare
in deference to the heat.
Questions were asked of Eric and me and of her godparents that
have been asked of parents and godparents for millinnea. We were
asked to pledge that we would raise Piper in the ways of the
church until she reached the age of majority when she could decide
whether or not to become an adult Catholic. (At that point, she
could choose to go through Confirmation.) Once our pledge was
made, holy water was poured over our child's head to symbolize
her welcome into the Catholic faith. Some babies cry when the
water is poured over their head. Piper giggled.
The deacon then anointed our baby's head with a special ceremonial
oil. As he did so he prayed that Piper would always serve as
Christ did. The deacon called for Piper to be a priest, a prophet
and a king. As he spread the oil over her head with his thumb,
a musky smell permeated the warm church. The deacon smeared so
much of it onto the top of her head that in ran down onto her
forehead. Her hair became greasy with it as it dried.
A white garment was placed over Piper to signify her new status
as a member of the Catholic faith and a candle was lit for the
"new light of Christ."
Afterward, family and friends adjourned to my house for lunch
and to celebrate. Piper got out of her warm dress and into something
Rejoining the party downstairs, I noticed how my home was full
of family and love. A close friend of Eric's family came up to
me and spoke to Piper. "Now, Miss Piper," she said,
"we have the same last name, 'Catholic.'" I had never
really thought of it that way, I told her. It touched me that
this sweet, caring woman was excited at the prospect of being
related to my daughter.
And now, thinking back over it, I am still touched and humbled.
Her statement made me think about what kind of lessons I want
to impart to Piper. And thinking about it, I've decided to add
a few more names to the end of her name. Her given name and the
one the church recognizes is Piper Alayna Beckstine. We've added
Catholic. That's fine and it ties her to a religion that is 2,001
years old and practiced all over the world. But I want to add
Georgian. It's a great state. I wish it weren't named after a
crazy English king, but it adds colorful history to the name.
It ties her to one of the Bible Belt states, peaches, peanuts
(which taste best boiled), a great bunch of people and her grandfather's
ancestors. Then, I would add American. Even with the problems,
it's a great country. It offers up ideals that are sometimes
hard to live up to, but for which I would die defending. But
I am not done yet. I'd add human to her name, or the less popular
Homosapiens. It's important for her to realize that she is interrelated
to all of the people on this earth. We are all created the same
way, with the same parts and the same blood. The differences
between individuals are not insurmountable, as long as you're
willing to listen with an open mind. And the last name I would
give her would be Being. Not just any being, but one of God's
making as is everything else on this Earth. As a Being, she would
respect every other being's right to live and never take the
life of even a spider without thought for the creature's creator.
Because every being on this Earth serves a purpose.
Rochelle Beckstine is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.
The Madison County Journal
June 27, 2001
be missed Rocker
So maybe his "send me to hell or New York City" attitude
toward life ticked off a few people in high places in the sports
So what if he decided to skip the Tiger Woods school of media
It showed that John Rocker didn't suck up to anyone while he
was in a Braves uniform.
Thank goodness. Some of us will miss ya John.
A villain of those armed with the camera and the pen, Rocker
was made out to be an O.J. Simpson by the press, but was really
no more harmless than Charles Barkley, one of the most beloved
NBA players of all time. Now how many times did Charles stick
his foot in his mouth?
Yes. Rocker was the anti-media poster boy.
Get 'em John.
I guess a gun-toting good ole boy from Macon doesn't fit the
image of the contemporary, glossy, sellout, media-darling athlete,
so the Atlanta front office put a home-state star out to pasture
in a trade to Cleveland and ridded themselves of Rocker's late-inning
Great move Braves. I've loved y'all ever since you were lovable
losers in the 80s, but y'all really sold out this time. You traded
one of the top closers in baseball for some guy named Steve Karsay
and another one named Steve Reed and probably a stadium custodian
Clevleand got a better deal than America got in the Louisiana
OK, so the guys they picked up aren't that bad. In fact, this
Krustay or Krustay guy 's numbers do merit some attention. But
you would think that a player the caliber of Mr. Rocker would
draw some bigger names. One has to question their motives.
He sported an impressive resume again this year, with 19 saves
in 23 opportunities and was nailing down games in a year when
the Braves have been shakier than they've been in 10 years.
Hopefully Braves general manager John Shuerholtz can sleep at
night if Atlanta starts to mysteriously blow games in the late
But the deed has been done now, the knife has been removed from
Rocker's back and cleaned.
From what I hear, Chipper Jones is happy to see his departure.
Note to Chip: you might want to increase your home run total
even more now. You might need those extra runs in the ninth inning
with John gone.
But for those of us who were actually fans of John, we'll have
to remember what he brought to the table while in Atlanta.
He was fun to watch, from the possessed, charging bull look he
had coming out of the bullpen to the taunting of New Yorkers
who couldn't stand to see him set down their beloved batters.
Rocker didn't try to out-think people on the mound. Heck, he
looked like he was on speed out there, fidgeting around while
gassing a 99 mph fastball past a hated New York Met.
It was such a departure from the norm. Most pitchers try to bring
an almost yoga-type mentality to the mound. He gave Atlanta fans
a "welcome to the jungle" approach to taking the hill.
We all like the players that we can identify with and I see a
lot of "Rockerness" in me. I like seeing someone with
fire in him, a pulse, one that gets mad at mistakes. I hate to
So this is my eulogy to you, John. Good luck with the Indians.
You're the politically incorrect guy on another politically incorrect-named
You're gone from the Peach State, but whether people loved or
hated you, you won't be forgotten.
Ben Munro is a reporter for the Madison County Journal.