Madison County Opinion...

 June 27, 2001


Column
By Rochelle Beckstine
The Madison County Journal
June 27, 2001

A Few Words From Me

Naming ceremony
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 more comfortable.
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.

 

 


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Column
By Ben Munro
The Madison County Journal
June 27, 2001

In Other Words

You'll 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 media world.
So what if he decided to skip the Tiger Woods school of media charm?
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 pitching expertise.
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 or two.
Clevleand got a better deal than America got in the Louisiana Purchase.
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 innings.
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 lose too.
So this is my eulogy to you, John. Good luck with the Indians. You're the politically incorrect guy on another politically incorrect-named team.
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.


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