More Jackson County Opinions...

August 8, 2001


Column
By Rochelle Beckstine
The Jackson Herald
August 8, 2001

So long, dear friends
Five weeks ago, I submitted my resignation as a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers effective August 10 and accepted a clerical/retail job with a local company that installs prefab fireplaces and sells anything involved with the heating aspect of homes.
The best part about my new job is it will allow me to keep my daughter with me all day long. There won't be a sitter that will coax her into taking her first steps while I put pages together a few miles away. I won't have to listen to a tape recording of her first words after my seven o'clock meeting is over. There have been days when the only time I see my daughter is to feed her. It's not good for my sanity. I felt guilty for every minute I wasn't taking care of her and for every time I imagined she cried for me and I wasn't there to pick her up.
My new boss has a reason for allowing me to tote my little papoose with me to Buford and to Commerce five days a week. He's my grandfather. He wants me to be happy and he wants Piper to be happy. When he offered me the job five and a half weeks ago, I didn't have to think for very long. I told him I would take it. I was euphoric. I wouldn't have to leave my baby with strangers or wonder what she was doing all day long while I typed up church news or laid out the social pages. I would be the one watching her giggle at the new skill she mastered. She would spit peas out on my clean shirt.
It was a wonderful hour of blissful musings. Then, I thought about everything I would be giving up. Number one, I wouldn't be using my college degree. My $96,000 college degree. (So what if I was on scholarship, that's what I would have had to pay.) Number two, my friends. Friends mean a lot to me because I don't have that many. I have made more friends in my year at MainStreet than I had ever made before in my life. I now have friends at the Jefferson office, at the Homer office, at the Commerce office and at the Danielsville office. I have friends at the Jackson County Humane Society, in the school systems at Banks County, Jackson County and Jefferson City, at city councils in Homer, Pendergrass, Talmo, Braselton and Hoschton, and at the Jackson County Airport Authority.
But the friends I will miss the most are the ones who let me into their homes every week. Who took the time out of their hectic day to read what I wrote. I hope I've brightened a few days and inspired some to think about issues in a different way. I won't say good-bye, because maybe someday I'll be occupying the same space. But I will say so long, dear friends, until another day.

Rochelle Beckstine is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.

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Column
By Tim Thomas
The Jackson Herald
August 8, 2001


Football 2001: Panthers foretell Dragons' success?
The 2001 high school football season is just around the corner, and there are some very interesting matchups early on that may give some insight into how successful some of our area teams may be through the entire season.
For instance, Jefferson should get some idea of their chances in the season opener against Athens Christian. The Eagles host Apalachee Aug. 24, one week after Apalachee visits Jefferson for a jamboree.
Jackson County opens the season August 31 with Banks County. That matchup, considered along with the Jackson County-Jefferson jamboree a week earlier, will give plenty of insight into Jefferson's second game, against Banks County Sept. 7.
Much more interesting, though, will be the Madison County-Jackson County matchup Sept. 7. Jefferson will host the Red Raiders two weeks later. The Panthers will get a preview of their own battle with the Red Raiders, since Madison County plays Apalachee Aug. 31 and Apalachee meets Jefferson for a jamboree Aug. 17.
Confused yet?
Jackson County also faces White County this week in a jamboree. The Warriors' first regular-season game is against Social Circle, who hosts Jefferson for game five Sept. 28.
If you want to stretch this string a little tighter, White County meets Dawson County in week three, and Dawson will play Oglethorpe in week two. Jefferson's sixth game is Oct. 5, against Oglethorpe.
Now are you confused? No? Try this.
For a preview of game seven against Landmark, we've really got to go around the world.
Landmark faces Athens Academy Sept. 14. The Spartans take on Greater Atlanta Christian a week earlier. Here's where it gets interesting. GAC has White County and Banks County back-to-back during the weeks immediately preceding Jefferson's date with Landmark.
Jackson County's Oct. 12 game with Loganville could give Jefferson a preview of its chances against Buford, since the Red Devils will play Buford Sept. 7.
Commerce plays Franklin County (which meets Jackson County Oct. 19) and Athens Academy (remember our link to them earlier?) before coming to Jefferson Nov. 2. And both Commerce and Buford will play Lincoln County before the big cross-county rivalry game.
Another big game of interest to Dragon fans is week one's Landmark Christian-Wesleyan battle. Jefferson hosts Landmark Oct. 12, one month before traveling to Wesleyan to close the regular season. With four teams in Region 8-A, the Jefferson-Wesleyan game will have a huge impact on the playoff picture.
Commerce will give the Dragons a more current preview of the Wolves, though, when they host Wesleyan Oct. 26. The Tigers come to Jefferson a week later.
Now that we've cleared all that up, here's a reminder: nobody really knows what's going to happen until the teams take the field. The team that loses to a nobody in week one just might be the same team holding the state trophy at the end.
Tim Thomas is a reporter for The Jackson Herald. He may be reached at the sports desk at (706) 367-2348, or via email at SpeckCh@aol.com.
 

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