More Jackson County Opinions...

December 19, 2001


Column
By: Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
December 19, 2001

I am no Shakespeare, but...
My first, last and only short story, ³Retribution,² was so well received that I thought I would try my hand at poetry.
One of you even put your comments in writing. Nothing makes this old would-be writer happier than to be mentioned in a letter to the editor. Thank you, Norma Anderson!
What follows is not my first and only poem. After you read it—you will, wonıt you?—youıll probably think it should be my last.
Donıt count on it. I was writing poetry before I entered first grade, and poetry may be the last thing I write before I graduate from the University of Earth.
You will notice that I did not say anything about writing good poetry. A Shakespeare, a Tennyson or a Poe—I ainıt.
Whatever you think of my poetic prowess, just consider it my Christmas gift to you. if you donıt like it, remember itıs the thought that counts. And I think very highly of my readers.
So here goes. But first, I guess I need to give you the title: ³In the Mountains Sitting on a Log on the Bank of the Pigeon River, Thinking about Life and Christmas.²
Water rippling over the rocks,
Keeping time with the chiming clock,
Sending messages far and wide,
Even to the afraid, trying to hide.
ŒTis the season for joy and gladness,
No rhyme or reason for sadness.
So why do we cower in gloomy spots
When all around are colorful lots
With beautiful trees and sparkling lights
That beckon us come, see happy sights?
Go now and show a troubled soul
That God is love and Jesus came
To save one and all, the same:
The rich, the poor; the black, the white;
All are precious in His sight.
Why canıt we get along
And sing a joyful song
And be at peace
And finally cease
Being insincere
And living in fear?
Can we not see that the psalmistıs song
Was actually true all along;
That every day was a day God made,
And we should have rejoiced as he bade?
Meanwhile, the water ripples over the rocks
And keeps time with the chiming clock.
And life and the cold, cold river
Flow on and on ... and they shiver,
Moving ever down stream
Searching for their dream
Around the next bend,
And wonder, Is this the end?
No! Itıs not yet here!
So be of good cheer!
If trials and troubles swirl,
Sing Joy to the World,
And see if you donıt feel
A spine-tingling thrill
That makes you want to celebrate,
That wonıt let you hesitate
To share a gift
And give someone a lift.
Make the Spirit come alive
And cause old folks to jive
And drive kids to laughter
And build character.
Just know that the more you give,
The more you will receive;
For thatıs the way it is down here
Throughout all the year.
Even when your words donıt rhyme,
It doesnıt mean itıs a sad time.
Just keep hanging in there, look up, count your blessings, have a positive attitude, keep the faith, love everybody, enjoy Christmas, understand its real meaning.
If you are afraid to die, you may be afraid to live. Donıt be afraid.
Finally, remember the message Vickie Dillow put on the Bethany United Methodist Church sign last week: ³Trouble is inevitable. Misery is optional.²
Merry Christmas? Sad Christmas?
Itıs my choice.
Virgil Adams is former editor of the Jackson Herald.

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Column
By: Charlie Broadwell
The Jackson Herald
December 19, 2001

Charlieıs shopping tip
Over the years, I have noticed a few differences between men and women when it comes to shopping. I have concluded that these differences are because little girls are born with the natural instinct to shop and waste a lot of time and money in the process. Most men, including myself, canıt stand to be in the store for too long, and their intolerance to shopping is innate.
During the Christmas season, itıs so crowded and unpleasant to men inside of malls. Now Iım talking to the men – suppose Christmas is a few days away, much like it is now. Your wife or girlfriend spotted something nice and rather expensive during one of her shopping rampages at the mall. Iım going to tell you how to get in and get out quick, save money and cut down on the hassle of shopping during the Christmas season as well as during other times of the year.
€Park close – I know that it seems impossible to park close to the entrance of a popular mall, or any other store during the Christmas season. Most people end up driving around aimlessly, wasting gas and wondering if theyıll get into the mall before Christmas arrives. I have a simple solution. Park on the sidewalk in front of the entrance closest to the store youıre planning to purchase the gift at. Youıll be in and out so quick that nobody will have time to notice that youıre parked illegally. Please donıt attempt this if you own a car that sits low to the ground. Youıll obviously become stuck and cause a great deal of damage. You should always go to the mall in a truck or SUV for parking purposes.
€Dress and behave inappropriately – People usually donıt dress like theyıre into road construction when they go to the mall. Do just the opposite. Wear torn, muddy jeans and a heavily stained T-shirt covered with a foul-smelling, unbuttoned flannel. Sing Christmas carols out of tune and be sure to be loud and obnoxious. A combination of the smell and the rude behavior cuts down on time standing in line. Employees will be encouraged to move customers through the checkout line faster just to get you out of the door.
€Run - Run through the mall before the parking lot security has a chance to tow or put a ticket on your illegally parked vehicle.
€Get the first card you see – Be cautious with this one, my dad has picked up the wrong card for the wrong holiday (more than once) for my mother when exercising this helpful tip. This angers a woman, and sheıll never let you hear the end of it. But if you must get a card to accent a Christmas present, just go to the Christmas section and pick up a card and an envelope. Theyıre all about the same price, so donıt worry about it. Just make sure it has something to do with Christmas, or itıll get you into trouble.
If you have a computer, you can choose to make a card. This is very inexpensive, but it can be time consuming if youıre not familiar with computers or complex card designing. Your only cost is the paper and the ink from the printer, which is still cheaper than the gas you would waste while driving to the store.
€Donıt get distracted – This is the number one reason why women spend so much time in the store. If youıre not planning on buying it, donıt look at it. If itıs not on your mental list of items you have decided on purchasing beforehand, donıt waste precious time with it. Just look forward and try to figure out a path through the maze of people.
€Research – This tip is probably the least fun of all the tips, but it could be your ticket to a hassle-free shopping experience. Just get on the Internet, go to a search engine and look for what she wants. You may even prevent have to go out at all if you can find the gift for sale online. Youıll probably find the gift for a lower price but the shipping charges will more than likely balance out the price. If all else fails, turn to Ebay. Youıll find it there.
If women would accept my advice on how to shop, then the malls probably wouldnıt be so crowded during this time of the year. They would go in, run out and go home to sit by the fire – instead of choosing to wander around the mall, taking up space. People wouldnıt have to park on the sidewalk because nobody would spend any time at the mall, slowly walking and casually looking at items that are not on their lists. Ladies – a man should spend no more than five minutes in a mall because the more time he spends inside, the more frustrated and ill he becomes.
A large number of men probably already knew the secrets of having a hassle-free shopping experience. Now that I have exposed the tips for everyone to see, I hope that every man will be able to overcome the throes of holiday shopping.
Charlie Broadwell is a reporter for Mainstreet Newspapers. His email is Charliecfh@hotmail.com.


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