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January 16, 2002


Column
By: Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
January 16, 2002

About dogs and lovers
Some of you are making light of Buddy’s death. And you are making fun of Bill because he is grieving.
Shame on you!
Your mean behavior tells us a lot. One, you never owned a dog. Two, your hatred of Bill Clinton is out of control.
I’m guessing you may also be jealous. The very idea, giving a dead dog more space and air time than your own obituary will command.
Don’t blame Buddy. If he belonged to one of us good ol’ boys, he’d be just another dog. But he belonged to the President of the United States. That made him famous.
And please, quit making fun of his famous owner.
One thing about dying and grieving: it’s the common denominator. It puts the rich and the famous in the same boat with the poor and the ordinary. Love is love and loss is loss — period.
I’ve loved and lost six dogs in my lifetime, and I grieved for every one of them. So I understand why Bill and Hillary felt led to issue this statement to the media: “Buddy was a loyal companion and brought us much joy. He will be truly missed.”
I don’t recall issuing a statement when any of my dogs died. You only do that when you and your dog are hot commodities.
Like I said, Buddy didn’t choose to be a celebrity. Buddy didn’t choose Bill. Bill chose Buddy.
It is not true, as some have said, that I think like a dog. However, I’ll wager that Buddy would have chosen a simpler lifestyle if he had had any say-so in the matter.
Dogs like to be dogs and do what dogs do: run in the woods, chase rabbits, dig up gardens and visit with neighboring pooches.
It seems to me it would be rather difficult to be a dog in the Rose Garden or the Lincoln Bedroom. (On second thought, there may be a precedent.)
Well, Buddy escaped the confines of Washington and moved with his master to upscale Chappaqua in New York. He also found it difficult to be a dog there. So on Monday, Jan. 2, 2002, he escaped and started doing what dogs do. He started chasing cars.
Unfortunately, he caught one, and died shortly thereafter at an animal hospital.
Bill Clinton lost more than a loyal companion. He lost his best friend.
In fact, he may have lost his only friend. “If you want a friend in Washington, you need to get a dog,” Clinton said, quoting President Harry Truman.
The Clintons were given Buddy as a puppy in 1997, just weeks before the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke.
Buddy didn’t care about that mess. He wasn’t the least bit jealous of Monica. He stuck by the president throughout the long impeachment proceedings. It didn’t bother Buddy that Bill lied. He never criticized the president. He didn’t judge him. He was always there for him. Buddy loved Bill unconditionally.
Dogs are special friends. If you ever owned one, you know that. And you’d never make light of one’s death or make fun of its hurting master.
Reading about Buddy’s passing, and empathizing with a grieving Bill, I thought about some of my dogs.
Years ago, on one of my morning walks, I kicked over a cardboard box and out crawled a little tan puppy — right into my heart.
Tanny, like Buddy, caught a car one day. Badly injured, he dragged himself to the big rooted tree on the creek bank back of the house — there to die. But Shannon would not allow it. That boy crawled way back in a dark hole not much bigger than he was and retrieved the little fellow. We took Tanny to Commerce, and Dr. Shirley saved his life. Dog doctors are special, too.
During the snowstorm early this month, Miles remembered Ace.
Ace had malformed teeth. One protruded outside his lower lip. And he always slept on his back, all four paws and one tooth pointing skyward.
Miles called me on January 3 and asked if I remembered how Ace used to play in the snow. That dog would stick his nose in the white stuff and run all over the place, making like a bulldozer.
Yes, I remembered. Miles said one of the neighbor’s dogs at Staghorn was doing the same thing. Miles was excited about that.
Ace has been dead at least 35 years. Miles was no more than 5 years old. But he still remembers. Dogs are responsible for a multitude of memories.
I remember that little dog lying there in the street in front of Hartwell’s First Baptist Church in the spring of 1957.
Obviously, it had been run over.
Some folks veered right and some veered left to miss him. Others, like myself, straddled the little fellow.
In my rear view mirror I caught a glimpse of an 18-wheeler, its exhaust belching black smoke and its huge tires grinding out a roar on the pavement. This would finish the little dog off for sure.
The big truck braked to a screeching halt about five feet from the little dog. As traffic backed up and impatient motorists sat on their horns, the truck driver crawled down from his lofty cab. He picked up the little dog and gently placed him on the grass in front of the church.
He hailed a pedestrian approaching on the sidewalk, and as the pedestrian began to minister to the little dog, the truck driver — a big, bearded brute of a man — slowly crawled back up in his cab and drove off into the sunset.
Dogs and people who love dogs are special, and we should never make light of their passing and grieving.
Virgil Adams is a former owner and editor of The Jackson Herald..

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Column
By:Ben Munro
The Jackson Herald
January 16, 2002

School is good, but it could be better
Since I have been a student for nearly 17 years of my life, and school has just opened its doors again for so many eager, fresh faces, I find it only appropriate to write a column about school.
For most of my life, I attended Gwinnett County Schools. Yes, they were not all that great, and there was plenty to complain about. The Gwinnett County School System can be summed up this way — a huge lack of concern followed up with rules far outside the walls of reason.
I’m not going to slam Gwinnett County any more in this column since we’re not in that over-populated, concrete area of the state. I want to talk about college, and how we should improve it.
I have heard from several sources that parking at UGA can be a nightmare. The situation is about the same at my school, Gainesville College. And it gets worse every semester.
When I first began attending classes at Gainesville, I could park close to the buildings and not have to worry about being late for class. All has changed now. There are thousands of students. Actually, I believe that there are more cars than students, and people are hitching up two or three cars to the back of their trucks and towing them to school just to take up space.
When school started last week, I drove around for nearly half an hour looking for a space. Other people who had been looking for spaces, gave up and parked in the grass. I decided not to go along with the idea of parking in the grass, because I was afraid that I might get a ticket from the parking lot security. So I found a small, open lot a good distance away from the building my class is in.
I parked my truck and began the long walk on the cold, windy day.
When class finally let out about 2 hours later, I returned to my truck, only to find that I had been ticketed for “parking in a faculty/staff parking space.”
I have parked in that lot several times in the past, and had never been ticketed. In fact, I have seen other students park in that same lot. Come to find out, they had installed a small sign, just below eye level at the entrance, saying that it had become a faculty/staff parking area.
Parking lot security left me with a $10 fine and I was rather disgruntled for the rest of the day.
There is a grass lot that the school opens to park in when the ground is dry. However, it hasn’t been dry until recently, so when it rains, the lot is completely closed off. My solution: Pave the field. Add a few storm drains. Currently, it is about five or six acres of mud and gravel, with just a touch of grass. I’m sure they have enough money to pave the lot from unnecessary fees and tuition costs, plus the profit they make from selling books. They’re just too lazy to make that big step to pave the lot that would keep so many from being late.
The last thing I’m going to discuss is how I don’t agree with the attendance policies that schools have set. The attendance policy is my favorite policy to complain about, because I feel that whoever made up this policy had to be into sniffing glue — lots and lots of glue. So it was probably someone who is in cahoots with Governor Roy Barnes.
If you choose not to go to school, then you shouldn’t have to go. After all, it’s your money and you paid for it. But if you choose not to go to school, and you can still pull off an A, then congratulations. You deserve the A more than the person who had perfect attendance, because you had to work that much harder.
Every one of my classes has to print the school attendance policy on the syllabi, and the professors make up consequences accordingly. Some choose to drop your grade by one letter grade every time you miss a day, others take off a point. Most just kick you out if you miss more than five days, and you’ve lost all of your hard-earned tuition and matriculation money.
What does this teach us? That we have to attend our jobs in the real world when we’re supposed to? That’s obvious, and I don’t complain about going to work because I get paid. It’s as simple as that.
Some will argue that you get paid by going to school because you’re receiving an education. While I agree with this, I also believe that you’re the boss of yourself in college. Your decisions are left up to you and nobody else. Higher education is a measure of your intelligence. If you’re able to cut class half the time and still exceed expectations then you deserve what you get. Plus it opens up more parking spaces when fewer students attend class regularly.
Some people have jobs and other responsibilities outside of school, and can’t attend class every day. I pity those who are kicked out each semester because they really couldn’t attend class.
Let’s look briefly at the situation on the other hand. You don’t attend class, and you fail because you don’t know the material. Well, that’s tough. Maybe you should have spent less time drinking beer and more time reading your books.
College is about having freedom similar to that of the real world. It’s about choice, but it still has many childish high school rules attached to it, especially in junior college. For those who are wondering, I would probably be at UGA right now if I wasn’t a white male, but that’s another story.
Charlie Broadwell is a reporter for Mainstreet News Inc. His email is Charliecfh@hotmail.com.

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