More Jackson County Opinions...

April 24, 2002


Column
By: Charlie Broadwell
The Jackson Herald
April 24, 2002

So you need to get a cell phone?
As we venture further into the technology age, more and more people are beginning to buy and use cell phones. These tiny devices are ensuring people all over the world that they are just one quick phone call away from home and their privacy may be invaded at any time.
I am just one of millions who are unfortunate enough to own a cell phone, and for those who don’t have one, allow me to explain.
If you’re a cell phone rookie, you’ll begin to feel a little nervous while en route to the cell phone store. You have just made the decision to step over the line and become “cool,” like so many other people you see on a daily basis.
The person at the counter asks if they may help you. All you know to say is “Yeah, um, I need a phone.”
As soon as you utter those words, you are bombarded with brochures and options to pick for your new phone.
Most package plans will offer some nice benefits such as free calling to California during your free hours, or caller ID.
Now I really like my caller ID. It’s always fun to hear your phone ring and have the ability to know who is bothering you before you pick up the phone. I’m willing to bet that more people have this feature on their cell phones than on their standard household telephones.
Anyway, once you have picked out a plan, and it was probably the only plan that made any sense because you were confused, you have to pick out your phone. You can get the phone that comes with the package, or you can pay more, and sometimes much more for a smaller, cuter phone that does absolutely nothing extraordinary.
I had the chance to look at a small and cute phone a friend of mine has, and I consider it to be worthless. It has an infrared feature, and I’m not sure what it’s used for. I turned on the infrared, and the phone began to do something weird. So I had to figure out how to turn off the phone to reset it. This turned out to be quite a challenge since I never found a power button. I just took out the battery.
So after you have your plan and your cute little phone that won’t reach from your ear to your mouth, you have to pay the standard fees and then you’re out the door.
You get in your car and call your closest friend, or mother, to notify them that you have a new cell phone, and they are welcome to call you at any time.
As you drive, you’re trying to figure out how to set up your voice mail. Then you devise a plan to have someone call you and leave a message, to see how it works.
A few weeks later, you have forgotten that your air-time is costing you 35 cents per minute, and you’re beginning to talk excessively. Your head begins to ache with pain, and you’re suspecting that the cell phone is trying to kill you through it’s “invisible waves of death.” But you have already been over three studies that proved cell phones are safe, so you’ll be OK.
The thing I hate the most about cell phones is the amount of money you must pay each month. How much money does it really cost a company to let customers talk during a weekday before 9 or 10 p.m.? It’s free for the rest of the day and on the weekends.
And I don’t really care if someone is driving with a cell phone, as long as they’re like me. I don’t pay attention to what the person is saying, but I keep my attention on what I’m supposed to be doing.
However, I do believe that a law should be made up and enforced that says text messaging should not be allowed to take place while behind the wheel of a car.
I would like to find out who came up with the idea of using a phone dialing pad as a keyboard to communicate with people. I think it’s absolutely stupid and an inconvenient form of communication. For me it would probably take half an hour to say “Hello, how are you doing on this fine and lovely evening?”
Maybe people, especially the young people, will realize the extra money they are spending for unnecessary features on cell phones is actually quite senseless, and maybe they should wait for them to go down in price before making that bold step into the cell phone store.
I wouldn’t even own a cell phone if our local phone company didn’t assume that it is long distance to my old stomping grounds, commonly referred to as Lawrenceville. But that’s just another story in itself.
Charlie Broadwell is a reporter for Main Street News. His email is Charliecfh@hotmail.com.

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Column
By: Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
April 24, 2002

The Talmadge nobody knew
Although not completed, the 4-H Club Center at Rock Eagle was dedicated October 30, 1954. It would be seven months before it opened for business.
On May 30, 1955, delegates to 4-H forestry and wildlife camps arrived. When the dinner bell rang, Bill Sutton cut a green ribbon officially opening the dining hall and led 20 Four-H members inside for the first meal.
The first county groups came to Rock Eagle for a week-long stay on June 13.
Attendance was 431 Club members from nine countries. The camping fee for the entire week was $8.40. The price of meals averaged 45 cents each.
The Center had its own newspaper that first summer. The purpose of the eight-page tabloid: “To help tell the world the story of a ‘Dream Come True’ and to stimulate interest among 4-H’ers for whom it still is coming true, The 4-H Eagle is being published this summer as the official organ of the State 4-H Club Center.”
The reporter, photographer, editor and publisher was a young University of Georgia student from Jefferson, Jackson County, Ga. The assignment was the beginning of a 41-year career in journalism that led to the editorship of some of the South’s outstanding newspapers and publisher of one of the best in the United States. His story will be chronicled next week.
To maintain interest in the ongoing construction of the Rock Eagle Center, scores of special events were held between the groundbreaking on August 23, 1951, the dedication on October 30, 1954, and the arrival of the first campers on May 30, 1955.
At least one more dedication was forthcoming. It occurred March 10, 1956, and was a highlight of National 4-H Club Week that year. The occasion was 4-H Rally Day and the dedication of the Herman E. Talmadge Auditorium.
The governor was the principal speaker when the building named for His Honor was dedicated.
Approximately 3,000 people came to hear him say that a fifth H should be added to the 4-H Club program and that it should stand for “hope.” He told the overflow audience that his support of the 4-H Center was among the things he was most proud of during his term as governor.
Loudspeakers were set up outside the auditorium so the entire crowd, about half 4-H’ers and half adults, could hear him speak.
Dr. C. C. Murray was dean and coordinator of the College of Agriculture at the time. In his statement of dedication he pointed out the three decisions of Gov. Talmadge that made the Center possible. These included the transfer of a skilled prison labor camp to Rock Eagle to do the work, the matching from state funds of money raised for the project, and finally the appropriation in 1953 of $1 million for the Center.
State 4-H Council Secretary Elaine Emberson of Catoosa County unveiled a portrait of Gov. Talmadge, which hangs in the auditorium, prior to the governor’s speech.
In Elaine I thought I had another Jackson County connection. I remembered an Eleanor Emberson from Catoosa County and figured I had misspelled her name in the 4-H history. Not so. Elaine is the older sister of Eleanor, but there is still a local angle.
Eleanor, who followed her younger sister in 4-H, was a District Council officer and a delegate to Rock Eagle many times. She later became an Extension Service agent in Jackson County and accompanied hundreds of local 4-H’ers to the Center.
Eleanor, now retired (she wondered if farmers’ wives ever retire), is married to Darrell Williamson, and they live in Jackson County.
Well, the Rock Eagle 4-H Club Center had come of age. It had been dedicated and rededicated and had its shakedown cruise. It was fulfilling the vision the 4-H Foundation had for it six years earlier: “a large centrally located camp or center where 1,000 to 1,200 boys and girls could come together for inspiration and education.”
John Pennington, a former 4-H Club boy in Sumter County, was a staff writer for The Atlanta Journal in 1956. In late July of that year, he went to Rock Eagle to write of what he called “the tribal gathering.”
“They come to take part in a program that 4-H leaders believe is unique. They come on Monday mornings, leave on Friday afternoons.
“All the while they’re busy as honey bees in the berry blossoms attending classes, getting instruction in topics that range widely from ‘tractor operation and maintenance’ to ‘looking in the mirror,’ a study in personality development.
“They play, of course, as well as learn. But the emphasis is on learning - learning how to live with other boys and girls, how to be better citizens, how to be better sports on the athletic field.”
Across the lake from the Center is a reminder that these early campers were not the first to camp at Rock Eagle. The millions of young people and adults who have studied, worked and played there since 1956 are reminded that they, too, are followers.
The Center is named for a huge rock mound in the shape of an eagle. It has a wingspread of 120 feet and is 102 feet long. It is eight feet deep at the breast.
Near the entrance to this prehistoric edifice is a tarnished monument that admonishes all visitors to “Tread softly here, white man; for long ‘ere you came, strange races lived, fought and loved.”
(Postscript: This is the centennial year of the 4-H Club in America. On April 11, the organization announced its National 4-H Hall of Fame and named the first 100 inductees. Among those posthumously selected were two Georgians: Bill Sutton, who dreamed the dream of the world’s finest 4-H Center, and Gov. Herman E. Talmadge, who helped make the dream come true.)
Virgil Adams is a former owner and editor of The Jackson Herald.


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