Madison County Opinion...

JUNE 18, 2003


Column
By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
June 18, 2003

Frankly Speaking
‘A change of heart in ’04, or a change of legislature in ‘05’
Just as Hamas does everything it can to block peace efforts in Israel, the Georgia Black Caucus is making every effort to prevent racial peace in Georgia. They apparently feel that the only way they can maintain political power is to keep our citizens at each other’s throats.
For example, the Georgia legislature had an opportunity to finally put the flag issue to rest. The Franklin/Perdue flag, the new one based on the First National Flag of the Confederacy, is not a bad flag. It is attractive to many Georgians, including many in the Southern Heritage camp. I am of the opinion that it would likely have won in a head-to-head referendum with the 1956 flag.
All the heritage groups want is a fair vote. If the voters choose the new flag, we would accept that decision, and the problem would finally be solved.
The Black Caucus would have none of that. They demanded that the 1956 flag with its battle emblem have no place on the ballot, and they eventually prevailed. By doing so, they made it clear that those who support Southern heritage are to have no voice in Georgia. They care not for the Constitution’s requirement that all voices be heard and that all positions have access to the ballot.
The heritage groups are naturally angered by this abuse of their rights, and are gearing up for a long and even more divisive battle, a battle that could have so easily been avoided. A new political action committee is being formed as a place for the various heritage groups to develop a solid front.
A deck of cards picturing the enemies of the South will be out soon. New slogans are emerging that make clear the demands of the Southern patriots.
“A change of heart in ’04, or a change of legislature in ‘05” is the latest rallying cry. This includes a demand from the heritage movement that the Georgia Legislature acts in the next session to return the 1956 flag to the referendum.
The Black Caucus is, in my opinion, creating conditions that will lead to its downfall. They are driving away many moderate blacks who object to their intolerance and bigotry. They are effectively destroying the Democratic Party in Georgia. Blacks are starting to turn to the Republican Party to find a slightly more tolerant philosophy. Of the four announced Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, two are black. The Democrats have so far been unable to find a viable candidate of any color.
The Black Caucus would rather have total control of their Atlanta fiefdom than be part of a greater Georgia. They have set as their goal, the destruction of all things Southern as part of their plan to gain dictatorial rule. To achieve that goal, they are using threats, intimidation and institutionalized bigotry.
A pendulum always swings both ways. The Black Caucus in Georgia is pushing the pendulum of public opinion far out of balance. It will eventually swing back. The farther they push it, the greater their losses will be when it does.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net. His e-mail address is frankg@mcga.net.

Column
By Margie Richards
The Madison County Journal
June 18, 2003

A Moment With Margie
24 years, and counting
Anyone who has read what I write for these pages knows I have written a number of times about people who are important to me.
I’ve talked a lot about my parents, both of whom are deceased, and other family members, living and deceased, who are dear to me.
I’ve also talked about my kids (the pride of my life), my friends, and sometimes my pets.
And I’ve not neglected the one I want to write about this time, my husband of 24 years this month, Charles.
Sometimes he’s had to endure funny (to me anyway) things written about him and sometimes he’s been mentioned just in the course of telling a story about my life.
And there’s a good reason for that - it’s because I’ve lived most of my life with the man I gladly call “husband.”
Married at 20, now at age 44 I can already say I’ve been married most of my life.
So can he, because he had just turned 21 exactly a week before he married me. Raised in foster homes since shortly after his mother passed away when he was 11, he needed a family.
So did I. Although I still had my mother, my dad had died when I was 10 (the same summer, we later realized, that his mother had died). My mom was in poor health, and since we lived with her after our marriage, the addition of having a “man around the house” was very welcome to her. Besides those two loved each other dearly. Sometimes too much, to my way of thinking - for when there was a marital spat I could usually count on one thing - that my mother would side with him.
It was less than a year and half after our marriage that we lost my mother. Her death hit him as hard as it did me, because I know he felt as if he had lost another mother.
From that point on, especially, you might say we finished growing up together. It was two years before Miranda came along, then three years more before Zack. With them, of course, came all the joys - and problems - of parenthood.
Some things I’ll never forget: Charles holding Miranda in his two hands after a bath and kissing her and saying “I love you.” I made up my mind in that moment that our children would never go one day without hearing those words from us. That moment is one of my sweetest memories.
When I told him Zack was on the way - an unplanned addition at the time - he smiled and said - “it’ll be OK - it means we’ll have just that much more of a family.”
Charles - holding baby Zack - his nine-pound son - male pride all the way.
And there is so much more. Like the time I called him crying because I had found a cat in the road, injured. No one would help me and in desperation I woke him out of a sound sleep after he had worked all night the night before. He came to help me right away.
He always comes, wherever, whenever I need him.
He’s been there when I was sick, when I’ve cried and when I’ve been scared. He’s been with me longer now than any of the family I was born with.
He’s a true “gentle” man, but one who knows how to be tough when he needs to be.
And he knows, because he’s had to all his life, how to work and to work hard.
We’ve had some rough patches — life is often a quagmire of problems in itself — but our friendship is one thing that’s constant throughout.
I’ve told both our children “make sure that one you choose is your friend, that you like them as well as love them” and that the reverse is true.
I hope we’ve taught that by example.
Thank you, Charles, for 24 years. I love you and I hope this doesn’t embarrass you too much. Happy belated anniversary.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for the Madison County Journal.

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