More Jackson County Opinions...

SEPTEMBER 3, 2003


Column
By:Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
September 3, 2003

Name game not over yet
There are three sides to every argument: your side, my side and the right side.
Most days I can take either side. OK, so I’m seldom on the right side. But I try. I am as fair and balanced as Bill O’Reilly and the Fox News Channel. What a joke! That outfit is about as fair and balanced as CNN. Neither is ever on the right side. The right side is somewhere between far right conservative and far left liberalism.
Let’s hear it for moderation and compromise! That’s what the Atlanta community needs as it tries to decide the airport’s name. Does it stay Hartsfield or is it renamed Jackson? Some of the best suggestions are in the Vent, published daily in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Here’s one I like: “I offer a compromise: Let’s rename the airport for Maynard Jackson and rename MLK Drive for Lester Maddox.”
As you know, I have been downplaying the importance of naming anything for anybody. I still don’t understand what the fuss is all about, but for the sake of argument, I’ll take the other side. If you have to name an airport, street, intersection, bridge, building, park, picnic table -— anything — for someone in order to remember him, have at it.
It’s true: the thing we have the most trouble with is remembering names. So maybe we do need some help. A good place to start is the dictionary. You know how I love the dictionary.
Name: “the word or words by which a person is known.” May I please add a definition of my own: the word, words or name by which anything is known, as in Hartsfield International Airport or Jackson International Airport.
Don’t you just love it when somebody knows everybody and everything by name? And he remembers them day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Even those he hasn’t seen in 10 years. Most of us meet someone we are supposed to know. We talk to him for an hour. After he’s gone, we turn to a friend and ask, “Who was that?” The friend doesn’t know either. Why didn’t we ask the unknown person while he was standing there? Because we were embarrassed? Why were we embarrassed? Just because we don’t remember someone’s name, we are supposed to be embarrassed? No! We need to be embarrassed because we didn’t want the guy to know we didn’t know his name. We need to be embarrassed because we didn’t have the self-confidence, will, guts — something — to say, “I know I’m supposed to know you, but I don’t remember your name. Who are you?”
There’s nothing wrong with not remembering a name. I sometimes have trouble remembering the names of my own kids. I want to call the name of one and wind up calling the names of all of them before I get it right. I don’t think it would help a bit if a law firm were named for one, a school for another, a national forest for a third, and a symphonic orchestra for the fourth.
Now you take their daddy’s name: Virgil Emerson Adams. Named for his two grandfathers: Virgil Pafford, a Methodist circuit rider and Emerson Adams, a Tennessee dirt farmer. An unforgettable name, right? Wrong!
Would it help if I were named for Virgil, the greatest poet of ancient Rome, and Emerson (Ralph Waldo), a leading figure in the thought and literature of American civilization? I doubt it.
Would it help if the Jackson County commissioners and the Jefferson mayor and city councilmen erected a monument to me? Or named an airport, street, intersection, bridge, building, park, picnic table — something — for me? I doubt it. I guess the only thing worse than nobody remembering your name is to be nameless in the first place.
Nameless: “having no name; unnamed; that cannot be named or described; not fit to be mentioned.” (In just about every cemetery in the land, there rests such a person. How sad.)
There are other unpleasant thoughts associated with names. Call one names: “to make fun of or ridicule, especially by giving an unfriendly name to or by swearing at or cursing.” In name only: “supposed to be, but not really so.” take a name in vain: “to use a name entitled to respect (God, for example) lightly or irreverently.” (Thou shall not!)
Name - calling: “the act of giving a bad name to; attacking the name of; defamation.” (As in politics?) Name-dropping: “the act of using a well-known person’s name in conversation and implying acquaintance with him to make one seem important.” (Don’t you just hate that?)
Before I end this epistle, let me apologize in advance. The next time I meet you on the street, I probably won’t remember your name. I’m sorry. I may ask, “Now who are you?” I hope I have the self- confidence, will, guts — something — to do that. Let’s try to remember each other’s names — and each other — while we are still walking around down here.
That’s the name of the game: “the essential thing; the thing that really matters.”
Virgil Adams is former owner and Editor of the Jackson Herald.

Jackson County Opinion Index

Column
By: Angela Gary
The Jackson Herald
September 3, 2003

In search of treasure
A glass case filled with dolls with big blonde hair and elaborate multi-colored gowns caught my attention. I hurried over to check out the condition of the dolls and the prices. I smiled with satisfaction to note the high prices of the dolls I already have, while I grimaced at the price of the ones missing from my collection.
My mother pointed out every table, both large and small, and said she thought she had room for one more in the house. As we passed a small, ornate one, she excitedly pointed it out and said she was sure she could fit it in somewhere, among the 10 or 15 other tables that fill our house. I don’t understand her fascination with tables, but she probably wonders about all of the dolls I drag home.
As we made our way among the treasures and junk cluttered together in the antique mall, we lost track of my dad. A little while later, he found us and pulled out the old knife he had bought and took my mother over to check out another one that had caught his eye. Over his shoulder, he asked me if I had seen any old car tags.
While some people may be bored spending a Saturday morning at an antique mall, not me and my parents. We were as happy as could be spending more than an hour looking for treasures. It’s clear where my love of collecting stuff came from. Both of my parents have things they are always on the look out for — whether it be tables, knives, glassware, coins or chairs. As for me, I quickly scan antique stores and flea markets looking for dolls, cameras, stuffed animals, hats and pocketbooks.
Every time that I declare I will never buy another doll because I don’t have room for any more, I will come across one that I just have to buy. This means I have to rearrange the ones I have to fit in the new one. Somehow, I always manage. I’m sure other “collectors” know what I mean. There is nothing like that thrill of finding something to add to your collection. I just need to stop collecting so many things.
One thing I started collecting years ago is old cameras. I just like them for decorating purposes. I have a row of shelves covered with the interesting cameras of all shapes and sizes. I don’t consider this collection an investment. Most old cameras are only worth a few dollars, unfortunately people who have had them in their attic for decades think they are worth a fortune. The fact is that most of them aren’t worth much at all.
Most of the things I collect aren’t worth anything, they just make me happy for some reasons. Just give me a dusty old camera or a unique purse and I’m satisfied.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald. She can be reached at AngieEditor@aol.com.


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