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OPINION PAGE - AUGUST 11, 1999 - HOMER, GEORGIA

Column
Angela Gary
The Banks County News- August 11, 1999

Never leave home
without reservations
A couple of years ago, I headed out one pretty spring morning with a few friends to the mountains of North Carolina. We planned to spend the night, but we didn't have reservations anywhere. We were young, carefree and not worried about finding a bed for the night.
Sixteen hours later, we were exhausted and almost back at home after finding "No Vacancy" signs throughout Georgia and North Carolina. The first available room was actually less than 20 miles from our home. We had no idea that some kind of spring festival was going on in every small town between Commerce and Blowing Rock, N.C.
I thought I had learned my lesson then: Never leave home without reservations. Since that time, I have been in charge of travel plans for our family and my friends. I make reservations, plan activities, get brochures, order tickets ahead of time and make sure "the plan" is all set weeks before we leave. Once we arrive at our destination, everyone looks at me and asks, "What are we doing next?" or "What's on the agenda for tomorrow?"
Unfortunately, I didn't do that on a recent business trip with three co-workers, April Murphy, Jana Adams and Sherry Lewis. We kept putting off making plans and couldn't decide on whether to make reservations or not. So, we had no plans when we left Jackson County headed to the Georgia Press Convention in Destin, Fla.
We were lucky the first night, a Thursday, in that we found a room at the first place we stopped. It was right on the beach and we immediately headed out for a few hours of basking in the sun. Afterward, we had a good seafood meal. Aahh, that's the life on the beach. The trip had started out great. Little did we know what was ahead.
Friday morning, we headed over to the resort where the GPA awards banquet was to be held. We had reservations there that night with other employees from our company. We decided to go ahead and call around and find somewhere to stay Saturday night. We frantically made around 20 phone calls before finding somewhere. The room was much bigger than we needed and more expensive than we had planned on, but we took it. This enabled us to relax that day and lounge around the pool. It was a little cloudy but it was still great to rest, read a good book and not worry about anything. I was still enjoying my beach trip.
Saturday morning, we headed right over to the ocean. The sun was shining bright and it was a great day for hanging out at the beach. After a few hours, we decided to go and get our room key for the night. Unfortunately, the person we made the reservations with told us an inaccurate rate for the night. It ended up costing almost $300 for the one night, which led our group to decide to cancel the reservation. It took around two hours to find another room, but we finally found one.
Overall, I had a fun beach trip, but I really have learned my lesson this time. I'm not going anywhere without having a reservation. I have several more trips planned in the coming months and I'm already busy finalizing the plans.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald.

Editorial
The Banks County News
August 11, 1999

Volunteers needed for mentor program
An adult role model is one of the most important things the youth of today can have for inspiration and guidance. For many children, parents and family members serve as mentors. But, unfortunately, some children don't have anyone to serve in this capacity.
Banks County High School is implementing a new program to ensure that every child has a positive role model in their life. These teenagers are making many important decisions and it is important to have a mentor help them move forward into adulthood.
In order for this mentoring program to be a success, volunteers are needed. It will take only a couple of hours a month and most everyone can spare that. If it will make a difference in a teenager's life, it is certainly time well spent. The youth of today are our future and they need all the help they can meet to handle what is ahead.
There will be an orientation session held this fall. Anyone interested should contact K. Ellen Hagan at 677-2221.



Letters to the Editor
The Banks County News
August 11, 1999

Nursing home employees work hard
Dear Editor:
I have heard this and, of course, everyone is talking about BJC Nursing Home and what happened when the state was there. I have to say that working in a nursing home is hard work and if there is not enough help, it does make it harder on the ones who are working to do a good job. I worked in a nursing home for five years and it is hard. So before you want to talk bad about the staff at BJC or any other nursing home, you need to go work in a nursing home for one day or even one hour. Then, you would see that the staff does take care of the residents that are there. There needs to be more CNAs at every nursing home and hospital. But when people do not want to work, you can't make them.
Sincerely,
Tammy Wilbanks
Commerce



Alto mayor offers thanks for help
Dear Editor:
The town of Alto had the dedication and opening of its playground on June 17, 1999. The playground was donated in memory of Lee Dorsey Cook. I would like to thank Mt. Vernon Mills for the monetary donation they made for the park; Larry Whitfield for his help in getting the monument designed for a memorial that is placed by the gazebo; and Vada Fry of Spela, Inc. for their donation of labor installing the playground equipment.
The playground is opened in the daytime for anyone to bring their children to play or have a party in the gazebo. It is located right behind the town hall in Alto.
Sincerely,
Olen Jack King
Mayor


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