Article Comment 

Roses and Thorns 4-13-14




A rose to Dixie Butler, honored this week by the Columbus Exchange Club as its annual "Book of Golden Deeds Award" recipient. Butler, a retired educator, may have "quit her day job," but she has remained a tireless worker well into her retirement, involved in myriad community organizations and events ranging from the annual Columbus Pilgrimage (her home, Temple Heights, has long been a staple of the prestigious tour of homes) to Loaves and Fishes, The Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau, Columbus Decorative Arts and Preservation Forum, Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi Historical Society and Wounded Warriors, just to name a few. Butler's selection is consistent with the focus of the Exchange Club, which has been honoring an outstanding volunteer every year since 1972. Volunteer efforts are very important to our society and should not go unnoticed. We applaud the Exchange Club in making sure that these heroes do not go "unsung." 


A thorn to all those misguided children who have somehow confused harmless mischief with serious offenses. This week's rash of bomb threats at the city's schools -- six in a four-day span -- are a serious disruption to the educational process and a tremendous waster of law enforcement and school resources. School district officials have reached their breaking point and are committed to putting an end to the nonsense, hopefully, with the help of parents. The loss of class time could mean that students will be required to attend classes on Saturday, which would be an unfair punishment for the vast majority of students. Perhaps, however, a few Saturdays spent in the classroom would create the sort of peer pressure that will make these ridiculous acts a thing of the past. If that's what it takes, so be it. 


A rose to teacher Chuck Yarborough and his junior students in his U.S. History class at Mississippi School for Math and Science for another outstanding edition of "Tales from the Crypt."  


For the 24th year, students have brought to life some of those who have been interred at Friendship Cemetery. This year, 59 students participated in the event, which ran in conjunction with the annual Columbus Pilgrimage. This year's Tales from the Crypt concluded Friday as students performed for more than 1,500 visitors over the two-week run of the program. What visitors see in those performances are the result of a semester's worth of work by Yarborough and his students. Is it worth it? You bet, Yarborough says. "History is compelling and we benefit --for the better -- from learning about it," he said. "That's why people keep coming back."  


A rose, too, for all those whose hard work resulted in another wonderful Pilgrimage. There are view events that can rival the Pilgrimage when it comes to presenting our community in a favorable light. For 74 years, locals and visitors from all over have enjoyed touring the vintage homes. By now, the regular participants have perfected the program. Even so, a successful event requires a lot of planning and hard work, especially for those home owners who open their homes to a steady stream of visitors for the two-week event. Thanks for sharing your home and thanks for reminding us of our rich heritage. 


A rose to all those who turned out for Thursday's public hearing on the city of Columbus' plans to issue bonds to fund a $5 million project to improve the city's infrastructure. Roughly 50 residents turned out and about a dozen used the meeting to voice their views on the matter. Many of the ideas expressed by the residents were worthy of examination as the city moves forward. But even those who attended, but did not speak, sent a message to our elected officials. Residents have a vested interest in the decisions made on their behalf and have a right to participate in these discussions. The city profits from an engaged community, a community that feels its voice is heard by their elected officials. 


Send your suggestions for Roses and thorns to managing editor Slim Smith at [email protected]



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