December 22, 2009 10:36:00 AM
Had I remembered Monday was the winter solstice, I might have done something different than take a mid-afternoon stroll on the Riverwalk. Though, I''m not sure what that would have been. As far as I know, we have few practicing Pagans, Druids or anyone else in these parts who might be celebrating an event that has been observed through the millennia.
Experts believe that 4,500 years ago Stonehenge in southern England was the site of a barbecue and mid-winter celebration that took place on this day. We have a barbecue celebration of sorts on the Riverwalk, Harvey Myrick''s Grilling on the River, but that is in April, and, as far as I know, is not tied to any particular celestial occurrence. "Solstice," by the way, is Latin for "sun stands still."
In Columbus, the first afternoon of winter and the shortest day of the year was warm, sunny and fair. There is something extraordinary about winter light in this part of the world. The sun comes from the south and stays low on the horizon. Its clear light bathes the stark landscape in a reddish gold, giving the world a poignant beauty.
Monday afternoon the Riverwalk was a popular place to be. An awkward young poet scribbled his verses and names of classmates on the cement with sidewalk chalk; two young girls lost in conversation meandered along, oblivious to their surroundings; a server in a local restaurant walked, escorted by her young son on a bicycle; a smiling, white-haired dance instructor jogged with a friend.
All of this played out against the timeless backdrop of the Tombigbee quietly making its way south.
Lost in translation
A Dutch reviewer probably had nice things to say in his native language about Big Joe Shelton''s Black Prairie Blues CD. When his review was translated into English, his appraisal of the Columbus native''s music took on new meaning.
PIGLET JOE bell BARREl - BLACK PRAIRIE BLUES (alto 45 record).
Piglet Joe Shelton is an warbler/accordionist from the region Black prairie in Mississippi and Alabama.
A lot well-known blues artiesten come from that region. I think of among other things Howling Wolf, Bukka White, piglet Joe Williams, Carey Bell, Eddy Clearwater or recently died Willie King to call of it a number.
Piglet Joe brings here with its link Mississippi blues an boogie to 15 numbers where it is very difficult quietly continue sit.
At hearing this disc, I think wolf especially of Howling and of John Lee Hooker.
Very nice debut of this artist.
Joe, I think you''ve got some good liner material here for your next CD.
No smoking soon
As the table of regulars at the Kountry Kitchen disbanded Monday one of them said, nodding at two women smoking at a nearby table, "A few more weeks and we won''t have to put up with that."
That we still have people smoking in restaurants and public places seems, well, barbaric. Thanks to the city council for putting a stop to it.
Wishing you a piglet, I mean, a big Christmas.
Birney Imes III is the Editor and Publisher of The Dispatch.
HSW commented at 12/22/2009 7:04:00 PM:
Mr. Imes I have just read your comment on No Smoking Soon In which you said Smoking in Public places was Barbaric and thanked the City Council for the band. Well Sir! may I remind you that these so called Barbarians live and work in this town!!!! We pay our taxes and happen to be a main sorce of Value that have helped build this TOWN. Sir barbaric is to show disrespect by name calling and ridiculing hard working people who have a right to choose to smoke or not!and I feel this paper doesn't have the right to condon or condem. The group behind this band may have won the fight, but in the future have lost the war. Open your eyes Sir every day we are being bought and sold of our rights,By using the so called BLACK FLAG method special interest groups are taking away everyones freedom,GO BACK TO WW2 AND READ A HISTORY BOOK! then look where we are today!Your Goverment has hands in Banks,Housing,Medical,and Food,Industry,not too much left!because soon my friend you could be next! control of Free Speach! oh thats already being used by taking and Placing Bands behind closed doors or trying too!!do away with public voting, But then again they are working on that one!So Mr.Imes be proud of THE BAND and HAPPY YOUR PAPER COULD BE NEXT!unless they go for the Churches 1st,and wHEN THE CONSITUTION IS GONE will you be Happy ? Not living in such a BARBARIC WORLD? GOD HELP US
Oh please... commented at 12/23/2009 1:19:00 PM:
HSW - I think you meant to use the word 'ban' instead of the word 'band' multiple times in your letter. Or maybe Mr. Imes has started a band I am unaware of that you feel is infringing on your rights.
No one is taking away the right to smoke with this ban. No one is making smoking illegal. The ban is only protecting those whose rights YOU are violating by forcing them to inhale your second-hand smoke. Maybe barbaric isn't the correct word to use, but it definitely is selfish to push your dirty habit in someone else's face and then get your "panties" in a wad about the protection of rights.
Hsw commented at 12/23/2009 10:49:00 PM:
Look what my point is ! That we all have rights and I respect everyones right, I don't believe I've ever held someone down to blow smoke in their face! habit or not.But I think all should respect each others rights.In the paper it was said that Charlie Box wanted to keep this behind closed doors and pass the Ban without the public knowing! until it was done. This yes has upset me because I feel it will effect so many people in buiness,and other ways, I also feel it should be voted on! not in a room by a few men. I ask you would you want this or any other agenda of importance done in this manner? That has happened to many times already in this town!and we are well known for that. I'm saying be fair post the signs and everyone respect them, therefore no one loses.Then our town can proudly say WE RESPECT ALL OUR CITIZENS,and yes reading,hearing and seeing people being treated as outcast,called names, possible paying fines,becuase of this ban it does put as you say MY PANTIES IN A Wad ! because,You may not be that old, it hasn't been to long ago other people in this town couldn't go in restaurants,stores,or vote! I don't see this ban as moving forward when it takes people back! and just to let you know!I have two ancestors on that Consitution so when I feel it's endanger,I will get alot worse. Have A Blessed Day
A reader commented at 12/23/2009 10:52:00 PM:
HSW, Birney didn't say smokers are barbaric, he said that the fact that we allow smoking in public places is barbaric. I'm sure he didn't intend it as holding the working man down. I can't wait to be able to take my kids out to eat without dealing with smoke around the table. You can't discharge a firearm within the city limits because it is dangerous and there are a lot of people around. The smoking ban is the same idea: you can do it, just not around people who don't want to be affected by it. Time to come out of the dark ages.
1. Ask Rufus: The blues heritage of the Black Prairie LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Leonard Pitts: 'Hillbilly Elegy': a portrait of America's unseen NATIONAL COLUMNS
3. Bill Crawford: Mississippi needs every federal dollar it can get NATIONAL COLUMNS
4. Roses and thorns 8/28/16 ROSES & THORNS
5. Patrick Buchanan: Lots of smoke here, Hillary NATIONAL COLUMNS