I saw a slow moving, old white dog the other morning. She was crossing one of the vacant fields at Lynn Lane and Louisville Street in Starkville. That property sits across from my office and so I took the time to watch her make her way through the grass in the first hours of the business day. No doubt she was headed to some quiet place to rest as the heat of the day began to descend on her home.
Early this year, when the qualifying period began for the mayor and council races began, I found it odd that more people didn't choose to run. As you will recall, two council positions were uncontested and only one council race had as many as three candidates. In the mayor's race, two challengers faced incumbent Robert Smith. Given the general downward trajectory of the city, you might have thought more people would be inspired to jump into the fray. Hardly.
It's been three months since the Columbus Municipal School Board of Trustees voted to fire superintendent Dr. Martha Liddell.
Can we talk about gun violence now? Of course not. Since details of Monday's murderous attack at the Washington Navy Yard are still emerging, it would be premature to use the tragic event, which took the lives of 12 innocents and the gunman, as the basis for a real conversation about the gun violence problem in the U.S.
Just the other day Tjajuan Boswell was working on the flowered medians in downtown Columbus. Heat radiated at 107 degrees, and she was working like a Trojan. With the back of her forearm she wiped sweat from her brow. I complimented her on how wonderful the flowers looked and thanked her for her efforts to beautify the city. It's no easy job.
Lynn Spruill grew up in Starkville, the only child of an accountant whose energy level and curiosity exceeded the demands of his practice. L.E. Spruill, the son of a Kolola Springs farmer (his only sibling is the wonderful Frances Jutman of Columbus), also bought, demolished and rebuilt failing subdivisions and rental properties. He did dirt work.
Lately there has been much conversation about the future of the Tombigbee cut-off across from Columbus, commonly referred to as the Island. The Island has a long and historic past. Prior to the construction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in the late 1970s through early 1980s what is now called the Island was a big bend in the Tombigbee River.
And the worm turns... Look back at the presidential campaign of 2008. Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden strongly criticized young, first term U.S. Senator Barack Obama for his lack of experience. He won't be ready on "day one," said Clinton. Republican nominee John McCain agreed and used Clinton's and Biden's remarks in television ads. All to no avail, as we know. The inexperienced senator won the Democratic nomination and the presidency.
This is for four women who are not here. It is for grandchildren who never existed and retirement celebrations that were never held. It is for Sunday dinners that were never prepared in homes that were never purchased. It is for children who were never born and fathers who never got to walk daughters down the aisle.
As I read Vlad's op-ed in the New York Times, a Judy Collins tune kept replaying in my head: "Isn't it rich? Isn't it queer?" The song -- actually written by Stephen Sondheim, although it is Collins's signature hit -- is "Send in the Clowns," and it seems an apt soundtrack for current events.
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