June 24, 2009
I was glad to see the publicity about the Unity picnic scheduled for next Saturday afternoon, although it is not our city''s first such event. When I first heard about it a couple of weeks ago, some of us recollected that there was such an event held at Carrier Lodge somewhere around 1990. The picnic took place on a Sunday afternoon and was sponsored by the Bi-Racial Committee of the Chamber of Commerce. I believe we called the event a CommUNITY picnic. The goal of the committee was for there to cease to be a need to exist. Those who attended will remember that Dr. Stringer, a prominent African-American dentist, spontaneously began leading the group in singing hymns.
FYI: Another Dr. Stringer story. He was a great supporter of the swim team. I believe it was a grandson that he had adopted who was on the team. (I can almost remember his name---Eron, I think). I''m not sure how long the child was on the team, but he was on the team in 1984, the year after we lost the state swimming championship meet for the first time in Carl''s (eds. note: Carl was the writer''s late husband.) tenure as coach. The state meet was held in Natchez. Dr. Stringer was the self-appointed head cheer-leader in Natchez, and led the team and their families in singing "We Shall Overcome." And we did.