Roses and thorns 9/13/09

September 12, 2009 9:02:00 PM



  • A rose to Brenda Caradine and the host of volunteers who put together another extraordinary array of events celebrating the life of Columbus'' most famous native son, Tennessee Williams. This year''s festival offerings included house tours, movies, lectures, catered meals and even a Sunday sermon. A rose to Brook Hanemann for her efforts and role in the festival production of "Streetcar Named Desire." Let''s not forget a bouquet for festival headliner Olympia Dukakis, who performed Saturday evening and who spent two hours talking about her acting career with a group of MUW theater students Saturday afternoon. 




  • Roses to Columbus and Lowndes County emergency responders and those who helped honor our local heroes with free food and gift bags. First responders were invited to the Columbus Municipal Complex Friday for barbecue and a goody bag during the seventh annual Salute to Lowndes County''s Finest.


    We can''t praise our firemen, paramedics, police officers and other emergency responders enough for the heroic work they do. 


    Sponsors of Friday''s event also deserve a hearty pat on the back for honoring these local heroes and for helping to offer a character-building and crime preventative program to area children. 


    Mark Smith, CEO of The CPI Group, worked to bring the annual event to Columbus after being at Ground Zero in 2001, just after 9/11, as part of a special program where civilians got to go to the scene with the New York Police Department. 


    "It was just a life-changing experience," Smith said. "We came back and said, ''We want to do something for our guys locally." 


    The first Salute to Lowndes County''s Finest was held in 2002. 


    "Since then, it''s just gotten bigger and bigger," Smith said. 




  • A rose to volunteers who participated in United Way of Lowndes County''s Day to Care, Thursday.


    One hundred and sixty volunteers fanned out around the city at places such as the 4-H office, the YMCA''s Camp Henry Pratt, the Greater Columbus Learning Center, the Boys and Girls Club of Columbus, Recovery House to lend a hand and see where their donated dollars are used. 


    And after putting in a hard morning''s work, volunteers were welcomed to lunch at the Trotter Convention Center, where United Way Director Jan Ballard announced a campaign goal of $600,000. 


    Like most of us, non-profit agencies are feeling burdens of the down economy. But United Way still has managed to continue its efforts, reaching out to thousands through its programs. 


    To learn more about United Way or how to help the agency achieve its 2010 goal, call 662-328-0943. 




  • A rose to Greg Jeffries, of Starkville, who won the Greater Starkville Development Partnership''s contest to create a new citywide logo. A rose also goes to Kristen Ley and Catherine Yerger, who came up with the Partnership''s new slogan, "Starkville: Where Progress Meets Tradition."


    Jeffries will combine his winning designs with the winning slogan and produce a final product in the coming months.  


    Jeffries included in his design some of the most recognizable structures in Starkville-- the county courthouse, Humphrey Coliseum and the steeple of a local church, to name a few.  






    Roses to Richard Ramsey and other organizers of last weekend''s Howlin'' Wolf Memorial Blues Festival and Prairie Arts Festival.

  • People pour into West Point by the hundreds for the annual weekend, which started Friday night with a tribute to Howlin'' Wolf. Blind Mississippi Morris and the Black Prairie Blues Kings, Big Joe Shelton, the Bill Abel Band and Mark Massey were among those who performed for the blues festival. 


    Saturday, as more people went to West Point -- or stayed close by overnight from the blues fest -- they were treated to food, entertainment and shopping at the arts festival. 




  • Roses to those who participated in last Saturday and Sunday''s Ride for Life event at the Columbus and Magnolia speedways.


    The American Cancer Society partnered with NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late-Model Series Racing to auction off rides in a special edition two-seat dirt track racer to raise money for cancer research and care. 


    "Ride For Life" visited the Columbus Speedway Saturday and the Magnolia Motor Speedway Sunday with rides auctioned off and 100 percent of the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.