Roses and thorns 4-5-09




A rose for the hardworking and selfless homeowners participating in Columbus'' 69th annual Pilgrimage. Their historic homes are architectural treasures that have been preserved at great cost for more than a century. Each year homeowners spend thousands of dollars they won''t recoup freshening up their house, buying flowers and providing refreshments for volunteer helpers who themselves deserve roses of appreciation. The Pilgrimage is the centerpiece for a host of events, all of which attract visitors, who enrich the local economy, thus benefiting all citizens.



A rose to the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority and Columbus Soccer program for hosting 20-plus teams from around North Mississippi this weekend for the second annual Friends and Family Day. Columbus Mayor Robert Smith, Lowndes County District 1 Supervisor Harry Sanders, District 4 Supervisor Jeff Smith, Ward 1 Councilman Gene Taylor, Vice Mayor and  Ward 5 Councilman Jay Jordan and Ward 6 Councilman Jerry Kendall joined the more than 200 children, their families and friends, for a full day of fun and friendly competition.



Just imagine the potential for these events with a new sportsplex.



A rose for Chuck Yarborough and his charges at Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, who once again are presenting the ever-popular Tales from the Crypt. Begun by Yarborough''s mentor at MSMS, the late Carl Butler, Tales offers a vivid and unique nocturnal history lesson in our most historical setting, Friendship Cemetery. Yarborough said 604 visitors attended Friday night''s performance. "There were people standing in line when we closed the gate at 9:30," he said. "It was crazy." More than 1,100 have attended so far. Performances are scheduled for Monday and Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m. Gates close at 9:30. With nice weather, Tales makes for a unique and memorable spring outing.



A rose each to the Convention and Visitors Bureau and Main Street Columbus. To the CVB for its sponsorship of Artisans Alley in the parking lot of the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center Saturday morning. There local craftsmen displayed and hawked their wares to visitors and locals alike. Down the hill at the Hitching Lot, thousands turned out for a giant flea market to benefit the Farmers'' Market, which cranks up in May. Such events are beneficial for the civic health of a town. They bring diverse people together, fostering relationships that strengthen a community. 



A rose to Charlie the Owl of Starkville, who when displaced from his home on Greensboro Street last Sunday, had the good sense to head to the Greensboro Center where a church service was under way. There he met 11-year-old Mallory Keasler, who first thought Charlie was a possum. Rather than be offended, Charlie graciously allowed Mallory''s father, Mike, to wrap him in a blanket. Mallory''s mother, Myra, got in on the rescue, driving Charlie to Water Valley to the offices of the Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation Group. There Charlie was declared to be healthy and fit to return to the wild. Lawrence Croft of the Oktibbeha Audobon Society built a large box birdhouse and placed it in a oak tree about 40 feet from the young owl''s original home. Charlie''s new pad is directly in front of administration offices for the Starkville school district. "I think we''re the only school district in the state with owl condos out front," Starkville school''s superintendent Judy Couey said.




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