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Forsyth, Georgia
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May 29, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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& EDITORIALS "Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not." - Jeremiah 50:2 A 2018, 2017, 2016 winner: Editorial Page excellence 2018 winner: Best Headline Writing /0~~ 2o,a, 2o17 Nows Pho ogro0h, 2018 wlnner: Best Sports Pages |~IIPMi I.! 2~)i8 winner:. Best Serious Col n the Porch k~~l~Ib/ 2018, 2017 ~ Best Humorous Column - Or', the Porch ~,~" ON THE PORCH by Will. Davis Moving to a new home brings a lot of changes and one of those has been getting re-acquaint- ed with a propane gas grill. About 10 years ago my dad gave me a Big Green Egg for my birthday At first, it was a lot more work than a gas grill. But my friend Stan Starr was always making Boston Butts on his BGE, Starr- B-O and so I just called him every time I had a question. "It's getting too hot, what do I do now?" "My fire went Out overnight, what do I do now?" "How do you attach the gas line to it?" Nah, kidding about that last one. The great thing about the Big Green Egg, everyone assured me, was the lump charcoal. And I admit it makes meat taste pretty good. Although most meat tastes pretty good to me. Anyway I spent about the first six months making weekly calls to Stan for his advice. But then every time we went to their house for dinner, it was his wife Lori who was actually cooking on the thing. I finally realized I had been calling the wrong Starr all this time. Nevertheless, I finally became somewhat competent on my Big Green Egg and became a bit of a snob about grilling. I began to look down on men who used gas grills as pitiable hacks, wannabe grill masters who were not schooled in the finer things. Poor, wandering souls. But our new home came with a gas grill built into an outdoor kitchen. Yes I have returned to the company of the unwashed rubes who use gas grills. But I seem to have for- gotten some things about them. For instance, they get really hot, really fast, I lit the grill the other day and went to the basement. Within 10 minutes my daughter Abbie was running down the stairs. "Daddy, daddy, the grill is on fireY' she yelled. I ran upstairs to find orange flames coming out of the grill's hood. I turned the knobs.down and order was restored. Last Wednesday I pressed that same daughter into delivery duty here at the Reporter. Our main deliveryman, the great Paul Karpinezc, is visiting family in Arkansas, giving my high school senior the chance to make some money "You'll be done by noon!" I promised. What I didn't calculate was that our list of stores is kind of dated. It took her an hour to find where "WCs" is located. Old-time Forsythians know it's on Tiff College Drive, but there's no reason she would've known that. She finally wrapped up about 4 p.m. I helped her by taking the new Reporters to what old- timers call the Little Man's Store on MLK Drive across from the hospital. I carried the bundles inside and the clerk told me what they always tell me: "People have been looking for that Reporter!" She paid for last week's papers and I was on my way As I pulled out of the parking lot though, an dderly gentleman with his wife in the passenger seat was trying to exit from the adjacent doctor's office. He started blowing his horn and pointing at me. "What's wrong with that cranky, old man?" I thought. "I didn't pull in front of him and I'm not doing anything wrong" I sure I hope I don't get like that when I'm old. But when I pulled back into the office, I got out and no- riced my tailgate was still down from when I got the news- papers out. Then the small light in my head went off. My empty propane tank that I was taking for a refill had rolled down my truck bed and bounced out, rolling down MLK Drive. That's what that nice, elderly gentleman was trying to tell me. The store even called the Reporter to say they would keep the tank for me until I could return. So if that was you, thanks for trying to help me. Boy did I feel stupid. Maybe I should just stick to the Big Green Egg after all. www. MyMCR.net is published every week by The Monroe County Reporter Inc. Will Davis, President. robert M. Williams Jr Vice President Cheryl S. Williams, Secretary-Treasurer STAFF Will Davis,~1 :* ' Trellis Grant Business Manager Publisher/Edit0r business@mymcr.net publisher@mymcr.net Richard Dumas Diane Glidewell News Editor Community Editor forsyth@mymcr.net news@mymcr.net Carolyn Martel Advertising Manager ads@mymcr.net ~~ Brandon Park Creative Director graphics@mymcr'net Official Organ of Monroe County and the City of Forsyth SO N. Jackson St PO Box 795 Forsyth, GA 31029 Periodicals Postage Paid at Forsyth, GA 31029 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: THE MONROE COUNTY REPORTER - 478-994-2358 SUBSCRIPTION RATE: In County: $40 Out of County: $48 Single Copy: $1 Deadlines noon on Friday pdor to issue. Commen~ featured on opinion pages are the creation of the writers, the do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Reporter management. Publication No. USPS 997-840 PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyle Wingfield uiclc Has )America be- come a more or less open place speak freely about their thoughts? In terms of law and court precedents, speech has arguably never been freer. When it comes to voicing a con- trary opinion on the most sensitive political and cultural top- ics, however, many of our tongue~ are tied and our fingers shy away from the keyboard. Better not to say anything, we reason, than to deal with the blow- back. The answer to this speech-chilling political correctness is not a new law but personal courage, free speech attorney- turned-writer David French of the National Review Institute argued this past week in a speech in Atlanta. "We've reached a posi- tion that is different from the classic defense of free speech in this country;,' French said. Rather than admitting none of us knows everything, and thus some humility is in order, too many Ameri- cans won't accept they may need to change their minds from time to time. Or that they would benefit from explaining their own opinion, and not shouting down their opponents. Much of the problem stems from what's been called "the big sort" - the physical movement of people toward places where their neighbors will be more like-minded. '~'krncrica~o are less likely to live near with people who disagree with them than at any time since we've been measuring that:' French said. But because people tend to become more extreme in their views when they only talk with those who agree with them, we've lost not only our willingness to engage with. others but the belief we even need to do so. How bad has it gotten? "People are more likely to prefer their son or daugh- ter marry a person of a dif- ferent faith than a different political party:' French said, quipping that for many on the right, "eternal damnation is preferable to TAKING A LIKENS TO YOU by Dale Likens other day Kar- en's brother, Ron, sent an e-mail to Karen and each of her six brothers and sisters. "I thought you might enjoy reading an artide I sent to our cousin, Brad. It's an artide about a man named The- odor Geisel of Spring- field, Mas- sachusetts:' he said. "If you remember, Brad, his brother John and our aunt Leone lived on a street named Mulberry Street in Springfield, Mass:' Of course the name The- odor Geisel drew a blank to Karen and me until we read further. %ctuaUy, his full name is Theodor Seuss Geisel:' he continued. "Now you remember! Dr. Seuss!" The article Karen's broth- er sent her cousin, Brad, and was now forwarding to Karen was an article written in "The New York Times" on Jan. 30, 2012. "Oh, my goodness!" Her cousin Brad wrote back to Karen's brother. "I remem- ber exactly where we lived on Mulberry Street so well! It's a very small street; perhaps two or three blocks long. I used to walk up the hill on Mulberry Street, past Ridgewood Place, to my friend Dickie Williams' house. We used to sled down the Ridge- wood hill time and time again!" Sure I remember Mulberry Street! In fact I went to Classical High School which Dr. Seuss also attended!" The artide Karen's brother was referring to was written to commemorate the 75th year of publication of Dr. Seuss' first book titled, ' Mad to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street!" The author n,j< of the article mentioned that Dr. Seuss sent the unpublished draft to a total of 27 pub- lishing companies. Each time he received, in return, a short letter that simply said, "Sorry! Not interest- ed!" By this time Dr. Seuss was so distraught he was about to burn his first chil- dren's book in his fireplace and call it quits. Then he decided to go for a walk. On the way a friend met him on the street and told him he was beginning to publish children's books and would like to give his book a try. "Wow!If I had walked down the other side of the street that day I never would have become an author!" Dr. Seuss once stated. As they say, "The rest is history!" People often asked Dr. Seuss, "Why do children love your books, Dr.?" "Because they're silly!" He answered. "It's as simple as that!" No one would deny that his books were silly. However, when his second wife, Audrey, was ques- a Democrat:' Although these attitudes concern politics, count French as someone who does not believe there's a political solution. Rather, a cultural solution is needed. And that's where the per- sonal courage comes in. "We cannot allow our- selves to be intimidated into silence" he said, be- cause that silence becomes self-reinforcing and makes it harder to speak up the next time. But the answer is not to fight fire with fire. "The opposite of political corrcctn oo io not ttctin~ like a jerk:' French said. "It's speaking the truth with grace and humility and fearlessness. There is such a thing as being fear- lessly reasonable." Along with that is a legal corollary to the Golden Rule: "Defend the rights of others that you would like to exercise yourself.' And an answer to the "snowflake" mentality on many college campuses: "Do your best to be un- offendable. Be a walking safe space for speech" French takes as much abuse on social media (specifically Twitter) as anyone I observe. But while he acknowledges those platforms "put hu- man nature on blast" and not in a good way, he said they're not the root cause of these problems. ! tioned about the same thing she emphasized how much time and effort he placed into writing each book. "Bennett Cerf, a close friend of Ted, as he and I always called Dr. Seuss, used to challenge Ted, by betting him he couldn't write a new book with only 150 words:' she laughed. "When he did exactly that, Bennett challenged him to write one with 125 words and so on. Placing the exact word in the precise place was a definite skill to Ted. Often friends he knew claimed they were going to write stories for children. Two days later they would bring them to our house for him to look them over. This made Ted very angry because he personally spent hours, months and sometimes years to put his books into waiting chil- dren's hands:' she stated. "They deserved the best! Not some wild attempt that.someone spent a few moments to write!" Mulberry Street is mostly poor and run-down today. It is a shabby place with boarded-up houses, an addiction treatment center and drug dealers. How- ever, it was in Springfield, Mass. where the Indian Company built its first motorcycles, the one Dr. Seuss drew for the police- men who escorted Marco's parade down Mulberry Street. Rifles the hunters used to capture Thidwick, the big hearted moose, were made in Springfield and used by American troops in WWI. The earliest motorized cars and tractors were "It's as old as the high school cafeteria:' he said. "It's peer pressure:' As in that context, the answer to political correct- ness is to stand up to the peer pressure rather than conform to it to stay with the "in" crowd. Contrary to some pleas, however, he isn't for treat- ing big tech companies like Facebook and Google as public utilities, or using antitrust power to break them up. "If you have one 'woke' Google and you break into nine pieces, what are you going to have?" he posited. "Nine 'woke' Googles? The answer here is a mix of persuading the leaders of these behemoths not to stifle speech they don't like, while encouraging entrepreneurs who want to compete with them. The worst approach would be to weaken that strong legal environment for free speech, and let govern- ment regulators decide what's OK to say. "If there's one thing we know about politics" he warned those who have the upper hand toda); "it's that no party maintains control for long:' The president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Kyle Wingfield's column runs in papers around the state of Georgia. e built in Springfield where Ted Geisel and his friends played as children. This is why Dr. Seuss' books are filled with spirit. Many of his characters invented things. Although I never read his books, I do remember my wife reading his books to our young children many years ago and our grandchildren more recently I do know that Dr. Seuss wrote over 60 children's books and sold over 600 million books total. I remember hearing of "The Cat in the Hat:' "Green Eggs and Ham:' "Oh, the Places You'll Go:' "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" "Great Day for Up:' and (My wife still holds the last two books I mentioned in her hands today!) The following are two childish quotes from some of his books that may be worth your time to stop and think about: 1. "Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is nobody alive who is you-er than you!" 2. person is a person, no matter how small!" In closing, there are two interesting facts you should know about Dr. Seuss: First, Dr. Seuss was never a doctor! Second, Dr. Seuss had two step- daughters, but he never had any biological chil- dren! Thanks brother Ron for holding on to that NYT newspaper all these years! Karen and I learned a lot today! God bless! Dale Likens is an author who lives in Monroe County.