Let's clean out the notebook ... • It looks like I've survived all the swearing in events. I joked with one of the mayors that it is appropriate that elected officials have a swearing in …
Let's clean out the notebook ...
• It looks like I've survived all the swearing in events. I joked with one of the mayors that it is appropriate that elected officials have a swearing in ceremonies, as people will be swearing at them the rest of the four years.
Hoyt Elliott and Doug Farris, the circuit judges, wanted a more private affair, so we did not announce that in advance; it was mostly for family members. The probate judge event was nice, although it is a shame it was not warmer. I think Lee Tucker and Rick Allison both enjoyed the event, and I'm glad Rick got a good sendoff.
The event that topped them all was the ceremony for Sheriff Nick Smith. He scheduled it in District Judge Henry Allred's courtroom. Allred asked Smith if it didn't want a bigger venue. "No, I don't think that many people will come," Smith said.
Oh, really? The courtroom was packed to the walls, with people straining to get photos or videos on their cameras. James Phillips and I had to fight our way through the halls, as it was standing room only in the halls. (I recall Walker County E-911 Director Tim Thomas was stuck halfway between the entrance door and the courtroom.)
To get through, as the time drew near, I had to remember the attitude of ABC Sports announcer Howard Cosell. After some of those big boxing matches overseas, I recall him fighting his way to the ring: "Make through. American television! Make through!" (I can imagine what would happen if he tried that today.)
James and I made our way to where we needed to be, but I never got time to take off my coat. James didn't wear one, and I said he should have worn one on a day like this. Now I couldn't take mine off in a packed room, and it was suffocating.
The young boy that Smith swore in as the first deputy, Landon Daniel, was the hit of the ceremony. (Landon posted a video on Facebook congratulating Smith when he won the primary. Smith later got to meet him during the General Election, and was impacted how being sheriff can impact youth.) When Smith announced he would give Landon a Bible and swear him in as his first deputy, it seemed like 100 women went "Awwwwwwwwww" at the same time.
Told he would have to sign a document, Landon asked enthusiastically, "Where do I sign?" Landon, who was earlier give a tour that afternoon of the county jail, was asked if he wanted to make a speech, and he did. "Thank y'all for coming out," he said. "I appreciate it. On my way here, I saw a snake. Thank y'all." Allred said, "Landon, that's the best political speech ever." (Snakes will always get the public's attention. We'll have to test him in the stump during Shark Week, as that might be the only thing more effective for votes.)
It was also interesting that Smith gave his children their first Bibles, and he took the oath not only on a family Bible but with the children's Bibles stacked on top of each other. It was nice how he tried to really include his family in the event.
• The figures released from the Jasper Main Street breakfast were impressive on Wednesday morning, in terms of impact on the city. Since the inception of the group on June 1, 2015, through to the end of September 2018, total new building rehab and construction has totalled $2.1 million, while total real estate sales have been $4.5 million and total grants are $142,00. A total of 107 jobs have been created, while 23 new businesses, expansions and relocations have taken place in downtown Jasper. Public improvements, both publicly and privately funded, amount to $548,524.
I could tell listening to the state Main Street official that people from the state end are extremely impressed with Jasper Main Street, as they feel it is doing all the right things. I understood that few Main Street programs in the state have progressed to the recruiting activities that the local program may now be trained to do, but Jasper has progressed that fast in nearly four years.
I will say that I think the idea they have of new directional signage is a great idea, as sometimes extra help is needed to get to some attractions and institutions. The type of classic artistic design for the project looks very good.
• I've been cleaning out more than the notebook recently. I've been cleaning out some of the junk at the apartment, filing some things and throwing out others. I came across a photocopied Dear Abby column written a number of years ago by Abigail Van Buren (her real name was Pauline Phillips; she retired in 2002 and died in 2013). It concerned the problems newspapers face when we try to correct an error, and Murphy's Law comes into place. Someone wanted to know whether they should ask for a correction of a person's age in an obituary, as everyone else in the family was not inclined to correct it. (PS, the Eagle would rerun the obituary if it was our fault.) The letter was signed, "Outvoted in Ohio." Here is Abby's reply:
DEAR OUTVOTED: Sometimes it's better to leave bad enough alone. In support of my advice, I offer the following from the California Newspaper Association. It is an example of a typographical error in the classified section of a small-town newspaper, and the subsequent disastrous attempts to correct it:
(Monday) "FOR SALE - R.D. Jones has one sewing machine for sale. Phone 948-0707 after 7 p.m. and ask for Mrs. Kelly who lives with him cheap."
(Tuesday) "NOTICE - We regret having erred in R.D. Jones' ad yesterday. It should have read: One sewing machine for sale. Cheap. Phone 948-0707 and ask for Mrs. Kelly who lives with him after 7 p.m."
(Wednesday) "NOTICE - R.D. Jones has informed us that he has received several annoying telephone calls because of the error we made in his classified ad yesterday. His ad stands correct as follows. FOR SALE - R.D. Jones has one sewing machine for sale. Cheap. Phone 948-0707 p.m. and ask for Mrs. Kelly who loves with him."
(Thursday) "NOTICE - I, R.D. Jones, have NO sewing machine for sale. I SMASHED IT. Don't call 948-0707, as the telephone has been disconnected. I have NOT been carrying on with Mrs. Kelly. Until yesterday she was my housekeeper, but she quit."