If I may be so bold #2

BryanThompson's picture

I have lived in Peachtree City since 1984. That was the year I returned to my native Georgia. Five and one half years in Michigan had delighted me with all the snow I ever wanted to see for the rest of my life. My intent, as Lewis Grizzard wrote in his book "If I ever get back to Georgia, I'm gonna nail my feet to the ground!" (or something like that) was to do exactly that. One of the first purchases I made was a pair of gravesite plots in nearby Westminster Cemetary.

All in all it has been good living here. The rural bedroom community feel and the easy commute to and from Atlanta lasted for many years. Honestly I thought that the Hwy 74 stretch between here and the Interstate would have filled up with development within ten years. But it was the Newnan area that sprouted first.

My neighborhood is one of the older ones, I believe the second of the four planned villages. There are lots of mature trees here, which I particularly like. It's true that my little Scotties tend to bring in spikey sweet gum balls from time to time, but I just like trees. The Magnolia and the Sycamore I planted in my yard to add to my private forest are now huge and tall, much to my delight.

This has been a great place to raise children. My two boys had many activities to help them develop and grow: soccar, baseball, Boy Scouts, church, wrestling, chorus....many things for children to do, and for parents to involve themselves with. Until my younger son broke his thumb he played baseball. They needed people to learn to be scorekeepers so I volunteered. You get to sit right in back of home plate, with a great view of the game.

Many umpires get their start with these elementary school age baseball games. Sometimes they are painfully honest, like the young fellow who turned around one time and asked us in the booth (using a low voice) "Did he swing at that pitch? I had my eyes shut." (the batter did in fact swing).

It was great fun to watch these eight year olds play baseball. I found the winning strategy was not to throw the ball away, that seemed to make the difference in every game I watched. It wasn't so much that one team would win as the other team would beat themselves.

Which brings me in a rambling and round about way to the thought I have to share. Many times in the presenting of ideas, and the attempt to sway others, the idea itself is overshadowed by the presenter. Focusing on the fault of the presenter, proponents of opposing ideas can totally derail his presentation. My dad used to say, speaking in general along these lines "What you are speaks so loud I can't hear what you are saying."

Sadly, it is those at the extremes of any opinion who usually bring ideas to us. Those of us in the middle, who might be swayed to support one idea or the other, many times tend to pay attention to the delivery more than the product. Thus which ever team makes a mistake of some kind tends to lose support for their argument. In essence, we see people winning by default, because the other side shoots themselves in the foot. Hence for example the popularity of attack ads in political campaigns. Fewer people are analytical than passionate about the most controversial ideas.

When I go and vote for local leaders, the question I ask myself is "who will serve me best?". I try to picture myself in any given position of leadership, and think about what I would want to support, and what I would want to oppose. With incumbants it is easier to judge them as they have a record of performance. I find little clarity of intent expressed by most candidates. They don't speak clearly because there is little demand for them to do so. Having worked at the polls for many many years I know how very few people you have to get to support you to get elected around here.

Who should elected officials serve? The two prevailing thoughts are a) the people in the electorate b) the people who contributed to their campaigns. One recent local decision, in particular, has me pondering the realities of who some elected officals are actually serving, and whether their decisions are to my benefit or my detriment as an ordinary resident citizen of Peachtree City. I have to say, that in the recent TDK road expansion issue, the ball was thrown away, first by those who should be serving the electorate and didn't raise the alarm soon and loudly enough, and then by those who serve the developers that contributed to them.

Apparently the umpire had his eyes closed, now he is turning around and asking "what happened?" I wonder who will drop the ball next.

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