Congratulations to former Tallapoosan Tommy Lee, who was sworn in as a member of the Carroll County Commission on Dec. 17.
One of the hardest weekends I had was a couple of weeks ago after the horrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Explaining evil to your children is rather unpleasant but necessary. Instead of more laws on the books about firearms, why doesn’t the government concentrate on treatment programs for the mentally ill. Are guns to blame? Timothy McVeigh didn’t use a gun in his murder of scores of children in a daycare center in Oklahoma City in the mid 1990s.
We need some dialogue from those in positions of power at every level of government. Some people want to blame this culture of violence on video games. I think not. According to an article in the British magazine The Economist, aggressive and violent behavior can’t be blamed on violent video games. There isn’t enough conclusive evidence to place the blame on Grand Theft Auto. It all boils down to parental involvement. Research shows that students who are video gamers spend more time reading for enjoyment and it builds skills.
Looking back at this past year, what stands out in your mind? We lost Andy Griffith, George “Goober” Lindsey, Dick Clark, Kitty Wells and Whitney Houston. Each of them marvelous entertainers. I read that on Dec. 13 noted Nashville studio drummer Willie Ackerman passed away at 73. He was the drummer on television’s “Hee Haw” and played for the elite artists in Nashville. He also played drums on Tallapoosa’s Harold McWhorter’s Sunday Night in Nashville album produced by Haralson County’s Harold Shedd, who was honored this past August with a stretch of U.S. 27 named Harold Shedd Highway.
I am looking forward seeing you all at the Possum Drop on Monday evening. I really have seen the event grow over the past few years, and it is expected to be even bigger this year. The entertainment lineup this year is fantastic. Five years ago I emceed the Peach Drop in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve. I have been more excited about my hometown’s Possum Drop, and I am honored to be a small part of the festivities.
We have always been proud of the Tallapoosa Garden Club. Any of you interested in the subject should get Vince Dooley’s Garden-The Horticultural Journey of a Football Coach. It is illustrated by noted Carrollton artist Steve Penley and it is a must-have for those of you who love grow things. An autographed copy can be obtained by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org It is a gift I gave this year, and it is well worth the $35 dollar price.
Coach Dooley also released this year another book “History and Reminiscences of the University of Georgia.” A very interesting look at one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the United States. Speaking of education. Both books can be obtained via www.amazon.com.
I am kind of sad to see Beheruz Sethna, President of the University of West Georgia, step down in 2013. He is a true visionary that loves the university and our area. As a proud graduate of the class of 1974, I can say honestly that he is the best administrator and leader our alma mater ever had. Dr. Sethna will stay on as a professor of business administration for UWG.
This year has flown by. I have seen this year as one where we grew as a community. The memorial park in town is something that I take people from out of town to. Sammy Robinson, you and the veterans of Haralson County deserve a hats off for giving us something to remember those who paid a price for our freedom.
I am grateful to live here. I lived in a subdivision of about 90 homes in Marietta for about 13 years. I sold that house this year. I bet I didn’t know more than a half dozen families in that subdivision. In our town, everybody knows everybody and most of us treat one another like neighbors. I’ve never met a stranger in Tallapoosa. A friend who hales from Greensboro, N.C., says that Tallapoosa is one of the best places she’s ever known.
I love the fact that we have so much to offer. The Dogwood Art Gallery is something that opened this year that I think is a marvelous cultural spot. I’ve had barbecued ribs from Corky’s and Rendezvous in Memphis. I’ve eaten at Harold’s in Atlanta but the best ribs in the world come from Kemp Owens’ establishment a hundred yards or so from the house. My 8-year-old Callie Reeves Jones totally agrees with her dad on that. Papous Pizza has as fine a pie as I’ve had on the streets of New York City or any where else I’ve been.
Tallapoosa can boast two fine restaurants that specialize in the fare south of the Rio Grande. Have you ever had a fish taco? I am craving one now. I love the salmon biscuits at Ridley’s Get and Go on weekend mornings. We have wonderful houses of worship and a sense of community here. Tallapoosa has about everything most of us need in life.
I’ve concluded that 2013 is going to see more and more positive things transpire for our town. There will be more and more “city folk” moving out here in the next few years. Tge traffic on I-285 and the downtown Atlanta connector can add years to your life. I know for a fact that my blood pressure is much lower here than in the madness of the highways in the largest city in the South.
The commute to Kennesaw is a 104-mile commute, but when I cross Beech Creek and get to the high school and see the Tallapoosa city limit sign, I know I’m at the only place that has ever been home. Dear readers, 2013 should be a great year for Tallapoosa, Ga. Happy New Year!
Rhubarb Jones is a Tallapoosa native and a Distinguished Lecturer in the Department of Communication at Kennesaw State University. Jones also serves as Director of Special Projects in the Office of Development. Comments may be sent to P.O. Box 6, Tallapoosa, GA 30176 or via email at email@example.com Previous columns are available under columns at www.tallapoosa-journal.com.