Monday, September 29, 2008

Georgia State Fair
Macon, Georgia
23 September - 28 September

Everyone Was Greeted by Chops

The City of Macon, Georgia Tree Commission

A Passive Display by the Federated Garden Clubs of Macon, Inc.

A Plant Display by the Garden Clubs

A Lovely Floral Arrangement

For those who attended the 2008 Georgia State Fair I am sure that you noted that there was not much on Display in the Round Building at Central City Park. Well, everyone who knows the Flower Child will have to agree that he seldom points out shortcomings without suggesting a remedy. The Round Building had two interesting passive displays. One by the Tree Commission of the City of Macon, Georgia and an eye catching Display by the Federated Garden Clubs of Macon, Inc.
Both of these displays were passive. By that I mean, no one was staffing the displays during the run of the Fair. However, both displays certainly displayed Macon, Georgia, Bibb County and Middle Georgia in the best possible way. It is my humble opinion that many organizations could set up passive displays in the Round Building for the next Georgia State Fair. We all know that the World Wide Web has taken the excitement away from visual displays that you can actually see and even touch. To this end, the Model Railroaders in the Long Building certainly displayed a plethora of equipment and scenes. Everyone, young and old appreciated these displays.
Here is a possible list of organizations that could stage passive displays in the Round Building for the 2009 Georgia State Fair:
Junior League of Macon
The One Hundred Black Men
The Bibb County Mentor's Project
Big Brother
Big Sister
Read Aloud - Formerly Rolling Readers
The Macon Symphony
The Macon Arts Association
The American Legion
The Veterans of Foreign Wars
Vietnam Veterans of America
Central Georgia Boy Scouts
Central Georgia Girl Scouts
District Five Little League Baseball
Middle Georgia Soccer Association
Dixie Youth Sports
The Sweet Adelines
The Rotary Club
The Middle Georgia Tough Down Club
The Macon Sertoma Club
The Optimist
The Toastmasters
The National Association for Advancement of Colored People
The Fort Hawkins Association
Jarrell Plantation
The Indian Mounds
The Museum of Aviation, Warner Robins
The Macon Civic Singers
The Heritage Trail
New Town Macon
I think you can acquire the picture here. We have an abundance of civic organizations that could promote themselves with passive displays/booths in the Round Building at the 2009 Georgia State Fair.
We have so much to be proud of in the Middle Georgia Area. As we all know many of these organizations are populated with aging citizens. It is just possible that they may indeed be ready to reach out to obtain younger citizens to swell their membership rolls.
Just a idea from the Flower Child as to how we can all work together to make the 2009 Georgia State Fair a wealth of information along with lovely informational displays. This would also serve to involve more Middle Georgia Citizens from these respective organizations who just might encourage their members to go to the Fair and at least see their respective display.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Eisenhower Interstate Highway System
While were in Macon, Bibb County and also Middle Georgia discuss the Interstate Highway System I thought that it is proper to learn a bit about the system. Way back when the system was designed for several purposes, which I quote here:
"Designation of the Interstate System
In the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, the Congress acted on these recommendations. The act called for designation of a National System of Interstate Highways, to include up to 40,000 miles "... so located, as to connect by routes, direct as practical, the principal metropolitan areas, cities, and industrial centers, to serve the National Defense, and to connect at suitable points, routes of continental importance in the Dominion of Canada and the Republic of Mexico."
On August 2, 1947, Commissioner MacDonald and Federal Works Administrator Philip B. Fleming announced selection of the first 37,700 miles. The routes had been proposed by the State highway agencies and reviewed by the Department of Defense. However, neither the 1944 act nor later legislation in the 1940's authorized funds specifically for the Interstate System. As a result, progress on construction was slow."
As you can ascertain by quickly reading the blue ink above you will see that the purposes were to connect by routes, direct as practical, the principal metropolitan areas, cities, and industrial centers, to serve the National Defense.
This information was obtained from this website:
It is my humble opinion that unless Macon grows will we will soon lose our designation as a principal metropolitan area, or city or an industrial center. I would suggest that the proposed I-16/I-75 Construction project is designed to meet the needs of the Eisenhower Interstate System.
We did not hear much discontent over the I-475/I-75 Hartley Bridge Road Project. It appears to be meeting the needs of the Eisenhower Interstate Project.
With major shipping out of Savannah, Georgia and the need for transportation to and/or from Georgia's great Military Bases, it would appear to the Flower Child that the Eisenhower Interstate System is right on track to provide for the movement of National Defense Items, should the need ever happen.
I, the Flower Child also feel that the current objectors to the I-16/I-75 Project are being very short sighted. We need to look to the long range future.
With Warner Robins Air Force Base so close by and the potential for movement of military equipment and supplies as well as raw materials to support Warner Robins Air Force Base we would be very remiss to object to the project which will certainly enhance the potential for the future of this vital base. A base that any candidate for state and national office quickly recognizes as a very valid and vital component to the Defense of the United States of America.
Enough Stated tonight!!! Think about the options of a reduced I-16/I-75 Interchange. What impact will that short sighted thinking have on the future of Warner Robins Air Force Base.
U. S. A. Flag
A Challenge for the Readers
Today the Flower Child is publishing a new challenge. This one does not require any identification of any place or object in Middle Georgia. This Challenge will test you knowledge of the proper display of our United States of America Flag!!! Our National Symbol!!!
Is there ever a time when an another Flag can be flown in a superior postion over/above the U. S. A. Flag?
If there is, please also respond with the event or events where this is allowed happen and the location.
The deadline for answering this three part Challenge is 2400, Thursday, October 2, 2008. Please leave your response in the comment section of this Blog. Of course, as usual, the first response that is correct with all three parts will receive a "free" lunch from the Flower Child in a very timely manner.
Thank You, in advance, for your participation in this Challenge.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Kazoo Night - 2008 Georgia State Fair
Central City Park
Macon, Georgia
The 2008 Kazoo Night at the Georgia State Fair was well promoted in the print and electronic media. Several days ago I sent out an E-Mail with the link to the Kazoo Night at the Georgia State Fair to well over 100 people. Here is what I said:
Greetings Everyone, I am Alan. I am sending this message to everyone in Middle Georgia for the sole purpose of letting everyone know that we in Middle Georgia can do it. We can set the World Record for a Kazoo Playing Event on Thursday, September 25th, 2008 at the Georgia State Fair at 6:00 P.M. Read the following for complete details.

All too often everyone claims that there is nothing to do in Macon. Here is an opportunity to participate in a fun event and display your pride as a Citizen of Middle Georgia.

Alan in Macon, Georgia sends. We Can Do it!!!!!!!

I think we needed over 3800 people to assemble in the Baseball Stadium. As you can quickly ascertain we had far less than in 2007. If I recall correctly we had about 2200 in 2007 show up to break the world record for a Kazoo Concert. This year we were to break the current record of over 3800.

Even though the event was well published we only had four individuals in leadership roles here in Bibb County and Macon, Georgia show up. I saw Superior Court Judge Ed Ennis, Bibb County Sheriff Jerry Modena, Macon City Councilman from Ward III, Post Three Tom Ellington, Philantropist Beverly Olson and Columinst Ed Grisamore of The Telegraph, Macon, Georgia. While I may have missed someone, I am quite confident that a majority of our Leaders did not even show up for this fun event.

I quickly developed the impression that not too many citizens who live in Middle Georgia have pride in their Community.

As the event concluded I was asked by an Atlanta Journal Constitution Reporter how I felt concerning the small number that participated in the 2008 Kazoo Concert. I summed it up with one word: "Disappointed."

One thing is certain, no one can blame the weather. It was a perfect evening.

Cooking the Books

Recent media reports have indicated that various financial organizations have been cooking the books for years so that executives could receive appropriate bonuses. So the question today from The Flower Child is:

"At what temperature and how long should I cook the books to allow myself a bonus or an increase in the various pensions I receive?"

Please leave your comments on this Blog.
Faith Journey - The Flower Child's Religion
Last Sunday, September 21st, The Flower Child attended Sunday School and the Worship Service. During Sunday School the discussion centered on the two Sacraments of the Lutheran Faith.
  • The Sacrament of of Holy Baptism. Children and Adults are baptized with a Water and the Word. Two elements which are both gifts from God. Once this action is complete it is very appropriate for anyone to simply say: "I am Glad that I am a Baptized Child of God."
  • The Sacrament of the Altar or Holy Communion. This Sacrament is performed using Bread and Wine and by a great Miracle of God, also has Christ Body and Blood, just as Jesus Christ stated when he established this Sacrament prior to his death, resurrection and returning to Heaven. Jesus Christ also commanded us to "Do this in rememberence of Him."

During the Worship Service I listened to the Sermon as I also observed the Banner on the Church Wall. It stated very simply the basic tenets which allow everyone to receive Eternal Life in Heaven.

  • Grace Alone
  • Faith Alone
  • Scripture Alone

In the conclusion of the Sermon we heard the Pastor sum up the message with this very simple, yet powerful statement: "Have To Do" versus "Get To Do."

God's grace saves me. My faith in his love for me as I learn in Holy Scripture allows me to be happy to do. Not that I must, but I; out of gratitude do what I can to honor my Savior.

Now you know about The Flower Child and his Lutheran Faith.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ocmulgee Indian Celebration
2008 - The Seventeenth Celebration
Ocmulgee National Park
Macon, Georgia
Once again the Middle Georgia area is hosting the Annual Indian Celebration at Ocmulgee National Park in East Macon. The event will conclude on Sunday, September 22, 2008. About 300 Indians from various regions of the United States of America made the trip to Middle Georgia this year to Celebrate the Indian Heritage which abounded in this area many, many years ago.

This is a group of young Indians from the Cherokee Animal Social Dancers from North Carolina. The performed several dances. Their official name is "Medicine Lake Dancers." They captured the hearts of both young and old as they performed their "Ant Dance" which involved several dozen members of audience.
As you can quickly ascertain, these representatives of their Native Tribes are a proud people and are ready to share their heritage with everyone.

The costumes are very colorful and the dancing is very interesting to watch. There must have been several hundred in attendance for the morning performances on Saturday, September 21, 2008.

This Young Girl captured the hearts of everyone in attendance. We were informed that young Indian Children are taught to dance and learn their respective culture at a very young age.

The Flower Child enjoyed the opportunity to attend this event. A special thanks to FM 100.9 for providing the Tickets. I won them for knowing the correct answer to a question concerning Bette Davis.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes
During recent weeks we have all heard about how various Candidates are going to raise taxes on the Rich, the Money Making Oil Companies and the Corporations. Sounds like a grand idea that we all should embrace.
I have yet to hear of any successful Company that did not pass along the expenses of operation, which also includes Taxes of any type, to the consumer.
So if the Money Making Oil Companies are going to be subject to More Taxes who do you think will bear the brunt of these taxes? I think you already know the answer.
Additionally, who here on this Earth whose retirement plans include funds in a wide variety of plans can truthfully say that their retirement plans are free from any corporation's success? Most retirement funds are heavily invested in the industries and corporations operating in the United States of America. I have yet to meet any employee who desires that their potential retirement incomes be hampered by any government over taxes.
I suspect that if we think these "more taxes on the rich, including corporations," options through we will quickly ascertain that we may indeed be looking at reducing our own potential retirement funds. I would suggest that everyone who views more taxes on the rich to consider the long term impact of any such "quick fix solutions" that you here now in the final weeks and days of Campaign 2008.
Now, without looking at the long term, I know that many of the readers of this Blog are currently employed. I have always enjoyed working for "Rich" people and organizations. I was always sure that my next pay check would be honored when I went to deposit it at my bank.
Some of you may not know that the Flower Child originated in the Great Upper Middle West of the United States of America. This area is also known as the heart land, but even more important is the vital fact that this area grows the majority of the food products we all enjoy. These Middle West Farmers have a large outlay in infrastructure and operating expenses. I have heard from some that Farmers are Rich. If you think this way, I would challenge you to take the risk of being a Farmer, so before you encourage your duly elected officials, or even vote for one who wants to increase taxes; consider for a moment the impact that such foolish action may have on your ability to put food on the table for your family.
We can even take this one more step, before you encourage your duly elected officials, or even vote for anyone who wants to increase taxes on "Money Making Oil Companies" please consider what the impact of that action will have on the price for each gallon of Fuel you desire to acquire.
To be certain, there are no easy answers to the situations we now find ourselves in, but you can be sure that more taxes just may impact on your ability to retire as you may have previously planned. For those who are already retired, please remember that our Cost of Living increases may not be able to keep up with the good folks who are trying to buy our votes by raising taxes on the Rich, the Money Making Oil Companies and other Corporations. Their increased operating expenses will be passed on to the Consumer - You and I.
Highway to Heaven
I-16/I-75 Interchange
Macon, Georgia
A Google Search indicated that there are about 658 articles about this Interstate Road Project here in Macon, Georgia.
It can safely be stated that if all the paper work already expended on this Project as well as the Print Media coverage were laid out that the plans and reports would certainly cover more than any Super Interchange that is fourteen lanes wide. Every time I hear or read about this project I cannot help but think about the Television Program which commenced in 1984 staring Michael Landon entitled "Highway to Heaven." You may remember this program which featured a provisional Angel sent back to earth to "earn" his way back to paradise.
I am beginning to think that it will take more than any "Angel" to resolve this I-16/I-75 Interchange Project. In the short term the project appears to be too wide (large) in scope. Think back a moment to the early 1960s when the Eisenhower Interstate System was in the planning stages. Way back then the idea of so many automobiles and transport trucks on any highway system was merely a pipe dream. Things have changed. Some think for the better, while others think for the worse.
It is the opinion of this Blog Originator, The Flower Child, that our methods of transporting goods to the citizens of the United States of America may soon be revised. With the current high energy cost for fuel used to operate our transportation system, we may just revert back to moving things by rail. Then, the question could be asked, will we need to continue our expansion and/or improvement of the current Interstate Highway Transportation System?
As I recall, the Interstate Highway Transportation System was developed to allow our great country to transfer Military Equipment from one place to another. Of course, peacetime would allow the transportation of goods to citizens and also the side benefit of allowing motorist in private automobiles to travel throughout our great land.
That stated, we now have a system that needs to be improved. Just how much improvement appears to be the watchword of the day. Those who oppose the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) plans, all nine or ten revisions, say that the current planning is way too much. On the other hand the wise folks at GDOT are preparing for the future.
Admittedly, no one knows what the future holds or how the current dilemna will be resolved, be we all can be sure that there will be more automobiles in the future and we must all admit that all of our citizens should be free to travel anywhere they desire on safe and secure highways. Just this week we saw the reopening of the Interstate I-35 Bridge in the Twin Cities after the tragic bridge crash of fourteen months ago. We need to prepare for the future - this is a fact that we all can acknowledge.
The good folks at Georgia Tech who will be studying the current I-16/I-75 Interchange Project as to the real impact on the scenic beauty of this area of Macon have a giant project to accomplish. In the meantime the Flower Child hopes that "Cool Heads" will prevail and the future of the Interstate System in Middle Georgia serves the citizens. The old concept of "We The People," is reappearing in recent media pronouncements. Let us all hope that this concept continues to guide those who Govern and also those who work for the Government.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Economy in the United States of America
In recent weeks we have all heard that the major problem in the United States of America is the Economy. The Housing Crisis, the Energy Crisis, the Disaster Crisis, all of which cause our National Government to expend major funds.
Some of my Democrat Friends and some of our Elected Leaders are decrying the current War On Terrorism. The usual comment/s go something like this: If we were not spending Billions on the War on Terrorism, just think how much good our U. S. Government could do at Home.
I often recall when my Mother was counselling me regarding some of my favorite sins when I was in my late teens or maybe even early twenties. She would lament the expenditures of time that She and My Dad had performed in obtaining an adequate "religious" grounding for me. This was usually followed by "What Good Did it Do?" Then one day I replied in a respectful attitude (I might add) that no one would ever know how much worse I could have turned out had I not been exposed to their religious training. My Mother, with a sixth grade education quickly realized the truth in what I had just stated. No one, not even I will ever know how much worse I could have turned out. That was the last conversation that my Mother ever had with me regarding my favorite sins.
Which brings to my mind today, We will never know, not even one of us, Democrat or Republican; what our Billions of Dollars expended in the conduct of the War On Terrorism or the Billions expended through the Department of Homeland Security has prevented in the United States of America.
It is unfortunate that our learned elected leaders cannot appreciate the basic fact that it is impossible to determine what may have happened in our United States of America had not our Nations Heroes and our Commander in Chief acted appropriately to protect American lives and property in the United States of America.
So, why do we continue to hear about the "Unnecessary expenditures of Billions on the War on Terrorism" when even my own dear Mother realized that I had stated a very truthful and certain fact. "We will never know!!!!!"
Does anyone outside of the Department of Defense actually know how many Fighter Aircraft as well as Search Radar airplanes are in the air each day, dedicated to the mission of detecting potential threats with the additional mission of destroying them?
I am one citizen of the United States of America and I am very happy and also secure that we have a Government who is actually protecting us.
It would also be difficult to ascertain the possible state of our economy if we would have experienced additional attacks on America in other Cities like we all witnessed on September 11, 2001.
In short, things could be worse, but we will never know. So why do we have to suffer the unneeded comments of a few who desire to promote their agenda versus the Secruity and Welfare of all the Peoples - We The Peoples of the United States of America.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

2008 Presidential Campaign
"The Question"
Who Has the Experience?

An F/A-18 Hornet Being launched from an Aircraft Carrier

A U. S. Navy Jet Breaking the Sound Barrier!!

Can Barack Hussein Obama II fly anytype of Aircraft?

Can John Sidney McCain III Operate this Basic Computer?

The Flower Child has been aware that each Presidential Campaign in the 2008 Election cycle has questioned the experience level of the other Candidate. Admittedly the Airplane shown above is a U. S. Navy F/A 18 Hornet. The Republican Candidate for President of the U. S. A operated A4E Skyhawk Aircraft when he served us all while he was in the U. S. Navy.

The Democrat Canidate is making a big issue of the fact that the Republican Candidate can not operate basic computer equipment to send E-Mail or even surf the Internet.

Candidate John Sidney McCain III graduated from the U. S. Navy Academy three years prior to the birth of Candidate Barack Hussein Obama II. I also know that many attempts have been made to discredit Candidate McCain's Academy Education in as much as he did not have the best grade point average. That stated I believe that we all have to consider who really has the life experiences as we prepare in less than two months to exercise our sacred right to vote.

I never graduated from any College or University and I served our country as an enlisted person in the U. S. Navy. I was a Yeoman. In civilian terms that means I was an Office Clerk and in later years a Administrative Specialist as I advanced in rating. I had a background in keyboard operation. When I turned 62 years of age I attended a Summer Semester at Macon State College and was enrolled in the Information Technology Program. I learned how to surf the web and how to send E-Mails. I also leaned about other Computer Programs such as Excel and Word.

My real concern today as I compose this Blog is anybody can be an office clerk. I know, I was!!! I never qualified to be a Pilot in any branch of the Services. I know that it takes many skills to operate a modern Fighter/Attack Aircraft. I also know that I can operate a computer. Additionally, I know that many "Clerks" in our U. S. Government will be able to send the next President's E-Mails and Surf the Internet for him.

I think that the life experiences as a leader in the real world are far more important than haveing E-Mail skills as we consider who our next President should be.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

As most of you faithful readers of "The World This Week" blog published by the Flower Child know, I usually read "The Telegraph" each morning as I enjoy my breakfast here in West Bibb County, Georgia.
The September 10th issue Viewpoints Page carried an interesting point of view entitled "Self-serving Xenophobes" which was written by Lindsay D. Holliday of Macon. In his viewpoint article he confessed that he watched the recent Democrat and Republican national conventions. This was great news. A great many Americans did so. However he also decried the television coverage from the standpoint that the Democrat Convention coverage clearly displayed "every television frame contained a colorful rainbow of diverse faces and clothing."
He also pointed out that the coverage of the Republican Convention coverage had an almost 100 percent of white face attendes, "(just like me)."
He concluded his Viewpoint submission with the fact that our great United States of America cannot afford four more years like the past eight years.
As I read the Viewpoint Submission I was shocked to learn that he considered Republicans as self serving xenophobes. As I understand the word "xenophobe" it means that "one unduly fearful of what is foreign and expecially of people of foreign origin" which is also from the Merriam-Webster's On Line Dictionary. It is also a word that has been around sine 1922.
As you have read the title of this Blog you will note that I also included the word "Hyperbole" which is also a word that has this meaning according to the Merriam-Webster's On Line Dictionary: "extravagant exxaggeration." I also noted that this word has been around since the 15th century.
I give you the genesis of each of the two words that comprise the title of this blog so that you may also appreciate the balance of this entry.
I have been on this planet a few years longer than Mr. Holliday and have fond recollections of even listening to the National Presidential Conventions on the radio a good number of years before Television was available to the masses in this great United States of America. I have also enjoyed viewing the National Presidential Conventions on Television. What I have observed during all of this listening and viewing activity is that a good amount of the activities at any National Presidential Convention could be called "Hyperbole" or to refresh everyone's mind, extravagant exaggeration. I know that a lot of Convention Statements and also Campaign Rheoric is stated and also published to simply win the election. This is a fact of political life at all levels. Once in office most candidates are actually confronted with the dynamics of the real world and have to confine their activities to governing in the "Real World." After all we all know that real leadership is best displayed from the viewpoint that campaign winners are actually "Caretakers" performing the will of the people for the benefit of all the citizens they govern/lead.
I also consider it vital that I share a few facts with you, my dear readers. Who are the xenophobe citizens in our United States of America?
  • I recall that it was a Republican President that announced the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22 and put into effect on January 1, 1863.
  • I also recall that it was our Republican President named Abraham Lincoln who worked dilligently to secure the 13th Ammendment to our Constitution to permanently abolish slavery throughout the Nation.
  • I know that our current Secretary of State under a Republican President is a woman of color. In my view she has performed very well.
  • I know that a former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, United States Defense Department was a man of color. General Colin Powell was a U. S. Army Officer who served and was promoted with the authority of Presidents of both Political Parties.

Of course the list of facts could go on, but I certainly feel that it is an insult to simply state in a published "View Point" that Republicans are xenophobes.

In my own personal life I have fond memories of attending a "Rally" or "Sing-A-Long" in Macon's Washington Park on an Easter Sunday in either 1985 or 1986 when the purpose of the event was to make a recording of the song "We Are the World" written by Michael Jackson. The song was written to assist in raising funds to help famine-relief efforts in Ethopia, which experienced unusual drought in 1984/1985.

The "Flower Child" and his family attended this "Rally" or "Sing-A-Long". It was a well attended event. As you can ascertain from my profile image on the sidebar of this Blog the "Flower Child" is of the White race. I do not recall any other members of the White race being in attendance at this event. I think I would remember because the other attendees were all people of color. Hundreds of Men, Women and many Children were there.

So I would conclude, is a U. S. President of the Republican Party who freed slaves or for that matter the Flower Child considered among the ranks of the xenophobes. You decide for yourself. I trust that you will!!!!!

So When You Vote this November, ask yourself, will you rely on Hyperbole. Or will you be a Xenophobe misled by the "Viewpoint" message of Mr. Holliday.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Mail Call - USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)

Greetings, The more some things change, the more some things remain constant. Even though each Hero onboard the USS Ronald Reagen (CVN-76) has an E-Mail address and an account to communicate with loved ones, it appears that "Mail Call" on a deployed U. S. Navy ship is still a highlight of the routine on board sea going warships.
We all know that some forty-five years ago the "Flower Child" was deployed to the Western Pacific on the "Top Gun of the United States Navy," the USS Ranger (CVA-61). Mail Call way back then was always anticipated for the Care packages received from home. The scene above certainly bears out the fact that deployed Sailors today still covet the old fashioned "Mail Call." Shown here is some 65 pallets of mail, or to be more accurate 65 pallets of "Care Packages." I would almost bet odds that the majority of these packages contain chocolate chip cookies. Just as chocolate chip cookies were the favorite item in care packages in 1963, I suspect that Sailors still enjoy chocolate chip cookies from home.
The USS Ronald Reagen (CVN-76) is currently deployed to the Near East standing guard on our behalf in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Budget Cuts
Georgia U. S. A. Department of Corrections
The Flower Child is seeing Red today. When is the last time you saw any headline such as the caption to this Blog?
Yet, I recall a few weeks ago that the School Systems of Georgia were faced with a Budget Cut imposed by the State of Georgia.
Recently I have been exposed to opinions from various respected individuals here in Middle Georgia. On August 30, 2008 I visited the Georgia Music Hall Fame, which is located in Macon, Georgia. Of special interest was the Otis Redding exhibit which will close on September 10th, 2008. This impressive gallery showcases the entire life of this Music Legend. The literature I was given as I visited the Otis Redding Exhibit contained a wealth of information concerning this great music man who met an early, untimely death. I quote from this literature:
"The Big "O" Foundation.
The Big "O" Youth Educational Dream Foundation, established by Zelma Redding, empowers youth to remain confident, motivated and interested in education through music and arts programs. It was always a personal mission of Otis Redding to encourage young people to stay in school. Before his passing, he had developed programs to be held at his ranch where he invited people from all areas of the music industry to lecture children on the importance of education and learning. Of her hustand's efforts, Zelma Redding says, "Otis would tell me, 'If it takes music to get the attention of these young people, then let's education them through music!'"
Then on Sunday evening, August 31 I attended the Douglass series to honor 3 'super giants' of local music. The event entitled "Jazz in the Courtyard" concluded the Summer 2008 series in the Douglass because of impending bad weather. The Three Super Giants honored were Oscar Jackson, Bob Barnette and Boudleaux Allen. The event was conducted by Jimmy Mills, Jr. Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Douglass and the Chorus Director at Southwest High School here in Bibb County. During the course of the evening several individuals spoke to the need to keep music in our Schools as we hone the Citizens of Tomorrow.
Ladies and Gentlemen, here we have respected leaders in our own Community speaking out for the need for music and also the arts in our schools, yet when the school systems of Georgia face money shortages the first items to be cut are music and the arts. What a shame.
The Flower Child entitled this Blog with the title - Budget Cuts - Georgia U. S. A. Department of Corrections as a dramatic way of capturing your attention. When was the last time you saw a Department of Corrections Budget Cut Announcement? In fact we build new prison facilities and simply state that we need them. It is an accepted fact of life.
Yet, we take budget cuts in our School Systems as a necessary event. After all no one likes to pay more taxes. May I humbly suggest that we are putting our Tax Monies into the incorrect areas. It just may be possible that Otis Redding, Oscar Jackson, Jimmy Mills and Bob Barnette as well as others have it right. These men dedicated their lives to performing music, mentoring youth and leading by example.
Yes, we need to focus on educating our Future Citizens and providing a Well Rounded Education. As Otis Redding so well stated it: "If it takes music to get the attention of these young people, then let's educate them through music!"