I will do better - promise
Today, I am disappointed with myself. Coming off a very active May 13 - not an unlucky day, by any stretch of the imagination - and working a seven-hour shift covering the Presbyterian College Commencement on May 14, I hit the wall.
How can this happen? The Editor of a small town weekly newspaper needs to do much better than this. It seems to be happening more and more as I get older. In late September, I will turn two years away from applying for Medicare. Then, I think of Dr. Joe Gettys, a one-man, Medicare-wrecking machine, and I am ashamed.
How can a man - namely, me - who plans to be everywhere let nine Laurens County events just slide by?
You read right, NINE, as in 9.
In a community where, to hear some tell it “nothing ever happens.” In any case, as an acknowledgement to the people energetic enough to stage these events, here they are:
May 12, opening night of “Grease” at Clinton High School. Valerie and the gang staged a high-energy show, by all accounts, in the high school version of the musical. It has to be “high-schooled” because the original was in some places a little bawdy - remember, the guys singing, “Tell me more, tell me more.”
May 13, United Way golf tournament - I kept my string of not covering golf tournaments alive, but now I regret it. Surely, I could have made it out to see Amanda and Whitney, and taken a photo. Event 2 - the Future Farmers of America dinner at Clinton High School. I justify this one by looking at the District 56 calendar presented to the school board and saying - to myself, I say a lot of stuff to myself - “Nobody can keep up with all that stuff.” Clearly, I need a Clinton High School “stringer.”
May 14 - Yes, I did a swell job covering PC Commencement, multiple photos in our May 18 issue, on-line coverage with two photo galleries, and sidebars of School of Pharmacy and Teacher Induction ceremonies. What about Baccalaureate and the TWO PARTIES PC held for its graduates (not counted in the 9)? Hey, I’m old, give me a break.
But, the rest of the story, May 14 - Laurens County Emergency Medical Services fighting their hearts out in softball competition against their Greenwood counterparts. Certainly, I should have been there to witness Chad’s grand slam. At least, I heard there was a grand slam. Not really sure my source is reliable.
And, the Little River Bridge Run. Now, here I have no excuse. MY PC Commencement work wrapped up at 3:30 p.m. Saturday (except for the two photo galleries I posted on-line Monday) so getting to LR Park by 5 p.m. was easy. My partner in crime, Larry Franklin, took care of this one. Something about one of the grandsons being an age-classification winning runner. I don’t know any more about it, other than seeing the winners list.
Then, comes the topping on the cake - Sunday, May 15. It starts with a breakfast at Springfield Baptist Church with Greenville State Sen. Karl Allen as featured speaker.
Laurens City Cemetery was featured in a Sunday afternoon history lesson. Hospice of Laurens County staged its butterfly release ceremony, in memory of hospice patients who have flown heavenward - thank you, Dan Compton, for this memorial.
Retiring District 55 Superintendent Billy Strickland was feted at a reception in his honor. Cocky - no, not Dr. Strickland cocky, that other cocky - was there as a featured guest. So, Sunday, where was I?
Rationalizing, I can tell you, I was writing articles and photo captions from the places I had been Thursday, Friday and Saturday. In a time-management arrangement all editors understand, this time is very important. It sets the stage for Editing Monday and Proof-Reading Tuesday. By Monday afternoon (May 16), I was dragging again - look at that Calendar!! I DID NOT get to all that (!!) Some events were covered on-line, some were documented in that universal of all news sources - The Facebook.
But, they weren’t mine. Disappointing.
Actually, of course, community events don’t “belong” to one person. They are for us all - the glue that binds communities together. And if Laurens doesn’t come to Clinton events - and Clinton doesn’t turn out for Laurens - then, well, we are all poorer, because we weren’t able to make the effort.
Just a heads-up for later, August 26, high school varsity football, Clinton hosts Laurens - an event we all can get behind, as in “Pack Wilder Night” for the first-ever, season-opener Cross-County Rivalry Game.
Back to now. The coming weekend has a lot of stuff going on. Many communities statewide have their festivals going on, too. Some of us are home-bound, I understand, but so many more of us are mobile, and not approaching Medicare-eligible age. I’m going to be out Friday night and a 12-hour day Saturday, then a trip to Charleston Sunday (another story, for another day).
If you are pretty sure I did not make it to your event, send me a picture.
That’s my e-mail address below, and I gratefully accept jpg attachments with info captions. (SmartPhone photo technology is so good these days - another column for another day - that these usually are acceptable for publication in print and/or on-line.)
Now, that being said - Mary-Wallace, I’m talking to you - don’t send me a bunch of pictures from Rhythm on the Rails this Saturday. That’s my job - I send YOU pictures from ROTR, and I will be attending most Town Rhythms this summer, also. And - don’t forget - NEXT weekend is the Catfish Feastival in Ware Shoals, just be prepared to strap on your walking shoes.
It’s Spring - it’s busy.
Winter’s the time to stay in the house, folks.
I hope to see you - out and about.
I promise to try NOT to look at the couch or the pool, and think to myself, “Ahh, just a few minutes.”
(Vic MacDonald is Editor of The Clinton Chronicle. Reach him at 833-1900 or firstname.lastname@example.org. His columns appear the second Wednesday of the month in The Clinton Chronicle and in Blogs at MyClintonChronicle.com.)