Bush will be remembered as true public servant

Posted 12/6/18

Let’s clean out the notebook …• I found it odd, at least through Tuesday, that no one had mentioned with the death of President George H.W. Bush that his family represented the second time in …

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Bush will be remembered as true public servant


Let’s clean out the notebook …

• I found it odd, at least through Tuesday, that no one had mentioned with the death of President George H.W. Bush that his family represented the second time in American history we had father and son as president. Our second president, John Adams, had a son, John Quincy Adams, who served as the sixth president. The younger Adams’ traveled with his father overseas, which helped make him a diplomatic expert overseas, defining foreign policy for years to come. Both of the Adams didn’t do well politically and only served one term. George W. Bush bested the Adams and his father by serving two terms. 

In many respects, George H.W. Bush could be compared very much to John Quincy Adams as a brilliant public servant who served in many roles and who had a great impact on foreign policy for years to come - and found himself out of step politically when re-election rolled around. With J.Q. Adams, it was siding with old-fashioned Federalist policies and perhaps being less political in nature; Bush was caught up in economic problems. It is still amazing considering about a year earlier he was on top of the world with a victory in the Iraq War, but remember it happened to Winston Churchill immediately after winning World War II. And, lets face it, Bill Clinton was a great politician who could connect, while Bush at times was a little elite in character through a public presentation that really didn’t give the real image. 

Now, years in hindsight, we see character, duty, government service and performance under a different light. We long for everything George H.W. Bush achieved and represented, including his good humor, his grace, his courage and an output that ranged from a major military victory created through an international alliance to the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act. 

• Carbon Hill police have been concerned about a Nov. 26 incident on Fish Hatchery Road and County Road 63 North, close to the Fayette County line. A 17-year-old girl stopped for a gray-and-tan Chevrolet Malibu that flashed a red strobe light, thinking it was a police officer. A white male wearing a black button-up shirt and blue jeans, with no gun nor badge, came up and didn’t identify themselves. He told her a brake light was out, went back to check again while she applied the brake, and then came back to say he must have been mistaken. He advised her he was going to let her off with a warning. 

That would be some warning, as Carbon Hill police say he couldn’t have been an officer, as police units always use blue lights, not red. 

“If you see any other color than blue, we urge you to call your closest police department and do NOT pull over until you have confirmation the vehicle is legit,” the department’s Facebook said. (Police Chief Eric House said the information on the story was essentially on Facebook and referred me to that.) 

• News from back home in Marion County: The Winfield City Board of Education hired Chris Cook as the new school superintendent there, beating out a number of others, including Winfield High Principal Benji Parrish. I always thought of Chris as a quiet, capable guy who was moving up the ranks, but behind the scenes I didn’t know how much he had impressed others over the past 10 years while working in the Marion County system. According to the Journal Record, officials said he had a major role in finding accommodations for Hackleburg students after the school there was devastated by the 2011 tornado; praise poured in for him from different quarters. He has a wife who teaches in the city system, as well as children who attend. 

Meanwhile, in Hamilton, the Jack’s has opened there, at long last … Wade Sullins has been picked as the new councilman, to replace Kenneth Cochran, who has been elected to the county commission there … and the Journal Record reported from a council meeting that the developer of the Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center had lined up Dirt Cheap and Farmers Home Furniture to be tenants, and plans were in place to finally pave the parking lot. Then the owner in California called an audible and sold the whole shopping center to The Ramp in Hamilton. I would think Karen Wheaton of the Ramp will work to overhaul that whole property, which is a better bet considering the whole town’s tumultuous dealings with that owner … also, Mayor Bob Page suggested the council think about rejoining the C3 of Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance for industrial recruitment needs. This comes after Retail Strategies, which has done so well in Jasper, was let go by Hamilton - probably a little prematurely. C3 is about the only thing left to them, and they left them before, too. 

• I passed on the opportunity to go the the Chris Tomlin Christmas concert in Birmingham, as I was exhausted (I actually took a nap that night at 6:30 p.m. I tried to comfort myself that I saved myself anywhere from $40 to $60 in the process, but I’ve been to one and I know it would have been good.) I thought the next night I would get into the holiday mood by going to the countywide Christmas parade in Jasper. But by the time I walked down there by the appointed time, it was in the high 30s and felt freezing; I don’t think I put enough on. The hot chocolate offered by Bernard’s helped, but the parade was getting late. I gave up and went back to the car by 6:50, knowing it wouldn’t do well to wait out 100 entries. But it was a pity. I’m glad they had a good crowd. 

• By the way, one thing that could help with the holiday spirit was “The Christmas Chronicles” on Netflix with Kurt Russell, of all people, as Santa. It was a great hoot of a movie, and I think it would have done well had they played it at the box office. If you haven’t streamed it, I would urge you to do yourself a favor, as it may be the funniest movie you will find this holiday season. (By the way, If you haven’t seen “Christopher Robin,” it came out on DVD and streaming services, and that certainly is one of the best theatrical releases I’ve seen in a while, with a great amount of heart and a fine fantasy story that fits in well with the Pooh stories. The recreation of the voices from the Disney cartoons is uncanny, as you could swear Sterling Holloway was Pooh and Paul Winchell as Tigger, except they are both dead. 

• Ringing a bell for the Salvation Army kettle for an hour last week was interesting. I found it easy to ring a bell for an hour. I want to hear none of them for a while (although you can entertain yourself with a lot of different rhythms). But the Daily Mountain Eagle’s turn at the kettle at Walmart seemed to be successful. Interesting how many would apologize, saying they already give, they are tapped out, or they were waiting to get change inside. And I had one interesting conversation with a woman who locked herself out and realized it before going inside. She had to call for help, costing her $55 she wasn’t planning to spend. 

• Don’t cry for the NFL anymore. According to broadcastingcable.com, rating for NFL games on TV are up 5 percent from last year, with games averaging 15.8 million viewers. They account for 19 of the top 20 telecasts and 46 of the 50 most-watched programs on TV. 

• It has been interesting to visit Chick-fil-A for the last couple of Alabama football games. You know how the drive-through always has a line all the way around? I counted three cars during the Iron Bowl. It was slow inside both times, too. The Georgia game was over sooner than I realized, and I kept up  by online updates. Those few in the restaurant were all apparently doing the same; the staff all but stopped what they were doing behind the counter for the last minute, as no one cared to order anymore than anyone cared to fill a sweet tea. Frankly, I think the whole state of Alabama was having a coronary, if they hadn’t already had one. It turned out to be as heroic a comeback as Hollywood could ever write. 

I will say this: Alabama’s two quarterbacks have made a tremendous team this season; both are exemplary. But Jalen Hurts deserves some credit for his character and courage for sticking with the team and not quitting. He will be a role model for years to come. Perhaps character didn’t die with George H.W. Bush after all.