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S.C. Senate begins redistricting public hearings

Posted July 23, 2021

Columbia, S.C.-The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Redistricting Subcommittee has scheduled 10 hearings throughout the State to receive public testimony about interests to be considered in redrawing district lines. These hearings will not be to propose plans. That opportunity will be available at a later time.

You may attend the public hearings and speak either online or in person. To help the subcommittee prepare for the public hearings, you may sign up to speak on the website at https://redistricting.scsenate.gov. Please send an online request to speak by 12:00 pm (noon) the day before the scheduled public hearing at which you wish to speak. If you attend a hearing in person, a form will be available to sign up to speak at that location. A single request, either online or in person, is all that is needed to speak at a public hearing.

Please note that the information you provide the subcommittee will become part of the public record.

Maps will be available online and at the hearings to help speakers identify specific areas they wish to discuss.

If you are not able to attend a public hearing, you may still submit information to the subcommittee by mail at P.O. Box 142, Columbia, S.C. 29202 or email at redistricting@scsenate.gov.

All public hearings will be held from 6:30-8:30 pm. Here is the schedule:

  • July 27, Columbia Public Hearing, Gressette Building on State House grounds
  • July 28, Sumter Public Hearing, Central Carolina Technical College
  • July 29, Rock Hill Public Hearing, York Technical College
  • August 2, Greenville Public Hearing, Greenville County Council Chambers
  • August 3, Florence Public Hearing, Florence-Darlington Technical College
  • August 4, Beaufort Public Hearing, Technical College of the LowCountry
  • August 9, Orangeburg Public Hearing, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College
  • August 10, Charleston Public Hearing, Trident Technical College
  • August 11, Conway Public Hearing, Horry-Georgetown Technical College
  • August 12, Aiken Public Hearing, Aiken Technical College

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Rogers receives Order of the Palmetto

Posted July 21, 2021

Gov. Henry McMaster presented retiring S.C. Press Association Executive Director Bill Rogers with the Order of the Palmetto on July 15. Rep. Chip Huggins, R-Lexington, nominated Rogers’ for the high honor. | Photo by Gwinn Davis, Gwinn Davis Media

Gov. Henry McMaster presented South Carolina Press Association Executive Director Bill Rogers with the Order of the Palmetto during his retirement party on July 15 at The River Center in Columbia.

The Order of the Palmetto is the state’s highest civilian honor, given to residents “in recognition of a lifetime of extraordinary achievement, service, and contributions.”

Gov. McMaster presented the award on behalf of more than 5 million South Carolinians.

Rogers was nominated by his local representative, Rep. Chip Huggins, R-Lexington, who introduced the governor at the event and helped make the presentation.

Rogers will retire July 23, after 33 years of distinguished service to the citizens of the Palmetto State by leading the state’s newspaper industry.

During his career, which has spanned 55 years in journalism and journalism education, Rogers has served as a dedicated journalist, teacher and advocate for press freedoms and open government. As the longest serving full-time director in the S.C. Press Association’s nearly 170-year history, he has shown passion for quality journalism, open government and serving the members of SCPA. 

The S.C. Press Association represents 15 daily and 76 weekly newspapers, and serves as an advocate for open government in the Palmetto State. 

Nearly 40 SCPA members, journalism educators, legislators and friends wrote letters of support for Rogers’ nomination. 

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For The Birds


Tom Poland

Posted July 20, 2021

By Tom Poland
A Southern Writer
www.tompoland.net
tompol@earthlink.net

This makes the second time I’ve used “For The Birds” as a title. “Contacting the dead through a Ouija board? That’s for the birds.”

No flippancy here. “For the birds” implies just what I mean. I suspect many of you, like me, do things for the birds. I’m zeroing in on bird feeders and not just feeders as you’ll see.

Among my morning rituals are making coffee and checking the status of my bird feeders. As the feeder empties, guilt rises. I can’t let birds go without their Choice blend of Wild Bird Unlimited seeds. To get home from a trip and see an empty feeder is a minor disaster. Same goes for my hummingbird feeders, which squirrels delight in tipping over and drinking. I’d put moonshine in them if the hummers would stay away. I’d love to see a squirrel staggering around, playing chicken with a car. If nothing else, the hangover might teach the tree rats a lesson.

I inherited my bird-feeding ways from my mom. She was all about birds and kept her feeders full. You’d hear birds singing outside her window and inside her home. She didn’t have an aviary but she had not one but two “singing bird clocks,” which tormented me twice a year with infernal daylight savings’ coming and going. Nothing galled her more than hearing the Carolina wren screech like a blue jay or a cardinal chittering like a chickadee. Twice a year Old Sol’s journey made time fly like Mom’s birds and I’d mark the calendar knowing a trip to Georgia was imminent.

Resetting her clocks was no simple task. I’d take the old batteries out, whirl the hands around a few times then set the clock to 11:50. Next I’d put fresh batteries in and set the clock to the correct time. Now came the waiting. I had to wait and depending on the time, I’d pray that the mockingbird sang, well, like a mockingbird. If it didn’t I had to repeat the requisite steps. This ritual went on for many years but for six years now those clocks have been put away. That’s how long Mom’s been gone but I recall the ritual as if it were yesterday.

It’s a warm spring day, 4:50 p.m. Outside the window birds flock to mom’s copper shelter of a feeder. Her red hummingbird feeder, hanging just outside the den window, buzzes and squeaks with six or so of those multicolored, feathery darts from South America.

Inside tension fills the air. Mom is sitting with me waiting for the tufted titmouse to whistle like some fellow calling in his dog. Five till five …. Three to five …. One minute to go. Studying my watch’s second hand, I count down like some NASA mission controller narrating a rocket launch to the moon. Three, two, one. I hear a click and praise the Lord the tufted titmouse whistles its sharp distinctive call. Success!

My days of resetting bird clocks are over, but one more time sure would be nice. Meanwhile my feeder is getting dangerously low. It’ll soon be time to buy more seed.

And the first time I used “For The Birds” as a title? In State of the Heart, Aida Rogers’s book. The subtitle explained that the book was sharing South Carolina writers’ favorite places. I wrote about Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and nesting shorebirds where “its feathery alchemy transforms sand scrapes into the seashore’s grand aviary.”

Mom fed birds once upon a time and her home sounded like some lesser aviary thanks to her time-keeping bird-singing clocks. Now one is mine. Mothballed, but maybe just maybe I’ll give it to someone who likes to do things for the birds.


Tom Poland’s website at www.tompoland.net

Email Tom about most anything at at tompol@earthlink.net 

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Living on Purpose: At his voice, the storm became a whisper


Dr. William Holland

Posted July 19, 2021

By Dr. William Holland

At his voice, the storm became a whisper

I spend a lot of time writing, and I try to present a balance of optimism and reality. This is becoming more difficult as we are constantly bombarded with so many things we do not understand. Even more disturbing is to consider how much negativity is going on that we are not aware of. I’m not implying that we anticipate evil behind every bush or under every rock, but my convictions accept our need to pray for spiritual discernment. I’ve had conversations with individuals who believe that more information is depressing and brings them into a higher level of anxiety. I understand. The idea of knowing less is an attitude that many are choosing to embrace for the sake of their health and well-being. As a minister, I certainly do not want to add more burdens to the worries and concerns we already struggle with, but learning how to process and manage our thoughts is a key to walking in a stronger faith. Whether we decide to face it or not, we are in a deadly spiritual war and God’s people are called to be His front-line soldiers.

We’ve all had our share of disappointments and it’s painful, to say the least. Personal problems with finances, health issues, and stressful relationships take a heavy toll on us. Many try to escape from the suffering with temporary distractions but they are just instruments of denial. We can hide behind our fantasies and pleasures for a while but eventually, we are forced to return to the reality of our situation. The good news is these cycles can be broken when the desire to be set free becomes greater than the desire to stay on the emotional merry-go-round. So, how can we overcome and claim victory? The first step to walking in the peace that passes all understanding is to make sure our relationship with Christ is where it should be. Each person lives on a unique spiritual level when it comes to being in love with Jesus and I pray that all will come to know God while there is an open window of His grace. If we ask Him to save us He will, and if we are saved we can repent and be restored into a glorious fellowship with Him. “For he says, in the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” II Corinthians 6:2.

I’m not trying to be a bearer of gloom, but I believe many things are coming that will be very disturbing. Sadly, there has been much deception and we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. The more truth that is revealed the more we need to be careful about who we trust. We are told in II Timothy chapter 4 there are seducing spirits and doctrines of devils that are attempting to sear our conscience like a hot iron. Matthew chapter 24 warns us about false prophets and how sin will increase and love will decrease. Luke chapter 21 also mentions shocking events that will come upon the earth and how people’s hearts will fail them from fear. We look around today and ask ourselves; what did we think the end times would look like? Listen, my brothers and sisters, the perfect love that cast out fear is centered in our passionate love for God. How can we love God with all of our hearts if we do not know Him? When we truly know Him, we can place our trust in Him completely and will be able in His strength to endure whatever happens.

I encourage you today to invest more time with God. We can be as close to Him as we want. Turn your attention away from the voices of chaos and confusion and allow Him to prepare your heart and renew your mind with His thoughts. In our search for truth, remember He is the way, the truth, and the life. May we allow His personal instructions to bring protection, wisdom, purity, hope, and encouragement into our lives so that we can abide in the peace and joy of knowing that all is well with our soul. “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed” Psalm 107:28-29.

Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com

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Stuart Neiman Cartoon: Not Concerned

Posted July 19, 2021

By Stuart Neiman

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What’s The Big Rush?


Tom Poland

Posted July 12, 2021

By Tom Poland
A Southern Writer
www.tompoland.net
tompol@earthlink.net

My back-road trips of late have been good but not as pleasant they usually are. Too many people. They drive like madmen. They pass on hills. They cut me off. They force me to hit the brakes. They ride my bumper. They’re a blur flying through small towns and past fine old homes. The list goes on. I hope it’s temporary, a result of the season, and I believe it is. Out-of-state tags reveal tourists. “Get back to where you once belonged. Get back Jojo.”

I need space. On a back road I drive like a 106-year-old man. I’m always seeking photos and stories at the edge of a field, in a tangle of smilax, in a pine thicket, by that wonderful orchard, behind that stately old church. Call me The Seeker. Seeking’s hard to do with a car on my bumper so I developed a new driving habit: I pull over and let them rush on to whatever’s so urgent. Good riddance.

A few days ago I had no choice but to drive I-20. I didn’t think the interstate could get worse but I was wrong. Construction’s big cement barriers herded me into narrow high-speed canyons where disaster is a blown tire, broken water pump away—theirs or mine. But wait, there’s more. They’re also erecting big sound baffles for souls unlucky enough to live beside interstates. Now there’s zero to see. Nothing. Meanwhile within the cement canyons people rush about like crazed animals destined for slaughter.

What’s the big rush? Why are so many people driving like bats out of that place that rhymes with bell?

Got to be the summer vacation spillover from car-crammed interstates. It’s just the season I pray. Whatever its cause, I found an escape from drivers speeding along back roads: the back-back roads. I’ll go to a road with far less traffic and then take a lesser road off it. Who cares where it goes? There’s no traffic at all. Now I can look for old homes, forgotten cemeteries, beautiful old farms, abandoned trucks and tractors, and more. As I say in my talks, “On a back road, your blood pressure goes down, and your gas mileage goes up.”

It’s true and here’s a case in point: the colorful house with its greenish cheesecloth screen, red canna lily, and fine old brick fireplace pleased me very much. First it revived memories of Mom’s canna lilies of my youth. The old house itself brought to mind shacks and tenant homes I saw back in the 1950s and 60s and a feature I wrote that led me into the world of books. And there was something special going on that you can’t see. The entire time I photographed this house the lilting, soothing call of a bobwhite brought back memories of my grandfather’s farm. And those big rolls of hay? Memories of hauling hay fluttered up like birds from a field. I live in the city but the farm still lives in me. Back roads keep your youth alive. Try it and you’ll see.

So, it comes down to choices. Which do you prefer? The scenic South or an interstate that’s pretty much the same wherever you go? A clogged major highway or a lesser back road? Are you in that much of a mad rush to get from A to B?

Let’s do the math. You can add a noisy dangerous interstate to your travels, or you can subtract stress and danger by taking a lesser road that adds tranquility and memories to your day. Seems to be a no-brainer, but someone will say, “Yeah I get it but I’m in a bit of a rush. I’m not out joy riding. I don’t have all day to get where I’m going.”

“Fine,” I say. “Dash along on your joyless trip. If I see you in my rearview mirror, I’ll look for a place to pull over.”


Tom Poland’s website at www.tompoland.net

Email Tom about most anything at at tompol@earthlink.net 

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Living on Purpose: Learning to see through our spiritual eyes


Dr. William Holland

Posted July 12, 2021

By Dr. William Holland

The life of David in the Bible is one of the more popular stories in the Christian faith. Of all the individuals other than Christ, I would guess there have been more messages about him than any other character within the word of God. There is a huge difference between the way we observe and judge with our natural senses and the way God perceives everything through His perfect spiritual wisdom and the key to our success is learning to see as God sees. We begin our story in I Samuel where Samuel is a powerful prophet and is told by the Lord to select a new king to replace Saul who had disappointed God. There was a man named Jesse who had eight sons and God told Samuel that one of Jesse’s sons would be the new king and to listen carefully to God’s voice. When Samuel looked upon the oldest son Eliab, he reasoned within himself that surely this is the one whom God would want. Eliab was physically strong and impressive, and the passage also mentions that he was very tall. However, the Lord warned Samuel against being emotionally persuaded by stature for God does not see as man sees. “For man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” I Samuel 16:7.

 

Jesse called seven of his sons and had each one stand before Samuel, but the Lord rejected them. Samuel asked if there were any other sons and Jesse said there was the youngest boy, and he was out herding the sheep. Samuel said that he needed to see him immediately. When David stood before Samuel, he was just a teenager, and the Bible implies he had a beautiful countenance and was a very handsome young man. The Lord instructed Samuel to anoint David with oil, for he was the one. Even though David was not officially pronounced king until a couple of years later, we realize God was planning ahead and desired that Israel would have a leader who would love Him and obey His voice.

 

Notice that David was out taking care of the sheep and the isolation of being alone with God is where he developed a personal relationship with Him. Acts chapter 13 says that God found David to be a man after His own heart and who shall fulfill His will. Being powerful in God’s kingdom has everything to do with how passionate we are about doing what He says. We can look impressive in the world of religion, but this is not what God is looking for. Becoming more like Christ means we abandon our plans and ideas and surrender our will to Him. We must develop our spiritual sensitivity to where we understand that God’s true vessels of honor are not always the ones, we would consider giants in the faith. Speaking of giants, let us continue to realize that things are not the way they seem. In chapter 17 we read where the armies of Israel and Philistine were camped on different mountains and were preparing for war. The Philistines had a champion warrior called Goliath who would step forward each day and dare any man of the opposing army to come and fight him. He stated that if he won the fight, Israel would have to bow down and serve the Philistines, but if they defeated him, the Philistines would surrender. The soldiers of Israel were terrified of this giant as the Bible declares he was nearly 10 feet tall and was amazingly strong.

 

One day David was bringing food and supplies to his older brothers who were soldiers, and he heard Goliath make his fierce challenge as he mocked and laughed. David was shocked to see how everyone was afraid and he spoke boldly saying that he would fight as this battle was the Lord’s and He will surely deliver this giant into their hands. The soldiers were looking at David as a kid who did not know what he was talking about and scolded him and told him to go home. Our point continues that we must never judge a situation by what it looks like in the natural. As we all know, David finally convinced Saul to let him face the giant, and the rest is history. Notice how Samuel looked to human stature, Saul and his army saw themselves defeated against Goliath, and Goliath underestimated David. Everyone in this story trusted their natural reasoning except David who could discern through the eyes of God.

Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com

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The Parking Lot Of The Dead


Tom Poland

Posted July 7, 2021

By Tom Poland
A Southern Writer
www.tompoland.net
tompol@earthlink.net

Even in death they cling to dignity. Left to rust, they bless the rare visitor with awe and mystery. Just how did old trucks and cars end up in a cemetery of sorts, “the graveyard of the rusted automobiles,” as Steve Goodman put it in “The City of New Orleans?” “The parking lot of the dead” as James Dickey wrote in “Cherrylog Road.” We’re not talking junkyards though. We’re talking tree-concealed, vine-covered, limb-fallen abandonment.

Each time I discover a gathering of forsaken cars and trucks it strikes me. How did this potter’s field come to pass? It sets me to thinking. First coming to me is a sense of déjà vu. “I’ve been here before,” I think, and I have. A walk through my granddad’s pasture was a stroll through a minor junkyard. Was it the easy way out? To heck with selling them. Just drag them into the pasture and let mice, wasps, and snakes take up residence. Or did he wrest a water pump, a door, or handful of spark plugs from some?

I’m sure the older generations kept some for parts but I sense something else, and this is where it gets complicated. Could they not part with them? Was some sort of love affair or relationship at work here? After all, it had not been that many years since the cars replaced horses and buggies as some of the ghostly “gone to their maker” owners of the vehicles knew all so well. I have no doubt they loved their miraculous, noisy, fast conveyances. They and their ancestors didn’t put their mules and horses out to pasture. Well, of course they did, but they continued to look after them. Maybe that’s it. The sense of affectionate husbandry they felt for farm animals transferred over to cars and trucks. And we can’t overlook nostalgia.

“That ol’ truck? Took me and my wife to the hospital for our first born.”

“That rusty Chevy? Your granddad died of a heart attack in it.” (It’s true. He did.)

“That back seat? My first. Fell in love there. Yes sir, I did.”

Memories … good and sad.

All these many years later? We take cars and trucks for granted. They’re part and parcel of our lives, giving some needy souls a status symbol, a look at me thing. Things are changing, however, as they always do. Now and then I meet a young person who has no car or truck. “A car? I don’t need one. I Uber.” That’s the new cool taxi-like way to get from A to B.

Some of us would never Uber. We drive and drive. Then, “Well, the miles are high now. Time for a new ride.” We won’t park the old trucks or cars in some bare spot and wait for a forest to overtake them. We trade up for newfangled technology—hybrids, GPS, satellite radio, Bluetooth cell phones, all sorts of safety features, and some of you—not me—can’t wait to have a car that drives itself. Good luck with that.

No, people don’t hang onto ’em like they once did. They trade ’em, hand ’em down to relatives, and such. It pleases me that the also-dead owner-drivers of yesteryear kept their old rides and workhorses. Their parking lots of the dead, their graveyards of the rusted automobiles, left us museums of sorts. Still, so few of us visit them. Every time I come across one awe and mystery well up within me. It’s as if some rusting metal spirit missing an eye of a headlight speaks with a gas-burnt grasp through chrome grills that gleam still.

“Thank you for visiting us. It’s been many years since we’ve had company with one of y’all, a long time since a human touched us. If you come again, I promise you we’ll be here. As you can see our days of drinking gas and rolling and feeling the wind on windshields are long gone, gone with the wind. We sit and sit and sit. Parked forever you could say.”


Tom Poland’s website at www.tompoland.net

Email Tom about most anything at at tompol@earthlink.net 

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Living on Purpose: How much does God love you?


Dr. William Holland

Posted July 7, 2021

By Dr. William Holland

As our spiritual values become more centered on God, it’s normal to start looking forward to our eternal existence. For those who are in Christ, how exciting it is to know that our heavenly Father and His Son Jesus, our loved ones, our new name, our glorified body, inheritance, citizenship, and crowns and rewards are all a part of our glorious future. We are briefly passing through this world and the only thing we will take with us when we depart is an account of how we lived and loved. How wonderful to know that heaven will be filled with endless praise, everlasting joy, perfect peace, and contentment without darkness, suffering, worries, or sorrow. It’s true that God loves everyone, but we will not enter heaven just because we are good or deserve it. We are given eternal life when we repent, confess, believe, and accept by faith that within God’s grace, the blood of Jesus is the only price that can pay the ransom for our sins. Redemption is all about God’s plan that was accomplished on the cross. Listen to these lyrics from the song, East to the West by Casting Crowns, “In the arms of your mercy, I find rest… You know just how far the east is from the west… from one scarred hand to the other.”

I cannot imagine a more optimistic and exciting thought than going to heaven and spending an eternity in God’s presence. For the Christian, this promise should be a wellspring of joy reminding us that our trials cannot be compared to the glory that awaits us. May we tape this to our bathroom mirror to remind us every morning of how God’s amazing grace provided a way for us to live with Him forever. The fundamentals of our salvation can be basically described as God’s love intervened as a rescue mission of mercy in order to save those who were hopelessly lost. I Peter 1:3-4 promises, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born-again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”

Our busy schedule is filled with distractions and for most of us, it’s exhausting to keep up. As our daily routines weigh us down with stress and frustration, it’s important to be aware of a much higher reality. If we only consider eternity when we attend funerals, we are missing a vital component of our relationship with God that can keep us excited and rejuvenated with His joy and hope. I’m giving the eulogy for my Aunt this week, and it’s truly going to be a celebration as we rejoice that her eternal life is just beginning. She loved the Lord and always said that spending time alone with Him was never intended to be a last resort but rather a daily privilege. She was always happy and loved to laugh. She had her share of struggles, but we can live in a positive state of mind and stand strong in our faith no matter what trials we are going through as Titus 2:13 reminds us, “Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”

Do you have a happy place when facing a crisis? In Psalm chapter 91, there is actually a secret place under the shadow of the Almighty where we can be filled with His peace and safety. This awareness of His presence is a state of mind that can be attained for those who enjoy having a personal relationship with Him. God desires to abide in the conscience of His children and this, in turn, allows Him to be our Lord and King. Being attentive to His voice will not come without serious determination. He must be our highest priority or the distractions of this life will slowly turn our eyes away from His promises. Many do not realize that as Christians our allegiance is to King Jesus and our citizenship has been transferred from this world to the spiritual reality of His glorious eternal kingdom. The concept of abandoning our independence has everything to do with trusting His plans for our lives. How much does God love you? How far is the East from the West?

Discover more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com

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Librarians Are Angels


Tom Poland

Posted July 7, 2021

By Tom Poland
A Southern Writer
www.tompoland.net
tompol@earthlink.net

Non-textbooks got our attention, and grammar school trips to the library always perked us up. We’d form a line and head to the library where a wonderful librarian, Miss Sarah, read to us and taught us the Dewey Decimal System. I can see her smiling now. She’d pull up a chair as we gathered around and tell us about the books she was about to read to us.

After her readings, I’d go from section to section reading the titles of books and looking at the strange numbers in white ink upon their spines. Some of you will recall the card catalog and how you located books. The system is a sort of methodical, if primitive, Google. Numbers 800 to 899 cover literature. Numbers 200 to 299 cover religion and so forth. Decimal points after the main number direct you to the sub-section you’re seeking. The letters following the decimal points come from the author’s name or book’s title. Books are shelved in alphabetical order. It works pretty well. And I’ll say this about Google. It’s fast and comprehensive but you don’t get that familiar fragrance of paper and ink. And Google comes with no smiling librarian.

All these memories of libraries and librarians came back to me a good while back when I stumbled across an old card catalog in an antique shop. Remember those long drawers stuffed with cards? Today computers guide you to what you seek. When Google made the scene a lot of doomsday prophets predicted the death of libraries. Who needs a library anymore? Find whatever you want from your home or office.

Not so fast. The libraries and librarians adapted to the new ways and going to the library is more productive than ever. I speak at a lot of libraries about my books and back-road adventures. I go too to hear other authors discuss their work. You can google a book while in a library, then mosey over to a shelf and hold said book in your hand, but we still need librarians for their insight and assistance in accessing a myriad of resources.

Librarians. What angels. What great help they have long provided. Thursday July 1 two ladies and I made a back-road trek into western South Carolina. Near Willington, South Carolina, we searched for the site of Willington Academy. Doctor Moses Waddell’s Willington Academy, a log-constructed classical school for boys, was perhaps antebellum South Carolina’s most prestigious preparatory school. We left a back road for another back road and left it for a dirt road. Near the Willington Academy marker was a cemetery, and there I came across the grave of a librarian. Devilish fire ants had put up a mound right by the lady’s marker and their hill of mud had obscured much of the engraving.

Ms. Ryan was born in 1900 and died in 2002. What changes and history she witnessed. And imagine the students she helped through tumultuous times. On her librarian’s grave were these words. “There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away nor any Coursers like a Page of prancing Poetry.” — E.D. The initials stand for the author, Emily Dickinson. The entire poem reads… “There is no Frigate like a Book/To take us Lands away/Nor any Coursers like a Page/Of prancing Poetry/This Traverse may the poorest take/Without oppress of Toll/How frugal is the Chariot/That bears the Human Soul.

Back when I saw that old card catalog I made a mental note to write about librarians someday. Seeing the librarian’s grave gave me the push I needed. Librarians hold the key to knowledge and we owe librarians, past, present, and future, a huge thank you. Visit your local library soon. You’ll be glad you did.


Tom Poland’s website at www.tompoland.net

Email Tom about most anything at at tompol@earthlink.net 

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