I’m really glad the Muscogee County School Board voted to renovate the Jordan Vocational High School auditorium. It is an important piece of Columbus history. I wrote a post about it 2010. it follows.
Originally posted on Dick's World:
The architectural firm that will handle the renovation of the Jordan Vocational High School auditorium hasn’t been selected yet. (It’s in the last 7 of the 15 SPLOST construction projects. Architects for the first 9 projects were chosen Saturday.) When it is selected, I am sure somebody will let its leader know just how important their project will be. That’s not to say the other projects are unimportant, but we are talking some real history here.
That Jordan auditorium, which, in my view, is probably still the most impressive of all of the high school auditoriums in Columbus, not only served the Jordan student body, but was used by the Three Arts League and other organizations. For Columbus newcomers, or those not old enough to remember, the Three Arts League was an organization made up of Columbus cultural leaders who brought in world-class symphony orchestras, solo performers, and roadshow Broadway plays and musicals from the…
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THE FUTURE OF GEORGIA IS AT STAKE.
After learning that MCSD Superintendent David Lewis may propose building a new high school football stadium with new SPLOST money, I had to reflect on whether we should have high school football.
“Concussion rates in the high school game are 78% higher than in college, according to the Institute of Medicine,” reports an article in TIME, the same article that tells us that three high school players died within a week. A neurology professor says the teenage brain is still developing. The electrical wiring is not fully insulated. Neck muscles are weaker than college players.
When a University of Georgia player died from game injuries in 1897, the Georgia legislature passed a law banning college football. The player’s mother asked the governor to veto the bill. He did. Maybe he shouldn’t have.
If I had a teenager, would I want him to play high school football? No.
It was surprising to hear that so many public school teachers don’t go to the trouble to register and vote. That’s what a Columbus Academy of Lifelong Learning current events class learned from Muscogee County School District Superintendent David Lewis. He, outgoing school board member Cathy Williams and incoming member Frank Myers discussed the status of public education in Columbus with members of the”What’s Happening” class. Lewis urged members of the class, which includes a lot of retired teachers, to work to get teachers to register and vote.
Judging from what retired teacher Connie Ussery tells us, a lot of teachers are really unhappy with the state of public schools. She recently talked with a high school and an elementary school teacher, good friends of hers, and both said they are thinking about getting out of the profession. They love their students, but the increased teaching load caused by budget cuts and the increased paper work are demoralizing them.
Connie says, “I could feel the frustration in these women. I kept saying I was sorry. Then we all assured each other that we would do all we can to get educators registered to vote. If only 38% of our educators are registered voters, no one in Atlanta or Washington will consider their concerns and frustrations will grow. Teachers have to empower themselves as voters.”
It is a powerful weapon, one that teachers must use if they are going to elect political leaders who will support public education.
Yes, I can claim to be an “old friend” of President Jimmy Carter. That’s because he called me that when I met and shook hands with him at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains in July. A group of my friends and I attended his famous Sunday school class. That handshake was really special because visitors were asked not to try to shake hands with him. Too many really firm handshakes cause problems for someone who has been around for nine decades. I was going to follow instructions not to do it, but when he recognized me, his face lit up as he grabbed my hand, shook it, smiled his famous smile and said, “Oh, my old friend. How have you been?” I only chatted with him briefly because there was a line of people behind me waiting to have their pictures taken with him and Mrs. Carter.
It was truly an honor to hear those words “my old friend.” President Carter – I could call him Jimmy and he wouldn’t mind, I’m sure – but, I don’t. I like calling him “President.” Not only because he is one of the people in this world that I respect and admire the most, but because so many people were truly shocked when he was elected President of the United States. I wasn’t. I figured he was going to win from the time that he and Martin Luther King, Sr. joined and raised their hands to sing “We Shall Overcome” with the rest of the delegates at the 1976 Democratic National Convention in New York City.
I was in New York attending a dinner CBS News had for affiliated stations’ news departments during the presidential nominating primaries. One of the CBS staffers raised the question of who might get the Democratic Party nomination. After a list of names was suggested by those around our table, I said, “What about Jimmy Carter?” The New York fellows almost laughed at the thought. I was thinking how sweet it would be if he got the nomination. How sweet it was. And how much sweeter it was when he won.
The first time I saw him at a 3rd Congressional District Democratic Convention at the Rylander Theater in Americus in the 1960s, just based on his looks and charisma, I said to myself that man is going places in politics. That’s when I started covering the man who would rise from chairman of the Sumter County School Board in 1961 to become the 39th President of the United States in 1977.
Jimmy Carter is not only a brave man, but, more importanly, he is a good man.
How do you get people to learn to appreciate and enjoy really great symphonic, classical, and jazz music?
First of all, you have to expose them to it, preferably at a young age.
The Columbus State University Schwob School of Music is playing a major role in doing that in our area. A prime example is the free concert for children held at the National Infantry Museum Sunday afternoon. The children and their parents and grandparents got to hear some extraordinary piano, cello, vocal and jazz combo performances by CSU faculty and student musicians, including some very young ones. Schwob offers courses to young children as well as college students. The concert selections were all done in an entertaining way that young children could enjoy, introduced by a female student in a “Pianosaurus” costume. Judging by the reaction of the children in the audience, it worked. They loved it.
There will be many more free concerts for children of all ages by these extraordinarily talented Schwob students. The school’s website tells you where and when. Just click on this link.
Never heard of it?
Well, bellicosis is a disease suffered by those who love war and like to see their country in one continuously. It is often fatal and has caused millions of deaths, quite often not to those with the disease, since many are quite happy to let other people fight those wars.
So far, no vaccine has been successful in preventing bellicosis.
They provided me with an enjoyable weekend.
The Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s all-Tchaikovsky concert Saturday evening provided a wonderful demonstration of how the sound of a first-class orchestra can lift your spirits to dazzling heights. It was a marvelous experience in transporting sound. And the champagne and dessert reception before the concert didn’t hurt. It really helped that the dessert came in small portions. You got that great taste without sending your blood sugar through the roof.
Watching Episode 1 of Ken Burn’s “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” was also a special experience. I have read a few books about Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt and thought I knew a lot about them. Watching the Burn’s film provided not only some things I didn’t know, but did it in an arresting way with the use of historic movie film and still photographs to great effect. I knew that Theodore liked war, but I didn’t realize how he took great pleasure in being a killer in Cuba during the Spanish-American War until I saw the Burn’s film. It wasn’t something he had to do, but something that he wanted to do. That was one side of him. Another side was his drive to improve the lives of the working class of America, even though he was a wealthy New York aristocrat. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series on GPTV which runs all this week.
As Maestro George Del Gobbo says, “There is nothing in the world like hearing a symphony orchestra live.” The first symphony orchestra I heard live was the Pittsburg Symphony when it came to Columbus in the mid-1940s. I have been hooked on that wonderful sound since. And, believe me, being live makes a huge difference.
The CSO season, which starts Saturday, Sept. 13 at the River Center at 7:30, has something for everyone, including a concert that features the lush sounds of a symphony playing some country music favorites. The opener Saturday is an all Tchaikovsky concert. This is great powerful, passionate, romantic, beautiful symphonic music with melodies that you’ll humming on your way back to your car. Do yourself a favor and join me Saturday and experience what Maestro Del Gobbo says is sound that “comes from the depths of the human soul.”
Oh, the T-shirt is something I won a few years ago when the orchestra held a pops concert that featured an audience quiz. The orchestra played excerpts and the person who identified the most titles won some tickets and a T-shirt. It was my lucky day. I got all of them. The concert had been scheduled for the band shell in Weracoba Park, but it was moved into the Jordan High auditorium because of rain. That old auditorium has excellent acoustics.