Honoring a local veteran
The following poem was written in honor of Major Wiliam E. Rodgers. Rodgers retired after 42 years of serving in the United States Air Force, serving from 1940-82. He served as a fighter plane pilot and when World War II ended, he joined the Air National Guard.
Rodgers celebrated his 86th birthday Jan. 12 and was joined by family and friends.
Our Little Brother – Buddy
So many things, so many years
Individually for us all
Mother and Daddy, Sisters and Brothers
Childhood, school days, happiness at home
Our lives, one unit, combined!
Siblings caring for each other
With Father God, together, we sought to align.
Buddy joining the United States Air Force
Volunteering his country to serve
A pilot in the cockpit, guarding angels at his side.
The Rodgers family praying, faith never swerved.
Fighter Group assigned, now accepted!
Serving under the United States Flag
Training to protect America and our freedom
Jesus taught, accountability never lags.
World War II ended, Buddy back at home.
Joining Air National Guard in Birmingham
Flight license to actively keep
September 1940- January 1982, serving Uncle Sam.
Retiring from civil active duty
Developing Hurricane Creek Park
Discovering ravine in air flight
God’s landscape with Buddy’s insight embark.
A gift to Alabama State Park and Recreation
To continue what Buddy starts
He invites us all to enjoy
Hurricane Creek Park.
Family love and care God has blended
Care-givers become a blessed part
We’re the family of God, when we accept Jesus
God’s grace and mercy, eternally never to depart.
Laverne Vinzant Byrd
Can-A-Thon a success
The Volunteer Center of Morgan County, along with Channel 48, supports a Can-A-Thon drive towards the end of each year. The Hartselle High School Key Club and their sponsor, Leah Blackwood, are always great workers in promoting this drive. On Nov. 1, 2006, the Key Club began collecting cans along with the students, faculty, parents and others. A total of 16, 216 cans were collected with the fruits of their labor of love going to help the ministry of the First United Methodist Church Good Samaritan food pantry.
The Good Sam Pantry was bare and we were thrilled beyond words that the results of their hard work were a donation to the Good Sam ministry. At the conclusion of the drive, the Good Sam team pulled up with their pickup trucks and the students came out with box after box of cans. The sidewalk was full of canned goods and it took six fully loaded pickup trucks to transport the food. These young men and women, along with the teachers and parents, worked really hard to help less fortunate families. This is not an easy job. Each teacher at the high school must keep up with the food for their homeroom and keep accurate can counts and the students work hard to fill those cupboards.
The Good Sam pantry is used throughout the year to distribute food to less fortunate families in Hartselle and surrounding communities and many families are touched in a time of real need. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, more than 80 families were provided “Give Thanks” bags of food with everything a family needs for a complete meal.
Our hearts go to Hartselle Key Club, students, teachers and Leah Blackwood for doing a superb job this year.
They are recognized as leaders in the Morgan County Can-A-Thon year after year. These young men and women learn lifelong lessons from such a worthwhile project and it will be passed on to their children as they grow old. I remember as a child going to F.E. Burleson School.
Fessor Burleson would put a bushel basket out in the hall during the Christmas season and all the students could bring a can of food for the less fortunate. And we all know it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Again, thanks for your terrific support to this very worthwhile cause.
Joy Sue Groover
Hartselle First United Methodist Church Good Samarian Committee
Don’t change start of school
The mandatory school start date is expected to rear its head again in the 2007 Legislative Session. A push to strip our citizens and parents of their right to help choose the calendar for our local schools is in full swing under the guise of preserving summers. Despite deep opposition by educators and PTA’s the state’s tourism and summer camp industries are committed to asking legislators to rubber stamp this intrusion into local decision making.
According to the bills’ backers, schools’ tendency to begin school in early August is killing the profits of restaurants, condos, hotels, museums and camps. They say starting school early makes it hard to schedule summer sessions and hard to find and keep cheap student labor through the summer season.
In reality, however, Alabama’s tourism industry has never been stronger. In 2005, 21.8 million people visited Alabama, and travelers spent nearly $7.6 billion in the state, according to the Auburn University Montgomery Center for Business and Economic Development. In a recent speech to state associations leaders, Retirement Systems Director Dr. David Bronner, who built the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, announced that tourism recently surpassed agriculture as Alabama’s top industry. That doesn’t sound like it needs to be bailed out – especially at the expense of students.
Mandatory school start date bills are bad for school children.
They would rob teachers of two weeks of much needed instructional time to prepare students for Alabama’s high-stakes accountability tests (since the test dates are immovable).
They would make it almost impossible for schools on the block schedule to end the first semester before Christmas break. They would jeopardize some schools’ fall break. And, they would bar block parents and educators helping to choose the calendar that works best for our community.
Please join me in urging our local legislative delegation to send these bills packing!
Immediate Past President Alabama Associatin of School Boards