Like the song that was popular in the late 60s, Where have all the flowers gone? I find myself asking Where have all the good men gone?
Columbia County and especially the Harlem community has lost three community leaders in the past three months leaving a void that will be hard to fill.
Guy Fleming Jr., Hugh Camp, and B.L. Spec Brown were the mortar that bonds together the bricks of a community. It is the mortar that provides form, strength and function to a structure and without it the bricks are just a pile of clay chunks. These three men did their job well and like mortar they did it in a quiet and unselfish manner.
As I reflect on the lives and community service of these three friends, several common denominators of character and personal qualities become apparent. While each one was unique in their own way they shared the following attributes.
Church men: All three had a deep and abiding faith in their God and gave of their time, talents, and material resources to their church. They were true church men.
Family men: Each one was a devoted husband and believed that marriage is a lifetime proposition. They raised their children with love, support and discipline and were always there for them when a fathers wisdom was needed.
Patriots: Guy, Hugh, and Spec were patriots of the first order. They defended our freedoms through military service during World War II and the Korean conflict. They served their community by holding public office, working as volunteers in community and school programs, and through membership in fraternal and service clubs.
Sportsmen: Personally participating in team and individual sports in their youth and actively supporting youth sports programs in their adult years they learned , practiced and promoted fair play, competition, teamwork, good sportsmanship and loyalty. As hunters, fishermen and campers, especially Hugh, through his profession as a wildlife manager, they were role models in environmental protection and wildlife conservation.
Givers: Basically there are two types of people in this world - givers and takers. These three men were givers above and beyond the call of duty. They spent their entire lives giving of their best for the betterment of their fellow man.
Where have these good men gone? Gone with good men everywhere. There is no doubt in my mind that they are today first-class citizens in Gods community.
The question is: Will there be good men in the future to carry on their works here? Just as the flowers in the song are regenerated from their seeds, so good men are regenerated through their good deeds.
New generations of church men, family men, patriots, sportsmen and givers will pass this way again because of the legacies left by men like Guy, Hugh, And Spec.
(Don Thornhill, a Grovetown resident, served as superintendent of Columbia County schools from 1980-1982, and is retired from the Georgia Department of Education.)
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.