What does a Columbia County farmer, sirens from Greek mythology and the Master of a ship and his harbor pilot have in common? An odd question - let's see.
A few weeks ago, Barry Paschal paid tribute to Nelson Cash at Cash's passing. I did not know Cash very well, but saw him at many County Commission meetings and almost every election night as he watched the returns at the County Complex. Cash had watched this county grow from a 5-10 thousand population farming community to its present size - and Cash prospered because he owned a lot of farmland. But this humble man was always interested in and actively monitored the quality of the county's leadership as stewards of the people's land.
The sirens of Greek mythology were said to be sea nymphs in the bodies of lovely women who sang songs so melodious that sailors were lured by their melodies to crash ships on rocks. One version of the story is that the Argonaut sailors had music by Orpheus that was even sweeter, and drowned out the sirens who gave up and threw themselves into the sea.
A speaker on communications several years ago used a story about a master bringing his ship into - to him - an unfamiliar Norwegian fjord. He engaged a pilot and ask the pilot, "do you know where the rocks are?" The pilot answered "sure." A few minutes later the ship struck a large rock. An angry Master stormed to face the pilot and said, "I thought you knew where the rocks are!" "Yeah," said the pilot, "and the next one is right over there."
Columbia County is a wonderful place to live. I know because I have lived in a lot of places over the past 50 years or so. I really know how fine it is after experiencing three hurricanes in Florida in 2004. We came home to the best place I have lived.
We have a gem here. Richmond County may be on the verge of a renaissance. Other counties around us, including beautiful Aiken County, make the CSRA a formidable attraction. Why strive for fifth place in Georgia population when we can be part of being a No. 1 area?
Let's get our infrastructure problems under control. Let's move cautiously and do things in moderation. Let's get rid of perceived inequalities in county areas. Listen critically to the sirens. Question the masters - make sure they are faithful stewards of the land. Let's make Mr. Cash smile up there.
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