It's a little sad in a weird way, I suppose. Buried in the columns of The News-Times "Property Transfers" a couple of weeks ago was an item signaling an era ending with a whimper rather than a bang.
The listing was the sale of Merle Temple's Evans home.
Temple (surely you haven't forgotten him already, have you?) was deputy state school superintendent under Linda Schrenko. Many people believe he was the mastermind behind the scheme to funnel federal education money into Schrenko's failed 2002 campaign for governor.
Both of them, along with several partners in crime, were either convicted or pled guilty and last year were sentenced to prison.
Temple, unsuccessful in securing a presidential pardon (Bush apparently was saving that slot for Scooter Libby), reported to the Edgefield Federal Correctional Institution Dec. 1, 2006. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator, inmate No. 56447-019 is scheduled for release Oct. 24, 2013.
So, where will he go? He no longer has an Evans home to return to, and he has no immediate family here, either. His wife, Susan, died March 26, and the couple had no children. The rest of his family is out of state, so I doubt he'll ever return here.
Schrenko, meanwhile, is at the Tallahassee FCI in Florida, scheduled for freedom Aug. 29, 2013.
Speaking of the end of an era, it was bittersweet to hear about the retirement of the Tanner family from running the Pollard's Corner store.
It also gave rise to some puzzlement on my part.
I have little doubt that there are more people in the Appling/Winfield/Phinizy/ Leah area than there were, say, 30 years ago. Yet there are now something like seven fewer stores.
Two stores in Appling, two in Leah and three in or near Winfield have all closed over the years.
I suppose stores are no longer so convenient when people are mobile enough that they don't think twice about driving 10 miles to Wal-Mart.
It isn't too often that I agree with Tyrone Brooks.
The fiery state representative from Atlanta is a little too obsessed with racial politics.
Still, I agreed wholeheartedly with him two years ago when he declared the battle over the Georgia state flag was over. And I agreed with him again last week when he convinced leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to retract their inexplicable plan to set aside part of their convention in Atlanta this week to honor Michael Vick.
SCLC President Charles Steele had actually told the Atlanta media that the organization would "honor and recognize" the suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback, who is under indictment for his part in a massive dog-fighting operation in Virginia.
"We need to support him no matter what the evidence reveals," Steele said.
Guilty? Innocent? He's our man either way. Yikes.
Fortunately, Brooks got Steele to back off by pointing out "There are a lot of young people who need our help. Michael Vick is not one of them."
Besides, Brooks said, Vick has the money to afford whatever legal help he needs.
Help really needed
Speaking of money:Whatever your feelings about Vick, the Columbia County Humane Society needs your help in raising funds for its planned new facility on Columbia Road.
Send checks to P.O. Box 204771, Martinez, Ga., 30907. In "honor" of Vick's No. 7, I suggest donations of $7, $70 or $700, but any amount is appreciated.
Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to barry.paschal at newstimesonline.com.
Note: For more information on helping pets in Columbia County and throughout the CSRA, visit our Pets section at http://chronicle.augusta.com/pets/.
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