You spend a week away from the office and it seems everyone has fun and games without you.
It's a good thing it was hot Friday at GreenJackets Stadium for Columbia County Chamber Night, because I hear the chamber's executive director Jim Tingen wasn't exactly throwing heat over the plate.
I hated missing the game, but my correspondent dutifully reports that Tingen "threw out the worst ceremonial pitch in the history of GreenJackets baseball" - lobbing a shot that bounced off the ground some 20 feet from the plate before five-hopping into the glove of catcher Andy D'Alessio.
Heck, cut him a break. It's tough performing in front of a crowd. Besides: Aren't pitches from the chamber supposed to be a little more low and slow, and maybe a little curvy when needed? After all, getting to first base with new businesses is what counts.
Along those lines, the chamber is making plans to get home with some new members, too - literally. They're working on an initiative to attract home-based businesses to sign up for chamber membership.
Such businesses depend almost entirely on networking, and chamber participation is a valuable place to get it. That's just one of the things they could have learned if they'd been there for Tingen's pitch on Friday.
Cane the vandal
More of what passes for excitement, it seems, occurred in the wee hours later Friday or early Saturday when some historically challenged knucklehead vandalized the Confederate monument in the county's Memorial Gardens.
The granite obelisk, erected by the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, currently is the only memorial in the Memorial Gardens. Someone spray-painted the words "NO RACISM" across the bottom of the marker and defaced the names of the Columbia County Confederate soldiers memorialized on it.
As a political statement, the vandalism displayed about as much intelligence as the vulgar F-word comment recently sprayed on the picket fence outside the Summerplace neighborhood in Evans.
Catching such vandals is rare, though surveillance video from around the courthouse might be helpful. If the criminal is caught, he should be sentenced to clean up around all the county's historical monuments and to attend the regular monthly meeting of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to learn a little respect for history.
Oh, and then maybe beaten with a stick. Just for being an ignoramus.
The visits to Columbia County by the people who want to be Georgia's next governor continue this Saturday as U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal is scheduled to attend the Columbia County Republican Party breakfast.
Deal also is expected later in the day to attend a barbecue on his behalf at the Appling home of state Sen. Bill Jackson. Other candidates for statewide offices also are expected to attend, including Ralph Hudgens and Brian Kemp.
Hudgens, a state senator, is running for state insurance commissioner, a post being vacated by John Oxendine as he runs for governor. Hudgens was criticized for jumping a little too early in a run for Congress when Charlie Norwood died, and he pulled out of that race.
Kemp, meanwhile, is running for secretary of state, a position being vacated by Karen Handel as she runs (you guessed it) for governor.
Several kind souls have asked about those six kittens my daughters rescued from abandonment at Stevens Creek Elementary School. I'm happy to report that four have found new homes.
Two of them went to callers responding to our classified ad in The Chronicle. Two others went to a friend.
The remaining two are the subject of a strong effort from the girls to keep them as members of our family. We'll see.
Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail barry.paschal@newstimes online.com.
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