For a pretty good example of what is right with the world, you don't need to travel any farther than Harlem's Mary Sanders Senior Center on Tuesday.
That's when the city will rally its troops to feed military personnel from Fort Gordon who won't be able to visit their families during Thanksgiving.
This is the seventh annual Military Thanksgiving, the first to be held at the brand-new senior center at the city park. Previous Military Thanksgivings - formerly called Feed a Soldier until they realized sailors and airmen are stationed at Fort Gordon, too - were held at Harlem Baptist Church.
Each year, this event brings an outpouring of support for our military from the citizens of Harlem. It's heartwarming to see so many people, often outnumbering the service members, gathering to bring food, fill tea glasses or just to welcome the town's visitors.
The city sent out an announcement of the event in which Mayor Bobby Culpepper said, "Our community enjoys doing this as much or more than the soldiers," and he is absolutely right.
The city's citizens and restaurants are pitching in for the event, but donations are welcome, too. Call (706) 556-0609 and ask for Pat.
Incidentally, this sort of event might be catching on. St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church also held a military Thanksgiving meal recently and fed more than 200 service members from Fort Gordon.
The highlight of that event was when parishioners lined the entrance to the church, waving flags as they welcomed the service members to the dinner.
God bless them all.
District 4 rematch
Speaking of Harlem, the long-rumored rematch between County Commissioner Scott Dean and David Payne apparently will take place.
Payne called Thursday to confirm that he soon plans to file his notice of intent to seek the District 4 commission seat.
The two faced off in what became an occasionally heated and often ugly race in July 2008 to fill the unexpired term of Lee Anderson, who ran for Barry Fleming's former state House seat.
Dean, a former Harlem mayor, won that election easily with 71 percent of the vote. Along with Ron Cross, who has drawn opposition from Brett McGuire - who lost that House election to Anderson - Dean recently announced his intention to run for a full term.
There's still a possibility that Grovetown City Council member Barry Davis might jump in, too. One thing that's been noticable recently is that both McGuire and Davis seem to have ramped up the number of postings they've made on Facebook, and they're "friending" everyone in sight.
There are plenty more question marks regarding next year's elections, including whether Mickey Blackburn will have opposition for her school board seat, whether anyone will challenge any local legislative incumbents, and if any, or how many, Democrats decide to seek office.
But at least we know we can count on a couple of bruising local fights. Let's just hope no one takes that literally.
Ah, who am I kidding: Go ahead and duke it out. We can't let Will Fennoy and Woody Merry have all the fun, can we?
Sue Whiddon Day
Since we're visiting Harlem today - rhetorically, that is - I'd be remiss not to wish a happy birthday in advance to Sue Whiddon.
Today, officially, is Sue Whiddon Day as declared by the city of Harlem and the Columbia County Board of Eduation, the latter of which she served for 25 years as a teacher.
Ms. Whiddon turns 104 on Dec. 14, but friends and past and current students - from both public school and Sunday school - will gather today at Harlem Baptist Church's Family Life Center to celebrate.
Just for the heck of it, I checked out the headlines in the Dec. 14, 1905 Augusta Chronicle, on Ms. Whiddon's birthdate. Dominating Page 1 that day was the photo and announcement of the engagement of the daughter of President Roosevelt.
That's Teddy Roosevelt.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail email@example.com.)
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