We hear from the folks at the Salvation Army that donations are running a little behind this year.
That's certainly understandable. While our situation in Columbia County is mostly pretty good, we're still seeing the effects of the tough economy.
Lord knows the Salvation Army does, serving waves of homeless people each day at its downtown Augusta base.
Columbia County's "homeless" problem mostly is fake, a result of federal laws that allow children attending a school out of the county or out of their zone to claim they are homeless and thus eligible to stay. Augusta's is sleeping-under-the-bridge real.
Their annual red kettle fundraisers are a huge part of bringing in enough donations to support their mission, and donations to the kettles are running behind last year.
This Wednesday, for the third year, I'll try to boost the numbers a little. With help from family and coworkers, I'll be ringing the bell next to the kettle at the Evans Walmart from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday.
I hope you'll come by, say hello and drop some money in the kettle. And if you can't make it by, sometime this season please listen for the bell and make a donation while you're out shopping.
Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Wanted: One building
Speaking of generous donations, Rosa Lee Owens is hoping for one. A big one.
As I wrote recently, Owens, a retired educator and former Grovetown City Council member, has long wanted a library.
Technically, Grovetown already has a public library at Euchee Creek. But Owens wants one in the city limits. To that end, she's hoping that a generous soul in the city will donate an appropriate building that can be converted for use as a library.
There's plenty of precedent: The Harlem Library is in a donated house, and the former Gibbs Library was built on donated land. A donation could be just the ticket for jump-starting a library inside Grovetown.
If you can help, call her: (706) 863-1867.
Blast from the past
Lately I've been listening to a great radio station.
Sorry, though; your radio won't pick it up. The signal is 40 years old.
It's on a CD, given to me by Randy Tucker. He bought the recording on the eBay auction site. It's about an hour or so of airtime from the heyday of WBBQ, then the powerhouse of Top 40 radio.
The Nov. 18, 1970 recording captures the latter part of legendary Buddy Carr's afternoon show and the first part of Harley Drew's drive-time show. Carr later hit his infamous stride as the morning DJ on WBBQ, a hilariously funny precursor to the later, and far less witty, "shock jocks" of morning radio. And Drew, then just a decade into his now 51-year career in radio, was yet to become the "Golden Hour" record-spinner and later talk radio star.
The recording is fascinating not because it captures a specific, important event - we've all heard those things - but because it's just an ordinary slice of afternoon radio programming from the era.
The commercials, especially, caught my attention. The segment includes two ads from auto manufacturers, Ford and Chevrolet; you never hear that on radio anymore. Sure, you can hear plenty of car dealers screaming at you, but not car manufacturers.
There also are ads for movies (C.C. and Company, Stiletto) and for prime-time television shows (F Troop, Storefront Lawyers, Hawaii 5-0). Those just aren't advertised on radio any more.
And, of course, there are ads for area restaurants, most of which are gone: H. Salt Fish and Chips, Pedro's Tacos, Shakey's Pizza, the Broad Street Orange Julius.
Hearing Drew's voice in that time capsule is worth a listen all by itself. He sounds like a hyperactive, sped-up version of his current deeper and less-hurried tones.
I only wish the recording lasted longer. The music sure is better than anything else on the radio these days.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail email@example.com. Follow at twitter.com/barrypaschal.)
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