Obion County has lost some really good people

Obion County has lost some really good people

Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 8:01 pm
By: By Kevin Bowden

I suppose I spend way too much time daydreaming … and reminiscing.
I justify it using the reasoning that it provides me with inspiration.
Well, my daydreaming these past few days has drifted toward some of the people I’ve known who are no longer with us. I guess it’s because Obion County lost a couple of really good men in recent days — Steve Byars and Ross Shelton.
Both men were salt of the earth souls who loved life and loved their families. When I think about how to define success, those characteristics come to mind.
And then I started daydreaming … and reminiscing.
I started recalling some of the folks I’ve known during my years in Obion County and how I really miss them.
One of the most interesting personalities I ever had the pleasure of knowing was Norris Cranford. His sense of humor, his intensity and his sincere devotion to Obion County are among the things I remember most about Norris. His door was always open and he was always ready to discuss all things Obion County.
Frank Glover ranks high on my list of folks I admired. His death was a dark day for Obion County and I still miss him. He had a genuine heart for Obion County and the work he put in on the projects he was involved in is something I will always remember. Frank was always prepared. He was a great listener and when he spoke people listened to him because he possessed the qualities of passion and knowledge.
As I’ve reminisced about those who are no longer with us, I’ve realized that all of them possessed the quality of passion.
I guess another quality each of those on my list possessed was, I respected every one of them.
I’ll always remember Bill Burnett for his pleasant demeanor, whether at his shoe store in downtown Union City or from his perch conducting business at the county commission meetings. His ability to reach compromises and make the commission meetings run smoothly was admirable as far as I was concerned.
Robert M. Barnes is another character I miss. My first encounter with Robert M. was years ago when he invited David Bartholomew and me into his home in the Crystal community one night while we were covering a prison escapee — Ronald Lynn Kimmel. I remember him from the county commission with his Andy Griffith-style wit.
I miss Mr. Ladd (as he was affectionately known). Mr. Ladd worked in the press room at The Messenger for years. His everpresent smile and good humor are the qualities I remember most about Mr. Ladd. I’m not sure I ever saw him get mad about anything and his kindness was genuine.
And Jim Cawley. His death a few years ago was a major loss for Obion County. He was affectionately known with Bartholomew as “tons of fun” and the two of them were quite a pair. I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who had their hand on the pulse of Obion County like Jim and Dave.
And what kind of a list would it be without mentioning Col. Tom and Kathleen Elam. Their love for Obion County was demonstrated through their investment in the community … literally.
His commanding voice and bold personality and her sweet spirit and tender personality are what I remember most about the Elams.
I can only hope that when I’m gone that someone will remember me with such fondness.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by e-mail at kmbowden @ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 2.25.11

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