Just a few words to capture recent hodgepodge of news events
Posted: Friday, May 6, 2011 8:01 pm
By: By Kevin Bowden
This past week has been one roller coaster ride of news events — from the tragic to the triumphant and everything in between.
Personally, I’m a little overwhelmed … at the number of times I’ve typed the F words — flooding, floods, floodwaters and flood victims — during this past week. Honestly, I may not be done.
Through it all though, I’ve come up with a few other words that I believe are appropriate in light of all that has occurred over the past few days.
It may not be as memorable as the late comedian George Carlin’s list of seven words you can’t say on television, but I’ve come up with a few words that have popped into my head as events have transpired in Obion County and around the world.
My keyboard nor my cameras are able to truly capture the impact flooding has had on the region in the past week. It’s overwhelming. It’s everywhere. It’s difficult to put into words and even harder to capture through photographs.
From my trips to Reelfoot Lake to Kenton to Obion and Rives, there’s water everywhere.
Oh, and although I’m not counting, I just got to use the dreaded F word again.
This word sums up the spirit of those I’ve come in contact with across the county these past few days and accounts for the way they are coping with the weather. In Obion, it was neighbors helping neighbors, as it was in Kenton.
In Rives, I was amazed at how well the people there are handling the abundance of water. I was there talking with Rives Fire Chief David Kendall when the Rev. James Kinsey approached and offered help from Sunswept Baptist Church in Union City.
And in Samburg earlier this week, I met a couple of workers from the local Tyson Foods plant who were out in a company truck helping people along Lake Drive.
People helping people. It’s such a simple concept, and yet it’s too often overlooked.
In a world that too often leaves me puzzled and somewhat cynical trying to make sense of things, it’s encouraging to see a community helping itself.
As I was driving along Highway 45W Tuesday evening, a burst of literary and philosophical inspiration came to me as I passed by giant lakes that were once farm fields.
A community’s resolve cannot be found in a promotional brochure, but in the ability of its people to respond valiantly in the face of adversity.
I refer to my mention of cynicism that goes along with this job, and I’m trying to make sense of the lack of leadership that exists in Obion County in some very key areas.
I think County Mayor Benny McGuire is doing a marvelous job, but there exists a leadership vacuum in other areas that concerns me. We are facing serious flooding problems as well as the loss of the region’s largest employer — Goodyear — and yet there doesn’t appear to be anyone at the helm of the ship.
I’ve had numerous discussions with friends and colleagues about the lack of leadership in Obion County, and maybe I should have listed the word “concern” instead of “confusion” as my heading.
Thank goodness for Benny McGuire.
Alright, on to the international stage. This word can accurately cover two different fronts for me.
As an Englishman, I didn’t make the pre-dawn live feed of the royal wedding, but I have watched with great interest the taped broadcasts that dominated the news recently. Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton marks a significant milestone in modern English history and the pageantry that surrounded the event is something I personally take great pride in.
And then a humorous anecdote was passed on to me by Messenger Sports Editor Mike Hutchens, who said he heard a joke from America to England — “We see your wedding and raise you one killing.”
The assassination of Osama bin Laden (and I did make certain to spell his first name properly) is a milestone event in recent American history and I’m equally as proud to be a naturalized American citizen.
As they say back home: “Well done.”
Here’s to a few weeks away from the roller coaster and a nice calm ride on a kiddie train.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 5.6.11