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Molded and shaped young lives

Dear Editor:

Recently we were guests at a reception in honor of Mr. Tom Covington. Coach Covington was at Baker County High School from 1957 to 1968. He and his lovely wife Joanne were among those educators for whom teaching was a “calling” rather than a job.

They sowed seeds of encouragement and discipline that demanded the best of their students and influenced lives far beyond the high school years. They showed by example how to be men and women of integrity, how to love others as you love yourself.

Even after over 40 years, a majority of former players were there to honor this couple. A successful group of men, husbands and fathers, and now grandfathers, whose own lives have left indelible marks on our community. They are men of business and education, government leaders, and professionals, all who played for “T.C.”

What was then all about the Friday night game or track meet was really about the molding and shaping of young lives.

Thank you, Coach and Mrs. Covington, for your loving investment in us. May we be as diligent to pay it forward.

Gary and Kathy Barber

Glen St. Mary

Emily H. Taber, 1911-2011

Emily H. TaberMost people would like to be remembered for something positive.

Such is the case with Emily Taber, who died this week just short of her 100th birthday.

Surely she was aware she would be remembered by Baker County mostly for her efforts to bring a library to what was, well, a library-less community. A Baker County commission decades ago did just that, naming the county’s library in the old courthouse for Mrs. Taber.

She once said what mattered most to her wasn’t the fact that her name was attached to the library, but that Baker County had dedicated an historic building that housed a library. She truly believed that, but those who knew her believe she was quite appreciative of the honor nonetheless.

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Schools rolled it out for veterans

The Baker County Community Theatre production of A Star Spangled Salute, a tribute to military veterans, wrapped up its four-day run on Sunday and I was lucky to have been a part of it.

My father was a Navy veteran who throughout his life was involved in music. He always urged me to do more with my voice and I promised him before he died last April that I would. This unique musical salute to military veterans seemed the perfect way to begin to act on that promise.

Taking the plunge back into community theater after an absence of two decades was a little intimidating. The music part was a breeze, but I haven’t done any acting in so long, I wasn’t sure I still knew how.

The last time I hit the theater stage I played a young Hollywood ingenue conniving to undermine the performance of a more famous and experienced actress.

Skip 20 years forward and I’m playing the part of a mother whose soldier son is sent home temporarily from Afghanistan to recover from an injury.

Both parts required a real shift in mental gears since I have no experience with either situation. But, that’s why it’s called acting.

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Christmas giving suggested by ‘Birth of a New Tradition’ Internet posting

This columnist normally shies away from re-printing stuff coming over the Internet. Let’s make an exception in this case — a piece popping up on e-mail in-boxes across the country as we gear up for the Christmas holiday. It’s titled “Birth of a New Tradition” and its authorship is a bit murky, so apologies to whoever wrote it. Your thoughts are appreciated. My thanks to Frances Bryant of Sanderson.

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different.

This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift-giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands.

Yes there is!

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