Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the Devil’s foot,
Teach me to hear mermaid’s singing,
Or to keep off envy’s stinging,
Serves to advance an honest mind.
Song John Donne 1633 AD
This week the world famous Barnum and Bailey Circus is in town. The circus is appearing at the Albany Civic Center. Two blocks north of the Barnum and Bailey Circus is the P.T. Barnum “There’s A Sucker Born Every Minute” circus at the Dougherty County School Board building.
The latest case of nefarious behavior and mendacity involved the selection of the individual to become the schools superintendent. Secrecy — self-serving and ludicrous –was the appointment process of Dr. Joshua Murfree. I am sure many citizens feel the flawed and wasted selection process leaves a lot to be desired. One of the tragedies of selecting Dr. Murfree is his apparent talent, honesty, experience and integrity. It’s tragic that such a good man was involved with such an odious selection process.
Many local citizens have reached the point where they do not trust the city commission, county commission or school board to make any intelligent and thoughtful decision on any subject brought before those elected boards.
If you are awash with a feeling of déjà vu, then perhaps you remember the selection of city manager, chief of police and ADICA director. Are these elected boards this comical and dunce-like or are they trying their best to drive every person with common sense and business acumen out of this community.
If you think these elected boards are doing a great job, then look at the city, county and school system and tell me we are getting the highest quality of education and government. I find it akin to the inmates running the asylum.
It’s no wonder the annual medium income in Lee County is over $20,000 a year more than the medium income in Dougherty County.
I sometime regret being one of the first Caucasians to attend Albany State University back in 1969. I was naïve enough to believe it was about equality and freedom. It’s apparently all about power, petty politics, low standards of living and declining education.
Now ask me what I really think?
JUDGE NOT LEST YOU BE JUDGED
I am my worst enemy when it comes to being honest. There have been times when I was less than honest with other people. There have been times when I have been deceitful and only admitted the lie to God.
It would be noble to always be truthful, but I haven’t reached that stage of humility. At 62 years of age my love for Albany has almost disappeared. There was a time when Albany was one of my greatest loves, but those days have long since departed.
Unlike the school board selection process, my process for finding a new city in which to dwell has narrowed to four. Three of the four cities are out of state with only one being in Georgia.
WHAT’S YOUR A FAVORITE AVENUE INTO ALBANY?
Traveling out of the city recently I returned on Sylvester Road. Driving into Albany on Sylvester Road is not pleasant. Passing the vacant Cooper Tire building is bad enough, but the empty and deserted businesses near the empty tire manufacturing facility are nothing to be proud of in terms of beauty.
Dawson Road is one of the best avenues into the city. The buildings, homes and lakes present a very positive side to the city. Gillionville Road is another beautiful entrance to Albany; from Eight Mile Road to Darton College, it is very pleasant.
Philema Road is another favorite entrance; while Newton Road is one of the least favored venues into downtown. There have been improvements along that street, but still it is mostly old and rundown. Albany Technical College has improved their campus and the medical complex improves an old portion of Newton Road near Six Points. The renovation of Monroe High is also a plus and the area from the school to the highway.
IS HOGENCAMP THE FIRST APOCOLYPSE HORSEMAN?
Kevin Hogencamp and I have been crossing each others path for years. Kevin and I met when he reported to work with the city manager’s office. Hogencamp actually replaced me as he took over an in-house job I was doing for the city on a consultant basis. He later worked in local radio and took over the Journal after I had spent a short time there.
Is this guy following me around? Actually, NO! Albany is a small and tight mechanism, where crossing paths with other local media is fairly common.
Last week’s Journal story on the proposed transfer facility downtown must have hit a big, sore, festering nerve. The story will not be rehashed here. I suggest you buy last week’s edition of the Journal and read it.
The point of this section is to make it abundantly clear how worried I am over the local media response to Kevin’s story. The media has been reporting the story and it may be signal the final days as predicted in the Bible.
The media accounts of Hogencamp’s fearless journalism are unheard of in my 62 years in Albany. Forty of those years were spent working in radio, print, television and cable. In the past, media pretty well operated in a vacuum and there were no formal acknowledgement of other media.
The meek and mild newspaper publisher and excellent writer (yes I envy him) has set city hall ablaze with his latest accusations of nefarious behavior at Ellsinore Castle (city hall).
Revelation 6:2 says: “And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”
I’ll admit it’s a little melodramatic, but that was thought that entered my brain as I read the story. My advice to you Kevin; watch your back, buddy!
By: Sonny Lofton. Albany natve Sonny Lofton is a veteran broadcaster and writer. He co-hosts the “Frank and Sonny” show from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thurday on WWVO The Voice FM-90.7.