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January 18, 1978 Around Adair with Ed Waggener

This article first appeared in the January 18, 1978, edition of the Daily Statesman. Topics included road clearing from recent snows, the Beautification project, a push to paint the Checker Room, and a call for recognition from Christine's Vice Mayor A.L. Sinclair. --Pen

By Ed Waggener

He ain't done nothing yet
Norman Coomer was named Judge Pro-Tem last Friday by Judge James Brock. Tuesday afternoon, his sister, Bea Beard, called him with a complaint. "You've been Judge Pro-Tem for four days now and I haven't seen anything you've done yet," she scolded. "We've got snow on the Square in front of the restaurant and mother wants it moved." The feigned anger didn't move Judge Coomer at all. He doesn't serve as the chief executive except when Judge Brock is out of the County or incapacitated. But he pretended seriousness. "That's not my department," he answered, "you call Frankfort for that. If they're not on the job by three o'clock, call Coy (Mayor Downey), and he'll take care of your problem."

He ain't even held office and already he knows how to pass the buck, and that proves that Judge Pro-Tem Coomer was the right man for the job. He'll go far in politics.

They're really not passing the buck
They really not passing the buck at the courthouse. The two county graders have been out trying to clear county roads, but Judge Brock says that the two have just not been enough. "We need another one," he said, and indicated that the County might be able to secure a surplus one at a bargain.

New enthusiasm for Beautification Program
The success of the Inaugural Celebration has led to new thinking about whether or not the Beautification Committee can accomplish its goals.

Reportedly, the Committee, appointed by Mayor W.R. Murphy, has extensive plans for improvements in downtown Columbia. Their report is to be released soon, I'm told. Members of the committee include Dr. M.C. Loy, N.M. Berley, Gordon Crump, Helen Flatt, Edith Walker, Dr. Murphy, Cyrintha Terry, and, a recent appointment has come from Judge Brock, who has asked that Mayrine Rogers represent the county on the committee. With a group like that there should be some really meaningful input into future planning for Columbia and Adair County.

I'd like to see checker room painted
The checker room on Fortune Street is an architectural gem, simply because it is so small. The interior has been refinished by the City, with CETA workers helping out. I'd like to see the exterior painted, and I'd hope one of the experts in beautification might suggest a muted color which would make the building blend well with the rest of the community. CETA workers could do the work, and there might be some more of that free paint available. Then someone gifted in graphics might paint a respectable - at least not offensive - sign for the room. The Checker Room is another unique landmark in our community.

Snow-man contest out of hand
The Daily Statesman-W.A.I.N. Snowman contest is out of hand. Combined, the radio station and newspaper has in the vicinity of 60 entries, and more are calling in all the time. The latest to call was A.L. Sinclair, Vice-Mayor of Christine. "You have really let us down," Vice Mayor Sinclair said, "we've built the biggest snowman in the world and nobody's been here yet to take a picture of it." We explained to the irate Vice-Mayor that we are in the process of getting photos and that if we can, we will get the huge Christine snowman. He claims it is 11-feet tall. "Half the town helped build it," Sinclair says. That means there were 15 workers, because Greater Christine has 30 residents. (By the Chamber of Commerce count, not by the official census.) "We worked hard on that thing. We put a straw hat on him, gave him a corncob pipe, and made a real proper snowman. He must weigh two tons."

Vice Mayor Sinclair is a great one to beef. He is still smarting because Christine doesn't have any signs announcing the town. "When you come through here," he says, "you won't see any signs, but you'll know you're here because you'll see the World's Biggest Snowman in Vaughn Burton's yard."

D.G. Burton, who runs the grocery store in opposition to Olie McQueary's supermarket (with gas) at Christine, is the Mayor.

One word of praise
Sinclair says that one thing has gone right in the snow. His magistrate, Squire Sidney Grant, had both county graders (Sinclair says) in District One on Tuesday. "He thought ahead," Sinclair said, "he knew there'd be snow on Tuesday and Wednesday and he arranged for his days with the graders to be on those two days." According to Sinclair, some of the people north of the River had never seen to the county graders before. "They won't know what they are," Sinclair said. "They probably scared Carl Lemmons and Leonard Burton and Bobby Beard when they rolled into Pellyton, he claims, but their roads are clear. All the county roads in District One are in better shape than others. Sidney's the best magistrate we ever had."

How the roads get cleaned
I don't know whether it is true or not, but one fellow told me the way the roads are cleared is that the Highway Department gets the road in front of the Contact Man's house clean first. I haven't noticed Contact Man Cotton Phelps' roads being any cleaner than others in Columbia, but maybe that is the way it works.

My informant says that it is not because the Contact Man orders his road cleared first, it's just that the workers want to make a good impression. "When Squaredeal (Coy Downey) was Contact Man for Nunn, they always cleared 55 South first," he said, indicating that the road in front of Coy's old residence was the first cleared when he was Contact Man. Mayor Squaredeal swears that it ain't so. And he says he gets no special favors now. "I can't even get my own road cleared first now. The City crews can't clear state roads, and both Tutt Street and Burkesville Street are State Roads." The Rockhouse, the Mayoral residence, is located on the corner of Burkesville and Tutt Streets.

Anyway, it's an interesting theory, and I think I'll watch it in the future.

Advice on eating snow cream
I attribute my great strength and good health to eating plenty of snow cream in my youth and on into adult life. I did this despite the Surgeon General's warning against radioactivity. (Well, somebody warned against it.) Donald Pedigo of Edmonton says he always used just one rule in deciding whether or not the snow was good for eating. "I just looked to see if it had any big black specks in it. If it does, I don't eat it. But if there were little black specks that is okay." That was his only rule. But if he did have another rule, it was to use plenty of sugar, and to not use cake coloring, which I still do. My favorite is blue.

Schuyler McGaha says there's snow tunnel
Schuyler McGaha called from Highway 76 in Millerfields and says that there is a natural wonder there. It's where the Adair-Russell lines join. "The Russell County side of Highway 76 is clear," he says, "but when you cross into Adair, they have only one lane open and it looks like you're going into a tunnel. I travel four states and I've never seen the like of it," he said.

This story was posted on 2020-04-26 08:13:37
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