A column of fond recollections
A time of fond memories: Of necessity, comments in this column will take a look back into the past concerning people, places, life and activities in Calhoun and Gordon County. Words will be taken from columns of past years with appropriate remarks concerning updates. I will begin with observations from the past:
The Past: [ There was] a time when the GEM Theatre was the center of entertainment activities in Calhoun. It was more than entertainment – it offered social interaction for young and old alike. For those my age and older, it is a place of fond memories. But then I remember that the Theatre reached into the lives of those much younger than me, including my children and their generation.
Let’s give credit where credit is due. It was the generous donation of this property by Raymond and Pearl King making the restoration project possible. The giving of this property to Friends of the GEM should be remembered and gratefulness expressed from all who appreciate the significance involved. To that end, I now say to them that this gesture means much to Calhoun. It will be remembered with grateful hearts by all of us who experienced all the GEM Theatre offered during the decades of youth and adulthood.
I write today to make us all conscious of the opportunity of preserving a site that is of great historical significance to our city and county. We can’t look on as the work is done by a few other people. This is a whole- community project. I appreciate those who have taken the lead and shown the way. There is a brochure in existence ( I can’t find mine or I could be much more specific. As Mitch Talley titled one of my columns a few years back, “It isn’t lost; I just don’t know where I put it”.) All should obtain a copy of the brochure and learn what we can do. It shames ( and I use that word when I said a person, community or nation reflected culture in their thoughts and actions.
It was the sixth definition of special interest and which should demand our thoughts. Listen as the dictionary defines “culture” as “the ideas, customs, skills, arts, etc. of a people or group that are transferred, communicated, or passed along, as in or to succeeding generations.”
It is tragic that the word culture needs a discussion of meaning or definition. It was thought necessary to do so in order to discuss some critical and challenging comments about the culture of our nation and society. The Late Charley Reese, a syndicated columnist, in his weekly column in the Rome News-Tribune on March 20, levied a charge ( with which I agree) saying the, “Mainstream culture is a sewer.”
Reese began his column with these words: “Excuse me if I don’t like what passes for culture these days.” Then he named some of the specifics of culture he didn’t like. He said, “I don’t like rap, hiphop, singers with five- note voices and those who, when they try to sing, wear an expression on their homely faces that reminds me of a fellow with a bad combination of hemorrhoids and constipation.”
It was his next observation that should capture all of our attention and agreement as he spoke of singers who make every song sound alike, regardless of what the composer wrote. This has long been a complaint here as I state I can’t distinguish one modern singer from another and don’t understand the words. Can’t you see why I like Eddy Arnold?
Culture is reflected in every aspect of a society’s existence. Our culture has changed and not necessarily for the better. Reese’s beginning affirmation: “Is mainstream society a sewer?” You decide.