Roses and thorns 5-6-12

May 5, 2012 11:49:43 PM



A bouquet of roses to all the people who worked so hard to make the 17th annual Market Street Festival a success this year.


Columbus Public Works employees were out in full force during the festival, and as soon as it was over, they wielded trash bags and manned street sweepers, returning our city to its pristine beauty. (Speaking of which, the roses in downtown planters are gorgeous right now. If you were too awestruck by fried Snickers bars and alligator-on-a-stick to notice them, we encourage you to take a stroll along Main Street some time this week).


The Columbus Police Department also did a good job of keeping the peace during the event, and many were spied smiling and chatting with festival-goers. If there were any incidents during the festivities, we haven't heard about them yet, and that's a good thing.



And of course, we couldn't forget the people who make it all possible -- Amber Brislin and crew at Main Street Columbus and the dozens of volunteers who serve as the invisible hands that make it all seem so effortless.


We had fun this year, and though we headed home tired Saturday night, we have a sneaking suspicion one of those employees or volunteers is already dreaming up ways to make next year's festival even better.


A rose to Columbus Middle School Principal Cindy Wamble, who is retiring from the Columbus Municipal School District at the end of the school year.


Thankfully, Wamble has found a new outlet for her considerable talents. This fall, she will take the helm as principal of Heritage Elementary School.


The halls of Heritage are not new to Wamble. She taught there at the beginning of her career, and her two sons, James and Andrew, are graduates of Heritage.


We know she'll bring the same infectious enthusiasm and passionate dedication to her new role as she did to her previous post, but her departure is still a great loss for the city school district.


Columbus Middle School is one of the brightest jewels in the district's crown, and Wamble was hand-picked by former Superintendent Dr. Del Phillips to help design and lead the school he saw as his legacy.


Wamble was so involved in every aspect of CMS -- from paint colors to the location of the entrance -- that it's hard to imagine the school without her.


During a time when the district was rife with chaos, troubled by budgetary concerns and academic woes, her steady hand was no doubt a comfort to her staff.


She served the district 24 years, and she was named Administrator of the Year in 2007 and 2011. She was also Teacher of the Year in 1985.


We wish her well as she begins Act Two of a long and distinguished career in education.


A rose to the 2012 graduates of the Lowndes Young Leaders, a leadership program for area high school sophomores.


The Columbus-Lowndes Development Link sponsors the program, where students are guided through activities designed to develop teamwork and collaboration, improve problem-solving and communication skills and teach organization, ethics, networking and leadership.


This year's graduating class includes Courtney Hall, Jordan Shelton, Rayelle Brown, Erin Graves, Ellie Mielke, Roya Asadi, Megan Hogan, Paige Pilkinton, Mary Catherine Blunt, Anna Douglas Rooker, Victoria McDaniel, Brooke Montgomery, Issac Wilson, Austin Fitch, Brendan Bailey, Mary Douglass Kerby, Megill Imes, Brandon Bowles, Mary Paige Thrash, Max Davis, Quanesha Richardson and Hasanna Spearmon.


Congratulations to these young people and their parents, and a rose to the Link for taking time to foster leadership skills in the next generation. Their lives -- and our city -- will be a better place thanks to their efforts.



A rose to Columbus architect and historian Sam Kaye, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mississippi Heritage Trust this week. It is the state's highest honor for outstanding service to historic preservation.


Trust officials recognized what we've known for a long time -- Kaye is an indefatigable champion for historic preservation, not only in Columbus but throughout the state.


Every year, we lose pieces of our heritage to the ravages of time and the heedlessness of mankind. Without people like Kaye, many historic structures would not be standing today.


In 1947, when the great, sprawling courthouse in Oxford faced demolition, author William Faulkner did not mince words: "They call this progress," he wrote. "But they don't say where it's going; also, there are some of us who would like the chance to say whether or not we want the ride."


Though our words will eventually fade and crumble to dust, we'd still like to pay our debt of gratitude to Kaye for giving the state one of its most precious gifts -- preserving its history for the education and enjoyment of generations to come.