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COMMENTARY BY LUKE BOYD: Grass now grows on second base

A few years back I read an essay by a woman about her family. She had several children, mostly boys, who loved to play baseball. There were a number of young families in the neighborhood with children of similar ages who loved the game as well. Her backyard became their ballpark. The kids marked off a diamond and games were played most every day year around, weather permitting. As a result, her yard was not as “pretty” as other yards, not nearly so well kept. Parts of it had no grass at all, especially second base. She tried at first to have some flowerbeds and some small shrubs but these became victims of batted balls and ball-chasing children. She soon gave in and let the backyard be the ball field. There was the occasional broken window and a cracked piece of siding which the neighbors always chipped in and repaired. And there was never any grass on second base.

The lady’s essay was written after her children had grown up and left to form families of their own. She was pleased that they had all become successful and responsible adults, as had their playmates. She now had a beautifully landscaped yard with all sorts of flowers and plants and no bare spots. But something was missing – things like the sounds of happy kids and the occasional “thunk” of a ball hitting the house. She really missed those things and wished to go back to those days when her yard was filed with kids and when there was no grass on second base.

Now, what has this little nostalgic story have to do with anything? It has everything to do with the current issue before our BOMA about allowing homeless folk to sell papers at intersections in our city. I have read in the paper several times, “These people are destroying property.” There were never any specifics. I had visions of them defacing our road signs, so when a person made the statement to me recently, I asked just what property they were destroying. The answer, “They’re walking in the grassy areas, making paths, and killing the grass.” Really? I invite those who are upset about all this wanton destruction of property to read the Old Testament book of Jonah. It’s only four chapters. In it God chastises Jonah for being more concerned with a vine, a plant no less, than he was with all the thousands of people in the city of Nineveh. The Lord said to Jonah, in effect, “I am concerned about these people and you should be, too. Get your priorities in order.” And I think, by extension, He says the same thing to us.

These folk who walk around our intersections in the cold, the heat and the rain, trying to better themselves are people. They have names. They are not just some amorphous mass to be disposed of because they walk on our grass. The BOMA needs to find some way to accommodate them when the issue is taken up again in March. If they don’t, we will go back to our neat roadways with “pretty grass over second base” but we will lose something – a wonderful opportunity to help some people. For any who feel this way, please contact your alderman.



Aldermen Email

Ken Moore, Mayor


Beverly Burger, Ward 1 Alderman


Dana McClendon, Ward 2 Alderman


Mike Skinner, Ward 3 Alderman


Margaret Martin, Ward 4 Alderman


Ann Petersen, At-Large Alderman


Clyde Barnhill, At-Large Alderman


Brandy Blanton, At-Large Alderman


Pearl Bransford, At-Large Alderman


Posted on: 3/5/2013


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