City has jewels if you just know where to look
This and that about this and that…
I hope everyone takes the chance to read the front page story about Mrs. Janie Armstrong, the senior saint who averted a fire disaster in Batesville this week by getting a neighbor to safety.
More than just a “feel good” story, it’s a reminder that we often overlook the jewels of our community. And Mrs. Janie is certainly a jewel
She is far from the typical “old lady” although she will soon reach the 93 mark. Her quick actions were praised by Fire Chief Tim Taylor. It’s a reminder, he said, of how important it is for folks all over the city to be aware of their surroundings, and attentive to our neighbors’ needs.
The Poor Editor came across another jewel recently, this one is quite a few years younger, but she also is a people person who loves her neighbors in the way the Holy Bible instructs us.
She is Alina King, who lives in Pope, but works with a non-profit organization as a community specialist.
Her group, Springboard to Opportunities, recently placed her at the Skyview Apartments, located behind the Methodist Church.
Skyview was already a model for subsidized housing. Property manager Vonnie Carroll runs a tight ship. The complex covers three sites – one with one-bedroom apartments for the disabled and elderly, and two other sites with larger units for families.
All the apartments have neat and clean grounds with nice landscaping. There is a community center room at the main building and that’s where Miss Alina is generally busy.
Her official duties are to connect families living in the complex with resources and programs to help with advancement in school, work, and life.
She helps residents with social programs and supports them in efforts to remove barriers that often prevent these families from being fully engaged in all a community has to offer.
Miss Alina is a native of Faulkner, but has traveled across the U.S. since college, spending several years in Colorado working for television and radio stations. As much as she loved the hiking, biking, skiing, and camping of the Colorado Mountains, she missed the South and returned home.
We actually have some connection, as she was also a journalism major at Ole Miss. We had a good time reminiscing about old Farley Hall on campus – the building that long housed the journalism department.
The geeks like me on the print side were relegated to the dank basement while Alina and others in broadcast got the nicer offices upstairs.
It’s always good to run across a Farley Friend, even if we were years apart at school.
Alina, it seems, is always surrounded by the children of Skyview Apartments. She constantly has something new going for them – games, crafts, educational programs, or just snacks and fun.
Ask the children to describe her and you will get one of two answers: they all say “she’s sweet” or “she’s pretty.”
And, they are right. She was an Ole Miss cheerleader so she’s got the pretty part covered, and she loves on the children as if they were her own.
Like Mrs. Janie, Batesville’s newest hero, Alina’s attitude and positive outlook is contagious. Both of these ladies can cheer the grumpiest among us after just a few minutes.
I encourage all our readers to meet these jewels of our city. Alina is easy to find. Just go to Skyview and look for a group of kids hanging on the petite redhead. Warning: she’s a hugger and you won’t get away without a bear-sized squeeze.
Mrs. Janie is just as easy to find. The Elderly Apartments are on Eureka St. right off the square. Amanda Partridge is the manager. Call her at 662-654-7120 for a good time to drop by for a visit. Unless she’s watching an episode of In the Heat of the Night Mrs. Janie will be good for an uplifting visit. If her favorite show is on, you might have to wait a few minutes.
If anyone takes a notion to help, Mrs. Janie also has a little yard work behind her apartment she would like to get done. Just a few leaves and limbs and such.
Finally, my mind was set on Easter starting last week when I heard Sardis Alderman Clarence Jones open a meeting with prayer. Most all meetings around here are opened with prayer, but sometimes they are sort of canned, oft-repeated remarks that everyone is accustomed to hearing.
That’s not Jones’ approach though. He prayed the power down. My ears perked up when he thanked God for Jesus and his blood, and for saving “a wretch like me.”
That’s where Poor Editor can identify, for surely I am a wretch.
I can only cling to the great truth written in song by Fanny Crosby – There a precious fountain, free to all a healing stream, flows from Cal’vry’s mountain.
Thank God for that precious, healing stream that saves a wretch like me and all others who bow at the fountain.
That’s what Easter means to me.