Joys of mixing, mingling
by Donald Conkey
July 30, 2014 09:48 PM | 1590 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It was an interesting week mixing and mingling with divergent groups of local people. On July 17, Joan and I were invited to attend a meeting of the newly organized Cherokee County Black Republican Group, the brainchild of Eric Johnson, in downtown Woodstock.

Eric, an officer in the Cherokee County Republican Party, has felt for some time there were other like-minded African Americans just waiting to become involved in the Republican Party, believing more strongly in the principles of the Republican Party than in the principles and actions of today’s Democratic Party. And apparently Eric was right, as the numbers of the new group begin to grow.

But I was surprised when Eric told me that he had invited Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., herself a national figure, to speak to their fledging group — and I was even more surprised when Dr. King accepted. Then Eric, calling on our long friendship, invited me to speak on the same program with Dr. King. This was a real honor.

Joan and I then had the pleasure of having dinner with Dr. King and with other members of her group prior to the meeting in one of Woodstock’s fine downtown restaurants.

Eric’s assigned topic for this program was a quote attributed to George Washington. The quote: “It is impossible to Rightly Govern a Nation without God and the Bible.”

In today’s culture, this was indeed a challenge. Following Dr. King’s talk, the group held a round-table discussion and discussed the group’s topic for the year: “New Definition of Race: R-Responsibility; A-Accountability; C-Conservatism; and E-Education.”

This round table proved to be a very interesting way to openly discuss several serious ongoing issues currently facing America. I applauded Eric and his fellow members for the courage they are showing in face of push-backs from the traditional African-American political communities. Joan and I then thanked Eric and his colleagues for their invitation and for a very pleasant evening.

Then, last Wednesday morning, we attended another of Mike Byrd’s breakfasts at the Eagle Watch Club House. This breakfast was dubbed the “morning after breakfast” because we “discussed” the primary run-off election results of the previous day. Most attendees beamed brightly as they walked in, thus providing the others with a strong indication of the candidates they had backed in the election.

The chatter following the breakfast was both entertaining and informative. Some were surprised at the lop-sided margins in two of the races. Others were surprised at how close the margins were in two other races. Two regulars, George McClure and Charlice Byrd, kept the chatter directed with their verbal observations on how the ever-changing demographics and technology are going to affect future races and the future of America, and what that means for the future of America.

McClure then directed our attention to the ever-changing communication gadgets that are changing how voters get their information. Sean Jerguson then explained how the web has changed his advertising buying habits by using online applications that search for key words to attract potential customers. Sean also explained methods for paying for his advertising programs have also changed dramatically. Having lost interest in my former profession, this information was most interesting.

McClure also pointed out how “us older generations” have little clue as to how fast these new methods of communicating are changing. To make his point he asked Sean’s 9-year-old daughter Clare to demonstrate just how fast her age group has adapted to the new technology. Clare did. McClure then said: “I rest my case.”

Sean added it is not just the gadgets that are changing, but the world’s manufacturing industries are changing as well, becoming internationally interdependent. He explained how gun manufacturing is now spread around the world.

An example he cited told how gun barrels are now manufactured in Turkey. Why, someone asked? “Because,” Sean said, “Turkey recently discovered a new very high-grade iron ore mine and it was cheaper to build the manufacturing plants near the mine than it was to ship the ore to existing iron ore smelters.”

For me, this was just one more example of how God’s hand was in the creation of the world. The discovery of this iron ore mine in Turkey and a huge new phosphate mine in Saudi Arabia, has required the mixing and mingling of peoples of all nations and has caused all nations to be more dependent on one another.

God did indeed spread the mineral wealth around the world.

Donald Conkey is a retired agricultural economist in Woodstock.

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