Wednesday, October 21, 2009

One of my heroes

Growing up in the shadows of Harding University was an interesting experience. In addition to reading Searcy's Daily Citizen paper to find typos and grammatical errors, I often read the campus paper, The Bison, to learn more about what was happening on campus.

When I was in junior high, Boo Mitchell was a prominent writer for The Bison. His "Fifth Column" took a satirical eye to what was happening on campus. You don't like the cafeteria food? Let Boo write about it and challenge the faculty to eat there for a week. The menu will change. I enjoyed seeing what he would share from week to week. Boo had a head full of curly red hair, wore suspenders a lot and was just plain funny. When he was featured in the yearbook and asked about his future plans he replied, "With my speech major, I plan on being unemployed."

In high school, I sang in our school chorus. We took weekend trips in the fall and week-long trips in the spring. One year, I stayed with Boo's parents at an overnight stop. Mrs. Jane Mitchell was a kind and gracious hostess who had attended Harding with my parents in the late 50's and early 60's. She told me that Boo now went by Jerry and was a reporter for a paper in Jackson, Mississippi.

Fast forward a few years. This is what he's doing now.

And how about this?

I love being a southerner, but the atrocities of the racism of our past haunt me. I applaud Jerry Mitchell for seeking truth and justice. He is a real hero, unlike the celebrities that get lots of face time on every one of the 100+ channels on our televisions.

Thank you, Jerry Wayne "Boo" Mitchell, for being a man of faith who puts that faith into action.

No comments: