Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Let good triumph

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Let good triumph


MUDDERS. Construction crews working on: (1) Nashville school bus maintenance facility; (2) Nashville High School agri building; and (3) the new Taco Bell all deserve some kind of special commendation for working in knee-deep mud. Hasn’t it rained, children, hasn’t it rained?

And then it got cold.

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IF THE ONLY thing you remember about the late Joe Holcombe Ball is his fall from grace, then you are really shortchanging yourself.

Let me get this out of the way first. As the manager of the nine-county solid waste district, he took money that wasn’t his, and he gambled it away. He got caught, naturally, and spent time in a federal penal institution. He repaid the stolen funds.

But in an earlier time he was a great mayor for our town.

There were many notable accomplishments.

Here’s one example: The city still had several gravel streets. He managed to get a modest sales tax passed to pay for street improvements. Really, gravel streets. And by the time he left office all were paved, and many street and drainage improvements were made by that tax.

Here’s another example: He guided the city through some tricky times with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They were mad at what the town was releasing into Mine Creek and they were looking for some place to be an example to scare other towns. Joe and a small group were firmly summoned to Dallas for a meeting with EPA.

Let me make a long story short — in his calm, polite way, Joe convinced the hostile all-female EPA team that our town was trying to do what was right, and that we really would DO what was right. He was telling the truth, of course, and they could tell. Our town escaped without losing grants or paying fines. But we were very, very close.

One more example: In his tenure the makeup of the city council changed from six white men into a dozen citizens black and white, male and female. “It’s the right thing to do,” he explained to the council when they discussed making the change. My opinion is that our city government is better because of its diversity. He knew it would be.

Joe was a US Marine and a Scrapper football team manager. He also served on the Economic Development Committee. When our town was courting what would become the Ox-Bodies manufacturing facility, his fellow committee members asked him to be the spokesman because of his knowledge of the area and his persuasive manner. Ox-Bodies chose Nashville over several other towns that were offering essentially the same things. That plant is now an extension of Husqvarna and it employs a whole bunch of people.

His mama wrote the NHS ‘alma mater’ words and music, and one of his Holcombe ancestors suggested that Mineral Springs would be a swell name for our fair neighbor city to the south because of the well-known water.

There is much good to be remembered. And appreciated.

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DID YOU THINK that the #1 Fair Weather Razorback Football Fan would actually let last weekend’s football exhibition pass without a smartyaleck comment? Or two?

I didn’t watch the whole game between Arkansas and LSU. There were too many more-important things to do. Like polishing all of my shoes and lining them up perfectly in the bottom of the closet. And changing the bug-resistant shelf lining paper in the kitchen cabinets. And napping.

A few important things like that.

But I DID get to see that play in which two Razorback ball carriers ran into each other and fell down. It was a scream!

I got to see it because it was replayed and replayed on ESPN.

Just like that punt return by North Texas earlier in the year. You remember, don’t you? The North Texas punt returner tricked our defenders into thinking he had signaled for a fair catch. Our geniuses fell for the ruse, and walked away. Then the North Texas guy ran untouched down the sidelines about 80 yards for a touchdown — laughing all the way, I’m sure. And the rout was on.

What our teenage athletes did made us the laughingstock of the sports world, and I commend them for achieving that fame so early in life.

We all needed a good laugh.

Then, the Razorback basketball team blew a chance to beat Texas. TEXAS! All we had to do was hit a few free throws late in the game. But, it was too much to ask. We had the Longhorns on the ropes.

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AFTER AWHILE things become clear. In 1972 a military aircraft flying over open ocean near Vietnam noticed some explosions in the water. It was some ‘sea mines’ the Navy had placed. In order to explode, the mines had to react to magnetic influence from a passing metal ship.

Finally, scientists have speculated that an enormous solar flare at the same time caused those explosions. It only took 46 years to figger it out.

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WORD GAMES. Another set of triplets: Cool, Calm and Collected.

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HE SAID: “A man watches his pear tree day after day, impatient for the ripening of the fruit. Let him attempt to force the process, and he may spoil both fruit and tree. But let him patiently wait, and the ripe pear at length falls into his lap.” Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

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SHE SAID: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.” Erma Bombeck, columnist

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