Celebrate individual independence on July 4th

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Old Farmer Shell from down Georgiana way was a unique character.

He had a set of tenets (let’s call ’em principles) all his own, and he never flinched at revealing his emotions on any subject at any time.

A sterling example of his independent, free-wheeling expressions were never, in any way held in reserve, but were blurted out without hesitation when the opportunity arose.

Email newsletter signup

And so it came to pass when a pair of G-men (G stands for government) representing the environmental side of the vast array of federal departments came to Butler County on an inspection tour.

During their stay, they happened upon Farmer Shell’s spread, which they diligently dissected from stern to stern.

They could find nothing amiss on the land they surveyed, and so advised the good farmer.

But they offered him what they considered a sop (reward).

&uot;Tell you what you can do, old man,&uot; said one of the investigators. &uot;You can take that gully and turn it into a fishing pond by petitioning the EPA for funds to install a dam where that stream flows, and create a small lake.

&uot;They’ll even furnish money for you to stock the man-made body of water with fish,&uot; The G-man concluded.

Farmer Shell scratched his head, mulled this over for about 10 seconds then said, &uot;Tell you what you fellers can do: you can git the h_____ off’n my property, and go back to wherever it is that you came from. I don’t want the guvment to do nothin’ but guard the coast and tote the mail.&uot;

He may have been a mite strong about his feelings in the matter, but we consider his independence highly appropriate at this particular time, considering July 4th (Independence Day) has just past.

Meanwhile . . . .

There was no celebration in Greenville this year. And that’s a shame.

It’s a shame that the date of the birth of this great nation listlessly has been avoided any kind of recognition in this &uot;City of Smiles.&uot;

While the Camellia City slept through the observances the entire nation took a federal holiday, and neighboring counties took official note of the ‘Day.’

For instance, Crenshaw County is having a huge fireworks display; Covington, Coffee and other surrounding areas joined in the official note of this historical milestone.

Why not us?

Money/interest – the lack of it – seems to be the answer.

Buster MacGuire is copy editor and columnist for the Greenville Advocate.

He may be reached by calling 334.382.3111.