The muck on Railroad Street is just a sign.
Pretty soon, the sidewalk revitalization project in downtown Thomson will turn on to Main Street and leave a little mud there, too.
But if you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet, you have to turn over some dirt to revitalize a downtown. And if folks need an idea of what Thomson could strive to be, they could take the short drive up to Washington, Ga., and see what a small-town downtown can look like.
Of course, to get there, Thomson will need at least one Guilliaume Salma.
The businessman - and his chef wife, Sokum - are shining stars in downtown Washington. They began with Lafayette Manor Inn - a nationally recognized bed and breakfast, and have branched out to now own a coffee shop and pizza parlor in the small town. But most of Guilliaume's time is spent at the Fitzpatrick - a wonderfully restored, turn-of-the-century hotel, right on the town square. Since purchasing the place in the last year, he's opened Down Under - a steak and seafood restaurant, and opened the hotel's bar, featuring classic bar foods like chicken wings.
I stopped in at Down Under Saturday night and was duly impressed. The food was really good, the service was solid and the atmosphere was great. I'm planning to go back to book a room in the hotel to get the full experience.
Now, if I could just convince Guilliaume to branch out in to Thomson.
As many of you know, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals rank as one of my favorite groups of folks. Especially when one of their members decides to make a spectacle of themselves - and generate publicity for the group - in the name of a dead woman.
Jana Shearer, police say, was killed by her boyfriend in Texas. Christopher Lee McCuin then apparently tried to eat parts of her.
So he ended up in jail in Smith County, Texas. And that's when PETA stepped in.
They asked the local sheriff to put Mr. McCuin on a "healthy, humane vegetarian diet," according to an Associated Press report.
PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich said any meat in Mr. McCuin's diet will only encourage him to continue his brutal tactics. After all, the veep contends, "Only in a culture where people routinely kill and eat living, feeling beings would anyone even think to kill and eat a human loved one."
The one good thing that came out of PETA's letter was a few minutes in the spotlight for the Smith County sheriff, J.B. Smith (no relation). He forcefully denied the request, but his initial response was priceless: "You have to be kidding me, right?"
I wish. PETA was serious. In their push to the spotlight on their cause, they trampled the memory of a sister, daughter and functioning member of our society and trivialized her untimely death.
And that is a cause people should be rallying behind?