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Things to do, people to celebrate

It was great to hear the news of Danny Verdun Wheeler signing a contract to play professional football with the Chicago Bears.

I sat behind my laptop for most of Sunday evening, watching the draft and paying particular attention to the picks of Chicago and Jacksonville, two of the teams that had shown interest in Danny. I was a little disappointed when the draft closed without Danny's name on the board, but all that went away first thing Monday morning. By 8 a.m., word had already filtered back that the contract had been signed, and Danny was now a Dog in Bears' clothing.

It was super news: Danny has earned his pro football dream. He's a great young man who has his head and heart in the right place. Take, for example, how he spent the week leading up to the draft - encouraging area students to do better in school and life in classrooms across the county.

I was thrilled for Danny and his family, but not nearly as excited as my wife. I could hear her jumping up and down when I told her Monday. Of course, she'd been building the celebration for a while. Last Friday, she wore her signed University of Georgia jersey (No. 42, of course) to teach her math classes at Augusta Tech. It was her little way of showing her support.

A year from now, I expect her to be wearing a University of South Carolina jersey. By then it'll be time to unleash the Brinkley brothers on the NFL.

Meanwhile, there's a long list of activities available this weekend, and even more in the coming weeks. May has turned out to be a busy, busy month.

Up first is Dearing's annual Mayfest, complete with a morning parade, afternoon burger battle and plenty of good food, crafts and exhibits. The activities kick off at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day.

A couple of hours later, the annual Car Show at The Depot roars into downtown Thomson. A mixture of cool cars and great food (You see a food pattern with me, don't you? Surprised?), the event continues to grow each year. It's held in memory of Cecil Hogan, who helped organize the first event and passed along his love of classic cars and community service to those who put the show together today.

But those are only part of the events for May.

The Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival - headlined this year by the legendary Delbert McClinton - is set for May 12 in the field off Stagecoach Road. While Mr. McClinton will certainly put on a great show, I'm excited to see both John Nemeth and The Breeze Kings, who will take the stage earlier in the day.

The next weekend will be marked by the annual Relay for Life, the all-night fundraiser, party and celebration.

And the month is capped off by graduation ceremonies at Thomson High and Briarwood.

So take the opportunity to participate in your community. Who knows, you may even enjoy yourself.

Web posted on Thursday, May 03, 2007

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