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A long day and a celebration

Saturday was one of those days where 24 hours just weren't enough.

It started with an early morning trip to Columbia, S.C., to catch up with Cap and Jap Brinkley and DeMarco McNair. For the third time this football season, three former Thomson High School players were on the same Division I college football field. It was great to see the three of them catch up with each other after the game, and even better to hear each of them recognize the opportunity they have - and the great support they receive from folks in their hometown.

After the South Carolina-Middle Tennessee game, it was back to Thomson to watch Warren County advance mightily in the state playoffs. Coach Lee Hutto's team is now one of the few Augusta area teams still playing. If they can make it through the next few games, there's almost assuredly a return game with Lincoln County.

But even if the Screaming Devils don't make it to the state championship game, they've already accomplished so much. They've had a season to be proud of.

So have our other two local teams. I hope that fact isn't lost on local fans. It's easy to grouse about losses on the football field. Just remember, in a lot of cases, football is about more than what happens on the field. It's also about the life lessons those players will take with them. And those lessons make them champions every day.

But back to my Saturday.

It wrapped up with a few cold beverages while listening to the Crosstie Walkers in the lower theater of the Thomson Twin Cinema. I grew up attending movies there, but never imagined it could ever be used for anything more. The concert was great, and it should be more than enough to encourage other performances there. Too often, communities take such opportunities for granted.

On a stone bench inside the Georgia Aquarium is a rule to live by: "History is made by those who make the wake not by those who ride on it, nor by those who watch safely by the shore."

The bench is Billi's and Bernie's Bench - named for Bernie Marcus and his wife. Mr. Marcus is credited with almost single-handedly creating the aquarium.

Mr. Marcus' latest wave has been churning for a year now, and it is already a huge success. The aquarium has attracted visitors from all over the world to our state, and plans are in place for its expansion.

For most of us who have been to the aquarium, it's been a great ride. And it's a testament to what each of us can do if we're willing to make a few waves.

Meanwhile, as you gather with your families today, please take time to remember those folks who can't enjoy Thanksgiving with their loved ones during the holidays.

We have so much to be thankful for. Let's especially remember those who are fighting to keep it that way.

Web posted on Thursday, November 23, 2006

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