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Feeling left out

I know I must sound like a broken record, but just when I've started to convince myself that I have a complex about my hometown being the red-headed stepchild, something else happens to convince me that it's true.

The folks at the local tourism department have recently come out with a wonderful idea to promote McDuffie County. It's an afghan featuring landmarks and notable events within the county.

Did it strike anyone else as strange that there was absolutely nothing from Dearing on the blanket? Well, it did me.

Now I first want to preface this with thanks and kudos to the wonderful staff at the tourism department. They do an excellent job, and the Festival off Main was a wonderful event for the second year in a row.

But it seems to me that when it comes time for this county to be promoted, one name is nearly always excluded. They are used to it by now, and most would never complain, but Dearingites are consistently left out in the cold.

I know it's considerably smaller than Thomson, but people in the northern two-thirds of the county seem to forget that there are two towns in McDuffie, and the second one certainly didn't deserve to be left off of such a nice project as the afghan. Just one slot would have been enough to let us know that people care.

For starters, the old Dearing School could have been included. It's certainly a famous landmark. Thousands upon thousands of people went to school there, and it even used to consist of a high school many years ago.

The old school building definitely is worthy of replacing one of the seven Thomson-area landmarks depicted on the blanket. Two of the other slots went to Wrightsboro, and rightly so with all of its history.

Blind Willie and the Belle Meade Hunt were the other pictures not totally related to Thomson. Both of those are world famous and worthy of a spot for sure. But seven pictures from Thomson and not even one from Dearing. No wonder I'm upset.

I just hope that in the future, those in charge of county-wide agencies would consider it their duty to see that the "other" town in McDuffie County is not left out of things pertaining to the county as a whole.

Not only is it wrong, it makes visitors wonder what's amiss in a town that is ostracized by those who are supposed to promote it. It prevents people from visiting Dearing, which in turn won't grow, and the vicious cycle repeats itself.

McDuffie County needs to think of itself as a team. We want to bring people in -- to visit, to do business and to live. More can be accomplished if we work as a unit, from Raysville to Happy Valley and everywhere in between.

A blanket may seem like an insignificant thing, but it accurately illustrates what those in charge consider to be important. Unfortunate but true.

Web posted on Thursday, December 16, 2004


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