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Southern Eyes

Slightly more than a month ago, I was reading resumes of candidates for McDuffie County superintendent of schools. As they should be, the resumes were filled with educational accolades of every type imaginable.

But there was one entry on Jim LeBrun's resume that caught my eye. I'm pretty certain it was not the deciding factor in his receiving the position, but Mr. LeBrun was at one time a certified plumber. When I asked him about it, he laughed and said that was how he paid his way through college.

Mr. LeBrun mentioned this when he introduced himself to the school system employees last week. He was quick to add he no longer makes house calls. But if the budget continues to be slashed, I couldn't help but wonder if he will make "school calls" when a plumber's services are needed?

In only a few weeks, he has shown there's nothing he won't do. Friday afternoon, I called his cell phone to find out how the first day of school went. When he answered, Mr. LeBrun told me he was "driving a little boy home from school who missed his bus."

I guess now he can add "bus driver" to his resume (although technically he was driving a car).

I learned what a small world it is when I heard that Mr. LeBrun was superintendent of schools where our own school board member Bob Smith's grandchildren go to school. I was assured then that no stone had been unturned.

Knowing his thoroughness, I'll bet Mr. Smith personally interviewed every teacher and parent in the school system when he learned of their superintendent's application with our system.

Our world became even smaller with the discovery that Mr. LeBrun and his wife just moved into the same apartment that I vacated a year ago in downtown Thomson. Although I'm sure someone else has been in it since then, I frantically scrambled my memory, trying to remember -- who exactly cleaned the oven of charred cheese that dripped from frozen pizzas when we moved -- me? One of my sons? One of their girlfriends? Sigh.

I recounted all of the sounds I had to become accustomed to when I first moved there before I was able to enjoy a good night's sleep -- the sirens and the train were the most disturbing. With the morning came the sounds of the custodian shaking the doormats outside the Post Office across the street, followed by the tubes traveling through the chutes at the drive-in window at Sun Trust Bank.

But Mr. LeBrun had not heard any of those sounds, admitting to me they'd "just been too tired to have trouble sleeping." That's understandable. But now that school is underway, they need to be prepared -- the train's coming.

Web posted on Thursday, August 13, 2009

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