Sometime in late 1989 or early 1990 I became a charter member of the Thomson Jaycees. In the beginning, the meetings were held at the old Gibbs Auto Dealership on Hill Street before being moved to Western Sizzlin'.
Being such a new club, we were searching for something we could do to help the community. At the time, the Adopt-a-Highway program was gaining momentum and I did a lot of research on how to participate.
So with my material in hand I presented this to the club in November 1990 and suggested we adopt Cobbham Road from Scuffle Road to I-20. This would be a total of 3 miles for both sides of the road, and if the club agreed, we could get approved by the state and do a litter pickup just before the Masters.
Once I finished my presentation it was put to a vote -- and I will never forget this -- all 25 or so hands were raised enthusiastically. I felt good when I left that meeting and proceeded to start the paper work.
A couple of months later we were approved, signs were posted and we all agreed on a date for the pickup. A funny thing happened between that vote and the day of the pickup, most everyone 'forgot' the date and only six of us showed up and one of those was about eight months pregnant. I remember looking around and thinking, 'what have I got myself in to.'
The expectant mother served as our runner for the day, getting us the much-needed cold drink or sandwich and the rest of us commenced to picking up trash. This was before they had the grip handles so you wouldn't have to bend down so every piece of junk we picked up was by your own gloved hand.
After about six hours we were done and I told everyone I would go get the company van and pick up the bags and take them to the dump. I thanked everyone and sent them on their way.
We picked up 91 bags of trash and I could hardly get out of bed the next day I was so sore. But I felt good that we made a difference and I drove up and down that stretch of road for about an hour just looking at our work.
It was not long after that I was transferred to Kentucky. I came back a couple of years after that to attend the Masters and was very proud that stretch of road was still being looked after.
When I was in South Carolina I was a member of Keep America Beautiful and we did a litter survey for several years. Five groups of 4-5 people 'scored' how littered specific areas were. When you're looking for trash it really amazes how much you see.
There's absolutely no sense in it. Just hang onto it and find a trash can next time you stop. If you see a litterbug get their tag number and report it. I do.