What Makes Ronnie Roll: A House Of Cards On A Firm Foundation

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

Mayor Ronnie had come off of a stint of being “a watchman on the wall” as it pertained to the tornadoes, Relay for Life, the Chick fil-A 5K for the Make-A-Way Foundation, and five travel ball games in one day with his grandson, Quinton. “We sleep-walked to church the next day,” he said. During the tornadoes, Ronnie had stayed at City Hall all night as Athens was being hit, and Quinton was safely asleep on the floor. We talked about the fact that in so many ways in America, including Athens, we live in this strange balance between everything temporal that is like a giant house of cards, and yet we are built upon a firm foundation—our faith, the Constitution, and our amazing, resilient community. “It could all go in a moment, and always ends up being rebuilt,” said the mayor.

Relay for Life was a solid success with a good crowd. There was food, music, celebrating those that have passed and the legacy of their journey, and cheering on those that have survived this terrible disease and are using their “second chance” to fight it. City Councilman Chris Seibert spoke about what it has been like to lose his father-in-law and his mother to cancer, and it was moving. On a brighter “Relay note,” Mayor Ronnie knows that both Grant Coordinator and Communication Specialist for the City of Athens, Holly Hollman, and Kim Glaze, who runs Mayor Ronnie’s office, hate spiders. I mean, they really hate spiders! So, of course the mayor had the bratty-big-brother idea of having the young face paint artists that were at the Relay for Life event paint a…wait for it…spider web and spider, just to torment them! Their mock-shocked protests were taken in stride, and after Relay was finished, Holly drove around late into the night and captured some stunning shots of the recent magnificent display of the Northern Lights. Let that sink in, the Northern Lights were visible all the way to Florida, and the colors were amazing. What a great reminder that no one paints like the Artist-in Chief!

Whenever a food truck wants to be a part of a public event in Athens, they have to get their permit signed by the mayor, and the folks from Pork Belly BBQ came in during our interview to complete that part of their process. The mayor teasingly told them that there was no way he would sign unless they went back and brought him some fresh samples, and through laughter, they promised they would bring him samples…sometime. Athens is growing, and the food trucks are showing up, and that’s a good thing.

Monday night was going to be a discussion on re-districting in Athens, and those sessions are always lively and worthy of prayer for wisdom and discernment. So pray we did for our “house of cards on a firm foundation,” and once again it was time for Ronnie to roll.

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner