What Makes Ronnie Roll: Don’t Overlook The Little Things

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

Mayor Ronnie and I were marveling at how quickly the summer had flown and that going-back-to-school was upon us once again. “Where did the summer go?” was the question of the hour. Having been in the classroom himself at the high school level, and that seemingly centuries ago, Mayor Ronnie wanted to be sure we prayed for teachers — that’s not all, of course — teachers, students, parents, guardians, anyone, and everyone who is affected by school heading toward a brand-new year. The Mayor’s Youth Commission will be starting up again later in the fall, and that is something he looks forward to every year. He mentioned that traffic was going to be heavy on “opening day,” of school and said, “Please, everybody, slow down.”

Mayor Ronnie talked about how tough it is financially for so many parents, especially single parents, and is glad that there have been efforts made to get school supplies, as well as meals, to kids in need. There is a display out in the lobby of City Hall that has supplies and information on getting help. LCCI, the Family Resource Center, and Bank Independent are just a few of the organizations in our town that understand the need for kids to be well equipped at the start of the new school year. In addition, Learn to Read Council, which is on the front cover of this edition, will be offering tutoring for kids age 6-15. “We need to grow our kids,” the mayor said, and added, “We need to be doers of the Word, and not overlook the little things.” By little things, he means the things that can make a good town a great town, and we celebrated something that had just happened, in part because of Miss Laverne Gilbert.

Miss Laverne is well-known in our community for her passion and commitment to keep Athens-Limestone beautiful by organizing trash pick-ups. Through that labor of love, she became aware of the need of a man by the name of Richard Long who had lost his foot to diabetes. Richard had always been an avid bicyclist, and now he could no longer use his bike. So, Miss Laverne got the word out, the people responded and raised money, and Mr. Richard was given a motorized scooter chair that will do the trick nicely. We celebrated at Lincoln-Bridgeforth Park, and there was music, praise, prayer, and thanks. More than anything, there was love with wheels on, and it made everyone’s day.

In other news, that being the “home-town-boy-makes-good” department, on Sunday, Ardmore native and resident Lee Hodges won the 3M Open PGA Tournament. Lee and his wife, Savannah, chose to return to Ardmore in order to be closer to family. Lee graduated from Alabama and is probably the only professional athlete to call Ardmore home. Lee’s caddie is long-time friend Andrew Medley, who played golf at Auburn, and the two have “made us proud.”

And so we celebrated things great and small, all the blessings and challenges of our city and county as we prayed and asked for wisdom, and then it was time once again for Ronnie to roll.