A LITTLE OFF THE TOP

DAN JACKSON

I love that Kenneth Humphreys received the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s Person of the Year award last week.

He certainly has been part of the public eye for many, many, many years and, through all of them, a positive influence.

Whether it’s his church, his elected positions or his dedication to students, throughout the years, he showed a commitment to our community. And that’s good.

I, on the other hand, appreciate him not only for that stuff, but also for his wit and quick smile. Congratulations, Mr. Humphreys, and thanks for your friendship.

If I had awards to give out, instead of Person of the Year or Best Community Leader or Best Columnist, I’d consider something like a Quite the Character Award.

Humphreys would qualify for that award. But so would quite a few others who might slip beneath the radar.

For instance, Rookie Edwards down at the Breakers of Swan Bay is in consideration for this award.

Rookie, who probably spent 30-plus years as a state trooper, semi-retired into running the Breakers Marina and, more importantly, recruiting amazing musicians to come and play.

It really hit home this past weekend, as I stopped in first on Friday night for Webb Wilder and then again Saturday for Paul Thorn.

Listen up, people, Thorn is simply awesome. He’s got this whole simple man, blues, Americana thing going.

During his last song, a slowed down version of “Love Train,” he comes down into the crowd and starts hugging folks.

And no, it wasn’t a Trump or Biden hug.

But we’ve got the Rook to thank for that. His love of good music gives us around here an opportunity to expand our horizons. Thanks, Rookie. You are Quite the Character.

Last week, we lost an amazing character, a one-of-a-kind character, an irreplaceable character.

Pearline Travis has been a fixture in my family’s life since I can remember.

Now, she was not a permanent fixture mind you, but certainly one who would appear from time to time to provide us with her unique insight and perspective.

And one who, when she did not appear, would be missed and remarked upon.

Over the years, we were not only blessed to know the trials and the tribulations of Pearline, her family and her friends, but also blessed to know those same people.

Her son, Carlos, who I am convinced will one day be mayor, is a former employee, who also became a friend.

Pearline said my mom adopted him. Pretty sure my brother offered me up in exchange.

But that was just one example of her wonderful wit. She had a matter-of-fact way of talking about tragedy as well as triumph. And she had both.

Life is certainly not always easy. For some, it’s less easy than others. But her strength was her family and their successes she shared mightily.

That’s one of the main reasons we have supported Patriot Football. And now that her granddaughter is playing volleyball, we are proud supporters of that as well!

“Hey, Uncle Dan,” she’d say, and then I’d get out the checkbook.

One of my last conversations with her, not surprisingly, was about food. She told me how to make pizza on top of the stove, with cheese as your crust. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will.

Cooking was important, and Pearline was famous for her chow-chow and pear preserves. She was also famous for reminding you to return the jar.

“Those things are expensive, Dan!” — emphasis on the Dan.

I’ve got a sack of them in the back of the store. I’ve been waiting for her to stop by.

The Jackson side of your family is gonna miss you too, Pearline. God bless.

 

DAN JACKSON is a self-employed Paris businessman. His email address is danjackson@alittleoff.net.

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