Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gingercake Road

What's going on over on Gingercake Road? I've gotten in the habit of counting For Sale signs as I drive down that road now... Last week the total had reached fifteen (15). Yep, 15 For Sale signs on the road (that includes a few of those small corner signs pointing down the side streets to houses for sale).

Is it just me or has the number of For Sale signs across the county been on the rise lately?

Monday, October 16, 2006

What goes with Fayette & the Arts?

Yesterday I attended the one-year anniversary celebration at the Fayette Art Center and Gallery in Fayetteville. It's a non-profit with a mission to highlight local arts in the county. I know that over 6,000 invitations were mailed out. The attendace was good, but it should have been great.

This county is filled, chocked to the top, with good artists in all genres. Why aren't we supporting each other? Where are the family and friends of the arts?

I have been truly impressed with what has been happening in Coweta County. They are hopping when it comes to promoting the arts. It would seem that given the make-up of this county that we would be in the lead on the arts. Instead it seems we're lagging behind Clayton, Coweta and many other counties around the metro area.

Is it because we have too many things to choose from? Do we put too much focus on sports (not that I have a problem with sports!)? Our children have a better chance of making money playing for a symphony, being an architect, writing for a paper, teaching art, or working for a museum than they would playing for the Atlanta Braves.

Art is somewhat of a solitary field so it can be hard to generate enthusiasm. We don't go to a museum and cheer for our team. Is that why people don't get behind the arts?

The arts should be supported in this county. What do we need to do to make it happen? I for one don't think it's the responsibility of the government to build us an art center or to make something happen. If we're passionate about the arts, we should be able to band together and support building a venue.

In Kennesaw a local developer took it upon himself to build the Dozier Cultural Arts Center as a FOR-profit venue. Instead of holding our hands out to the government, we should be taking our hands and using them to pull out our wallets. Yes, there are grants, and more power to anyone who has the initiative and know-how to get them. But lets get this movement going. Let's get behind those who want to build a center for the arts. ALL the arts, not just the theater or painters or potters or musicians.

Lets bring the Endowment Committee for the Cultural Arts, Society for the Fine Arts, the Fayette Art Center & Gallery, the YMCA, the various musical groups, theater groups and others together and make it happen. Let's quit dancing around the issue, get all the factions together and do it.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Jim, we want a do-over

Left: Bill Nigro, Mike Riley , Greg Dunn and Jim Steinbach.

If ever a person existed who lived to give to others, it was Jim Steinbach. Jim didn’t just touch someone’s life, he made an impact.

If you knew Jim for very long, sooner or later you were going to get one of his famous early morning calls. He got up before the crack of dawn and probably paced waiting for the first glow of sunlight so he could call his target at a “decent” hour. Sometimes he would almost be mid-sentence before who ever he woke from a deep sleep registered what he was enthusiastically saying.

He would usually start out with some variation of “I need you to do something for me.” The “for me” always, always somehow actually meant “for someone else.” It might be a person he’d met in the grocery line who was having difficulty with a broken pipe, or a member of his church who couldn’t solve a problem, or a retired soldier who needed a visit.

Oftentimes it was for help on one of his big projects. He worked tirelessly to get Fayette Senior Services a new home. He worked selflessly to get “his” candidates elected. Those at St. Matthews Catholic Church know how he devoted so much to his faith and his church.

Most of us will never know how many people he impacted and how much we have to thank Jim Steinbach for doing.

Jim went through a lot physically over the past many years. He had a hip replacement, had a stroke, and had a myriad of lesser physical problems that would have most of us sitting in a rocking chair. In early 2005 we came within a hair’s breadth of losing him when his aorta burst. He was supposed to slow down, and he did. Instead of whirling around like Superman in super turbo speed, he slowed down to ten times the normal speed of most.

If Jim wanted something done and he thought you could help him do it, you could run, but you couldn’t hide! He was a bulldog who kept digging until he found the right person to do what HE needed done.

Jim was even bigger than his giving though. He was sharp with a keen sense of right and wrong. He kept up with the happenings of the world and was a veracious reader. He loved his computer and used it as a tool to – you guessed it – help and educate others. Phone calls from Jim in the morning, faxes in the afternoon and emails in the evening were just a matter of course. He was witty and had a great sense of humor.

Somehow, amidst all he did for others, he found time for nurturing his relationship with his wife, Ellen and their family. He was a loyal friend and knew what true friendship was all about. He golfed until his health made him slow down. He worked out at the gym and kept in good physical shape.

He was a member of the Fayette Metro Kiwanis and was always the first to volunteer to go for training, to sign up to help at an event or to head a committee.

Right now the world is out of kilter and it is going to take some time for it to begin to right itself. Jim Steinbach is no longer walking the earth in the flesh and many, many – more than can ever be counted – are going to miss those early morning phone calls, those visits and his caring.

Jim, we want a do-over. There are just too many who are going to miss you and too many things that need a proud old soldier's attention.

Just a quick note to all who will join Jim in heaven in the future: He’s already in the process of reorganizing things to make them more efficient, so just know it’s going to be better than it was before he signed on for duty with the angels.

The family is asking that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Fayette Senior Services or to Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore. Parrot Funeral Home is handling the arrangements with services and viewing to be held at St. Matthews Catholic Church, Tyrone. A family-style luncheon will be held in Jim’s honor after the service on Tuesday.

If you’re a friend and would like to do something to help, please know the church has the food situation pretty much under control through Tuesday. Help is needed with food for the after-service luncheon. If you are a member of St. Matthews please contact Lisa Shupenus, blessus5@hotmail.com, if you’d like to find out what is needed. If you are NOT a member of St. Matthews and would like to help, please email Janet Dunn, info@jmacsnippets.net or call 770-631-9630.
Photos 2, 3 & 4:
2. Jim decorating his truck for the 4th of July parade in Peachtree City.
3. Eating breakfast during a break from working at the annual Metro Kiwanis fund-raising pancake breakfast in Fayetteville.
4. Checking out the Easter bunny's basket at the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast.