OPINION: Tying up loose ends

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

Not being much of a juggler, I occasionally drop things that shouldn’t be dropped. Here’s an effort to make good on a few things that, were I twins, I would have covered more thoroughly:
- Most Oxford officials have lately reiterated their opposition to permanent Sunday sales of alcohol, but they did approve a request for an exception to be made for Valentine’s Day, which the State Tax Commission has always before approved but this time turned down without rhyme or reason.
My wife and I plan to go somewhere on Valentine’s Day where she can get a glass of wine with supper, and I suspect a few other couples from our community will do likewise. Maybe it’s time for the Oxford board to ask MSTC for permanent change.
- There’s a slew of Boy Scout stories and facts that I couldn’t work into the time and space I had for the upcoming section commemorating the Scout centennial.
One is a salute to Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters. Rusty Rasberry, deputy chief U.S. probation officer for north Mississippi, noted that “the real heroes are the guys who don’t even have sons, who give their time for the love of Scouting and these kids.”
- While I’ll mention one recent Eagle Scout project, another story that deserves the light of day is an overview of Eagle Scout projects. These all provide some benefit to the public – a couple that come readily to mind are the tornado memorial in Pontotoc and the restoration of a tiny, isolated cemetery whose occupants died from wounds suffered in the Battle of Okolona.
- One Scout account I couldn’t quite figure a good place for was of an incident of horsing around at summer camp.
One boy had learned during his knot work to fashion a hangman’s noose, and – boys being boys – one of the slower guys was selected as the subject of a mock hanging. (He shall remain anonymous here, but his is a well-known name.)
When they kicked the bucket out from under the victim, all the boys were supposed to loosen their grip on the rope, letting him drop a few inches harmlessly to the ground, after which everyone would laugh heartily together. A couple of boys, however, forgot to let go, and a couple of others had to come to his rescue.
The teller of that tale said of their scoutmaster, “Les Sumners was a lawyer for over 50 years, and he said the hardest thing he ever did was explaining that rope burn to that boy’s mama.”
I bet it was a genuine learning opportunity for boys on both ends of the rope.

Contact Daily Journal Oxford Bureau reporter Errol Castens at (662)
281-1069 or errol.castens@djournal.com.