FLOYD INGRAM: Squeezing Clarksdale's Heart

By FLOYD INGRAM / THE PRESS REGISTER,

If you squeeze a lemon you get lemon juice and if you squeeze an orange you get orange juice.

So what do you get if you squeeze Clarksdale?

This is called begging the question and I hope it proves a point.

When tough times come you see the mettle of a man. Bad men tend to become meaner and try and force things to happen that benefit them and their selfish ambitions. Good men rise to the occasion and try to implement positive, wise and sensible changes that benefit us all.

Clarksdale, this county and country have endured a lot over the past few weeks. How we behave in these trying times and how we react to adversity will tell us a lot about ourselves.

A year from now -- five years from now -- we’ll see how this community responded.

 

Selfishness

 

The run on toilet paper is a classic example that reflects how some in our community live.

There is no new “demand” for this product other than some people are scared to do without.

Or as the Town Wag said, “They are scared to do do without.”

We may giggle and laugh at this current plight, but it shows us something very selfish and greedy about ourselves.

“I’m going to have mine,” you are saying as you buy a case. “If you run out, that’s your problem.”

But in every dark cloud there is a silver lining.

I’ve heard of two churches in this town that have started a “Toilet Paper Patrol.” With churches not holding services they have found a way to take what they have in their closets and give it out to elderly parrishioners. 

 

Storms of life

 

The wind had barely died down before I heard the chainsaws buzzing.

The healthy folk in this town were out clearing streets and helping neighbors with downed limbs.

It’s what country boys do. It’s what good neighbors do. It’s what good-hearted people do.

I also saw several pickup trucks and trailer moving around town Monday and Tuesday. It seems some have spotted an opportunity.

They were sawing up trees and limbs for a price. They were carefully stacking those oak logs away and will sell them next winter for cold hard cash.

There are still neighborhoods in this town where no one has lifted a finger to help their neighbor or the elderly clear their yard.

The streets are still blocked by trees and apparently they are waiting on the government to come in and clean up the mess.

That’s sad.

With every crisis there comes an opportunity to capitalize on the situation.

 

Chainsaw compassion

 

There is a business in town that opened up Sunday night to sell chainsaws.

It seems people started calling the owner and he quickly realized the community needed something he had.

I looked him in the eye when I asked him if he bumped up the price.

“These are my neighbors and friends,” he said looking straight back at me with eyes of compassion for a hurting community. “I couldn’t live with myself if I had done them like that.”

 

Political problems

 

If you didn’t like President Donald Trump before the coronavirus crisis, you probably really don’t like him now.

And let me be clear he has never been my favorite President. But he has coughed up $2.2 trillion dollars and just about everybody will get something.

I feel the same way about our city and county leaders and even Gov. Tate Reeves.

Take a look at what our Governor has gone through since January: A prison crisis, widespread flooding in Jackson, a Department of Human Services scandal and a weekend of killer tornadoes that killed 11 and caused millions in damage.

Has he handled each of them perfectly? Certainly not, but he is the man in charged and – good or bad – decisions must be made.

I feel the same way for Mayor Chuck Espy and Board President Johnny Newson.

And Donald, Tate, Chuck and Johnny still have to lead us out of each of these crises and on to better days.

As they are squeezed by the burden of leadership, their motives and their actions show each of us what is really inside their heart.

Floyd Ingram is Editor of your Clarksdale Press Register and has tried to keep a positive attitude over the past 30 days. Call him a 662-627-2201 and put the squeeze on him!

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