How many of you have been driving down the highway in a hurry and spotted a police car on the side of the road?
I’m always in a hurry and so my first reaction is to get on the brakes, even if I am driving the speed limit.
My mother had this nasty habit of sneaking up on her boys when they were playing in their room, in a corner of the yard or even at church.
My brothers and I learned very quickly to always be on our guard, because Momma might be watching!
My point is we all act different when we know people are looking.
The owners of Image Industries were taken to Rest Haven restaurant on one of their many trips to Clarksdale.
It seems it was a busy morning and one of the customers picked up the coffee pot and carried it around from table to table warming up everyone’s cup.
Not being from the Mississippi Delta, our visitors asked why he did that.
It was explained that politeness, hospitality and helping others comes very natural around here.
And that simple civility and kindness made an impression on our guests.
Now I don’t think any of us believe that was the only reason Image Industries picked Clarksdale and Coahoma County.
There were incentives and deals and numbers and concessions by this community that also enticed this company to come.
But that “coffee captain” did something that is so very common in our community and our culture -- he saw something that needed doing and quite naturally he stepped into the gap to serve.
This state and our community often get a bum rap.
There is an image of this state that has persisted for way too long.
It’s an economic issue, an education issue, and yes, a racial issue.
Thankfully there are people working against that image every day. And most do it quite naturally and without a second thought.
It’s how their Momma taught them to act. It’s how our preachers tell us to act. It’s an understanding that politeness and kindness often open doors that many see shut so very tight.
One of the qualities that brought me to Clarksdale just two short months ago was a positive vision for what can happen in this community and this part of the state.
The folks at Image Industries talked of how they are taking a risk moving a family-owned business lock-stock-and-barrel to the Mississippi Delta.
They also talked about being a family-owned business that treats employees and customers, well . . . like family.
As the world grows smaller and so much more impersonal it is impressive to see a company from the Windy City look around and pick us as a new place to call home.
And there is not a doubt in my mind they have found that home in Clarksdale.
I hope we realize people from around the world come to Clarksdale every day for our music and culture.
I hope we realize a smile and warm greeting still go a long way in a sad and often cold world.
Stand up straight and proud Clarksdale. Let’s do our best, because you never know when someone might be looking.
Floyd Ingram is the Editor of your Clarksdale Press Register and he is always watching. He can be reached at 662-627-2201.