T.A. HACKNEY'S ELOQUENT PRAYERS

February 08, 2009 - The Lake City Reporter

By H. Morris Williams

T.A. Hackney died Friday, January 30 at age 91. Throughout his life, he had been an exemplary businessman, churchman, family man, patriot, good citizen, and avid supporter of public education.

He also was well-known for his many eloquent prayers, always tailoring them to the specific occasion for which he was asked to pray. For example, he offered this prayer honoring our local teachers when he prayed before a teacher banquet on November 5, 1998.

Dear Lord, we remember tonight that when you lived and worked and talked amongst men in Palestine, they called you teacher.

Help our teachers to remember the greatness of the work which has been given to all teachers. Help them to remember that they work with the most precious material in the world: the mind of a child. Help them always to remember that they are making marks upon our youngsters that time will never erase.

Bless our teachers with patience when they work with those youngsters who are slow to learn and even those who refuse to learn. When they have to exercise discipline, help them to do so with sternness and yet always in love. Help them to always encourage and never to discourage those who are doing their best, even if their best is not very good.

Help our teachers to help these children not only to store things in their memories but also to use their minds to think for themselves.

And in the midst of all the worries and the irritations and the frustrations of their jobs, help our teachers to remember always that the future of our nation and of the world is in their hands.

We make this prayer in Your holy name, Amen.

T.A. Hackney set the standard of excellence in everything he did. He also added zest and fun - boy howdy did he make things fun - to all our lives.

Rest in peace, our dear friend.

THE ODD COUPLE

The High Springs Community Theater (HSCT) opens it next production, "The Odd Couple", (female version) on February 13 (through March 8). Two of Lake Citys most talented actresses, Lorraine Kirkland and Pam Register, have the lead roles so you know this comedy will be a hoot.

For ticket information, call The Framery at 386-754-2780 and visit HSCT's excellent web site at www.myhsct.com.

CONGRATS, JAMIE

Dr. James E. (Jamie) Sanders (CHS 1989) is now an assistant professor of history at Utah State University, specializing in Latin American Studies. His first book, "Contentious Republicans", was published by Duke University Press and he is now working on his second.

Congratulations, Jamie, on your considerable academic and personal success. Your hometown is proud of you!

SPECIAL GRADUATION

In 1970, the seniors of Columbia High School and Richardson High School came together for a unified graduation program even though the students had attended mostly racially segregated classes throughout the school year.

To be fair, students from both high schools were honored equally. Here are the students who were honored, with the Richardson students listed first: Class President: Winfred Parnell and Patrick Hunter; Valedictorian (Marva Lee Bradley and Mary Newson); Salutatorian (Veronica Tunsil and Danny Charles); and Ushers Arlene Lofton and Walter Brewer (RHS) and Bobby Houston and Kay Flanagan (CHS).

Martin Ferguson (RHS) and David Ellis (CHS) were the principals.

Next year, 2010, will be the classes 30th reunion. You know they will have lots of memories of their special graduation night.

ALSO IN 1970

*Storied CHS football coach Paul Quinn coached his last season here. The team had a 9-2-0 record and played in the Meninak Bowl. This was the first CHS team to have any black players. FSU Head Football Coach Pete Peterson spoke at the football banquet and Jacksonville TV sports announcer Dick Stratton was the program emcee.`

*LCCC's Head Basketball Coach Joe Fields led the Timberwolves to their only state championship. Bert Lacey was the assistant coach, Jerry Hewitt was the manager, Joe Pelt was the scorekeeper, and Dr. Herbert Phillips was the college president. The team slogan was "This is Timberwolf Country" and the Amos Howard Gymnasium was dubbed "The Mini-dome".

ALARM CLOCK

Device to wake up people who have no children. square

H. Morris Williams is a local historian and long-time Columbia County resident.

www.hmorriswilliams.com