Band members pay their dues
I was a member of the Fort Mill High School Marching Band during my high school career, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. We worked tremendously hard all season and were often rewarded for our efforts with the state and upper state championships. While our parents and friends all congratulated us on our accomplishments, we received nothing but jealous and false comments from our high school community. Not from the athletes themselves, but their parents, some of our teachers and one cheerleader.
This ridiculous jealousy of the band has gone on long enough. We have been called everything from "slackers" after a 14-hour day to, most recently, a "sacred cow." The recent article, "$50 cost to play sports OK'd; band fee dropped," stated that the middle school and high school athletic programs would require a $50 fee, while the band would not. This apparently angered some parents who obviously have no idea of what the band program entails.
Apparently the $700 to $800 dollars our parents shelled out every year for us to participate in band is not enough. Along with that, we raised money to pay for new instruments and for our trips. We work hard and pay our dues just like any of the athletic programs at Fort Mill.
I am now a member of the University of South Carolina marching band, and I cannot convey how much better it is to be a part of a school that supports and enjoys the band. Our professors, peers and even the football players are all very supportive of the band. No one makes us feel unworthy or unwanted like they did in high school, and we do not have to pay anything but a small fee for shoes and gloves.
Fort Mill Band has brought a lot of positive recognition to the high school. Go to a band camp at Fort Mill and ask a band parent how much he or she pays a year for band before jumping to conclusions.
Class of 2006
Obama brings a fresh approach
My cousin Charles Blackwell's disdain for the Democratic Party has warped his view on Barack Obama. Obama is the first candidate in recent memory who has attempted to run as an American. He seeks to do what is right and brings a positive view of what our nation can become again. He is not perfect, but he seeks to be to the best he can be. He has the courage equal to John McCain's, and Obama's integrity surpasses McCain's on all fronts.
Prior to the fiasco I now call "George W's Folly," our nation was held in high esteem around the world. We watched George parlay the worldwide goodwill after 9-11 into a hatred of everything our nation stands for. During this period, McCain enjoyed being a pain in George's backside to the point of entertaining the thought of running as John Kerry's vice president in 2004.
Since then, for lack of a better phrase, he sold his straight talk soul to the devil and now embraces every failed plan of George W. From the war to Bush's Tax cuts, McCain has shown he will be nothing more than four more years of "stay the course." This is a flip-flop of monumental proportions.
I believe Obama brings a fresh approach, not based on fear but filled with hope. For McCain to compare Obama to Jimmy Carter is another sign of him not getting it. Obama is not naive; he will not be taken advantage of like George W. or former President Carter. McCain is still sticking to the same old Bush-like fear approach to scare everyone in line.
People, if ever there was a time to let your fear go, now is it! We cannot continue to allow people to lock us up in the dark room of fear, forever afraid to see the light. We can no longer allow our leaders to break the laws, tap phones and chip away at our freedom. I want better for my children.
Vincent A. Blackwell
How could church lose its name?
What's in a name? Not only is the phrase the title of a mystery short story, but it also is the question raised in my mind when I read the story about Pastor J.D. Greear (The Herald, Page 1C Saturday).
I find his claim odd that dropping the word "Baptist" off his church name does not "shed an ounce of Baptist identity." Number one, can you find the church in the Yellow Pages under the section labeled "Baptist"?
Number two, if someone desires to lose not an ounce of Baptist identity, why take the only word that separates his church from any other denomination off the sign? Lastly, would that be like Pastor J.D. Greear dropping his last name and changing all his identification to read simply "J.D.," then claiming to have not "shed an ounce" of his family identity?
Respectfully submitted by a Baptist.