Aspiring not to be sacrilegious, I echo words from the song, “How can I say thanks for the things you have done for me” and for this community. That summarizes much of my feelings, following last week’s school and community speeches by Dr. J. Wayne Flynt.
Many of you who attended have expressed appreciation for the opportunity you were afforded to hear and meet Dr. Flynt. He has expressed a similar appreciation for you and this community.
I hazard the opportunity to thank some of you, fearing that I will surely omit some. Chase Moore and The Community Arts Council of Blount County agreed to adopt the program as its first step. Once aware of that, Amy Rhudy, Stanley Moss, and The Blount County Historical Society joined, asking that they be allowed to cover much of the expense.The Blount County– Oneonta Chamber of Commerce then asked for the opportunity to assist.
Ed Lowe, Brandon Horton, police Chief James Chapman, and others with the city of Oneonta added their considerable support in hosting the community segment in city facilities and providing other logistic support. Principal Lauren Wilson and Oneonta High School opened Eris Horton Auditorium and donated time for Flynt’s school presentation. Attorney Alex Smith, assisted by his wife Karen, hosted a community-wide, pre-speech reception at the city’s Little Brick Church.
Adding their voices, The Blount Countian, the Blount County Board of Education, Lester Memorial United Methodist Church, the Oneonta Public Library, and WCRL radio provided advanced publicity. Alpine Advertising agreed to provide future air-time over the Otelco cable vision channel for the city’s taped version of the community speech.
Former school librarian Sharon Breaseale volunteered to handle Flynt’s book sales and enlisted assistance from Lynette Glatzer and Nancy Ricks. Dalton and Jane Ann NeSmith provided their home for resting between the afternoon and evening presentations. Rick and Nancy NeSmith Dill reminisced with their former Samford professor while joining him for dinner prior to the evening reception. Beverly Ellis provided invaluable assistance in pre-event advice and in keeping the events moving along the planned schedule.
Lastly, I would like to thank those who attended the evening events. Dr. Flynt, also, had much positive to say about our most valuable asset, our children. He noted he had probably not had a more attentive audience than the Oneonta High School students and that while “some speakers would not relish [speaking to] high schoolers, [he] particularly enjoyed that part of the day.”
Thank you, again, Blount Countians.