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ASK THE EXPERTS

Children deserve the money

POSTED: August 26, 2009 4:00 a.m.

I have always been a fan of TV game shows. When I went to school in Social Circle, we lived right across the street from the school and they let me go home for lunch. I would sneak in a few minutes of “Concentration” and “Jeopardy.”

  

This, of course, was the old “Jeopardy” with host Art Fleming. The announcer was the legendary Don Pardo, who several generations know only as the announcer for Saturday Night Live.

  

That year for Christmas, I got the home version of “Jeopardy.” I was the only “Jeopardy” watcher in the family and I couldn’t interest anyone in playing along.

  

I also enjoyed “Wheel of Fortune,” especially in the days when you took your money and bought stuff that seemed way overpriced.

  

“I’ll take the refrigerator for $900, Pat,” the contestant would say. It was an 18-cubic-foot Amana, in avocado, with an ice maker. Not some fancy stainless steel job. You could buy one anywhere in town for half that much. These same people would buy some cheap looking lamp for a couple hundred dollars.

  

When the Game Show Network premiered on cable, I thought it was wonderful.

  

They showed old episodes of “Match Game,” “What’s My Line” and other great shows. They seem to have deviated from that.

  

Being a big fan of Jeff Foxworthy, I have recently enjoyed watching “Are you smarter than a 5th grader.” 

  

A few years ago, my wife’s cousin was a contestant and won about $50,000.

  

We also tuned in when Georgia’s school superintendent, Kathy Cox, was on.

  

She was very successful and won $1 million. She told the folks on national TV that she was giving the money equally to the state-run schools for the blind and deaf.

  

It couldn’t have happened at a better time, because these schools have suffered from state budget cuts.

  

Unfortunately, the money hasn’t come.

  

Mrs. Cox and her husband had to declare personal bankruptcy because of his residential construction business.

  

Now, the bankruptcy trustee says the $1 million belongs to the Cox’s creditors.

  

When the check came in made out to her, Kathy Cox sent it back to the TV network and asked that it be sent to the schools.

  

The trustee has filed suit to get the money.

  

I’m sorry as I can be that Mr. Cox’s business didn’t make it and I hope he’s an honorable man and will work things out.

  

But that money belongs to the blind and deaf folks at those schools.

  

There are so many people who were born without sight or hearing that have beaten the odds and found success in many fields of work. It is due, in part, to the dedicated work of schools like those who stood to benefit from the TV winnings.

  

I went to school once with some children that were hearing impaired. In a less sensitive time, people used the horrible term “deaf and dumb” to describe them. Well, I don’t know if that bankruptcy trustee has a hearing problem, but from what I gather he might fall in the latter part of the aforementioned description. I hope he heard that.

  

Harris Blackwood is the author of “When Old Mowers Die.” His e-mail address is harrisblackwood@gmail.com.

 

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