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Some visions worth contemplating
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Experts tell us that we need a vision of a desired outcome in order to achieve it.

I've been thinking about some of the visions I have heard recently.

There are many groups and individuals putting together a vision of downtown Dawsonville, especially since the city's partnership with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government in coordinating a survey.

The Downtown Development Authority and Dawson County Chamber of Commerce are joining with city and county officials in helping to create that vision and in finding ways to fund bringing it into actuality.

As ideas are shared, there will be many opportunities for clubs, churches, businesses and individuals to participate. We county residents share the Dawsonville address and have a stake in the vision of what we want our county seat to be.

Other local entities also have visions: School system, park and recreation department, Chestatee Regional Library, for example.

The February "Highlighter," the library's monthly newsletter, is an excellent example of how their programs advance the vision of providing for the whole family, from tots to octogenarians.

They join the public library systems across Georgia (and the nation) in providing resources for education, jobs and career information, research, training and of course entertainment.

You may not realize that the 33.4 million visitors to Georgia's public libraries far exceed the number of many of the state's attractions combined. That includes the aquarium, Centennial Olympic Park and many athletic events. And, by the way, you can check with Dawson's Stacey Leonhardt about volunteer opportunities at our library; there are many.

When Maj. Tony Wooten (congratulations on the promotion) spoke at the last retired educators meeting, he shared the sheriff department's vision of a safe and secure world. He especially stressed avoiding cons, frauds, scams and identity theft.

A conversation with Bradley Weaver's mom revealed that a vision of that family is to build a bank of seeds, which are often handed down in families.

Do you have any to share?

They are also interested in other historical preservation; for instance, out at Brad's Pumpkin Farm, the gift shop is the old Dr. Palmour house that used to stand on Maple Street.

From some recent forwarded e-mails, I retrieved a couple which help to keep alive a vision of a caring society.

One of them was an account from a passenger in one of the many planes that were forced to land immediately after the Sept. 11 attack.

This one was in Gander, Newfoundland, and told of how those townspeople went "all out" to take care of the stranded strangers for several days.

The other was a reprint of a Gene Patterson editorial in 1963, concerning the bombing of a Birmingham church that killed four little girls.

Patterson (who, by the way, was a friend of mine) chastised us Southerners who remained silent and even elected those who "heat the kettles of hate."

He cautioned that "we who know better" should not "create a climate for killing" by those who don't.

The late newspaper editor's comments helped form the decision to write my last column (about gun control).

I will admit that I am disheartened to learn of bills being introduced in Georgia Legislature to permit more guns in public places such as schools, churches, historical and recreational areas.

But I have been pleased to receive a surprising number of favorable comments about that column.

Helen Taylor's column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.