Jennifer Jones writes:
After reading the comments, I have information I would like to share, as well.
First, no doubt the power of the vote is enormous. Hopefully, everyone will push those who are not registered to vote, to get registered, if it is not too late for the upcoming city election. Then, push to get registered voters to get off their butts and VOTE! The last number counts for the recent past elections was pathetic. I believe the total number of votes for the last State election was something like 4,000 voters. Though our population has dropped, that is still less than 1/8 of the total population voting. Given the portion to children under age to vote, it is still a pretty pathetic percentage of total voters!
That said, let me say, it does not stop there. The next step to changing Greenville is to get involved in whatever cause you choose fits, there are so many!
This summer, I chose a cause, much to many citizens dismay. I chose to save the City Pool. Many told me I was wasting my time, nothing would ever change. The pool was to be lost just as the other four were lost over the years. Others told me, "the whites won't come!", I don't believe that either. If that were true, then the pool at the Lake Chicot, Arkansas State park would have had no white children or adults in it this summer, but there were and there were blacks. Guess what, no one cared or gave it a thought! We all enjoyed the pool together! If that were true, the waterparks in the South would fail financially, but they don't because all races of all colors pay to play there. I believe the reason that whites do not participate is old myths of the present middle aged generations. At one time those myths were in fact true, the pool was not the best place to be. There was no control of the pool patrons. Kids were not supervised. The entire enviroment was not inviting. None of that is true today, on any given day this past summer, at most, a head count might come up from 15-20 kids. Certainly not enough of a number to say that it was taken over! The pool is an OUR pool. Those who have chosen to NOT use it, have no one to blame but themselves. The present staff and pool director are doing an excellent job with the pool. They are friendly, well trained, courteous and conscientious to the safety of the pool patrons.
Another reason that the pool has been ignored by the general public is the state of condition of the bath house and the pool. Few tax dollars available and pure neglect have detracted, this one time long ago, gem to our city.
This pool will be saved. With my pool campaign this summer in pushing the city leaders, we now have a City Grant writer seeking funds for many of the city needs, including this pool. There is no shame in seeking grant money! We unfortunately qualify for most any Grant program these days, until we regain jobs and industry or should I say, if ever we regain these crucial components then we can use more tax dollars. Grants keep from over taxing, an already depleted tax budget.
Believe me, until things change, if we do not take advantage of grants available to salvage what we can, improve what we can and bring more in than we have, we will never get ahead.
In order to attract industry to Greenville, not only do we need improved training and education (Principal Charles Brady is turning GHS around!!), we need to improve the entire infrastructure to Greenville, which includes this pool, the city parks, the streets and the overall appearance of our city. Anyone considering moving to Greenville will definitely be researching what recreational facilities or programs we can offer and our own city pride.
This summer at my request to the Park Commission Board members, I became the official Bobby Henry Memorial Pool Restoration Chairman. The day of this meeting, I could tell that these people doubted that I would get very far in my goals to update, restore and enhance this pool. Now less than four months later, with myself and my committees' work, the Grant writer's work and the promotion by MS Representative for our district, Linda Whittington, we have been chosen by MSU-Carl Small Town Center as their "studio project" for their 4th year architecture students to do what we requested: restoration plans for the Buster Brown Community Center, redesign, add enhancements and outline steps for these improvements needed to bring this pool into the millenium for today's and the future generations of Greenville.
Our plans are to bring the pool and bath house up to speed in restorations, bring in water slides and a toddler wading pool with fountains. We intend to have programs for the young and old. Swimming lessons, lifeguard training, lap lanes, water aerobics, etc. and pool event days, for the kids and all, to bring attention to the pool.
Our long term goal is to dome the pool for year round use and enjoyment by the citizens and student swim team members. Now they have to drive all winter long to DSU to practice. How great would it be for them to save that time, gas money and to keep them safe, at home, off the long dark winter highway to Cleveland?
Amazing how one person can make such a big difference, to the dismay of so many nay sayers. Think what could happen, if many chose one cause and made the efforts to make a difference in Greenville! The way I look at it, since I am not going anywhere, I might as well make the best of it and try to do something constructive to make my hometown a better place.
For all who live Greenville and "complain" here, I challenge you to do the same. To those who have already moved on to greener pastures, good luck and Godspeed, but be careful saying you will NEVER return...many have said the same and are back home, today.
When all is said and done, Greenville still has a lot to offer, we have good people, a long standing rich history and deep roots that will pull you to come back home too.
This Spring, the MSU students will be introduced to our city. I am going to do all I can do to make sure the red carpet is rolled out for their arrival. I hope those who can help this cause, will do the same. It will be an exciting time for the City, spread the news!!
We will need the support of the community in all ways, but most importantly in positive ways. Whether it be volunteering to help work on the pool, bath house, landscape needs or just in positive support to this or any other positive events around the City.
I hope I can count on everyone to help make this new, improved Pool a reality and find their own causes to make a difference too.
Ten Cent!!! Come to the pool this upcoming summer and I promise, you will be glad you did! BYOB of sun tan lotion! :>)
Meanwhile, stay tuned, stay strong and stay positive Greenvillians!!!! We are all still here, let's make it a better place to be!!!
The city pool used to be the epicenter of youthful activity during the long, hot Delta summers. It provided a healthy form of recreation and exercise to young and old alike. Not even the polio scare of the '50's thwarted the public's desire to swim and play in the only "blue" water ever seen in the Delta.
So, what happened? The sixties and seventies brought great changes to the way we all lived and played. Technological wonders made us question whether our simple pleasures and past-times were enough. Those who remember early video games such as "Pong" and "Pac-Man" can no doubt recall the alluring nature of these innocent games, which by today's standards would be considered "mindless".
In essence, the world is turning too fast! Each generation grows further apart from those that precede. We have become a "virtual" society that would rather text the word "hello" rather than speak it. The good news is that simple pleasures never die, but they sometimes have to be "re-packaged". Thus is the case with the city pool and one of the most enjoyable human experiences... swimming.
Jennifer Jones should be a mentor for every Greenville citizen. Whatever your "cause" is, get involved and make a difference. Pity parties about what "was" are a waste of time. The beautiful Hershell Carousel would still be rotting in Fairyland Park if a group of concerned citizens had not taken on the cause of saving this treasured landmark.
Regardless of whom is elected mayor in December, we all need to rally around this person and seek positive change for Greenville! There is much worth saving for both our future and our past, but as a famous military general once noted...
"We have seen the enemy... and he is us."