Taking the ‘good deed’ challenge

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk, Northeast Knox

A friend had a great idea. This is akin to the great ideas that Jesse Butcher had back in the day when he would drop by the newspaper office with a bushel of gourd seeds.


“No, don’t take MY picture,” he would say. “Just shoot the basket.”

Gotta have people in the picture, I would say.

“Well, OK, if you’ve gotta,” he would grumble.

And then we’ve a picture of a guy with a bushel basket. The seeds are too small to see. And they’re not for sale. No, Jesse is taking them to Mynatt Brothers Hardware to give away.

“You plant these and raise the gourds,” said Jesse. “And then you hollow them out in the fall and carve a small hole and hang them from a tree or pole. And in the spring, purple martins will fly in and make nests. And those martins will eat every mosquito in your yard.”

So, this week was a flashback with a technology/coronavirus update.

My friend from Corryton emailed that he’s got a great idea. “But don’t use my name,” he said. “This is not about credit; it is about community.”

My friend, let’s call him Jim, had a three-fer.

First, he would show appreciation for the Rural Metro Fire team at Gibbs by buying their lunch. “They are on the front lines when it comes to disasters such as fires, car wrecks, sickness. Think about it. They run toward the problem, not away. They are there to help in any issue that comes up, putting themselves in harm’s way to protect us and our property.”

He would buy from community businesses “that could use some help during this time in America.” Jim chose B&G Catering for the meal. “B&G has not had any catering work since the pandemic started. It is more than a catering business. They opened their doors (before the pandemic) on Sunday to allow a church service. They also host some clubs and community meetings.

“We used Midway IGA for desserts and drinks,” said Jim. “The reason is that Joe and Dale Longmire have been delivering supplies to people that are too sick or are afraid to get out.

“These two businesses are just the ones used. There are plenty more businesses that help in the community. And these businesses are what make a community, helping each other and working together.”

Third, he challenged two others to do the same. Jim challenged Knox County Commissioners Justin Biggs and Richie Beeler. “If Justin and Richie do the same three things above, we will have a movement and our communities can grow stronger and America can grow stronger and rebound from this pandemic.

“Take the challenge and then challenge others. Thank the ones that put their lives on the line for us.”

With that, “Jim” reiterated not to use his name and ended with, “Pictures to follow.”

I’m pretty sure I had asked for closeups and names.

Here’s what I got, with no names.

Then I thought. This is what matters. It’s not about the federal government sending money to save us. It’s exactly what it’s always been. Neighbors helping neighbors; neighbors buying from neighbors. It’s as simple as buying lunch for some first responders, buying from local stores and challenging two others to do the same.

Jim is correct. We can save America. So, let’s to it, people. Right, Dennis Jones?

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of KnoxTNToday.com

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