The Futurity is a great tourist benefit to the Augusta-Richmond County economy. I understand it is second only to the Masters in revenue brought into local stores, restaurants, hotels and entertainment industries. It is justifiably a class act that continues a uniquely American tradition, and is a rare form of family entertainment.
As with all great spectacles, there is a great amount of work behind the scenes that makes it fun for the rest of us. Much of this is after the fact.
Such is the case of the street cleaners after the cattle drive that opens the Futurity. Monday morning when I came to work, the parking lot was punctuated with pungent reminders that it was a staging area for the horses the day before. I made one quick call to the Augusta-Richmond County Public Works' Department of Streets and Drains. I was cheerfully greeted by a warm human who understood the situation without argument. She informed me that there had been a major effort all day to keep up with similar calls, but the department would do their best to get to it before the rain made a real mess of it. Within two hours, a cleaning machine operator had taken care of my problem without any recognition or increase in the paycheck.
There is at least one department of the consolidated government that believes in customer satisfaction. I imagine there are many more hidden heroes for whom all the excitement is just another day's work. Thanks to the street cleaners, police, emergency services folks, and all the others who don't always get the credit they deserve.
Tom Chedester, Augusta