Originally created 05/12/00

Late leader deserves street honor



Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize.

- Elizabeth Harrison

I'm sure someone out there is considering a lasting tribute to the late Dr. I.E. Washington, who passed away April 29 at age 91.

As most of you know, "Dr. Ike" a longtime educator, civil rights activist and city councilman, was one of Augusta's most beloved public figures.

Here was a man who earned the praise passed out so freely at his funeral a week ago. He and his lovely wife, Justine, have received many honors already.

In 1997 they became the first living people to have an Augusta State University building named for them.

There are certainly other things that can and should be done.

But let me propose one of the most simple: Rename an Augusta street for Dr. Washington.

It is one of the rare but simple honors any place can bestow on its favorite sons or daughters.

Augusta has streets named for old patriots and past presidents, politicians and performers.

I believe Dr. Ike has likewise earned the honor.

I even have a thoroughfare to recommend - Sixth Street.

It begins at Reynolds Street and heads south past the Municipal Building, where he once served as a councilman.

Sixth Street has another advantage, too.

You see, like many of our old downtown streets, it has two names. It is also called Washington Street, chosen no doubt many years ago to honor our first president, who gets double recognition because there is also the well-traveled Washington Road in west Augusta.

I think it's time we honor a more recent Washington, who likewise is first in the hearts of those who knew him.

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MAILBAG: Sandra and Shirley Johnson of Augusta send a post card from Arizona's San Francisco Peaks. And Pete Cakanic of North Augusta sends greeting from Chicago, "my kinda town."

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WELL-KNOWN VISITOR: One of Augusta's best-known former residents returns this weekend when Judy Woodruff of Cable News Network speaks at St. Paul's Episcopal Church at 6 p.m. Sunday. A Richmond Academy graduate, Judy's visit is part of a fund-raiser for St. Paul's new Children's Ministry Center. For information, call 724-2485.

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TODAY'S JOKE: Comes from Nathan Brown.

A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's artwork. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.

The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."

The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."

Without missing a beat - or looking up from her drawing - the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 107, or bkirby@augustachronicle.com.