Originally created 07/12/00

Honoring a visionary



The Columbia County Historical Society and state Rep. Bill Jackson, R-Appling, are to be commended for over a year of successful fund-raising that led to last Saturday's unveiling of a fitting memorial to the late Columbia County School Superintendent John Pierce Blanchard.

The Appling marker, which memorializes the late businessman, educator, sportsman, journalist, politician and musician, features at its base some of his most memorable sayings. One of "JP's" favorite pithy maxims, which speakers at the unveiling quoted, is: "A kicking mule can't pull, and a pulling mule can't kick."

That credo guided him through his 31 years as superintendent, as he influenced and cajoled a diverse group of politicians and educators to pull together to transform Columbia County schools from one-room shacks to a system boasting first-class comprehensive high schools.

It is proper to honor past leaders who have helped build a community. By remembering the past, we can learn from visionaries like John Pierce Blanchard as we look to the future.