Originally created 11/21/00

Georgia has lost a true fighter

Hosea Williams is a rebel without a pause.

- Newspaper editorial, 1988

They'll hold a funeral for Hosea Williams in Atlanta today, but I doubt if they'll lay him to rest.

That's just the way he was.

His passing means Georgia has lost one of its unique political figures of the past half-century.

For the record, he was an Army veteran, an agricultural chemist, a civil rights leader, an Atlanta City Council member, a DeKalb County commissioner and a Georgia House member.

For the past 40 years he has shown he would protest anything, say anything and do almost anything if he thought it needed doing.

Hosea Williams did so despite rarely enjoying popular support, media approval or anything resembling community consensus.

He was disagreeable, combative and, often, plain wrong.

It didn't matter. Not to him.

As all his former colleagues in the civil rights movement of the 1960s moved into Georgia's political and economic mainstream in the 1970s and '80s, Hosea Williams continued to protest for those he felt were being left behind.

Many of these he helped every Thanksgiving with his annual Feed The Hungry dinner in Atlanta, a project that showed Mr. Williams could put his preaching into practice while other politicians were taking the holiday week off.

It was an effort that demonstrated the simple truth that sometimes it is better to quit talking about lofty ideals and just give somebody something to eat.

It's a lesson we all should consider.

* * *

THANKSGIVING TRAVEL TIPS: The State Patrol will be cracking down this holiday and checking to make sure motorists are wearing their seat belts.

In Georgia, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety passes along these tips for proper wear of these life-savers.

Wear your lap and shoulder belt snugly. Do not place the belt in front of your neck or face.

Do not place the shoulder belt behind your back.

If your car has an air bag, make sure you wear the belt. And move the seat back as far from the air bag as possible.

Never place infants in the front seat.

Pregnant women should always wear the lap and shoulder belt, with the lap belt firmly under the belly and across the hips.

All children are safest in the back seat.

* * *

TODAY'S JOKE: Sarah was reading a newspaper, and her husband was engrossed in a magazine. Suddenly, she burst out laughing.

"Listen to this," she said. "There's a classified ad here where a guy is offering to swap his wife for a season ticket to the stadium."

"Hmmm," her husband said, not looking up from his magazine.

Teasing him, Sarah said, "Would you swap me for a season ticket?"

"Absolutely not," he said.

"How sweet," Sarah said. "Tell me why not."

"Season's more than half over," he answered.

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 107.


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