Around here, it's a day off for schools and government work. And that's a good thing, if you happen to attend one or the other. The rest of us seem to just hype the day. And that's a good thing for business.
I happen to think King was a great man, and that we were privileged to live in his time. So I like to celebrate it beforehand, by mentioning another great black man. One at least his equal.
At the very least. John Jones, the saint of Woodlawn Cemetery.
Our own local saint may yet be canonized, in a very secular way. But that means money, money, money. It takes money, even with saints, especially with saints that lack proper recognition. Even with government grants, because they need matching funds.
The story is a front page item right on the fold, the prime real estate of a newspaper. This is so very important, and the Star-Gazette really came through.
If you study the story's photo, taken by good buddy, and all around nice guy, Jason Whong, you can see the lovely little house where Mr. Jones retired. The house that will become the museum.
Everyone is clearly trying hard to help the effort, but right now is a bad time for raising money. Let's hope that the spring will afford more opportunity for fundraisers.
The museum is right across from the Woodlawn Cemetery, where Jones worked his charitable miracles. The National Cemetery there features his handiwork. The whole story is breathtaking in its scope.
I consider John Jones a more important local hero than Samuel Clemens, who was only a visitor, a temporary resident. The guy was truly a saint. And that would be in the universal sense of the word. A person who did one thing very, very well. An ordinary person with extraordinary vision. And who followed through with very unglamorous hard work.
And check the comments section. Talk is cheap and easy; fundraising is hard work.