A few weeks ago I took a trip to the beach. We traveled through Georgia. Part of our journey took us down U.S. 27. It is a fine road, with lines and signs and what not. It is also stocked with a plethora of law enforcement officers. I thought that was a friendly touch.
I love to travel on roads like this one. South Georgia has its own unique charm, in spite of the obvious targeting of travelers for revenue. Pecan orchards line the side of the highway like military regiments in formation. Peanuts grow here like kudzu apparently, and you can smell the towns where they are processed miles before you reach them. I can relate to towns like that. Working folks live here, and I like them the best.
I noticed something as I drove down this highway, at the posted limit, of course. I saw the roads that branched from the main road. Many of them were named for people. Not Jefferson or Washington or MLK, just people I had never heard of. I could not help but wonder about these folks. What was their story? Why was the road named for them? Who is Norman Barr?
Perhaps Mr. Barr was a local councilman. He may have been a preacher. They used to be held in higher esteem than they are now. What if he was a wealthy peanut farmer or heir to a pecan dynasty? He may have made his fortune in law enforcement by ticketing beach hungry motorists. I’m not really sure what he did or who he was. I can say the same for the hundreds of other names I saw that day on road signs.
I haven’t decided yet how I want my name to be immortalized. It turns out I’m a little behind because apparently some attorney used my name in a little trial in the 1990’s. This Chris Darden would not have had him try on the glove. Maybe I don’t need my name left on a road sign or bridge. I think that I just want the few that knew me to remember that I wasn’t mean or deceitful. I loved my wife and my kids and took care of them. I’m not against naming a road after someone. I just want you to know that, now matter who you are, your name means something too.