FLOYD INGRAM: Tis the season . . .

Hope you are enjoying the Christmas lights around town as much as the Ingram’s are.

When the boys were much younger we used to bundle up and tour the town where we lived. A stop at a local fast-foot joint for a burger and shake usually sealed the deal.

Well, the boys are too old and too cool to be seen riding in the backseat anymore. The hamburger and shake are tempting enough to tilt the decision but decisions like this are always iffy with teenagers.

But I’ve just come up with a new Christmas tradition for the Ingrams – maybe Sara and I will leave the guys at home and go for a night-time ride all to ourselves.

Tis the season to be jolly.

Basketball

Houston takes on Okolona in roundball Friday night.

Prep football is over and this is the time of year to watch a little high school basketball.

I have watched high school hoops in three states and let me assure you no one plays around the rim like rural Mississippi basketball teams.

A lot was said about Houston’s Chris Jones on the gridiron this fall. Take a minute to watch him run the hardwood and you’ll see how good an athlete he really is.

Houston’s Bruce Franks has seven seniors and a couple of quality underclassmen. Watch for the Hilltoppers to be a contender this winter.

If you can’t make it to Okolona this weekend, Houston takes on Vardaman and East Webster at home on Dec. 10 and 14.

Tis the season to hit the hardwood.

Charter Schools

Charter schools will be the main issue facing the Mississippi Legislature when they convene in January. Those who are concerned with education in this state need to start doing their homework on this topic.

Houston Superintendent Dr. Steve Coker was quoted in the Daily Journal this week saying he had concerns about how charter schools might negatively impact public schools.

Coker was right on the mark when he said public schools take all students who show up at their door and he is concerned where the money will come from to finance charter schools.

We have Aberdeen and Oktibbeha County schools that are under state control and Okolona has just come out from under conservatorship. West Point schools are shaky. Look for someone to put a charter school around here next summer if charter schools are approved by the state this spring.

Vouchers, private schools, church schools, charter schools – call them what you want too. When communities abandon their public schools they shrivel up and die.

Tis always the season to support public schools.

Military

Anyone who has ever put on a uniform will be quick to tell you holidays are the toughest time of year.

Family means much to each and every one of us. Duty often separates us from those we love.

We had a lot of people serving overseas around here at this time last year. This was also the week several of our guys got hurt in Afghanistan.

Let’s not forget there are men and women wearing your uniform and standing in harm’s way every Christmas that rolls around.

It’s a little late to send a package overseas, but a letter will make it just fine.

Tis the season to support our troops

Nursing home

This was the year we put family in a local nursing home.

I hope as churches and civic organizations make Christmas plans they won’t forget area nursing homes and the shut-in.

There was a day and age when people climbed on the church bus and went caroling at the homes of the faithful who can no longer make it to church. It was a lot of fun and hot chocolate and cookies made it fun for all.

In this season of family and friends we need to remember those who can no longer get out and see the sights.

Tis the season to spread some good cheer.

Floyd Ingram is Managing Editor/News for the Chickasaw Journal. He can be contacted at 456-3771 or by email at floyd.ingram@journalinc.com.