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My Two Cents
by Stephen Scalf
Two of "My Girls"
When The Carlisle Courier started up in May 2010, it was pretty much a family-run operation. My son, Sam, helped out selling ads; my wife, Cindy, assisted with the running the office; CC Humphries, who wasn't really any relation but is like an adopted daughter assisted with ad design and newspaper layout; and I wrote a lot of articles.
This shaped the atmosphere of our tiny, little office and anyone who joined the team soon became part of the family.
Whitney Morris was one of Max's friends at high school and asked if it she could co-op at The Courier that fall. With her out-going personality, she fit right in. Her love of photography (and incredible talent) soon made her a valuable member of the team.
Friday nights, she'd be working the sidelines for me taking close-up shots while I was up in the press box, taking telephoto pictures and recording my own play-by-play of the game for the article I would write later.
Whitney was dual-hatted at the games. She was also working for the school newspaper and yearbook and used the school's Canon Rebel camera. I preferred my Pentax. At half-time, Whitney would steal my camera so she could experiment with different settings with different cameras to see what worked best.
One Friday, something came up and I wasn't going to be able to cover the game. I asked Whitney if she would mind taking my voice recorder and doing a play-by-play for me so I could write the story later. This was one of the funniest recordings I think I ever heard.
I just kind of assumed - with sports being as big as they are in Nicholas County - and with all the time she had spent taking pictures - that Whitney had a pretty good working knowledge of the game.
I was wrong.
She knew what a touchdown was, and sort of knew what a first down was, but that was about it. Listening to that recording later on, I wasn't quite sure what sport I was listening to. Players were running field goals for two points. At one point, we were on sixth down. There was some good-natured teasing, and Whitney laughed as hard about it as the rest of us. But do you know what? A few weeks later, she asked to record another game and did awesome. She learned the game - the plays, the penalties, the points... And she got some awesome photographs at the same time.
Kyla kind of showed up on the scene around springtime. I don't think she was ever formally a co-op student, but she might as well have been.
Whitney and Kyla were an unlikely pair of best friends. Until you got to know them, they seemed about as different as two people can be. Whitney was all personality - always smiling and laughing - always having fun. Kyla was much more reserved.
I spent quite a bit of time at the school and during the day I'd see Kyla shuffling down the hall full of students as if she were trying to avoid attention. She had started wearing darker eye liner, had darker hair, and wore an expression that could almost be called a scowl, as if warning people to stay away.
But that wasn't Kyla. Not really. Just beneath the surface was a completely different person with a smile just waiting to burst forth. And when she did... What a transformation! All of a sudden, Kyla would shine. She had a smile that came from deep inside and lit up her whole being, and it was beautiful to see. Her eyes would literally light up and sparkle.
I remember the first time I asked Kyla to write an article. She was terrified. I had to promise that I wouldn't print it in the paper unless she felt really good about it. But she did a great job, and when she saw her article in print there was a mix of amazement and shy pride.
At the time, Kyla was planning on going into political science. She had been a page for a day with the Kentucky Legislature and somehow, seeing her name in print helped her gain a little more confidence in her dreams. Kyla moved away sometime after graduation and I didn't see her much after that, but every time I saw Whitney, she'd run over and give me a big hug. After all, she was one of my girls; a part of the family.
To Whitney's and Kyla's REAL parents, thank you for sharing these wonderful girls with us and letting them be a part of our lives. As much as my heart aches for the families' loss, and as sad this tragedy is, even on Saturday morning I felt a sense of calm. I don't have an answer for why this happened, but it was (and is) as if I can see Kyla's beautiful, radiant smile and can hear Whitney's cheerful laugh as they say, "Don't worry about us! It's OK. We're together again - best friends - we're fine!"
I'll still miss "my girls" but yes, where they are, they are fine.
And that’s my two cents,
Sharing a Smile
by Tom Metcalfe
A Carlisle Indian
This was originally published in the Carlisle Courier on September 7, 2010. We are publishing it again because Jaswant is returning to Carlisle for a few days visit in early August, 2014. He will be staying at Tom and Bonnie Metcalfe’s home if you would like to contact Jaswant.
It seems impossible that it has been nearly 40 years that a man from India by the name of Jaswant Kumar Goomber was a resident of Carlisle for one year. Mr. Goomber taught math and physics as an exchange teacher at Nicholas County High School.
Jaswant came to Carlisle from Indore, India, a city in west central India with a population of about one and one half million, which makes it 15th in size in India and the 147th largest city in the world. The city’s site is situated in the interior and a part of the Indian state of Madhya Bharat at an elevation of close to 1800 feet (550 meters). The temperature range can run from a low in the winter of 38 degrees F. (4 C.) and a high of 122 degree F. (50 C.) in the summer.
Jaswant came here leaving his wife and two children in India. He rented an apartment from Ms. Miranda Wilson on Broadway. Since Jaswant had no family here, he became a part of our family spending much time with us including most holidays.
Jaswant is a highly educated professional and wanted to experience as many things as was possible while he was here. No matter where we were going, whether it was a shopping trip to Lexington or a visit to family in Louisville, Jaswant went with us. We did our best to educate each other about the cultural ways of each of our own cultures. Jaswant came from a traditional Indian family in which a marriage was arranged for him. He was not even allowed to see his wife before the wedding. I said to him once, “Tell the truth. Did you marry that woman without seeing her first?” He replied with a slight smile, “I did sneak a peek before the wedding.” Once while at a mall in Lexington, a man smiled at one of my children in a stroller that my wife was pushing and said “Hello” to Bonnie. Jaswant asked me if I knew the man. I said, “No.” Jaswant said in his country, he would have killed the man. I said, “Why, what did he do?” He replied, “In India, you do not address another man’s wife without a proper introduction first.” This is something that I have remembered in the event that I find myself in India someday.
At the time, Jaswant was here, I was going to school part time to complete my graduate work for my master’s degree and administrative certifications at Morehead State University. Jaswant enrolled and took some college hours, mostly for the experience. David McMillen, Jaswant, and I signed up for a weekend study entitled “Drug Workshop”. Back in those days, most teachers went through some sort of college classes to become more aware of this problem that was becoming very serious in the schools. It was a typical college class in a large auditorium, where you took notes, tried to stay awake, and pass the tests that were given after 3 or 4 hours of lectures. The class was to end with a question and answer session with a panel of “experts.” McMillen and I tried to come with a question that would not reveal too much of our ignorance. Jaswant had no problem. His question was, “Why is hashish called hashish?” As you likely know, hashish is also known as cannabis or marijuana. David and I were never sure if Jaswant thought it was a legitimate question or if he was just having fun with the panel.
Once while walking near the student center while on a lunch break, Jaswant saw the professor who was in charge of the workshop and looked at David and I and said with a smile, “Watch me get an ‘A’.” He rushed up to the teacher and said, “Dr. (name withheld), I am getting ready to go back to India and I just wanted you to know that your class has helped me to become a much better teacher.” Knowing the vanity of some teachers, I’m betting he got the “A”.
One night after a class we all went to the Morehead Dairy Cheer to eat. David and I ordered burgers and Jaswant ordered one too. We knew that Jaswant was a Hindu and that the Hindus regard the cow as sacred. In fact they have a high regard for all animals but none higher than the cow. Sometimes in some of their holy scriptures the cow is regarded as the mother of all civilization. I said to Jaswant, “That’s beef. You can’t eat that!” He said, “Why not? This is American beef. It’s your grandmother, not mine.” We had a good laugh. I don’t think Jaswant was a devout Hindu.
Recently I was able through Facebook to re-establish contact with Jaswant. We remain friends. (In fact, he has made a correction to this article today.) He recently sent me some pictures of his family and his country. He has lost his wife and lives with his son and his family. He is healthy, happy and ever my good friend!
Last Week’s Question: Student exchanges became popular after what major event in the world? World War II
This week’s question: What country is the world’s largest democracy?
And On That Note...
by Ross Haney
Small Town Sympathy
“Thomas Edison’s last words were ‘It’s very beautiful over there.’ I don’t know where 'there' is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.”
- John Green
Looking for Alaska
As I drove through the small town of Carlisle on Saturday, July 19, there was a combined feeling that the weather and the events of earlier that morning put off put a certain gloom upon our city. It was as if the actual, physical area was sharing its inhabitants’ sorrow. I took this time, traveling the short distance to my aunt’s house, to ponder the news that had just been presented to me upon my awakening.
It would be wrong of me to say that I knew the victims of Saturday’s crash well. I had had at least a couple conversations with each of them at some point, this being an exceedingly tight-knit community. While they were not as close to me as they were to some, I still felt sympathy for those who were truly affected by this tragedy.
It never ceases to amaze me just how much one individual – even in such a short amount of time – can make such an impact on what some may say is an entire community. But what amazes even more about situations like this is the will of the members of our community to come together and sympathize with the friends and families of those impacted by the misfortunes that occur in our small town.
We are a small town that seems to get more than its fair share of heartbreaks and trials. But an individual in this community never faces their difficulties alone. It is amazing that all of the members of our intimate population can come to together to serve as a support system for those in need of a firm foundation. Seeing all of these people come together for the common good has really made me feel as though I live in an extremely great place. Carlisle is an amazing city with phenomenal people, regardless of what anyone says.
Keep in your thoughts and prayers this week those who are hurting and are in need. Hold your loved ones close as we as a community grieve the loss of three adored youth. Cherish the moments you have now with your loved ones; our tomorrow is not always promised. And on that note, I’ll leave you.
And on that note, I’ll leave you!
The Carlisle Courier
117 S. Locust St
(around the corner from Deposit Bank)
P.O. Box 206
Carlisle, KY 40311
Tel: 859-289-8899 Fax: 859-289-8890