Brown’s contributions were priceless

Published 12:42 am Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Finding someone who truly seems selfless is rare. Often in today’s rush-about, modern society, you find just the opposite.

What’s in it for me?

What you have you done for me lately?

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And the self-centered focus continues.

Perhaps that’s why finding those special people who give their time and service selflessly is such a rare, special moment.

Natchez lost one of those souls this week with the death of Lavern “Preacher” Brown.

To say Brown was “famous” in the traditional sense wouldn’t be accurate. We’re unaware he ever ran for public office or sought much attention or spectacle.

He was just a good soul who dedicated years of his time to do a rather menial, but important task, all for the joy of seeing youth have fun playing sports.

Brown painstakingly tended to the baseball fields at Duncan Park where generations of tiny, cleat-shod feet first learned America’s pastime. Imagine the number of children who Brown’s work touched. Think of the joy and the occasional agony players felt as they learned about baseball, winning and losing and life in general.

Lots of people knew him, but many of them might not have recognized Preacher Brown if he were not wearing a baseball cap and holding a rake or shovel.

And he always seemed perfectly happy in that role — helping people.

Somewhere, up in the clouds, heaven’s team just got a darned good groundskeeper and a heck of a nice man. Thanks, Preacher Brown, for all that you did for the youth of our community.