I’m dreaming of a perfect tomorrow

Published 12:47 am Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bing Crosby rode to work with me the other morning. The great baritone voice smoothly sang about longing for a white Christmas as I turned onto Homochitto Street.

Having never had a voice worthy of the solitude of a shower stall, let alone national broadcast, I’m always amazed at voices like Bing’s.

I hummed along.

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“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know.”

When Bing and I passed Live Oak Nursery, the mood seems apt as the Christmas decorations and items for sale were visible.

“Where the treetops glisten, and children listen, to hear sleigh bells in the snow.”

Bing and I passed Duncan Avenue; an ugly bit of “white” was evident in my side mirror — that nasty looking building near that intersection. It’s the one that, when coming from downtown, greets motorists with a gaping hole created by an errant motorist years ago.

The cavity in the brick wall has been there for at least five or six Christmases.

Immediately after the curve at Duncan, the roadway interrupted the moment. Rough asphalt killed the mood momentarily for me, but Bing was the consummate professional.

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, with every Christmas card I write.”

His line made me chuckle a bit. Probably half a dozen readers made comments to me throughout the year about whether or not I’d be receiving Christmas cards from people I’ve written about in this space.

“I bet you’re not on (insert subject of a column’s name here) Christmas card list any more.”

Believe it or not, amazingly, I managed to remain on the City of Natchez’s Christmas card list.

That’s right, the doubters among you were wrong. I nearly fell out of my office chair when I opened the envelope and saw the card from the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

Seriously, thanks for the holiday note. I appreciated it.

And, as I’ve said before, I try hard not to make my criticisms personal, preferring to stick to business matters. We may often disagree on things you do, but I don’t think any of you is inherently bad. I think you want what’s best for the city, as do I. We may just disagree on how to get there or where we should go.

But let’s get back to Bing.

We’re passing Dunleith now.

“May your days be merry and bright.”

Bing and I agree that despite some of Natchez’s flaws, the city is truly beautiful and Dunleith, a unique combination of history and modern day business, is a great example of just how beautiful.

The potential for improvement, however, can be frustrating. From bad stretches of streets such as Homochitto and Martin Luther King Jr. streets to screwed up properties such as the former First Baptist Church building on Main Street, the eyesores stand out more starkly against the prettiness.

A day or two later Bing joined me again, this time singing “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

Bing is right. Now is the time to have faith that the problems in the area can be fixed if we focus on the problems and dream of a perfect tomorrow.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.