Do you really know people you know?

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, February 27, 2008

“How can you complain about something if you’re not willing to do it yourself?”

This quote from Greyhawk Perkins in The Democrat’s Profile 2008 edition this past Sunday is one that we should all listen to and abide by.

This story about Native Americans working to preserve their culture was just one of many great stories in Profile.

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When Profile comes out every year I make a pot of coffee, read all the other parts of that day’s paper and then I read Profile from cover to cover and over and over again.

I haven’t worked in the office at the newspaper for years, and I’m not involved at all in Profile. So the results are just as much a surprise to me as they are to you.

What I love about this special section is that every year I meet new people in it and hear the stories of their lives that make them who they are. I also love when there is someone in a story that I know but I learn something completely new about them.

One of those people this year was Carla Jenkins. Through various routes I’ve known Carla and her children for many years. I knew, I thought, that Carla did something down at the port. I had no idea that she ran such a business. I loved that the article mentioned how she does her job in a male-oriented work place in high heels and lipstick.

I can honestly say I have never seen her without either one and it shows that a woman doesn’t have to sacrifice femininity to do a job anywhere.

I also loved the story about dirty jobs. Seriously, how many of us have ever given any thought to what happens to our water when it leaves the house. We owe these men a big thank you and it was nice to hear exactly how the water leaves Natchez in such a clean way.

In the story “Beauty or Beast” I was reading the descriptions of how the make-up is applied and intrigued by the pictures when I realized that I did know one of the people in the story. Much to my surprise the choral teacher from Robert Lewis Middle School was there, Darlene McCune. How she finds the energy and time to give more time after being with students all day is pretty amazing. It’s also funny that I see her every day and had no idea that she did such a cool “other” job.

People say that things happen for a reason and sometimes that is hard to understand or believe. Take hurricane Katrina. Perhaps one of the reasons it blew in was to send some wonderful people up the river to Natchez. As part of the Cathedral family I am one of the ones happy to have the Fury family here with us. I cannot imagine what they have been through and how hard it has been. What I do know is that we are lucky that they blew into Natchez.

And there’s the Cavettes. I don’t know them, but I want to. What adventuresome spirits. Buy a house online? Not too sure I could do that. Move across the country? Not too sure I could do that either.

But I’m not surprised they love it here, most people who aren’t from here come and fall in love with Natchez. I tell people who have lived here a long time that they have just become jaded to what we do have.

Two years ago when my youngest child announced she was dropping basketball and picking up soccer, well let’s just say I was more than surprised. She had practically been raised in the gyms at Trinity and Cathedral watching her brother and sister. They were both aghast. I learned to keep blankets, gloves, hats and jackets in the car. And just when I thought I might have to go buy Soccer for Dummies, I began listening to the Cathedral announcer Ken Stubbs. Not only does he announce, he educates all of us in the game of soccer. Whenever I work in the concession stand it never fails that I hear a positive comment about his announcing from the opposing team.

Think you know lot’s of people in Natchez? Think you know a lot about the people you do know?

Pick up this year’s Profile and read cover to cover, and like me I bet you will be surprised and what you learn.

Christina Hall writes a weekly column for The Democrat. She can be reached at