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Jimmy Darsey Made an Impact on Area and Me

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Jimmy Darsey Made an Impact on Area and Me

            Since assuming the role as a county commissioner for Long County back in January and presiding as that board’s chairman, I haven’t had much time to do any writing.  However, with the recent passing of a friend of mine, I felt I had to make some time.  On Tuesday, I attended the funeral of Jimmy Darsey.  For those of you who did not know Jimmy, he was a Hinesville native who worked in several different areas from social work to teaching.  In recent years as Jimmy had grown a little older and began facing a few health issues he had become a regular contributor to the blog site for the online edition of the Coastal Courier.  Those few talented and well-informed writers at this site knew him as “Jimmy Mack.”  On more than one occasion Jimmy ruffled a few feathers at the site and at one time or another, due to an extreme comment or two, he was even banned from posting his views.  But as with most wounds, after a little time of healing had passed Jimmy was allowed to once again begin stirring things up.

                My relationship with Jimmy began back in the mid-90’s when he and I, and another local writer named John Thompson all began writing columns for the Courier.  I offered as most of you would guess the right-wing conservative Republican view, John offered a humor piece with a slant of conservatism, and Jimmy offered the leftist liberal Democratic view.  For about five years the three of us regularly submitted our opinions to the Courier, and we all took beatings on a regular basis via letters-to-the-editors and a new venue to the paper called “The Sound Off.”  And to say the least many didn’t just disagree with us, some hated, despised, and even threatened us on occasion.  But I can honestly say, and I’m sure those few employees who were with the Courier during this time, and who are still employed, would agree, that for those few years there was a huge interest in the Coastal Courier.  Most readers couldn’t wait to pick up one of the weekly papers to see who myself, Thompkins, or Darsey had ticked off that week.

                For me, my views were really mainstream for our country and our area during that time.  Remember this was the mid-90’s, and many of the values and ideals that are (sadly) now accepted were not accepted at this time.  Jimmy, on the other hand took regular beatings because his views were not as mainstream as they are today.  With the two of us on a regular basis spouting differing opinions on subjects like homosexuality, affirmative action, welfare, abortion, and many other emotional issues, most readers in the community thought we hated each other.  But as I told many a supporter on the street, that was the furthest thing from the truth.  Me and Jimmy liked each other and respected each other.  We understood that it took courage to write in the manner that we did, and to be willing to put our picture and our name next to that opinion we stated.  I’m sad that more people and leaders today aren’t willing to look at those who disagree with them, in the manner that Jimmy and I looked at each other years ago, and still did today.

                One of the biggest compliments I ever received was from Jimmy.  Last year when I was running for the commissioner’s seat in the second district, Jimmy sent me a little note of support.  He said that if he lived in Long County, that the upcoming election would be a first for him.  Knowing that I ran as a Republican, Jimmy said, “Mike this election would be the first time I ever had a split ticket, I’m going to be voting for Hillary to be president, but I would be voting for you to be my commissioner, because I know you would do the right thing.” 

Jimmy, I know you would do the right thing too, I will miss you my friend.

(Please pray for Jimmy’s surviving wife Carolyn, his sons, and the other members of his family during this tough time.)


Latest Activity: Aug 23, 2017 at 8:10 AM

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