James Magazine May-June 2020 - Magazine - Page 44
Tomorrow is the most important thing in life,
comes to us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect
when it arrives and puts itself in our hands. It
hopes we learned something from yesterday.
Those were the poignant words placed on the tombstone of Marion Mitchell Morrison, also known as John
Wayne— “The Duke.”
Tomorrow is here, or will be soon, for most of us. It
comes with all of its hopes and problems, but with the
blessings that problems bring in the solving, for ourselves
and others. I pray for you tomorrow and its challenges.
But, I hold up to you three, who no longer have tomorrow
and the opportunities of it, who were servants— and
three men that we must remember.
They are worthy of remembrance. Hold them up as
the best in their helping their fellow man.
Alfred J. Powell, Jr.
“Jay” to his legions of friends, was a small-town
lawyer from Camilla in deep southwest Georgia. He was
a reader of books, and that’s where he and I struck commonality. We liked to talk “books” and “what are you reading that I’d enjoy.”
Jay, like me, talked Southern and probably said “y’all”
a lot— and wasn’t in a hurry to get it out.
I liked him.
Jay had moved rapidly up the ladder in the House of
Representatives, was in the inner circle, and could get
things done— for you or to you. He chaired the House
Rules Committee, one of the top two panels, and did a
learned and effective job. He was a legislator’s legislator.
This is what Speaker David Ralston said about Jay:
“Jay Powell was highly principled. He was possessed of
leadership qualities lacking in many. He had a keen mind,
a generous spirit, vision to see the larger picture, honest in
his iudgments and endowed with a servant’s humility. In
short, he was a statesman and made the House and Georgia
better. I am glad he passed my way in this life.”
As I have been there, I know that by November 26,
2019, Jay Powell was already thinking about the second Monday in January 2020 and the beginning of the
legislative session. This tomorrow he did not make, and
235 of his legislative colleagues and many Georgians
are saddened. The hurt will not soon go away but the
knowledge of a good, solid man will always be with
those who knew him. continued on page 46
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