Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Hebron Crossroads 9-7-03
By Jeff Gill

Time to answer a few questions and first, make a correction!
A very nice note was passed to me following the Sweet Corn Festival, written in the sacred confines of the Lakewood Band Boosters donut booth. Contrary to my impression that the entire uniforms of our marching band were new this year, it was pointed out to the Community Booster by the Band Boosters that each band member is sporting new “hats and spats,” a black beret jauntily worn at one end, with bright “shoe toppers” giving flash to their dash at the other end.
Their fifteen year old uniforms “look new, because of the Loving Care of the three ladies on the Uniform Committee, Karen, Cheryl, and Vivian.”
Well, thanks for the loving care, the loving correction, and the reminder that someday soon those well worn jackets and trousers will have to be replaced, and the Uniform Committee doesn’t want to hear any surprised comments when they announce in a coming year that it’s time to buy new ones.
Obviously, men (like me) know nothing about accessorizing outfits! It is amazing what some modest improvements around the edges can do to improve the look of the whole. The school buildings along US 40 and Hebron Elementary all got under $90,000 worth of paving and some painting done, and they look like new for just that much (plus driving through the lots is a whole lot easier).
Speaking of schools, the Lakewood School Board “Citizens Advisory Committee” will take names through Sept. 30; forms to show your interest are available in the offices of each school or on E. Main at the Administrative Offices. Your correspondent has turned his name in, and we hope for a full complement to review and share community input with the elected members of the board in their decision-making.
Focusing back to Hebron, our “Respond To The Call” service project for Sept. 11 will start at 10 am in Canal Park. Come down Cumberland to the picnic shelter entrance through the day, and we’ll be painting up a storm on a clear, sunny day (right?) across the two bridges and the gazebo with the shelter. All skill levels are welcome!
Folks often ask, and I try to mention every few months or so here in print, why do I/don’t I get the “Booster” at my home? The official answer is that the Advocate motor carriers are “supposed” to deliver, on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, a copy to each home that isn’t a subscriber to the daily Advocate. Right here in Hebron, Monte tries to get one to every house, which I take very kindly, but each route is a little different.
They also leave a stack at places like Hometown Deli, the Duke Station, and so on. Basically, I can’t get anyone to deliver you a copy, but moving into Hebron proper would help! I understand that almost 25,000 copies of the Booster go out each week; there is also a “Booster West” that carries different columns for Alexandria, Johnstown, and Granville, which runs another 10,000-plus, but since they don’t get “Hebron Crossroads,” they’re just missing out, aren’t they?
Sadly, I often get asked about a fellow (actually, a series of fellows, but hold on) who stands at the I-70 exit ramp onto Rt. 37 near the truck stops with a sign “Will work for food.” Friends, let me tell you as a pastor: don’t give him/them a dime, not one thin dime. Try offering them a ride to a place with a “now hiring” sign, or tell them you’ve got a cord of wood to split for $7 an hour, and you’ll see what I mean.
This is an all too typical scam, staffed by a number of guys carefully dressed badly, but not too badly, all holding the same sign that they pass to each other at “shift change.” They count on guilty consciences heading home from a good day at work in tough economic times, who want to help someone less fortunate with a twenty or a fifty out the window and drive on. An actual offer to help will result in a well-timed stammering stall until the light changes, and then back to the next line of cars.
As long as they stay well to one side, don’t walk out into the road until beckoned over, and start to walk away each time they see a Highway Patrol cruiser coming up the ramp, there’s nothing that can be done officially about them. They are (generally) breaking no laws, and when you hand over cash, you hand over all right to how that money is used.
I’ve had opportunity to follow up on cons like this before, and I can say that at least for me, I have never, ever seen one of these “will work for food” situations at roadside ever be anything other than a scam at best, and a well-run if utterly amoral business at worst.
A few months back, drinking coffee and reading a newspaper before a meeting in Heath, I saw a fellow working the 30th and Hebron Rd. corner get a large wad of bills from a very sweet, well-intentioned fast food employee, along with a cold drink on a hot day. Not long after she walked back into the store, he started to fold his sign under his arm, and knowing what I’ve seen before, I decided to drive past him, stop, and see where he ended up.
Sure enough, he walked down 30th to another restaurant, where behind it was waiting his “boss,” I assume, who got a portion of his cash from five pockets before they got in the car. A Cadillac. A new Cadillac. With whitewalls.
If you want to help the needy, good for you; there is much need around us. Talk to Lynne Cash at Buckeye Lake LEADS (928-1435), or call my heroes at the Licking County Housing Coalition (345-1970). Or call your church! They know how to help in ways that really help.

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and knows that Hebron area folk really want to help; if you have ideas or suggestions for community causes, call 928-4066 or e-mail him at disciple@voyager.net.