#NewnanStrong after EF4 Tornado

I noted earlier that our town was hit by a massive tornado on the night of March 25/26, 2021. In this insightful video, Trey Duffey has captured perfectly the spirit and resiliency of the town that we live in. We will make it through this difficult time and come out stronger!

Trey describes the town and video this way:

“…it’s a different kind of strong. It’s a friend kind of strong. A family strong. A ‘thicker than water’ kind of strong. It’s Newnan Strong.”

The Sunday after the tornado hit Newnan, I sat down and thought about the community that I’ve come to know and love over the past 9 years. This town is where I’ve found lifelong friends, made huge life decisions, worked my first job out of college, started a business, and met my wife.

I wanted something that represented more than the devastation and wreckage that so many people experienced a few weeks ago, so I started digging. I’ve had the opportunity to work on a lot of different projects in Coweta County, and I think the culmination of them represent what our community really is….something much bigger than a storm.

My hope was to show the faces of individuals who represent what Newnan Strong means. Teachers, Non-profits, First-Responders, Administrators, Homeowners, the list could go on. Just know they are a small (and in many ways a huge) representation of the response that has gone on in Newnan the past few weeks.

I’m proud to call Newnan home.

EF 4 Tornado in My Hometown of Newnan

Last Friday at around 12:30am an EF 4 tornado ripped through my hometown of Newnan, Georgia. Emergency responders, electric crews, charities and citizen volunteers have spent a week struggling to begin to clean up our town.

With over 1,500 homes significantly damaged or destroyed, we have an acute homeless problem. Newnan High School is damaged, perhaps beyond any hope of repair. Charities are working to keep up with the need for food, water, and other necessities.

A lot of work is being done to address the short term needs but those soon will transition to medium and longer term needs stretching into 2022 and 2023. We are in for a long recovery.

#YouCan’tFixStupid

My last post was about how the neo-Nazi’s and Antifa were #NotWelcomeHere in my hometown of Newnan, Georgia.

People of good will know that those in the neo-Nazi movement are just ignorant fools and the fools confirmed that for us yesterday. The permit that the city issued to these clowns allowed them to hold their ‘rally’ from 3pm to 5pm at the Greenville Street Park in downtown Newnan. They set out to march to the park….and got lost.! Yes, in our small city, they got lost. These nuts arrived at the park at 4:15pm. Promptly at 5:00pm law enforcement shut down the rally and sent them packing. These idiots want to run the world; but they clearly couldn’t even run (or find) a lemonade stand.

The really great news is that thanks to our city leaders, the Newnan Police, the Coweta County Sheriff’s Department, the State Patrol and many others, there was no violence and no injuries. There were about twelve arrests, mostly for misdemeanor or felony stupidity.

The good that came from this is the solidarity shown by the wonderful citizens of Newnan in opposition to hatred.

#NotWelcomeHere

I love the town that I live in. My wife and I have raised our kids here and our grandchildren visit often. It’s a peaceful multi-ethnic community 45 miles southwest of Atlanta. Unfortunately, today we’re being invaded.

Two groups are coming to our city that are not welcome here. The racist, ignorant neo-Nazi group NSM is planning a rally this afternoon. To counter that rally the violent Antifa group is coming too. Neither of these groups represents what our city or our citizens stand for.

To the credit of our city leaders and law-enforcement our community is ready for whatever happens this afternoon.

All of our downtown businesses are closed for the day. Because Saturday is one of the most important days for any retail or dining establishment this could have represented a huge loss for those businesses. The citizens of our city resolved to come downtown on Friday night and patronize all of the businesses and restaurants. Last night, when my wife and I went downtown we found the streets packed with good citizens, stores jammed with with shoppers, and restaurants filled to capacity. That’s the kind of city we live in.

These two groups are not welcome here but the United States Constitution guarantees them the right to assemble in my city, your city, and any city. Our citizens have responded to their hatred with kindness and compassion for our local merchants. We can only hope that there will be no violence, no one gets hurt, and these unwelcome intruders will leave and never come back.