BRACK: Bits and pieces from all over, including a bumper sticker with a twist

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher  |  Today it’s more Bits and Pieces collected from the last few days. Most recently, we spotted this decal when stopped at a traffic light on the bumper of an auto in front of me: “Do you follow Jesus this closely?”

A Norcross City Councilman is asking United States veterans who reside in Norcross to join a committee concerning the city’s new Veteran’s Park on South Peachtree Street.  Those who have served in the military or health services are asked to contract Councilman Craig Newton by calling 770 361 8039, or contact by email at  The councilman is working toward enhancements at the park, and wants to gets ideas from those who have served their country.

There’s a new chair of the Gwinnett County Democratic Party. He’s Gabe Okoye of Lawrenceville, a retired engineer, who is a native of Nigeria. He’s lived in this country for over 30 years, and is a graduate of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He’s 56 and a member of St. Edwards Episcopal Church in Lawrenceville.

Mr. Okoye has as his goal to field candidates in every election in 2018. “We’re also going to have people running in municipal elections, though of course, they are non-partisan races,” he says.

The way Mr. Okoye is getting the Democrats going reminds me of the enthusiasm we saw after 1984 among Gwinnett Republicans. Mr. Okoye is taking another cue from Republicans, by having regular breakfast meetings to move the party forward, similar to the tactics of a young Republican Party in the 1980s.

One of our goals is to have two strong political parties in Gwinnett. It’s great to see the Democrats getting more active as an alternate to the previous mostly Republican dominance in Gwinnett.

After 18 years in Norcross, the Taylor family is moving. Dr. Gary Taylor and his son, Blake, are returning to Blytheville, Arkansas, while Gary’s sister Janet is moving to Jacksonville Beach, Fla. We’ve enjoyed knowing the Taylors, and shared early morning walks around the block with Gary for several years now. Besides being a mountain of stories and ideas, Gary and I have enjoyed swapping books and thoughts. (And, by the way, Gary is a superb artist, working with Larry and Pam Smith’s studio in Duluth.)  We’ll miss these enjoyable times, and wish all the Taylors the best in their new environments.

Does this bug you like it does me, something you see almost weekly these days: stories that this person or the other is “stepping down.” It’s a worn-out phrase.  And often we bet that person isn’t always taking it on his own to “step down,” but more accurately may be leaving office by being suggested that he retire or move on “or else.”

Granted, some may be merely taking a new job and getting a promotion. But “stepping down?”  It’s not often the case!

The lead pastor of the Simpsonwood United Methodist Church is getting a promotion, come June. Dr. Brian Clark, right,  will be the new superintendent of the Athens-Elberton District of the North Georgia Conference, and will have offices in Bogart. He’s been at Simpsonwood UM Church for five years. Originally from Ringgold, Ga., he’s a graduate of Reinhardt College (now University), and the Candler School at Emory. Simpsonwood’s church has 1,800 members, and averages 400 in worship on Sunday.