It's good to see it's out with the old, in with the new

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By Alice Du Pont

I don't know when they bought them but I'm glad they did. After decades, the city of Quincy has invested in new holiday lights. They look fabulous, too. Gone are the crusty and matted, once-green garlands that saw better days 10 years ago. Gone are the garish lights that were haphazardly thrown over the magnificent oaks on the courthouse lawn.

Granted, there was a mistake made when the holly trees were hacked last week but everyone involved is sorry. Jack McLean, city manager, immediately acknowledged the mistake and vowed to never let it happen again.

That meant a lot to me because after years of watching city managers come and go, McLean is the first one in many years to step up and admit a mistake. Just like the new city holiday lights, Quincy is refreshing again. I don't have to steel myself before I walk into city hall. Commissioners don't make childish remarks about the media (me) from their commission seats during meetings.

Two years ago there was bickering, backbiting and even threats around the commission table. All that said, I'm so happy to say is a thing of the past. No one feels the need to stand on a soapbox and make speeches that are, as Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

My friends no longer call me and ask, with a hint of amusement, "What are you people doing over there in Quincy?" They are calling and emailing about what activities are coming up next. I was e-mailed 3 weeks ago by a former colleague at the Tallahassee Democrat, Carol Gentry. The last time I heard from her was at least 20 years ago. She said she'd heard a lot about the good things happening here, especially  at the art center. We plan to get together around the first of the year.

Just last Friday, I heard from Susan Washington. She worked here back in the late 80s and early 90s. She now works at the University of Florida and had seen something about Quincy that piqued her interest. She come to Tallahassee occasionally but had not thought of coming over to Quincy again. I was telling her about the restaurants, the art center, growth at the lake and all of the things that weren't here when she worked here. We promised each other we'd get together the next time she's up this way.

Things are going the way we want them, for the most part, in Quincy. All we have to do is keep it up. Don't forget the Christmas parade Friday at 6 p.m., followed by Santa's visit and Music on the Square. "Caroline, or Change" will be in its final run Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I saw it last Sunday. It's great and the music is amazing.

Send your comments to adupont@gadcotimes.com.å