Allow me, for myself and for the citizens of Pomaria, to add to the accolades of the life of Mr. John E. Caldwell the following:
We, the citizens of Newberry County owe to the life of Mr. John E. Caldwell a debt of gratitude in this manner: In his public service he put the needs of the community first, disregarding his place in it or his immediate interests. This was as rare decades ago as it is today. Often in the past I was before the County Council on matters I thought needed addressing, and always I over-spoke my time limit; but never was I disappointed when turning to Mr. Johnny, saying, ‘Cousin Caldwell, may I have some more time?’ that he did not, with a grin as wide as a Kansas cornfield, say, ‘Mr. Chairman, I would like to hear the rest of what Mrs. Fields wants to say,’ and I would push on, knowing that as the modern phrase is, Mr. Johnny ‘had my back.’
We did not win all the time. We lost saving the grand old house on Wilson Road and Main where now there is an ugly pharmacy; we lost the first round of the new library building to softball fields. After that, however, teamwork made us good. We won against a plan to pile six-hundred feet of trash on the town limits of Pomaria and for this the citizens of Pomaria particularly owe him for many times being in our foxhole.
His is a remarkable spirit. We must bow to death for taking our physical selves, but we should never stop honoring the special spirit that is beyond death that animates these special people. Our gratitude to The Lord for their lives should be manifest in our lives in our repeated thanks. Cousin Caldwell, we could not have done it without you; wherever you are, please continue to ‘have our back.’
Elsie Caldwell Fields