My daughter, my Sassy Saint, is a Girl Scout, and we're very familiar with the story of Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low, Girl Scouts founder and general all-round amazing chick.
Daisy had moxie and guts to spare from an early age. As a small child, she gave family friend and Civil War Gen. William Sherman the side-eye during a visit. (Sherman took a break from burning his way to the sea to check in with the Lows.) When Sherman asked Daisy why she was giving him the stink eye, she replied she was looking for his horns because she'd heard he was a devil.
Like I said: Moxie.
Add to that a rich family history of strong women and community service and it's no wonder Daisy founded the Girl Scouts and made it inclusive from the beginning. (Please excuse my hero worship.)
So, when we were creeping down the coast on our summer vacation and I realized we were going to pass Savannah, Ga., I couldn't pass up the chance to visit The Birthplace - Daisy's childhood home and current Girl Scouts of the USA headquarters.
The Long Suffering Husband and the Little Professor weren't as keen, but the Professor is a history buff and The Birthplace is an old, historic house, so I thought he'd enjoy himself. (Side note: the Little Professor told me Savannah was spared a sacking because Sherman made a Christmas gift of the captured city to President Abraham Lincoln.) Besides, it's never a bad thing for children to be exposed to the exploits of history's rock stars.
And the LSH ... well, he's long-suffering. And besides, it wasn't as damp as the dungeons I dragged him to in Charleston, S.C. (You will note that I didn't leave him there, although I was tempted.)
I spent the entire tour poking and hissing at Sassy. (In between all-caps, exclamation-point riddled texting to our Girl Scout troop leader.)
"Sassy, we're in Daisy's house!"
"Sassy, we're in Daisy's library!"
"Sassy, I see Daisy's Presidential Medal of Honor! Sassy, loooook at it!"
"Sassy, Daisy painted that! Look, look!"
"Saaaassy, look, it's Daisy's (hat/bedroom/Girl Scout uniform/insert object here)! We are in the same room as Daisy's stuff!"
Honestly, it's a minor miracle she didn't come out of it black-and-blue from the poking.
Supremely poised and wise at 13, she would only say quietly (and repeatedly), "mother, behave yourself."
Of course, Leader and I were exchanging increasingly excited texts about how we should round all of our Scouts up for a weekend visit to Savannah, crowned with a pilgrimage to The Birthplace.
"Sass, would you like to go back to Savannah and take a little more time to sight-see? We could go to The Birthplace again," I said.
"With you?" She was quiet for a long moment. "I'll think about it - if you promise to behave next time."
While we're on the subject of awesome people who should be recognized, don't forget about our Community Stars program, which recognizes our communities' unsung heroes. If you know someone who does good for others just because it's the right thing to do, consider nominating them as a Community Star.
There's no age restrictions for a Star - old or young, we want your nominations! We'll choose 10 people who best embody the ideal of service above self and they'll be honored at a banquet Oct. 7. We also will share their stories in a special section in our newspapers. So get your nominations in before the Aug. 30 deadline!
Nominations can be mailed to Jody Wisbith, Attn. Community Stars, Herald-Star, 401 Herald Square, Steubenville, OH 43952. They also can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or submitted on the Virtual Newsroom sites of the Herald-Star or The Weirton Daily Times.
(Wallace-Minger, The Weirton Daily Times community editor, is a Weirton resident and can be contacted at email@example.com)