Your Town Column June 28, 2009
I made 12 new friends this past week — we’d all received an invitation in the mail to attend the same event.
The invitation was disguised as a jury summons.
As the time to attend neared, I created the perfect scenario in my mind, quite confident that my number would not come up and I’d be off the hook for another year.
That did not go as planned. When I checked online the night before, my number did come up and I was instructed to report to the Justice Center at 8:45 the next morning.
All right then, I surmised ... I’ll get to the Justice Center and the trial will be canceled. That’s it.
I arrived at the jury assembly room on the third floor and waited along with the others for the “canceled” announcement, that never came.
Before long, the large group of us climbed a flight of stairs and filed into a courtroom.
OK, fine, but my name surely won’t be called to take a seat.
The nice judge even pronounced my name correctly. This isn’t looking good.
At least the seats are cushy.
So now the plan is to be excused randomly during the lawyer questioning of potential jurors.
When the lawyers announced that the jury had been seated and the trial was under way, I was not walking out to my car, heading back to my normal life.
There were 13 of us — 12 jurors and an alternate, who would be determined when closing statements were made and the case given to the jurors.
I had never served on a jury before and no one can prepare you for the task of juror, as each case and its defendant on trial is different. Circumstances come into play that can make the challenges of a juror an overwhelming, but highly rewarding task.
After 2 1/2 days of observing the procedure and participating in its outcome, I came away emotionally exhausted but a better and more informed person for having been a part of the judicial system that makes this country the incredible place that it is.
And the cushy seats aren’t too bad either.
• Local Boy Scout Troop 318 is selling U.S. Flag kits and African Baskets at the American National Bank Farmers’ Market each Thursday, in an effort to raise money for the scout’s Jamboree Fund.
The troop is seeking community support to help send 15 boys to the BSA National Jamboree in Virginia. The scouts will sell the kits and baskets each Thursday at Farmers’ Market, through Sept. 17.
Each boy needs to raise $2,900 to attend the event.
The public can also take old flags to the scouts for retirement.
For more information, call Sandy Keichline at 216-0898.
• The theme for the July 9 Farmers’ Market is “Vets Welcome Home.”
During farmers’ market from 5 to 8:30 p.m., there will be a booth and information tables by veteran and military organizations, at the corner of Fourth and Main streets.
It’s still a week a way, but I extend wishes for a happy Fourth of July to all.
On Saturday, Independence Day, we’ll celebrate the freedom our country claimed 233 years ago, when democracy was born.
Be safe, be festive and be proud.