Four years ago Lima was being introduced to Jesse Lowe.There he stood at the intersection of St. Johns Avenue and East Fourth Street, holding a sign, “Drugs Bring Death,” a one-man band playing a tune that wasn't at the top of charts in this corner of the city.He said he was tired of the shootings, the stray bullets, the ruined lives. “It's time to break the cycle,” he told the community.Lima fell in love with him.He was our Forrest Gump. A loving soul who reminded us sometimes the answer to a problem is pretty simple.Drugs. Don't do them. You could die.What's so complicated about that? Pretty soon Lowe's crusade went from being told in The Lima News to making headlines in newspapers across the country, and from clips on local TV to broadcasts to segments in metro markets.Along the way his admirers grew.Others started standing with him. They included pastors of churches and a man who took his two children out of school to support the cause. People who didn't know each other stood side-by-side for a common cause. A Lima Police Department patrolman even picked up a sign.“Drugs Bring Death.”But you know what tends to happen to our heroes. We're all guilty of it. We build them up, expect too much, and then knock them down when they don't live up to our expectations.Some of that has happened to Jesse Lowe.For the most part, however, he survived. He even got himself elected to Lima City Council, where he's still fighting the battles, still swinging away, but with different tactics in a more official arena.Then last week he told us he was disbanding the “Drugs Bring Death” campaign. The grassroots movement had grown too big. It became a nonprofit organization at a time when the donations needed to run such an organization were becoming harder to find. Jesse Lowe kept digging into his own pockets until the nickels and dimes finally escaped his fingersNow that it is over, some wonder if Drugs Bring Death made a difference.“I think it definitely brought about awareness in some of the younger generation. I give the man credit for all of the effort he put in to this project,” Aaron Foster wrote on The Lima News Facebook page.Travis Howard has his doubts.“Slogans won't stop drugs. Nothing will. If people want to get high, they will. It's just that simple,” Howard wrote.Unfortunately, Howard may be more right than wrong. The bigger question, however, is does it really matter who is right?There's something to be said about the simple answers and humble efforts that come from all the Forrest Gump's of the world.Sometimes you just have to try, even if you know the results may carry as much weight as a feather blowing in the wind.You don't have to be a smart man to know that often, it's all about making an effort.ROSES AND THORNS: A few this week.Rose: To Cortez Huggins, 16, and his 12-year-old brother, Ceyshon, They asked their father, Calin, if he would cancel their trip to Florida so the three could go to eastern Ohio and help people clean up from the tornado damage. Rose: To the tireless work of the Lima Police Department that led to the arrest of Amanda Hunt, 27, in connection with three of the five bomb scares involving Lima City Schools.Rose: To John Neumeier, the dairy truck driver who rescued a Fort Jennings man whose car went into a pond. He was a finalist for the 2011 Goodyear North America Highway Hero Award.Rose: To Marlene Froning, of Wapakoneta, who was chosen to represent the region in the national Jefferson Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Froning started Wapakoneta's annual Bike Safety Day after her 9-year-old son was killed in a car-bicycle accident 25 years ago.Rose: To Casey Schroeder. The Ottawa-Glandorf High School baseball player is rated as the state's No. 1 catcher by Prep Baseball report.Rose: To Max Long, of Lima, whose idea was featured in the nationally syndicated comic strip, “Pluggers.”Thorn: A receptionist repeatedly tried to block the entry of Lima police officers, who were serving a search warrant on the Allen Metropolitan Housing Authority. Police were reacting to a tip that potentially incriminating documents were being destroyed.Thorn: To Brock Howe, a social studies teacher at Lima Senior. No one will accuse him of being a public relations expert after he wrote a letter about “the ignorance of the Lima community” in which he complained about Lima schools “constantly battling negative stereotypes.”PARTING SHOT: “It's Lent...Everything smells Fishy.” — Quinton Thornton, of Lima, reacting to the police raid at AMHA.Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. To suggest a rose or thorn, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.
Tara Cutlip, 21 and pregnant with her second child, was shot and killed Saturday in her Bahama Drive home. Loved ones gather in front of Tara's home to remember her and speak out against domestic violence.