A brother remembered

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 3, 2003

The spirit of family oozed out of the two-story home, pictures of children spanned the living room walls and mantles. The French doors leading to the veranda illuminated the patio’s summer essence. But it was a cold, winter’s day and sad day for Mrs. Becky Jordan.

Nonetheless, Ms. Lady Justice stood affirmed on a tabletop, surrounded by a number of artifacts. Books lay scattered on a nearby table, one significant book stands out, it boldly reads: Costa Rica.

Clearly, a modern-day travelers’ guide, she was reading the book to learn more about the country. She anticipated travels with her younger brother to the Central American country, in December. It would be her first, but not his. He traveled Central America on a number of occasions. And was excited about this trip. His last mission crusade in March, ended with Samaritanian efforts to help a victim of domestic abuse.

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Although, her December 15 reservations is paid for, Becky Jordan is still uncertain about making the trip, not due to wavering feelings about flying, but because the one who encouraged her to attend the trip-her brother-will not be able to join her. He died of a fatal heart attack last weekend.

Dr. Bailey Thomson, a profound professor and journalist suffered from a heart attack at his home in Tuscaloosa. He had no known heart aliments and was an avid exerciser. Jordan, his sister said, "We were crushed."

The two were the youngest of eight children and "very close," said a teary Becky Jordan. Undisinclined she reads excerpts of her brother’s award-winning writings, wiping a tear in between each syllable. Definitely sadden by her youngest brother’s death; she is openly proud of his accomplishments, citing his recognitions, political and social efforts, international missionary crusades, publication notoriety and his unyielding dedication to his family.

Just a simple boy born and raised in Pickens County in a small town in Aliceville, he worked his way through college. First inspired to play football, an injury he sustained to his knee prevented him of fulfilling that dream. Alternatively, he embarked on a journalistic career as a sports reporter.

He was also dedicated to improving the quality of life and living in Alabama. He also worked hard to in the efforts of constitutional reform. He spoke out against Alabama’s antiquated constitution.

He believed the document written by the forefathers did not reflect that of our current conditions. He took his mission all across the State of Alabama, in hopes to influence the lawmakers to rethink the constitution to include those who was once labeled societal outcasts, particularly disenfranchised African-Americans and women.

Bailey loved West Alabama and it was no surprise that he included commentary on the city of Demopolis wherever he went. His "Dixie’s Broken Heart"&045;&045; won the Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors &045;&045; feature notes on the city. He often admired Demopolis’ for its manifestation of integration of public school system, and their promotion of maintaining it in the city school system. He respected the unity among the people of the town. He affectionately described Demopolis to be Alabama’s "shining star."

The man who cared dearly about those less fortunate, the disenfranchised and the neglected, died before he could take the trip with his sister. Dr. Bailey Thomson was supposed to spend Thanksgiving with his sister and her husband.

The 54 year-old professor at University of Alabama, leaves to mourn, his wife, Kristi and daughter, Sarah, along with a host of siblings, cohorts, and students. When asked who will continue his vision for a better Alabama, one can only speculate that Thomson would want all those who have a vision to see their vision through completely. He was devoted to making a difference… and would want his legacy to live on in those who seek change politically, and socially, like he did.