Editorial—Did you really know James Singleton?

James Singleton let it be known that he was pleased and appreciative of the many kind things said about him during his retirement dinner last weekend. The dinner marked the end of 38 and a half years in law enforcement. But, always known for subtle humor, Singleton cracked a half-smile and remarked that, to him, it all sounded like being at a funeral.

Rather than come to bury him, James Singleton’s family, friends, and former workers came to praise him—-and to tell stories of a man some of us only thought we knew. For instance, how many know that, as a child growing up near Pendleton, Singleton’s friends knew him as Eddie? And how many of us knew that Singleton went to work at 11 years old to help his poor family? Many knew Singleton well for his 20 years as Oconee County Sheriff.

But some of us needed our memories refreshed about the man who fought in some of the worst Vietnam battles and was pictured on the cover of a Time-Life book account of the war. And how many remembered gumshoe Singleton, whose dogged detective skills often caught the bad guy.

To some, Singleton’s final years as Oconee Sheriff were marked in controversy. But there was none of that last Saturday in Seneca. Instead there were fond wishes for a swell retirement. And we join in wishing the best for James and Janice Singleton!

That’s our view. What’s yours?