Mayor and his shadow

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2005

As he sat next to the mayor in the studio of WBFZ 105.3 FM, the sixth-grader from Five Points Elementary School looked completely relaxed in front of the microphone and, surprisingly, not the least bit bored as talk of city laws and judge appointments went on around him.

But what really put a smile on Jacob Milhouse’s face was when a caller to the radio station’s afternoon program asked him about his love of writing.

Jacob proudly told the caller, and all the rest of the listeners, that he has written two books already, “The Legend of the Cursed Land,” and “Haunted.”

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“That was the first question I got (from a listener) all day,” Jacob said, who got to sit-in on another radio program with the mayor earlier that day.

Jacob, a Dallas County author-in-the-making, was given an opportunity to spend Wednesday morning shadowing James Perkins Jr. as the mayor went about his job of running the city.

Jacob had been looking forward to this day ever since the Dallas County School System’s Parental Involvement Program, along with Optimist Club, set up the meeting two weeks ago.

“He told me he couldn’t sleep the night before because he was so excited,” said Dorothy Irvin, Parental Involvement Coordinator.

The Parental Involvement staff decided to coordinate this special day for Jacob after reading an essay he submitted to the Optimist Club’s essay contest.

“For Black History Month, the Parental Involvement Program and Optimist Club of Selma sponsored a program called Living History,” Irvin said. “Students were asked to write on the subject of ‘The Power of One.’ Jacob indicated he wanted to meet an author and a political person.”

Jacob said he was excited about getting to meet the mayor for the first time.

“It went good,” Jacobs said. “I met Mayor Perkins at his office in the morning, then we went to a radio station. After that, I went with the mayor to a meeting at a church, then we went off to another radio interview.”

In between all of this, Irvin said, Jacob also visited the Dallas County School System’s Central Office and met some of the people who run the school system.

Jacob said he learned a few things about politics after spending a few hours with the mayor, mainly that running the city is hard work and he preferred to stick with writing.

“I learned you have to wake up very early when you’re the mayor,” Jacob said.

Perkins said he enjoyed showing Jacob a “up-close and personal” look at what the mayor does.

“It’s good that Jacob has a vision for his life. He knows what he wants to do, and I’m sure he’ll be a great writer one day.”

Irvin said she is already trying to help Jacob have his two books published.

Jacobs said the next person he would like to meet is Sen. Hank Sanders. But instead of talking politics, Jacob said he wants to talk to the senator and “Death of a Fat Man” author about writing.