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Posted: October 26, 2013 9:00 p.m.

Jim Dial

“If you’re an underdog, mentally disabled, physically disabled, if you don’t fit in, if you’re not as pretty as the others, you can still be a hero.”
— Steve Guttenberg

Many times in our society, we judge people by how they look or how they talk. That’s a shame, because we should be judging people by what’s in their hearts.

If you have never taken the time to get to know a special-needs person, you have missed the chance to know a person who truly has no guile, who will love you because you care and who will never in your lifetime forget you.

A special-needs person focuses on making others happy. He or she will never dwell on his/her challenges.

On Friday, we lost a real hero of a man, Jim Dial, who, for 11 years, was a fixture at the Newton County Courthouse.

His smile and his courage to persevere in spite of his handicaps was an inspiration to all who met him.

He brought cheer to judges, to clerks and to jurors. And he did it every day.

We have no doubt that Jim’s big smile is making the angels smile today, and we are even more sure that he is giving some wise counsel to the Good Lord himself.

Yes, Jim was a hero, but he never thought of himself as one. He was just glad to make one person smile and feel happiness.

Today there are tears from those who knew him, but behind every tear, there is a big smile for a big man with a big heart who never met a person he didn’t like.

Jim Dial is a hometown hero.

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