This column has been published for many years in the News-Reporter and remains very popular.
The Office Cat July 2, 2009
The Office Cat
Fireworks show is Friday, not Saturday
Saturday is the Fourth of July and I am reminded of a song made popular in the 1940s by Woody Guthrie. He was an "Okie" who fled the Dust Bowl during the Depression, a World War II GI, a merchant seaman, and a beloved singer of American folk songs. I found the words in The Pocket Book of Patriotism by Jonathan Foreman. The song is:
This Land Is Your Land
This land is your land,
This land is my land,
From California to the
New York Island,
From the Redwood Forest,
to the Gulf Stream waters,
This land was made for
you and me.
As I was walking,
That ribbon of highway,
I saw above me
That endless skyway,
I saw below me
That golden valley.
This land was made for
you and me.
The 12th annual Independence Day Parade will get underway at 8:00 a.m. sharp (we're never late) Saturday morning, July 4. The parade is for walkers, bicycles, scooters, tricycles, dogs on leashes (we had a cat one year), strollers, and anything not motorized. We begin in Fort Washington Park, take a short walk to The Square, to City Hall, left to the Mary Willis Library, left back to the park. A short program will be presented with Veteran Robert Harold Kendrick leading the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag;
Laura Toburen reading excerpts from the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence; singing by Tom Wells; and prayer by Rev. Klay Aspinwall. . . . If you can't walk the route, bring your lawn chair and join us for the program.
The always-popular Fireworks on The Square will be on Friday, July 3, this year. Things will begin to "hop" on The Square at six o'clock, with the fireworks scheduled to begin about 9:30, or as soon as the sky is dark.
Jane Garner told me an interesting story this week. Ernest Garner Jr., older brother of Jane's husband, the late Jim Garner, was shot down over inland China in April 1945. His bunk-mate in the service was shot down in the same area in June 1945. Last year some English teachers who had been allowed in China found out that some of the Chinese people during that time had found some of the servicemen who had been shot down and if possible had given them a proper burial. The teachers also found that one Chinese family had kept the class ring of the bunk-mate, passing it down for three generations. The teachers were able to contact the family of the bunk-mate and some of them went to China in December 2008 and received the ring from the Chinese family.
When Marilyn Lunceford Stevens renewed her subscription to The News-Reporter last week, she included the following note: "I wanted you to know I have enjoyed reading my hometown paper, The News-Reporter, over the years. My father was the late Sheriff Horace Lunceford of Wilkes County. He, too, was a faithful subscriber. Please keep up the good work." Marilyn lives in Thomson. . . . I well remember Sheriff Lunceford, his wife
Alma, and Marilyn. They were our neighbors at the Rider house when they lived for a while in the apartment of the first floor of the Wilkes County Jail. "Sheriff" was a super polite, courteous, and thoughtful man who always wore a suit and tie, and a hat -- the style that men wore in the 1930s and 1940s. He always "tipped his hat" to anyone he met. The family later moved to their home on Liberty Street.
Betty Slaton called to tell me that the Georgia Trust Historical Foundation Fall Ramble will be held in Washington-Wilkes September 18-19. It has been several years since it was held here and it's always an interesting event. The visitors will tour Danburg, Tignall, and other out-lying areas of the County on Friday afternoon, and then will spend Saturday visiting all the interesting things in Washington. The Ramble is sponsored by the Washington-Wilkes Chamber of Commerce and The Washington Historical Foundation. Betty says that the Chamber of Commerce has applications for membership in both the Trust and the local Foundation.
Lem LeRoy, a native of Tignall, was named Senior Pastor of Worship (Minister of Music) for the Carmel Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday, June 21. Lem has served as Associate Pastor of Worship for several years. He will now be in charge of unifying the whole music program at the church, including the praise vocal team, praise band, orchestra, and 100-voice worship choir, for three morning worship services. . . . Lem is a former music student of the late Troupe M. Harris Jr., and is the son of Eudora and Albert Huyck, and the late Bob LeRoy.
I'm envious! I really am! I've been waiting for years for a black bear to come through my yard. We have a perfect place for him. There's a spacious pasture with a pond on the back of our lot. It's surrounded by big trees and lots of undergrowth. Deer and fox, and a gaggle of geese, call it home. He could easily join them. Carolyn Gammon at Tignall was driving down an area road when a "black furry animal" dropped from a low branch of a tree beside the road. Some folks tried to tell her it was a panther, but Carolyn knows it was a bear. . . . My time will come!
Linda Echols, manager of the Ashford Court Apartments on Ashley Road, says she doesn't have any hummingbirds at the apartments, but she does have a wide variety of butterflies. There is a larger bed of lantanas at the entrance, and the day I went by, the lantanas were covered with many different varieties of butterflies. Linda says she has collected at least 25 different ones, and they are beautiful.
. Norris Ware on Hill Street says he has recorded no rain for the past 11 days and that the temperature every day has been in the 90s -- sometimes 100+ degrees. His total rainfall for June is 2.6 inches. Sonny Johnson had .132 of an inch during this past week.