2009-09-17 / The Office Cat

The Office Cat

Anybody can be in the parade

We've had some rain this week. Norris on Hill Street reports one inch Wednesday of last week; and Sonny at Tyrone reports 1.4 inches on the same day.

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Lawrence Hyde, who lives in Savannah but claims Washington- Wilkes as home, came in with what he called "the scoop of the week." Lawrence is here this week to help get the Alexander Wright home ready for the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Ramble to be held here this week. He says that last night he figured out something that nobody else knows. Sam Gunter and Dave Ebert have bought the house of the late Helen R. Hodgson at the corner of Jefferson and Water streets. Lawrence and W-WCHS Basketball Coach Don Kiser went to the same high school in Decatur. When Don's parents sold their house in which Don grew up in Decatur, Sam and Dave bought it. . . . So now you know five things which you didn't know an hour ago.

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Cole Rousey, son of Bill Rousey, and grandson of Irene and Julius Rousey, all of Washington, and his friend, Steve Williamson, placed third overall in the point standing for the Chestatee Bass Fishing Tournament Season in North Georgia. The tournament was held from January through July at various lakes in the North Georgia area. Cole will graduate September 22 from North Georgia Technical College in Clarkesville with a degree in Marine Engine Technology.

ƒ It's hard to believe that The

Christmas Shop on The Square will be opening this Friday, September 18. Henry and Shay Harris and their crew have been diligently working for several weeks now to get things ready for the opening of the Christmas season.

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Louise Lokey Williams tells me that she remembers when her brother-in-law, the late Henry Wall, was instrumental in getting the Christmas lights canopy installed on The Square in the 1940s -- in fact, he may have engineered the whole thing. Louise's daughter, Candace Williams, remembers as a fouryear old going every evening with Henry to turn the lights on.

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Homecoming at Washington- Wilkes Comprehensive High School will be October 2. Jamie C. Atkinson at the school says that the annual parade is open to all groups in the community, including Little League, Scouts, and other organizations. To be included in the parade, groups or individuals must obtain an entry form from the front office at the school or from the Parks and Recreation office. Forms may be emailed on request by Wednesday, September 29.

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The Nickels Family in Tignall was featured on the front page and a whole page inside Sunday's Augusta Chronicle. The article was by Scott Michaux, columnist and staff writer for the newspaper. The title was "A family with fight," with a sub-title that read, "Washington, Ga., siblings draw inspiration from each other." The column was mostly about Casey Nickels, 2006 Washington- Wilkes High School valedictorian, outstanding Tiger football player, all-state two-way lineman, and an undefeated wrestler; and his sister, 14-year-old Calli who in April was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer. Casey set his mind on being a Georgia Bulldog early in his life and after graduation was a walk-on freshman at his chosen school. He has worked hard for three years as a part of the team and at the start of Bulldog camp in August of this year, Casey was recognized as a backup right tackle and received a scholarship. . . .Meanwhile, Calli shows signs of being on the road to being a survivor. She is undergoing an aggressive treatment plan of chemotherapy as an in-patient in an Atlanta hospital. Following surgery on her arm, the treatment was temporarily interrupted when Calli broke her arm rolling over in bed and got a staph infection. She is back on her chemotherapy treatment which she has for three weeks with a week off before going another round. . . Calli and Casey are children of

Becki and Troy Nickels who have lived in Wilkes County for several years since moving from South Dakota.

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Most of the work on the project to install the new sidewalks from East Robert Toombs Avenue down Jefferson Street until just past the Mary Willis Library is about completed. The renovation of the sidewalk includes the area on Liberty Street in front of the library and the walkway to the library. It's very nice and attractive, but I'm sure many will miss the old bricks.

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Author and historian Skeet Willingham has been making the rounds of Washington-Wilkes civic clubs promoting his newest publication and first novel, Deadly Trust: The Mysterious Disappearance of the Nelms Sisters. In this historical novel, Skeet seeks to unravel the mystery of the 1914 disappearance of Atlanta sisters, Elois Nelms Dennis and Beatrice Nelms. Skeet says that as a child he was first told the mystery when visiting the home of Marshall Nelms, who was the brother of the sisters, with his grandmother who was a cousin of Marshall's wife. Even though the story was sketchy, Skeet became fascinated with the story and did extensive research for this novel.

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The original old doors of our Wilkes Publishing Co. building here on the corner of West Robert Toombs Avenue and Pope Street have made their way back home. Sometime after the late Senator Sam P. McGill bought the building in 1955 for his automotive (McGill Truck and Tractor) building, the doors, which seem to be made of old pine boards, were removed and replaced by glass and aluminum doors. The doors have been stored in Sam Clary McGill's barn since that time. (Sam Clary is Senator Sam's son.) Sam Clary recently sold his barn and while doing cleaning to get ready for the new owner, asked Sparky Newsome, current occupant of the McGill building, if he would like to have the old doors. Sparky, Mary, Daniel, and Smythe moved the old doors back home last weekend. . . . A deed dated September 27, 1920, reads, "James A. Benson to M.P. Pope, $3600.00 for the corner lot." The building was erected sometime after that date for the Ford Place, owned by Marcus Pharr. The downstairs was his show room for Fords. He also had an elaborately equipped "workshop" where mechanics "worked on" cars. This shop was on the second floor and cars were taken up on an elevator which is still a part of the building. We have a picture of mechanics Rufus Rider, Johnny Glaze, and Ben Drinkard in the shop. For some reason the late

"Hooks" Harper is in the picture, characteristically dressed in his suit and tie and wearing his "dress" hat. Sam P. McGill sold the building to Smythe in 1976, and it has been the home of Wilkes Publishing Co., The News-Reporter, since that time and, Radio Shack.

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Another article by Scott Michaux which recently appeared in The Augusta Chronicle was about native Wilkes Countian Ernie Harwell. Michaux says, "The 91-year-old Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster revealed on Thursday that he has inoperable bile duct cancer." But typical of Ernie, he returned Michaux's call early the next morning, and after giving the details on his illness, he immediately turned the conversation to Washington-Wilkes. "He wanted to know if Sparky Newsome was still running the local paper and how his cousin, 'Sister' Mary Johnson Duggan, is doing. Told that his cousin's son, Tom [Duggan], is broadcasting Washington-Wilkes football games, Harwell was pleased that the family legacy endures in his birthplace." We all found out what a remarkable man Ernie is when he came to Washington-Wilkes 18 months ago to be honored by his hometown on the eve of his induction into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

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