2010-12-30 / The Office Cat

‘Confederate Gold’ to be ‘Decoded’

The Office Cat
Dr. Marshall P. (Mark) Waters, Washington-Wilkes expert on the missing Confederate Gold which may be buried somewhere in Wilkes County, will appear on the History Channel on television Thursday night (December 30) at 10 p.m. The program is titled “Confederate Gold” and will feature Danville, Virginia, and Washington and Chennault in Georgia. Mark says we need to understand that the program series – Brad Meltzer’s Decoded – is entertainment and the missing Confederate gold is the story line. Mark and wife

Emilie had to be at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va., at 7:30 a.m. in early September for the interview for the program. Mark says he was “stopped and started” many times during the interview and has not seen the final product, therefore he can’t really comment on it. I’ll be watching to see what they do with the information.

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Many of us in the South experienced a first December 25 when snow began to fall and we actually had a "white Christmas." We have sung about and dreamed about a white Christmas all our life but it never happened in my 79 Christmases. The snow began about 9:15 p.m. on Christmas Day and it didn't stop until about 4 p.m. on Sunday (the next day.) It was a beautiful sight and it was also a cold experience. Many of us were skeptical, saying, "It's not going to snow on Christmas. It never has." But it did and I'm thankful I finally got to see it.

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I sort of suspected something was up on Christmas Eve when I made one last trip to Ingles. In a beautiful blue sky, there were dozens of "mares' tails" (horses' tails.) I remembered that Mama, who was a good weather forecaster, had a "saying" about mares' tails, but I couldn't remember exactly what it was. Sparky obliged by checking on the internet and it said mares’ tails were a sign of an impending storm. Of course, it gave meteorological terms to describe it which I didn’t understand, but basically it meant a storm (snowstorm) was coming. And it did. And Mama was right. And I say again, it was beautiful.

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Now I have goats in my yard! Not pretty little goats you see grazing in pastures alongside the road, but huge goats about the size of the donkey who guards them. There are about 12 of them and they are pretty too. They live in the pasture and barn adjoining my property. At five o'clock when they are supposed to be in the barn, they jump the fence just as easily as a deer does and begin eating the bushes and low-hanging branches of trees. I like to watch them and don't mind them eating the bushes, etc., but they have begun to graze under my pecan tree and the ground is loaded with pecans. I've already picked up many buckets full but there are still buckets full on the ground and on the tree. The goats belong to my neighbors, Bill Hopkins and Jerry Hackney.

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Pecans remind me of a story I have been waiting for a chance to pass along. Bill Kirby, a favorite columnist for The Augusta Chronicle had an item last week about the pronunciation of the word “pecans.” He said some folks pronounced it “puh-cans;” some say “puh-kahns”; and some say “pee-cans.” A favorite teacher that I knew (not one of my teachers) a few years ago told her “gifted” class at Washington-Wilkes Comprehensive High School that the correct pronunciation is “puhkahns.” And she added, “A pee-can is something your great-grandfather put by the side of his bed every night before he went to bed.”

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Bi-Lo had so many live Christmas trees left over that on Christmas Eve they were giving them away, inviting anybody who wanted to, to come and take as many as they wanted. I think some people use them in their ponds or lakes for fish habitat. I don’t know if they were all taken.

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Last week, the Huddle House had a sign or banner which we don’t see much any more. Hanging over the cooking and serving area was a banner that read, “Happy Birthday, Jesus.”

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Have you noticed the beautiful eagle that has been placed on the topmost point of the courthouse steeple?

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Ashley Barnett, our popular young tourism director with the Chamber of Commerce, has announced that beginning January 1 she will be part-time instead of full-time. She says she needs to spend more time with her family and will be working just two days a week. She will still be doing all of the public relations, marketing, different events, etc. We will miss her expertise.

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At last count, we have 13 obituaries in this week's paper. Most of them occurred right around Christmas.

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