2011-05-19 / The Office Cat

The Office Cat

Beautiful penmanship is lost art

Sunday was not only Homecoming for members and former members of Sardis Baptist Church at Rayle. There were so many members of the Washington High School Class of 1950 present that they had their own minireunion during the bountiful meal served following the homecoming service. These class members were Frances Crawford and her husband Madison Huff; Janelle Huff and her husband Ralph Crawford; Dorothy Jane Short Gilfillen; Martha Kennedy Hall; and Buzzy and Jo Randalls. (The Randalls were there because Jo was pianist for the homecoming; Tom Wells was soloist.) Ruth Hendrix Rogers, Class of 1952, and Ann Arnold Crittenden, Class of 1949, joined them. The highlight of the day was the presence of Rev. John Mark Carpenter and his wife Betty, their daughter Kim, her children, and grandchildren of the Carpenters. Rev. Carpenter is a beloved interim pastor of the First Baptist Church following the retirement of Rev. Albert Huyck, and was the homecoming speaker. He was also interim pastor at Sardis at one time.

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Mary Burt caught a 25-lb. cownose stingray while fishing at Ormond Beach, Fla., last week. She said it was so big and heavy that it took her about 20 minutes to reel it in. She and her sister, Kathy Hendrix, and niece, Ashley Burt, were visiting their brother, Richard Hendrix, and his wife June.

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Robbie and Mary Graves are back in “ God’s Country” after making their home in Los Angeles for the past 25 years. Robbie is a successful accountant and he and Mary have moved to Atlanta where he will conduct his business. Mary’s sister lives nearby and Robbie is the son of Arthur Graves and the late Barbara Booker Graves of Washington.

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The publisher of The Oconee Enterprise, weekly newspaper in Watkinsville, peruses regional weekly newspapers and picks up information from them and then includes them in a column she writes for the newspaper. Last week she noted the fact that “The News-Reporter is one of the few weeklies that publishes book reviews.” She said that one of the recent reviews “has one of the most challenging titles, ‘Lies Like Loaded Guns,’ by Lyndall Gordon.” The book deals with American poet Emily Dickenson and tells the story of Emily’s lifetime and family. Peggy Barnett is our most efficient and interesting book reviewer, using books on a wide variety of subjects. We’re proud to have Peggy as a member of our staff. The column in the Oconee paper also had an item about Ames Barnett being a candidate for mayor and some city council things, but it was not quite accurate.

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I’ve noticed recently that some people are using foreign coins as quarters to put in our vending machines for The News-Reporter. Sometimes they work, but sometimes they just jam the machine, and that causes the buyer to have to pay extra for a paper. We pass the coins on to known coin-collectors.

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A group of free- lance travel writers was in Washington-Wilkes Monday for a culinary tour. They visited the Wilkes County Stockyard, Tink’s Grass-fed Beef, had lunch at the Fitzparick Hotel, visited Retro Cinema and Books, and enjoyed shopping on The Square. ... Another group of 18 senior citizens from Alpharetta toured Washington- Wilkes May 5, with Jo Randall as their guide and had lunch at Cade’s Home Cooking on The Square. ... Tourism Director Erin Pollock says that the tourism and welcome center had 29 visitors last weekend. Two came from Evans; two from Williamsburg, Va.; eight from Michigan; and 13 from The Netherlands.

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I think the cicadas are gone -- at least, most of the noise is gone. And now it’s time to clean up the mess they have made. Their carcasses are everywhere, and everywhere there was a smashed one, there is a greasy stain on sidewalks, walkways, driveways and streets.

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I love beautiful cursive handwriting. I read an article this week that said cursive handwriting is on the way out. Many Washington-Wilkes students will remember the penmanship classes we had in the third grade with Mrs. Johns, or by the time I was in the third grade she was Mrs. May G. Van Saun. Every day after lunch we had penmanship class where we practiced writing in cursive. We had our own special notebooks with the special lines in varying degrees of spacing to help us learn. The article I read said that cursive writing is going the way of shorthand, or hieroglyphics, and that the only reason cursive is used by students is to sign their name, and then you can’t read it. Rare is the school that teaches cursive. They consider it almost like a lost art. Everything is done on a keyboard and teachers are moving toward keyboarding exclusively. Everything has to be instant and some of the personal touch is being lost. One writer wrote, “Will ours be a better world when we are all key-punching automatons with no appreciation for the beauty and meaning of handwritten language?” It’s not looking good for cursive and the art of penmanship, and that’s sad. Mrs. Van Saun had a beautiful handwriting as did the late Mary Callaway Burton, and others.

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We got a little bit of rain Monday. Norris said his gauge registered .15 of an inch. Other than that, we are very dry. ... Gas prices have gong down just a tad at some stations. Others remain the same.

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