2011-06-02 / The Office Cat

The Office Cat

Donate if you like the fireworks

Hillary Lindsey has another hit song and has been Number One on the charts for several weeks. The song is “A Little Bit Stronger,” and is being sung by Sara Evans. Co-writers with Hillary are Luke Laird and Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum. Hillary’s parents, Ricky and Kathy Lindsey, and sister, Lauren, joined Hillary, and her other sister, Taylor, in Nashville last week where they had a big celebration with other friends in Nashville. They also celebrated Ricky and Kathy’s 37th wedding anniversary.


Five Wilkes County teachers and two members of the school personnel are retiring at the end of this 2011 school year. The teachers are Peggy Jones, W-WES; Brenda Cowan, W-WES; Patricia Wilder, PreK coordinator; and Debbie McLeod, W- WCHS and W- WMS. Becky Hughey is retiring as secretary at the W-WPS; and Nina Boatwright is retiring as manager of the W-WMS and W-WCHS cafeteria. We wish them happy days ahead.


Laura Callaway Hart, a native of Wilkes County, now an attorney in Columbia, S.C., is a loyal supporter of The News-Reporter and her hometown. She read the recent account of Ginny King and her family gathering to pay tribute to her father who played football for the University of Georgia in the 1940s. His Bulldog team played UCLA in Pasadena, Calif., on New Year’s Day in 1943. And Laura’s dad, the late Robert E. (Bobby) Callaway, was at that game as a young soldier during World War II, stationed in California for training in the desert. Laura says that the mention of that game and of Ginny’s family watching a video of it rang a bell with her because she has recently been transcribing all the letters her dad wrote home during the War years. Laura says, “So a young soldier from Rayle who went to high school in Washington ended up cheering for Ginny King’s father and his Georgia football team at the Rose Bowl in 1943. These Washington-Wilkes connections span both space and time.” Bobby was wounded in Europe during the drive to Brest in 1944 and sent home to an Army hospital where he remained until the end of the war. ... This is not all of the story. I’ll tell you more about it next week.


Kay Nelms who usually has lots of hummingbirds every year but has had only two or three this year says that since the cicadas have ceased their singing and are beginning to disappear, the hummingbirds are back and she has many. ... According to reports I receive on hummingbird activity, there is supposed to be another surge through here around July 4. So, don’t give up yet. Leave your feeders out.


Rainfall last week was two-tenths of an inch. Total for the month was .35 – probably the driest May we've had in a long, long time.


E- mail from Carole Johnson Murphy, a native of Wilkes County living in the Athens area, tells about grandchildren of Wilkes Countians whose musical roots are in Wilkes County and how these children are very much involved in musical events in Oconee County and the Athens area. These parents and grandparents were taught piano and choral music beginning in the 1940s by Bessie (Sister Bes) DeVaughn, (Miss) Gene Thomas, Janet Standard, Troupe Harris Jr., Nona Carolyn Quinn, Jane Newsome, Emily Crumbly, and others. Carole, herself, studied piano and voice with Troupe, Miss Gene, and Nona Carolyn. Her daughter, Suzanne Murphy Oliver, began studying piano with Jane in the 1960s, and has been teaching piano for 35 years. Her students presented a recital at Chick Piano Company in Athens last week. Reagan Murphy, daughter of Cindy and Nathan Murphy, and granddaughter of Carole and Bob Murphy, played in the recital. Two of Lynda and Johnny Gresham’s granddaughters, Camryn Johns and Kaye Lynn Gresham, also study piano with Suzanne. Shirley and Boots Gunter, Bob and Carole Murphy, and Bobbie Hopkins Smith, all Wilkes Countians, have granddaughters who study at the Oconee Youth Playhouse in Watkinsville. Their granddaughters, Isabelle and Emiline Hale, Reagan Murphy, and Kate Smith, performed at the Classic Center in Athens in their spring recital. A Murphy granddaughter, Miriam Murphy-Gary, sings in the prestigious Georgia Children’s Chorus and participated in the annual spring concert, The Power of Music, held at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia. She also studies dance and sings in the Malcom Bridge Middle School Choir. Susan and Edward Pope Jr. have a granddaughter, Anna Gentry, daughter of Katherine and John Gentry, who performed in the Oconee Middle School Choir concert last week at the North Oconee County High School Fine Arts Building. Summer Nuhfer, granddaughter of Mitzie Vinson, and daughter of Mark and Tracy Vinson Nuhfer, was also in the chorus. Jack Marable, grandson of Martin and Janet Burgess and son of Brent and Mandy Burgess Marable, along with Reagan Murphy, performed in the Colham Ferry School Play on May 17. They are all blessed. ... And now in 2011, the only music we have in Wilkes County schools is band. ... I’m thankful for the band and for its director, Jeff Thomas.


If you like the annual fireworks display and other Fourth of July activities on The Square, now is the time to make it a reality this year by making a donation towards paying for the fireworks. You can make your donation through the Chamber of Commerce or by contacting Ed Pope III at the main office of the F&M Bank. Thunder Over Thurmond, an annual event at Clark Hill Lake, has been cancelled for this year, so we probably will attract more visitors from that area.


Another annual Fourth of July celebration is also already in the works. The annual Independence Day Parade, always held on the actual Fourth of July beginning in Fort Washington Park, will be held at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 4. This is a walking parade and includes bicycles, tricycles, scooters, and little red wagons, but no motorized vehicles. It’s a short parade ending back in Fort Washington Park with a brief patriotic celebration of the day. . While searching for information in the 1990 bound copy of The News- Reporter, I came across an account of a trip to London and other parts of England. We were there on DDay and everywhere we went there were mentions of D-Day on radio, television, in stores, on the streets, everywhere. This reminded me that this next Monday, June 6, is D-Day and all the memories it holds for so many, and I thought of a get-well letter or poem that John David Cobb (the fourth grade genius that I wrote about last week) wrote at the request of his teacher for a wounded soldier who had no family to visit him. Here are John D.’s thoughts on the subject. (Remember that John D. is only 10 years old.)

I Salute You, Good Man Dear SSG Charles Allen. As the notes of Taps play, Old injuries will always fade away. One thinks glory will ne’er leave, Ne’er go away.

The glory of your actions O, stronghold of the flag,

Unyielding bastion sacrificing just so I can live the free life.

You answered the call of the trumpet that shall never call retreat.

You are the undying blade of his terrible swift sword.

You are the defenders of Fort McKinley,

Un-fleeing in the face of bombs bursting in air.

You stood by your country, endured hard times, and for that,

A person deserves hard praise, with love and adoration.

Our flag is in good hands.

John D. Cobb

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