2017-01-12 / The Office Cat

The Office Cat

Better than The Rome News

We’ve been waiting for rain and cooler weather and we finally got some. What we were not expecting was the snow, but we got some of that, too, early Saturday morning. It didn’t hang around very long, but the cooler temperatures did. I got about an inch of rain during the past week and Norris Ware on Hill Street got an inch Friday night. He got 5.2 inches last week. ... Sonny Johnson in Tyrone got 4.5 inches last week.

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While doing some ressearch on Wilkes County history, I saw an article that said Wilkes County had a serious snow storm on Sunday, February 12, 1899, dumping six inches of snow on the county and a low temperature of two degrees. At least we were spared that kind of weather this weekend when the rest of the country was having all kinds of severe winter weather.

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Tuesday morning when I started on my morning walk, at the corner of the Square and Court Street, there was a big, big pile of ivy that had been on Charlie LeGette’s office building. Some of it looked as if it had been cut with a saw or some other kind of cutting instrument, while other parts seemed to have just been pulled off the side of the building. I called Charlie’s office and he and Robin Spradlin told me that they didn’t quite know the circumstances of the ivy being on the ground, but they were not getting rid of it. .

The News-Reporter received a nice note with a subscription renewal from Vickie Davidson, wife of former Tiger football coach Charlie Davidson. The Davidsons left Washington-Wilkes about 45 years ago and moved to Rome, Georgia, but Vickie says she still enjoys and looks forward to receiving her copy of The News-Reporter each week. “It is a lot more interesting than The Rome News,” she said.

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I am a regular patron of the Mary Willis Library and enjoy keeping up with new (and old) books and doing a lot of reading. If you are not a regular visitor to the library, you probably don’t know that there is a great publication which is available, free of charge, to anyone who wants one. It’s called “Book Page” and is about a 9x12 magazine booklet with all kinds of “goodies” in it. It has a “kicker” which says “America’s Book Review.” But it’s not just book reviews, it has much more information. It’s a monthly publication and this month’s feature on the front page is a picture of writer Gary Taubes’ featuring his newest book titled “The Case Against Sugar.” The description under the title is “Sugar, you ain’t so sweet.” Other interesting things in the publication include columns, authors, fiction, non-fiction, teens, and children’s books. The publication and news in the booklet keep me up-to-date on current publications as well as some of “the oldies.” If you are not familiar with this service, ask one of the attendants the next time you go to the library. Of special interest to many of you might be “In the Great, Green Room.”

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While looking through Skeet Willingham’s book on Wilkes County history for information on Callaway preachers (we have many), I saw an interesting item on an athletic club being formed by a group of young men in 1913- 14. By that winter, the High School Athletic Association had been reorganized and the boys had begun practicing for the inaugural Eighth District Meet held in Madison in April 1914. Although the local literary efforts did not place, two track boys won first places, Garnett Lyndon in the high jump, and John Toomey in the shot put. More on this next week.

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I had an item about Aonia several months ago in this column, but have found another mention of the community and the name. The item says that a Mr. Chapin gave the little community (in the 1840s) the fine-sounding name of Aonia and although some of the citizens objected to this name, thinking it effeminate and inappropriate, Aonia it has remained. This is said to be the only Aonia of post office record in the United States. (There are others living today who will disagree with this.)

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I had a call last week from a friend who was at a meeting and nobody could remember what the area around the depot was called many years ago. I had to let it run around in my brain for a bit but then remembered that it was called “Dublin.” I don’t remember exactly why, so I won’t get into that now. But it was a large area around the depot, the big brick hotel, area where Pet Milk was located for a while, the grocery store on the corner, and Mr. Brooks’ buildings across the street. If you want to identify some of these places and tell me about them, call me at 706- 678-7781, or write to me at 109 E. Court Street. I still can’t get my email figured out.

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There is not much going on in Wilkes County right now. I think everybody is recuperating from the holidays and all the busy days of November and December. I’m going to take advantage of it and be ready when springtime revs up.

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These days of November and December used to be an anxious time for families who kept hogs and had the chore of killing them and getting them ready for hanging in the smokehouse or wherever they put the finished project so that there would be lard, sausage, liver cheese, pig’s feet, hams, and all the other by-products of hog-killing. I didn’t grow up on a farm and I never witnessed a hog-killing but once and hope I never have to again. Grandpa Rider lived with us at the time and he kept two hogs in the area where my shop (or garage) is now. I remember that it had to be very cold, and I remember a huge fig tree with a limb as big around as a fat man’s thigh and that was where the poor pig was hung up to “drain” or “dry.” … I hope I never see another hog-killing. Maybe that’s why I don’t care for pork. Give me chicken or turkey any day.

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