2017-05-11 / The Office Cat

The Office Cat

Never had a credit card

I saw my little eight-year-old friend, Athen Andrews, listed in a cutline for a picture in The News-Reporter but I couldn’t find him in the picture. I called his grandmother, Vonice Wells, and she told me he was standing right behind his little sister Ali Malena, but I still couldn’t find him. I called Vonice again and she told me that I probably didn’t recognize him because he has very long hair because he has been letting it grow for “Locks of Love” which uses human hair to make wigs, etc. for cancer victims (and others) who have lost their hair. I found him then and his hair was down to his shoulders and Vonice says he has to have four more inches of growth before he can cut it and send it off to Locks of Love.

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I have started my morning walking again after being out for three weeks after a fall which required 14 stitches to the top of my head. I’m not quite up to my former distance yet, but I’m getting there. While walking one morning this week I noticed two signs on the fence at the Tupper-Barnett House next door to the First Baptist Church. One said “Caution. Construction work in progress,” and another said “Restoration. Do not enter.” I’m glad to see the historic old house getting the attention it needs for restoration after several years. It dates back to the 1860s when it became known as the residence of Dr. Henry Allen Tupper, pastor of the First Baptist Church. Later, it became the home of the Marion Barnetts. Following their deaths the house has been occupied by various ones and unoccupied and deteriorating in recent years.

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We’ve had Easter, and Mothers Day is coming up May 14. Memorial Day is May 29 and school will soon be out for the summer. I’m wondering if the weather we’re having now (cooler temperatures) is the proverbial Blackberry Winter.

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Mark Waters says he had talked to various city and county officials about straightening a sign on the “Stonehenge Island” on The Square to no avail. Then one day last week, preparing for the dedication of the Jefferson Trail marker at the courthouse, Mark met Bobby Mills and Henry Binns of the city’s Public Works Department. He mentioned that the sign was leaning and had been for some time. That afternoon the sign was straight. Thanks Bobby and Henry!

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Sonny Johnson at Tyrone got an inch and a half of rain this past week. He got 7.3 inches for the month of April last year compared to four inches for this year. His rainfall for the year to date for 2017 is 18.2 inches. … Norris Ware on Hill Street got 1.6 inches this past week, and that’s what I got on Court Street for the week.

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I guess the Braves are doing pretty good at this point in the season, but I surely am having a hard time knowing the names of the players. They all look alike with their helmets on, long hair, beards, and mustaches. The names on the television screen when they come up to bat are too small for me to see and just about the only one I can recognize is Freddy Freeman, an oldie. But I still enjoy the games – much more than basketball.

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I have heard and read that the old Washington Fire Department will be torn down and the new station will be built on the same location. I’m glad they’re still going to be near my house. Most of my life I’ve lived across the street, or down the street, from the fire station (even in El Paso, Texas, Chatsworth, and Savannah) and I would miss it. In the 1940s, 1950s, and probably the 1960s, my Daddy always told us if we needed help real quick for any emergency, to call the fire department. This was back in the dark ages when we had just one day-policeman, one night-policeman, no emergency medical services, etc., and the volunteer firemen handled most all emergencies – even rescuing the pet cat from a tree or a cow from a well. Firemen are special people to me.

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If you’ve been out riding, you have seen the work being done at the top of the hill on Spring Street (across the street from the old hospital.) Since work was begun on the house I have referred to it as the “Hitt House” and the person I was talking to has said, “The what house?” But I have also found some friends who remember when it was the Hitt house, and Mrs. Hitt lived there. Of course there have been many owners since Mrs. Hitt lived there in the 1930s and 1940s. But when Bug, Don, and I were growing up, it was a special place because our aunt, Reba Rider (Mrs. Ben) Drinkard, lived upstairs there. They didn’t have any children so we got their full attention when we visited. Aunt Reba always had fudge, cookies, and other treats for us, but the thing I remember best is that she would take us out in the front yard and for hours we would make dresses and hats out of magnolia leaves, using small sticks found in the yard to hold the items together. There have been several owners since that time. It’s a beautiful house. We especially enjoyed the curving stairway.

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I received several interesting “little tidbits” in the mail from Julian May who grew up in the house next door to the First Baptist Church and across the street from The News-Reporter. Julian is one of us “oldies” and I can say that because he’s just a year younger than I am and I just celebrated my 85th birthday. Here are a few of those items and I will have more in weeks to come:

“Someone asked the other day, ‘What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?’ I informed him that we didn’t have fast food when I was growing up. All the food was slow. ‘Come on, seriously, where did you eat?’ he said. I told him it was a place called ‘At Home.’ Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn’t like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it. By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn’t tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table. Some other things I could have told him was that some parents NEVER owned their own house, never wore Levis, never set foot on a golf course, never traveled out of the country, or had a credit card.”

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More next week! It gets better!!

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