2018-07-12 / Kitty Bits

Kitty Bits

Interest in mules not viral yet

The Freedom Fireworks Extravaganza on July 3 was especially explosive this year with nature’s own lightning display accompanying the man-made show. We are all thankful that the deluge of rain subsided in time for the show to go on as scheduled. Much gratitude goes to the committee and all who donated, making the annual event possible. Don’t forget that you can go ahead and start contributing to next year’s fund so that it can be bigger and better than ever.


Kathy Agan emailed us with something we think you will be interested in. “Last fall, a film crew from Turn Left Productions came out to the house and filmed my husband [Danny Agan] for a series called “The Price of Duty.” The series is about law enforcement officers who have handled cases that haunt them after the case is over. In Danny’s case, it has to do with a serial rapist in Atlanta and it took 25 years to catch him. The series is currently on the Oxygen channel and airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. It is our understanding he will be on the July 30th episode.” We can’t wait to watch it.


Our spring cleaning (though now it’s in the heat of summer) has unearthed a couple of books that are out of print. One copy of Janet Standard’s This Man, This Woman, and one copy of Wilkes County Cemeteries by F.M. and Nell Newsome are available to purchase at The News-Reporter. Price has not been determined. Just let us know if you are interested in either.


Doug Abramson updated us on his quest to find out more about the current mule population of Wilkes County and whether we have maintained or even surpassed our fourth place statewide ranking from 100 years ago. We were amused by his comments in his latest email to a staff member of the Georgia Department of Agriculture. He wrote, “My local newspaper in Washington, Ga. (The News-Reporter) printed some 1918 news that piqued my curiosity and I sent the below email to Commissioner Black. To compound matters, the newspaper later printed my email to Commissioner Black. As a result of all this, while I can’t say that the subject has gone viral, many in our town are now curious about the answers to my questions. Any help would be appreciated. By the way, Mule Day in Washington on October 13, 2018, is a great event and we’d be honored to have representatives from the Department of Agriculture attend.” So we haven’t quite gone viral, but we appreciate Doug’s interest and pursuit of knowledge. As they say, inquiring minds want to know. Also, see the comment in “75 years ago this week” below.

. Chris Townsend emailed in response to our confusion about gas being sold at drug stores which we reported in the historical information of this column on June 28. “Why yes Kitty, in the early days of the Horseless Carriage a pharmacy would sell gasoline. This is before the days of service stations.” So we learned something new. In researching this online, we found that after gasoline pumps were invented the modern gas station model was developed.


We ran a photo of the 1943 metal scrap heap in front of the North Alexander School building in our June 28 issue. On our Facebook page, it opened up a conversation about the school bell and whether or not it was donated to the pile. Steve Blackmon called us to that the school bell had indeed been added to the scrap pile. Who knows? Maybe that bell was melted down and made into something that was critical in our winning WWII. It’s nice to think that it did, anyway.


Borrowing from the July 8, 1993 issue of The News-Reporter and “This week in local history” compiled by Irvin Cheney Jr. we find some interesting bits. The “years ago” have been updated and are in comparison to 2018.

100 years ago this week

Lt. W.T. Holton of the British army spoke here Wednesday, and impressed all who heard him with his earnestness and sincerity. If anyone in this country does not yet believe in this righteous war, let him remember in what contempt the carpet-baggers and scalawags were held after the War Between the States. The same scorn and contempt heaped upon them will be heaped upon those who are disloyal or lukewarm today.

The Bank of Tignall has increased its stock 60 percent to 100 percent and paid a dividend of four percent on par value.

The South is in for a period of unparalleled prosperity. The production of 15 million bales of cotton with prices sky high can only spell prosperity.

85 years ago this week

The government will pay Wilkes farmers $87,000 to plow up 7,030 acres of cotton, of the 22,760 acres planted, if enough farmers agree to participate in the program. 25 years before this the money was made by planting and producing cotton. Now the farmers are paid to plow it up? KB

All prices of commodities and food stuffs are rising rapidly, as a result of taxes on raw products and other actions that have been required to provide relief to those who have been devastated by the depression. Secretary of Agriculture Wallace has announced a plan to prosecute profiteers who seek to make unreasonable profits during these times of change.

The New York Sales Company is offering a special on men’s suit. Suits that are valued at up to $15 are to be sold at $2.95 to $6.95.

75 years ago this week

C.C Bentley, county AAA Administrative Officer, states that all farmers must come to his office and file a statement indicating the number of acres of cotton that have been planted. Those who fail to do so will not be issued a marketing card. It’s interesting to think about the decline of King Cotton. Do they still keep records of acreage planted with particular crops? It seems like another question for Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. KB

Lt. Robert Wesley Dyar writes that he has arrived safely somewhere in the South Pacific.

50 years ago this week

A.A. Marshall caught a two pound, four ounce bream in his pond just off the Lincolnton Highway. It measures 11.75 inches long and 14.5 inches around the girth.

New officers of the Rotary Club are B.H. Hendricks Jr., president; H.G. Garrard Jr., vice-president; Egbert Hopkins, secretary-treasurer; Virgil Poss, Sergeant-at-Arms; and George Norman, Gerald Norman, and Ben Knight, directors.

Mrs. Harris Blackmon received her degree in Business Administration with a major in Management from Armstrong State College in Savannah in June.

And from that same issue we find this…

25 years ago this week

After several delays, mostly caused by bad weather and holdups in shipment of special materials, the sweeping new construction and renovation project at the new Wills Memorial Hospital is virtually complete. Formal re-dedication of the hospital is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, August 12. Plans for the ceremonies were reported to the Hospital Authority of Wilkes County during its regular monthly meeting Wednesday morning June 30. CFO Murray Mitchell presented the financial report for May 1993 which showed a negative contribution to operations. The hospital’s average census of 28 patients included 19 acute care, seven sub-acute, and two newborns.


While reported burglaries have been on the decline in recent weeks, it appears that forgery has risen to replace burglary as the current crime of choice. Sheriff’s Investigator Thomas Bailey said Tuesday that three forgery cases were handled the latter part of June, including one for prescription drugs and two for cash.


The “Vox Pop” survey on the editorial page that week posed the question, “A demonstration Monday at the White House called on President Clinton for ‘full disclosure of government UFO secrets.’ Do you believe that UFOs are real and that there is life as we know it on other planets? Why?” Carlos Gartrell, Walter Jones, and Jamie Shelton all answered “No,” with Daniel Moody answering “Yes, I believe there are UFOs because of the movie I’ve been watching and how the government is hiding all that stuff.” It’s 25 years later and inquiring minds still want to know the truth. KB


As the unseasonably hot weather holds Georgia in its sweaty grip, many wildlife enthusiasts have begun to worry about the effect these soaring temperatures are having on creatures in the wild. For those who feed hummingbirds, that concern is translated into questions regarding the freshness of sugar water offerings. With temperatures climbing into the mid to high 90s, sugar water solutions often spoil rapidly and pose a health risk to the very birds we are trying to help. However, with just a little extra effort, we can provide the numerous hummingbirds visiting our feeders with safe, nutritious food. When the water gets cloudy or spots are seen growing inside the feeder, the food needs to be discarded and the feeder thoroughly cleaned. It is possible to clean your feeder using a few drops of vinegar and a couple of kernals of rice, or a weak solution of bleach and water and a small bottle brush can be used. After all mold has been removed, the feeder should be washed in warm soapy water, followed by a thorough rinsing. You can retard the growth of mold and bacteria by boiling the sugar water feed mixture for two to three minutes.

This is a good reminder that we need to tend to our feeders. KB


Please email kittybits@news-reporter.com or kittybits@wilkespublishing.com with your contributions to the column. Or you can call 706- 678-2636 or stop by the office.

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