2019-02-14 / Kitty Bits

Kitty Bits

Tough nut to crack

Deborah Rainey of Georgia Realty Sales emailed to say, “I just sold Wisteria Hall aka Maria Randolph Mansion c.1795 (owned by Jim and Jane Bundy) to one of Amazon’s top selling authors and his wife, Bobby Akart and wife Dani. They will be moving here in a few months and making Washington their full time home. They are so excited to be here and it has been such a pleasure working with them. I truly feel they will be an asset to our town!

“The Bundys bought the house in 1995 (also via Georgia Realty Sales) as a total renovation project from the Wickershams and have been excellent stewards of the home for the last 24 years. They are staying in Washington, just downsizing in their retirement.

“Bobby and Dani … have had great things to say about Washington, posting comments and pictures of our town on their Instagram and other social media accounts. Just passing this information along for you all.”

On his website, Bobbyakart.com, we read, “Bobby Akart is the author of more than 20 #1 Best Selling Novels and has achieved Amazon Top 5 Author status in both fiction, non-fiction genres, Amazon Kindle All Star, and a Top 100 Overall Amazon Author (#55).”

Deborah reported, “Think he is up to 35 books now....says he writes a book a month and they are in series - combination of fiction, history, catastrophes, and how good people make it through. I am wondering if WE ALL are going to end up in a series. LOL”

We welcome the Akarts to Washington and to their new home.

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Is there anyone out there who can tell us how to crack black walnuts? We have two black walnut trees at the Rider House. The late Rufus Rider always said one was the age of his youngest daughter, Jo. That puts it in its 80s. A bumper crop of the nuts fell on the tin roof and deck in the fall, sounding like gunfire. We diligently collected them and removed the outer hulls, suffering the discoloration of our hands. Last week we tried putting them in a black heavy-weight contractor bag and driving over them with a Ram truck. The weight of the truck didn’t crack them even after running over them five times. And yet squirrels can get into them and have a feast. We may just throw them out for the critters unless someone has a solution.

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Skunks! Last week Carolyn Gammon mentioned them in her column. We noticed so many recently departed skunks on the road to Athens last week. Then we heard of a friend, a lovely lady who will remain unnamed and per her request be referred to only as “tall, thin, and blonde,” has trapped eight skunks in her yard over the course of a few weeks. One had left his odorous mark, which has since dissipated, under her home. The trapped skunks have been relocated.

On georgiawildlife.com we found this information. “Peak breeding activity for striped skunks (the most common in Georgia) occurs during February and March. Males are polygamous (having more than one mate at a time). As with most mustelids, delayed implantation occurs following breeding resulting in a synchrony of births during May and June after a 64-day gestation period. Litter sizes range from 2 - 10 skunks or ‘kittens’ with six being the average size.”

So maybe the males and females are out and about looking for a mate right now. We can only hope that the litters born in May and June will be content to stay in their own homes.

We find it amusing that it’s Valentine’s Day. PepĂ© Le Pew, the cartoon character from the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons, was first introduced in 1945. He was depicted as a French striped skunk, constantly in search of love. But, his offensive odor and his aggressive pursuit of romance typically ran off his love interests. Perhaps all these skunks are just “looking for love in all the wrong places.” As The J. Geils Band says so succinctly, “Love Stinks.”

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The road to Athens brings up another mention. We ran into a Washington resident who works in Athens last week. He cautioned us to mind the speed limit between Crawford and Lexington because many people have been stopped and ticketed there recently, especially near the school. There’s also a work zone along there. Forewarned is forearmed.

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We have been updating our readers on things that have turned up in our building purge. We’ve actually placed some things outside the building under the overhang in back on the West Liberty side, and put “free” signs on them. They disappeared and we hope they have become useful for someone else. Most recently we placed an old sewing machine out there. We’ll see if it finds a new home.

We have also found two dot-matrix printers (one is new in the box) and if anyone is in need of one please stop by the office. They are not being placed outside because electronics and outdoors don’t mix well.

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Borrowing from the February 17, 1994 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 2019.

100 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK

The policy of the government in 1918 was “Work or Fight.” This led to over-production as related to cotton and seed, as well as many other products. There is some talk now of requiring farmers to plant less or to work fewer days, in order to bring production and demand back into balance.

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Miss Kathleen Colley came from Atlanta last week to be with her mother who has been quite ill for a number of days.

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The sad news was received last week of Jerome Wooten’s death in France.

85 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK

The Grand Jury has recommended that jurors’ pay be increased from $2 per day to $3. . Messrs. H.H. Johnson, W.T. Johnson, Oliver Callaway, Rufus Rider, and Jim Wall returned Thursday afternoon from Washington City where Mr. Wall obtained a patent on his invention.

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After 30 years, the county has finished paying for the courthouse. A disbursement of $2,045.10 was made last month, representing the final payment of principal and interest on bonds that had been issued in 1903 to finance its construction.

75 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK

Earle Norman, chairman, reports that Wilkes Countians have gone over the top in subscribing $274,225 in War Bonds in the recent drive, against a goal of $199,100.

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NOTICE: Permanent work is available in a large paper plant at Savannah. Laborers will be paid 55 cents per hour, with time and onehalf for all work over 40 hours per week. This plant will continue to operate after the war. Report to the employment office at the courthouse.

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Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Blackmon entertained at a delightful spend-the-day party Sunday in honor of James and Stephen Blackmon. James leaves Thursday for Ft. McPherson and Stephen will join the Navy on March 1.

50 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK

Fire of undetermined origin caused an estimated $75,000 damage to a planer of the Burt Lumber Company Tuesday. Owner Addison Burt described the planing operation on Industrial Boulevard as a total loss but said he expected to be back in operation within two weeks.

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Mrs. Henry Standard, author of “This Man, This Woman,” was honored at the annual Valentine luncheon of the Washington Woman’s Club on Wednesday.

And from that same issue we find this…

25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK

With only a Friday night date with Harlem remaining on the regular season schedule, the W-WCHS Tigers desperately need a win to get them in a positive frame of mind for the Region 6-AA basketball tournament which begins Tuesday, February 22. During the past week, the Tigers followed their usual pattern of playing well, but not well enough to win. In the end, they swallowed three losses and dipped to a 5-15 season record.

First loss was especially hard to swallow. Led by Raleigh Turner’s game-high 16 points, the Tigers played powerhouse Washington County close for three quarters before bowing 58-49.

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In a surprise announcement which met with unanimous acclaim, Santa Claus was declared winner of the 1994 Community Service Award presented Tuesday evening, February 15, by the Rotary Club of Washington. Santa Claus is in reality George Nolan Long who has been known as Santa Claus in Wilkes and surrounding counties for the past 17 years.

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About 700 Jehovah’s Witnesses workers converged on a site on the North By-Pass last weekend and put up a new “Kingdom Hall” (meetinghouse) from the foundation up and had a meeting in the building Sunday. The work weekend had been planned for a long time and they had a miserable weekend weather-wise, but they all worked together in freezing temperatures and precipitation and did what they set out to do. There’s a wedding scheduled there this weekend.

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A Wilkes County bird dog has qualified for entry in the Georgia Championship Field Trials to be held later in 1994. Frank’s Delight, a two-year-old liver and white English Pointer, qualified for the Georgia championships by placing third in the recent Callaway Gardens Enduro Shooting Dog Field Trial at Callaway Gardens near Pine Mountain. “Light” is owned and handles by Perry Rogers of Washington.

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A call for community-wide cleanup in preparation for the annual Tour of Homes Saturday, April 2, headed items of discussion at the February meeting of the Washington Mayor and Council Monday evening, February 14. Mayor Ed Pope appealed for help from all property owners.

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Jennifer Harper, fifth grade student at W-W Elementary School and winner in the Arbor Day poster contest, received a “Prevent Forest Fires” T-shirt decal in celebration of Smokey the Bear’s 50th birthday from Nathaniel Cullars of the Georgia Forestry Commission. Jennifer’s poster has been entered in the state contest.

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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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