Arts & Entertainment
BEGINS IN AREA COMMUNITIES
On July 4, 1776, 235 years ago, America claimed its independence from Britain and Democracy was born.
CELEBRATE THE 4th AROUND TOWN
story and photos by judy maxwell | vintage photos from old times are not forgotten
Wynelle Ruark and her friends sat and talked about the good old days in Bostwick, Morgan County, they decided to stop talking and get busy writing.
Ruark, 79, and Nancy Carey Peters, 78, spent four years collecting essays, remembrances and photographs from Bostwick residents and former neighbors who had moved on. At the end of the project the women received the help of a tech-savvy Amy Snow Herndon, Ruark's 23-year-old granddaughter who pulled the pictures and the words together on a computer disk and added the finishing touches to "Old Times Here Are Not Forgotten: A Collection of Memories About Bostwick, Georgia," published by Southern Lion Books of Madison.
Packed between the hard-back glossy covers are 590 pages, featuring more than 1,300 photographs and nearly 100 personal remembrances penned by contributing authors with such last names as Amacher, Batchelor, Bostwick, Brook, Callaway, Carswell, Fambrough, Gilbert, Green, Kimsey, Lill, McHugh, Nunn, Pannell, Parker, Pulliam, Riden, Sosebee, Verner and Walker.
"What's been so rewarding," said Ruark, "was talking with people we haven't seen in years."
The whole process took longer than the women first expected, and involved the women sending out hundreds of letters asking for contributions. "We were very naive," laughed Ruark. "My granddaughter had just finished college and was able to help us. She's very creative and computer literate."
The compact library still offers rows of good reading with more than 4,000 books.
Jail is for bad people, said 3-year-old Quinn Butler, daughter of Tim and Amy Butler of Madison. She visited the old-county-jail-turned-library Sunday afternoon and picked out a book with her mother.
Patsy Harris (L), chairman of Friends of Morgan County Library, and Miriam Baker, library manager for 10 years, stand with a display of new books and travel DVDs during Sunday's open house.
By Judy A. Maxwell
While strains of "Jailhouse Rock" played on a boom box outside, the Morgan County Library threw open the doors of the old detention center Sunday afternoon in an effort to nab new patrons and encourage current card holders to return.
Library workers and a host of volunteers, including Friends of the Morgan County Library and library board members, were on guard in the afternoon during an open house of the library's new, but temporary, home. During the two-hour event, traffic was steady as residents visited the facility on Athens Highway, which, until a year ago, was the site of the county jail. Library board members gave tours of the site while refreshments were served as well as new book titles and library cards.
"We were very pleased with the turnout," said Patsy Harris, chairman of Friends of the Morgan County Library.
"We want everyone to come and see what's been done here," said Maxie Jones, a member of the Friends of the Library. Where steel bars stood, book shelves now reach from floor to ceiling.
The children's section is organized where the trustees' cell once stood, and one side of the reference room is flanked by a bank of phones and thick glass, where inmates securely talked to visitors.
“I am fortunate to have a group of good friends who are some of the most amazing contemporary artists. Some of the best, really, and I believe they represent the next wave of great American art. The ten artists that I have chosen for this show are not only highly respected by their peers for the dedication and success, they are also some of the nicest people you could ever meet. I am honored not only to show you their work but also to call them friends.”
story by Elizabeth Leighton Jones
By Patrick Yost
Before 241 Morgan County High School seniors received their diplomas, before the tassels were turned, the Class of 2011 was recognized as “one of the most celebrated, highest achieving classes that have walked across this stage,” said Morgan County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stan DeJarnett.
DeJarnett’s platitudes were echoed by Dr. Mark Wilson, principal, Morgan County High School. Wilson wove the destruction of a massive oak tree from the campus’ front lawn after high winds pushed the tree down two nights before graduation into his remarks.
“It was the icon of our school… the identity of our campus.” The loss of the tree left a hole, Wilson said. The loss of the tree affected the school.
But so did the class of 2011, Wilson said. “You all have made an impact that we will all miss.”
“You’re going to leave a big hole for all of us.”
“We’ll miss the tree. We’ll miss you more. You all have brought great honor to your school and to your families.”
The retiring DeJarnett, giving his last farewell speech to a graduating MCHS class, encouraged the class to take the abilities gained while students in the Morgan County School System and use those abilities to better themselves and their world. “There are some challenges out there that we haven’t experienced in generations,” DeJarnett said. “I want you to attack those with optimism.”
Salutatorian Jordan Hartney said the student body of the Class of 2011 was an enviable mix that taught him patience and persistence. “The more you put into something the better it comes out,” he said.
By Elizabeth Leighton | Photos by Angelina Bellebuono | Historical photos courtesy of City Planning