Dick Hodgetts: Columnist
Growing up in the Keencheefoonee community in the 1940’s was a trip. W.W. West had eight youngsters on his cotton farm and they were an active bunch. With the kids from neighboring farms, plus those from Centennial Baptist Church, and the kids of tenant farmers; there were always enough kids to play any sport or game that someone dreamed up.
W.W. was blessed with six daughters and two sons. When he ventured into Madison on Saturday mornings, he was likely to run into his pal Roy Lambert. Roy would shout out half a block away: “W.W. how could anyone so ugly have six such beautiful daughters?” The success stories from these eight West kids could fill a book. Today we will tell just a little bit of the story of the charming and delightful Rena West Holt.
Not much traffic out on the dirt roads in the 1940’s. An exciting event was the daily arrival of the rural free delivery postman whom they could hear make his way from some distance. What would he bring today? The tension would mount as they saw his dust trail. Oh it’s the shipment of baby chicks for Rena’s 4–H Project–the ones she ordered from Sears Roebuck. Yep, that’s how it was done in 1946.
She attended elementary school in Rutledge, and later went to Morgan County High as a basketball player, cheerleader, an all round good student. She worked her way through Piedmont College--a good place to learn to become a teacher, which is exactly what she did. One day this well dressed young man named George Holt appears on campus, and Rena decides: “That is the guy for me.” As she says summarily: “It took him a spell to shed himself of that girl in south Georgia--but it was never in doubt.”
Michael and Farrah. The world knew them by one name.
Today, anyone can disseminate ideas worldwide. Everyone is a celebrity. In my youth, it was different. We had these things…Superstars.
Farrah and Charlie’s Angels. My sister, a brunette, loved Jaclyn Smith as Kelly Garrett. As another brunette, I identified with spunky Sabrina Duncan, Kate Jackson, for she seemed brainy and I felt obligated to even out the brunette-to-Angel ratio in my household.
It was unthinkable to pick Farrah. She was blonde with all that flippy, perfect hair. No way could my hair do that. None of our hair did, but we all tried. Just open up any late 70s to early 80s junior high or high school yearbook. I could only muster a part down the middle with two big rolls of hair framing my face. But Farrah wore flawless beauty and a blow out by Jose Eber. I loved to look at her. We all did.
Asking my husband his memories of Farrah, he smiled.
Her poster was everywhere. Dorm walls, shopping malls and Fellowship Halls. You couldn’t go five feet without coming face to face with her hair and fabulous smile atop a one-piece red bathing suit. Farrah was just Farrah. (Insert sigh of 13 year-old girl. Might as well include sigh from any male living on the planet between 1976 and 2009.)
By: Bobby Smith
Wow! Has it been hot? Yes, we know it is summer now!
One of my favorite things to do when it’s this hot is to enjoy a large bowl or cone of ice cream! Whether it’s store bought or homemade, ice cream is a delight to the palate and its creamy texture adds to the pleasure of this cool treat! And this month is a great month to enjoy my favorite treat as we celebrate National Ice Cream Month.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the nation's population. In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with "appropriate ceremonies and activities."
The International Ice Cream Association (IICA) encourages retailers and consumers to celebrate July as National Ice Cream Month. In 2009, National Ice Cream Day will be Sunday, July 19.
The U.S. ice cream industry generates more than $21 billion in annual sales and provides jobs for thousands of citizens. About 9 percent of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, contributing significantly to the economic well-being of the nation's dairy industry. Plus with all the dairy farmers here in the Lake Oconee area it’s a great way to celebrate our freedom and applaud their efforts to produce such great dairy products!
It feels good to be on a winning team.
Many of those residents of Morgan County who have moved here, children in tow, over the past ten years will tell you that they did so—in large part—because of the school system, which has enjoyed a reputation in Georgia as a system to watch for some years now. For local parents, it’s thrilling to observe and participate as that potential begins to coalesce into a system recognized not only in a tri-county area, but on regional, state, and national stages as well.
Morgan County High School Principal Mark Wilson is the national Principal of the Year. The high school has been ranked as 20th in the state by Newsweek magazine for its dedication to and support of Advanced Placement classes (one of which, AP Art History, is taught by that self-same Principal of the Year, a fact that amazes teachers from other school systems. “You have a principal who teaches a class?!?)
Our local middle school is a Lighthouse School to Watch, and CRCT scores across the system are up and above state averages.
Whether you have children in the local school system or not, you can take pride in our community’s students and teachers and everyone who supports them in any way. Successful schools mean successful communities, and our schools are making their way into the ranks of the best.
If academia was a sport, we’d have just won the pennant. So get out there and celebrate! And support our schools as they continue their quest to be the best.
By: Dick Hodgetts
Kids today will think you are ancient if you tell them about serial movies back in the “good old days”. Let me recall: Captain Marvel, Boston Blackie, Lone Ranger, and Lash LaRue were my favorite stars in serial movies. The hero would always get into such an impossible fix that you would think: “they got him for sure this week;” at that very moment, the serial movie ended, and you had to come back the next week to see how the hero escaped without a scratch. Then some guy named Ed Hurlihy came on and gave you a voice-over on the news reel that told how we were doing fighting the Germans, Japs, Koreans, or whoever was the axis of evil that decade. If all my chores had been done, and I was pleasant (a rare occurrence); Mom provided 10 cents for the movie, and a nickel for the candy. And maybe, just maybe, I would get to sit next to that cute little blonde at the Ashland Theatre who knew how to smile and get most of my box of candy, saving her own nickel.
In Ecuador, they are even more traditional in bringing up proper Catholic girls. When Monica Culqui went to her first movie with her boyfriend, there was no such thing as a chance of holding hands. She and her little boy friend were accompanied by her father, and both her older brothers. So how do you go from this overly protective environment to become an independent person living in another culture? Further, how do you emerge into a creative artist? It’s an interesting story and it is still evolving.
By Celia Murray