By Rachel Harper
Well, I flipped the switch and turned on our heat this morning; it was a nippy 47 degrees when I walked into the kitchen. I have down tomorrow, the 22, as a possible day of frost and also this coming Saturday, the 26, on my calendar. We may have frost this week! I know all of you are sick and tired of hearing about fogs, frosts and the dairy industry survey… I will try to get on another subject!
Morgan County lost one of its finest citizens the first of last week. Mr. Graham Ponder passed away last Sunday at his home in St. Simons where he and Mrs. Ponder had made their home for the last few years. Graham was the publisher and his wife, Adelaide, was the editor of The Madisonian for some four decades here in town. They ran a top-notch newspaper and, over the course of those years, The Madisonian won numerous awards under their leadership. They loved this community and were always trying to do what was best for it and promote it in the best possible light through the newspaper. My Grandma, Genie Maude Wilson, wrote of the Ponders often; she really loved them. In her article dated, Aug. 1, 1957, she wrote of them purchasing The Madisonian and said, “They were born and reared here among us. Our pleasures are their pleasures; our sorrows are their sorrows; the ambitions of all of us country people are also their ambitions, for what will benefit us will benefit them. I think this is a good thing for a county newspaper.” Graham was also my family’s and Grandma’s rural mail carrier. She really loved and appreciated him for that, also. She told of him always driving up to the house to leave a package personally with you or at the least on the porch where it would not get in the weather and, at Christmastime, each box holder would find several peppermint sticks of candy and maybe a handful of some other kind of paper-wrapped candy in their box. What wonderful memories! He will certainly be missed by his loving wife and family as well as everyone he touched in some way in the newspaper business. Our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers are extended to Adelaide, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Annie Lee Small, another Morgan County icon in days gone by, was honored this past Saturday night as she was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame. I loved hearing Mrs. Small’s voice on our local radio station, WYTH! She had the most pleasant, professional sounding radio voice you have ever heard. All you who never heard her missed a real treat! I can hear her now at noon “on the dot” coming on and saying, “This is Annie Lee Small, your dairyland reporter!” She would then proceed to tell all the news in “dairyland.” This county and the surrounding counties were indeed “dairyland.” She would tell all the local news and she would also announce of any deaths here in our area. All the housewives would be sure to turn on the radio and catch Annie Lee as she gave the news; she really kept us up to date. So many of us grew up listening to her. Oh, how I really miss hearing her!
Our family had a big weekend this past weekend as our father, Jake Wilson, celebrated his 93rd birthday! My sister, Bertie Alligood, from Lebanon, Tenn., came down on Friday night to surprise him. On Friday, Mama, Daddy, Bertie and I took off for an adventure up to Dahlonega where we stopped in Houston on the way up to see the house where Mama remembers going to her grandparents, the Cicero Bell’s, when she was little and her cousin lived just a few houses away. The leaves have not started turning as of yet, but we enjoyed walking the streets and going in shops. They were getting ready for Gold Rush Days. On Saturday night, the entire family along with Sally Stephens and Aunt Harriette, Daddy’s sister, all gathered up at Carrie and Mark Wilkins house for homemade chili and grilled hot dogs. Daddy had a good birthday and we wish him many, many more!
My brother, Marty Wilson, also turned the “big 60” this past Saturday. On Saturday, he, Zach Wilson, Mark and Peyton Fortson struck out for Helen, where they hiked the Yonah Mountain Trail to mark this milestone! Happy Birthday, Marty!
The Fairview Club met this past Wednesday at the home of Sally Stephens where we had a big crowd of around 17 present. Esther Curry had gotten her boss, Charles Merritt, to speak to us about his new job as Probate Judge of Morgan County as well as him being a lawyer. This was a very informative meeting and he answered all of our many questions, as well as enlightening us about many things. We could have gone on and on! Afterwards, Sally served delicious refreshments and a time of visiting was enjoyed by all. Our November meeting will be held at the home of Joan Gilbert on Pierce Dairy Road.
Marty Wilson and Tony Stephens as well as Dan and Scott Porter all treked down to the Sunbelt Expo at Moultrie this past week.
On Friday night, Bethany Baptist Church had a children and family night at the church where the children had a great time carving pumpkins, most of which were “home-grown” by the pastor’s wife, Ruth Ann Ventrello. They also enjoyed a cookout and fellowship on a wonderful fall evening.
Sarah Nell and Steve Craig had their grandchildren, Peyton, Elise, and Meri Kenney of Acworth, as their guests this past weekend. On Saturday, they joined Rebekah and Grayson Kilpatrick on an outing to Washington Farms in Watkinsville where they played in the pumpkin patch, did rides and petted animals. They all had a great time!
We have some wonderful deer hunters in our midst as gun season for hunting deer came in this past Saturday. Katelyn Messer killed a 10-point buck and Ben Porter killed a 12-pointer! Ben’s scored a 151 5/8. Good job!
We are so sorry to hear that Jim Bearden’s son-in-law, Justin Womack, was seriously injured with many broken bones in a fall from a deer stand over the weekend. Jim grew up here in the Bethany community. Please pray for Justin as he heals from this accident.
Franklin, Stacy, Sabrina, and Sophia Eaton spent Saturday with Frank and Mary Eaton. On Saturday afternoon, Guy and Elizabeth Thurmond came by for a visit. They had been to Guy’s 1959 high school class reunion which was held down at Bonner’s Restaurant.
Joan and Raymond Gilbert spent several days this past week down at Baxley with the Don Gilbert’s as they were helping Don get up some of his hay.
Sally and John Hensley spent a long weekend last weekend up in the mountains in Blairsville for some R&R.
On last Friday night, Sally and John Hensley along with the Chad Rolings, and Matt and Hannah Hensley of Macon got together up at Rebecca and Ryan Morgan’s in Rutledge where they all enjoyed eating together and catching up with one another.
Hannah Eaton has also enjoyed some time home with her family on a break from her studies up at North Georgia College recently.
Esther Curry was a judge on Saturday at a Relay for Life young girls beauty pageant here in town. She said it was a tough job; they all looked so pretty and were so talented. A girl who was in the 10th grade won the interview portion of the pageant; she was studying and could speak fluent Japanese!
Tommy and Raynor Cathey along with Mr. and Mrs. Gene Massey have returned from a wonderful trip up north. They traveled to Niagara Falls and then went on up to Quebec City, Canada, where they boarded a ship and continued traveling up the St. Lawrence Waterway. They made stops on Prince Edward Island, in Nova Scotia, Bar Harbor, Maine, and Boston. While in upper-state New York, they enjoyed a visit with a friend, Ted Schaefer, who is 103 years old and still works on his grape farm which is near Lake Erie.
All the Cronic family is reminded of our family reunion which will be held on this coming Saturday, Oct. 26th, at noon at the Bethany Baptist Church fellowship hall. We hope to see you there.