Christmas and Daddy

Staff Written Community

By Cheryl Bland All six of us were born in the “Colored Ward” of the Macon Hospital in Macon.  We were raised in the small middle GA town of Gray, in the community of Clinton in Jones County.   My mom, Mary Lois Johnson Bland, was an English and French teacher, basketball coach and finally a school counselor.   Daddy, Benjamin Franklin Bland, was a civil service worker. My Daddy was a big tall dark man.  He stood 6 foot 2 inches.  He blew cigarette rings and let us play …

By Barbara Ashburn

Staff Written Community

By Barbara Ashburn Where is the magic of Christmas?  Do we need to search for it or does it find us?   Is it in the gifts?  I tried to think of Christmases past and remember if any gifts created that magical feeling. I remember the year I got the most beautiful baby doll.  That same afternoon I took my new doll up the street to show her to neighbors and one of the girls just had to hold her.  Because the neighbor girl was in the process of painting …

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Dolls of Christmases past

Staff Written Community

By Rachel Harper When I was little, Christmas was always an exciting time for me and my brothers and sister.  We would continually look through the Sears and Roebuck Wish Catalog to start making our lists as to what we wanted for Christmas. I can remember making a list, but I really don’t remember going to see Santa Claus and sitting in his lap.  Knowing me, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to do that anyway!   I would always wish for a new baby doll.  I didn’t care if I had …

Oh, Christmas Tree

Staff Written Community

By Dee Cabaniss Pederson Christmas – it’s just a happy word, isn’t it?  You kind of have to smile when you say it.  I have so many memories of the most wonderful time of the year that I had some difficulty settling on any one in particular.  But after a full minute, I decided there is one Christmas tradition filled with excitement, frustration, joy, and a bit of rage – the acquisition of the perfect Christmas tree. Growing up on a dairy farm, we had plenty of wooded areas and …

Grateful Christmas Memories

Staff Written Community

By Sheree Evans Christmas has always been an exciting time of the year for me. I have always loved the beautiful lights, the smell of a cedar tree, parties and the hustle and bustle of the season. Terry and I married in 1993, and we have had many happy and memorable Christmases together. In the beginning of 2007, Terry noticed that he was getting tired really easy and just walking a mile was zapping his energy. He had always been active in sports and had kept himself in good shape …

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Georgia’s Noted U.S. Veterans’ Cemeteries

Staff Written News

For weeks my iPhone calendar has had a reminder on it that on Saturday, December 15, I am to embark on an early morning two-hour drive with a dear friend to Canton, GA, in order to be at the Georgia National Cemetery by 10:00 AM with thousands of other pilgrims.  Deb and I are going there in order to place wreaths on the graves of our fathers who served this wonderful country so bravely as young men while members of the U.S. military. Deb’s dad was an Army lifer, serving …

Rutledge Rooster crows once more

Staff Written Community

Dear Friends and Neighbors, Christmas is almost upon us. Out in Rutledge plans are underway to celebrate. This Saturday, Dec 8th, our annual Christmas Festival will be held in City Park. Sponsored by the Rutledge Garden Club, there will be vendors selling handcrafted goods, festive food, a variety of musical and magical entertainment and most importantly, a visit from Santa and one of his merriest elves. The Rutledge Recreation Department is hosting the city’s first ever Christmas parade going off at 10 am.. Santa and his elf will be arriving …

‘Wreaths Across America’ for the holidays

Staff Written News

I just finished going through this morning’s 20-something emails; mostly from organizations I don’t know, except maybe one. “Dear Bill and Linda would you be interested in renewing your gift of four wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery again this Holiday Season….” I read it again. I’m puzzled. All four of our parents are buried at Arlington, but I don’t remember buying any wreaths.  I wish I had, but I just don’t recall…but ya know, of all the things I’ve lost I do miss my mind the most. Hmmm… I head …

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Wellbridge senior community opens office

Staff Written News

Special to the Citizen Wellbridge Community of Madison is announcing the opening of a Senior Living Leasing Center at 230 W. Washington St., adjacent to Town 220. The Leasing Center provides information on the new Wellbridge campus and its array of senior housing options, amenities, and services soon to be developed at 1800 Bethany Rd. at the bypass.  A large scale, inclusive, senior living community focused on wellness is being developed on a sprawling 75 acres complete with 252 independent living cottages and apartments, along with 80 assisted living and …

The Last Jam!

Staff Written Community, Featured

  Special to the Citizen A big thanks to everyone, who helped make The Last Jam concert at the auditorium of Morgan County High School, a big success and a lot of fun!  We planned for 14 bands and five hours of live music…and it happened!  But, not without a lot of help from the following people: Thanks to Eric Dodd, recently named CMT Indie Artist to Watch, and well-known local boy (MCHS Class of 2003), who came home and not only performed two musical numbers, but then jammed with …

Redeemer gets child care approved

Staff Written News

By Brittany Whitley & Tia Lynn Ivey staff writers A local church received approval to open a daycare and applause from county commissioners on leading the charge for a traffic light at the Bethany Road Intersection. The Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) voted unanimously Tuesday morning to approve a conditional use for Redeemer Church of Madison to operate a daycare facility for about 40 infants and toddlers, with the potential to open a full-fledged preschool that could accommodate up to 300 children.  Pastor John Darsey announced to county commissioners …

Rutledge wraps local concert series

Staff Written Community

By Brittany Whitley staff writer Under a peeking moon, many sat before the sunset’s watercolor backdrop, enwrapped in ribbons of acoustic melodies, to experience the end of a good thing. Instantly charming the audience with her soulful voice, Sarah Zúñiga concluded this year’s Rutledge Summer Concert Series (RSCS) at City Park in downtown Rutledge with grace. Since 2014, the Downtown Rutledge Merchants Association (DRMA) has annually sponsored and booked a variety of local and national artists to perform weekly during the months of June, July, and August in downtown Rutledge. …

PAC’s first public art to go in Town Park

Staff Written Community

By Brittany Whitley staff writer Public art is at the forefront of the city of Madison’s newest board, the Public Arts Commission (PAC), which met for the second time last Thursday to iron out the details of the group’s first project. Town Park in downtown Madison will soon display the first of many public art works to come to Madison, according to the PAC. In keeping with the commission’s purpose of introducing public art to a variety of public spaces throughout Madison, the council decided that Town Park would be …

Farmview Market hosts BBQ competition

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Brittany Whitley staff writer Beneath clear blue skies and sunny weather, Farmview Market held the annual Southern Classic BBQ Competition last Saturday which featured music, crafts, and of course, local southern-style barbecue. Close to 4,000 barbeque-lovers gathered to delight in a variety of finger-licking-good meats offered at this past Saturday’s competition. Twenty-seven teams faced off to earn cook up various BBQ dishes, including chicken, pork, and beef tips. After hours of attendees taste-testing tender barbeque dishes, two groups were named the winners for their perfected recipes. Pots BBQ took …

A man, a dog and and amazing friendship

Staff Written Community

By Brittany Whitley staff Just west of the Madison’s Family Dollar Store, Willie Cooper stuffs a battery charger in his worn, dark-brown leather knapsack and starts down the familiar cracked concrete sidewalk of Eatonton Road. As the cool wind embraces his skin and gently combs through her fair-hair, Cooper and his beloved pet Ginger, embark on their daily travel in his one-seater electric wheelchair.     Following his chronic arthritis and rheumatism diagnosis, the 84-year-old relinquished his 16-year Atlanta residency, and has since spent the last eight years in Madison …

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Farmview hosts BBQ competition Saturday

Staff Written Community

By Brittany Whitley staff writer Is it true that the best barbeque is found in the South? You will find out  Saturday if you attend the 2nd Annual Southern Classic BBQ Competition from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m at Farmview Market in Madison. Thirty teams will be ready to rumble early Saturday morning to grill some of the best meats they have ever grilled! The competition will feature three meat categories: chicken, beef tri-tip, and pork ribs, with the winner of all three categories receiving a Grand Prize of $2,000. …

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Planning Commission says ‘yes’ to game center

Staff Written News

By Brittany Whitley staff writer The Madison Planning and Zoning Commission met on Thursday and approved, with conditions, a proposed game center at an East Washington Street location. In a 2-2 tied vote, broken by Chairman Robert Trulock, commission approved plans for a “Games and Beyond” game center requested by Wanda Eubanks. Eubanks said she wanted to provide kids and adults in the community with a safe location for recreation and positivity. Eubanks wants to “help the kids,” she said, by installing computers and Wi-Fi to aid in the completion …