2008-03-20 / The Office Cat

Alfred's is new on The Square

We continue to have severe weather in the area, but we keep being spared from tornadoes and damaging winds and hail. That's good! The new severe weather alert system got another workout late Saturday afternoon when a line of tornadoes threatened the area for several hours. Fortunately, none touched down in Wilkes County. Norris recorded .7 of an inch of rain but other areas of the county report as much as 3 inches. . . . Downtown Atlanta got hit pretty hard Friday night. It was frightening to watch the catwalk near the top of The Georgia Dome swaying and the debris falling from the roof during the Southeastern Conference basketball tournament on television. The game in progress was were delayed for nearly an hour and one game was postponed and moved to another location. Lots of damage was reported in the general area of The Dome.

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Jeremy Pullen took his dad, Larry Pullen, to the Atlanta Race Track during the weekend for a belated Christmas present. Larry got to ride around the track in one of the racecars. Pam went along with them but did not ride in a racecar.

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Be sure to drive up (or down) Court Street and see the display of Washington Towne Cars at the corner of Court and Jefferson streets. There is also a nice sign that has been put up. Washington Towne Cars is owned by Washington-Wilkes Ventures, and the man behind the ventures is John Horton. . . . Led by Peggy Anderson and Deb DeShazo, the Washington-Wilkes Ventures' management team will be making some changes in the

Washington Jockey Club. The ladies say they are "strongly committed to making the Jockey Club an unparalleled dining experience in Washington."

. Jeanne Davis-Blair, owner and hostess of Southern Elegance Bed & Breakfast and The Tearoom (across the street from The News-Reporter), will be opening a restaurant on The Square April 4. To be called Alfred's, the restaurant is named for her grandfather. It is located in the building next to La Place Art Gallery on the east side of The Square. Jean will be serving a luncheon buffet at noon and dinner in the evening.

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The News-Reporter will publish its annual Tour of Homes supplement on Thursday, April 3. Deadline for submitting advertisements or items for the supplement is Thursday, March 27. Call Tara Townsend at 706-678-7370 for advertisements.

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Allen Bunch's ultra-light plane lost power late Sunday afternoon and Allen made an emergency landing on Harper Road at Rayle. Allen was not injured but the plane sustained some damage. I frequently hear and see him flying around. I'm not so sure I would like to ride in an "open-air plane."

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E-mail from Peter S. reads, "Here's an item that I thought deserved mentioning in your OfficeCat column. Seventeen new redbud trees have been planted in the park on Liberty Street compliments of Mike Barry and Barry Rogers of Otter Creek Gardens. Now, if only that city government of yours would do its part and do something about the tennis court." . . . Dana and Richard Kibbey have added six magnolia trees, several cedar trees, and other shrubbery to the park.

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Marjorie Tyler has a new greatgrandson whose name is James Tadeusz. He is the son of Brad and Lanette Tyler of Montgomery, Ala., who lived at one time in Krakow, Poland, doing mission work. They still feel a strong attachment to their years in Poland. They gave their little son the Polish name Tadeusz which means "brave and bold." He is also named for his grandfather, James Larry Tyler, and his great-grandfather, the late James Tyler. James has two sisters, Jane, six years old, and Susie, four years old.

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Marcia Campbell, curator at the Robert Toombs State Historic Site, tells me that the site has received an award for "Most Innovative Special Program at a Historic Site." This award was for the production by the Toombs House staff of "A Christmas Carol" in 2007. A synopsis of the award reads: "On December 8, 2007, staff and volunteers of the Toombs House hosted an entertaining and innovative program. Taking cues from Charles Dickens, they turned the house into a stage. Each floor was decorated to provide a backdrop for performers to act out vignettes from the classic 'A Christmas Carol.' Attendance was excellent with more than 200 visitors enjoying the entertainment. The program was well organized, researched, and masterfully carried out." Congratulations to all who were involved.

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Josh Goldman, our faithful and efficient "head man" with our crew of teenagers who help us in assembling and distributing The News-Reporters on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, has left to take a job with his dad in the construction business. Josh was home-schooled and finished his high school requirements in December. We will miss him.

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Sokun and Guillaume Slama have a special visitor. Sokun's mother,

Mrs. Kim I Nuon from France has arrived for her first visit to the United States of America. In case you still don't realize who Sokun and Guillaume are, they are owners of The Fitzpatrick, Sophie's, and Lafayette Manor Bed & Breakfast Inn.

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One Downtown merchant reminds us that we not only need to "spruce up" our yards, sidewalks, and businesses before the Tour of Homes on April 4-5, businesses and homeowners need to replace their old and beat-up American flags. "After all," he says, "we DO have a flagcompany in town making flags easy to purchase."

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Several Washington-Wilkes students will be part of the cast for Briarwood Academy's production of the musical "Fiddler on the Roof" March 18 and 29. They are Anna Goolsby, Lizzie Keen, Chase Walker, Maria Goolsby, Kayley Roberson, Adam Hardy, Emily Henderson, Sherrer Long, Brandy Ray, Eli Holder, Brittany Ray, Ben Danner, and Jarrett Keen.

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Bessie Jenkins called early Monday morning to inquire about the purchase of one of the new weather radios. As I talked to her I realized that she was an eyewitness to the worst weather that we had in Wilkes County Saturday afternoon. Bessie lives in a subdivision on the Lincoln County side of Broad River. She has a storm pit at her house and was preparing to go into it when a family member who lives 10 minutes away called and told her that he and his family were coming to go into the storm pit because it was looking bad. Bessie watched as a "cloud, black like smoke," approached over numerous pine trees in the area, then lifted, and came straight for her subdivision. She said there was a loud, loud noise "like a steam train on the tracks." Her family members arrived, hurriedly got out of their cars, with one of them saying, "Get in the storm pit. That train is right behind us." As they got into the pit, they could see the storm "coming right at them," with so much rain and hail in the wind that the sky was almost completely white. When it passed on over and they came out, their house and their neighbor's house was still standing but other houses were roofless, power poles were twisted, and the pine trees looked as if a clearcutting crew had been through. I'm sure the storm was much worse than I have described.

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Most of the activities scheduled for the weekend are family, church, and Easter related. I hope that each of you has a happy time and that you remember the real reason we celebrate Easter.

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