2008-10-09 / The Office Cat

The Office Cat

Another busy weekend coming up

Bullet holes in the steeple and weathervane of our beautiful old Presbyterian Church? That's what workers found when they began stripping the steeple to paint. Kip Burke went to make pictures and was really intrigued with it all. He asked around to see who might know who had been shooting at the church. Some of the bullet holes looked very old and some looked rather new. One theory offered was that when there were no homes on East Robert Toombs Avenue, the area from that street north over to the Gilbert-Alexander- Wright home was just open space. It might have been used for various competitions, and maybe for shooting contests. . . . But then in general conversation with a former member of the church, it came to light that about 40 or so years ago, a neighbor south of the church had admitted to the church that he "Owed them a new weathervane," because he had been using it as a target to line up his rifle or whatever it is you do to make a gun shoot on target." . . . Of course, these are just theories. Who knows what actually happened!

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Sid Hopkins was born and grew up in Washington-Wilkes. He now serves as Gwinnett Metro Director of Missions for the Georgia Baptist Association. In August he led a team of 14 persons from Gwinnett County on a mission trip to the Olympic Games in Beijing, China. He has also done this for other Olympic Games, and says that this time was different from other Games because the team spent 95 percent of their time with the local Chinese who live and work in the city. At other Games about 70 percent of the ministry was focused on the international visitors to the Games. Sid has a big collection of "More Than Gold" trading pins which he has acquired through the years. His picture wearing a vest with the pins on it has appeared in the national China Daily newspaper circulated throughout the nation and in televised interviews that were broadcast around the world. Being a Hopkins, you know he has many family members in Washington- Wilkes. His wife is the former

Janice Rogers, also of Washington- Wilkes.

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Shay Harris presented a program of music last week at the church in Greenville, S.C., where she grew up. Her parents are members there and Shay did a program for a Senior Members luncheon of which they are a part. She was accompanied by Jo Randall.

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Suzanne Norman on South Alexander Avenue called to alert me about a pit bull dog which has been "running loose" in that area. The dog, along with an accomplice, somehow made his way into the Normans' fenced yard and attacked their cat who was minding her own business on the back porch. Gary tried to run the dog off by using a long pool-cleaning pole, but the dog turned to attack him. Les and Tracie from the Wilkes County Veterinary Services came to help but the cat couldn't be saved.

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I told a tale. In last week's column I said that I would not write about hummingbirds any more until next year. But Mary Lou Bradford, who lives on the Lincolnton Road, called with a story I couldn't pass up. She has just two of the beauties still at her home. Last week she was watering her plants with a sprinkler hose and they began playing in the sprinkling water, flying in and out. She had never seen that before, and neither have I. A butterfly got caught in a heavy stream of water and was stunned for a while. Mary Lou put the butterfly on her finger and held it in the sun for a few minutes until it was dry and warm, and flew away. . . . Late breaking news Tuesday morning: Skeet Willingham just told me that at the wedding of Ashlyn Winfrey and Ryan Reese Saturday (an outdoor wedding), just as the bride and groom arrived at the altar, a hummingbird that had been flying around the shrubbery made a long graceful swoop around their heads.

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For all you NASCAR followers:

Jeffrey Roth, our young NASCAR enthusiast and employee, is now working with a new team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He is working as front tire carrier with the Junior Motorsports #88 car which is co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Rick Hendrick. The driver on the #88 car is Brad Kesolowski and the team is currently third in the Nationwide series points standings and has won two races this year. Hendrick Motorsports will also enter 24-year-old Kesolowski in two Sprint Cup events this season and this will be the driver's debut in the top division of NASCAR. Kesolowski will attempt to qualify a fifth Hendrick Motorsports entry, the #25 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, in the October 11 Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., and in the November 2 race at Texas Motor Speedway. Jeffrey will serve as front tire carrier for these two Sprint Cup events. Jeffrey and Alyssa Stewart of Rayle will be married on November 29.

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A Wilkes County man is named in the Sunday edition of the Athens Banner-Herald's Reader's Choice of the Best of Athens 2008. Dr. Henry Garrard was named the best pediatrician. He is married to the former Carolyn Wills, also of Washington-Wilkes.

Molly Newsome, a sophomore at the University of Georgia, received a call on a recent Sunday from two friends. They said they were going to drive to Washington-Wilkes and see what it was like. Molly gave them directions and said she was sorry she couldn't accompany them. They returned and said that "everything was closed." And Molly said, "Well, what did you expect on Sunday afternoon in a small town?" Not to be thwarted, they made another trip to Washington on Tuesday, and returned to tell Molly what a great time they had had. They said that they talked to some man who was sitting in front of the Fitzpatrick Hotel, and they thought maybe he was the mayor. Molly asked them to describe him, and the more they said, the more she knew it was Henry Harris sitting in his high chair in front of Petal Pushers, Too. Molly asked if they asked him if he knew her, and they said, "Of course not. He wouldn't know you." Molly told them that he does know her and if they had asked in any of the other stores, they would have found people who knew her. "It's a small town. We all know just about everybody." The students said they visited other stores and ate lunch at The Sandwich Shop. They admitted that they had asked in the Sandwich Shop if they knew Molly and had received an affirmative answer.

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At three o'clock one morning last week, folks in the Lexington Avenue area were awakened by one sharp crack of lightning and thunder and then a downpour of rain. Each person thought that the lightning had struck something in their yard. Actually, it ripped open a very stately old oak at the home of Tom and Barbara Chase (Washington Plantation B&B) at the corner of Lexington Avenue and Mercer Street (across from the Golden Pantry.)

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Jean Davis-Blair says that many of the members of First Baptist Church have lunch with her at Alfred's On The Square after their Sunday morning worship service. They knew that the church would be having a covered dish luncheon last Sunday to welcome the new pastor and his family, so they told Jean they wouldn't be eating with her. Instead, they asked her to provide 250 pieces of chicken for the dinner. She did, and says she really appreciated the thoughtfulness of church members.

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Another busy weekend is coming up in Washington-Wilkes. The annual Mule Day at Callaway Plantation begins at 10 a.m. with activities all day. . . . The Washington Little Theater Co. Gala is Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m., at

Lafayette Manor Inn. . . . The theater's final two productions of "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" will be Friday and Saturday nights.

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I believe Dr. Henry Garrard is Carolyn Wills and Henry "Squeak" Garrard's son. You may have your generations mixed up!

Myra Blackmon