2017-03-09 / The Office Cat

The Office Cat

Set your clocks ahead Sat.

A sure sign of Spring is when the martins arrive at Herbert Bailey’s gourds in the Danburg Metasville area of the county. The martins arrived February 28 but we haven’t had winter yet, so do we shove winter out of the way and make way for spring? Spring officially arrives Monday, March 20, and we change our clocks to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, March 12 – and I will be thoroughly confused, as usual. l

Flowering trees are blooming out all over town and the pollen is showing its ugly head in puddles of water, and between cracks on sidewalks and other places. Daffodils are blooming everywhere and there are some azaleas already blooming and adding their colors to the landscape. Camellias are on the way out for the season but still have lots of color. Some of these plants will already have bloomed out by the time for the annual Tour of Homes on April 2 but something will come along to take their places. l

The Maple tree at the Mary Willis Library was planted last week after being postponed for a week. … A mention of the Mary Willis Library always reminds me of Miss Kathleen Colley, librarian for many years. We have all seen pictures of Miss Kathleen sitting at her desk in the high-ceilinged and spacious old building, trying to keep warm with blankets, etc. A Kiwanian told me this week that in 1958 the Kiwanis Club installed gas heat in the library to help keep Miss Kathleen warm. l I said in this column last week that I would tell my readers about another native son of our county. He is Dr. Irvin Cheney Jr. and was born here, grew up here, and graduated from Washington High School. He is the son of Irvin and Mildred Cheney. He’s a bit older than I am, but not much. He was ordained to the gospel ministry when I was a teenager and has quite a bit of service under his belt. Just as I have, Irvin too began playing the pipe organ at the First Baptist Church at a very early age. I’ll just let him tell you about it in his own words. … “When I was 12 years old, Gene Thomas, my piano teacher, called my mother and said, ‘Mildred, we have a problem. Brother (Irvin) has a lot of ability but he is not making progress in his piano lessons. I love having him, but I hate to keep taking your money when I do not feel he is profiting from it.’ Mother confronted me about it, and I said, ‘The problem is, I already know how to read music. I have learned the fundamentals, and I could play well enough by ear to enjoy it long before I took any lessons. It’s boring and I don’t like it.’ Mother said, ‘Well, what would you like to do?’ I said, ‘What I really want to do is to learn to play the pipe organ. That’s the only thing that interests me.’ She called Janet Standard, who said she would like to teach me but she’d have to get permission from the deacons because she didn’t know if they would like for a child to be playing the organ. The deacons approved and I loved it, worked at it; relished it; progressed rapidly. Six months later, Janet had some sort of exotic disease and was out for a number of weeks. I substituted for her, working diligently every week to be sure I was ready for each service. Thereafter, until I finished high school, when she was away, I played. Also, when Miss VoHammie Johnson, organist at the Presbyterian Church, joined Mr. Hillyer at Camp Stewart for six months before he went overseas (World War II) I was organist at the Presbyterian Church. It’s in my blood. I love it, though I have not played for years.” l

Age doesn’t make much difference to musicians. If they want to play, they can do so. As I told my piano students, and their parents: “It’s always a plus to have ‘talent’ but what really counts is wanting to play the organ, piano, or any other instrument.” l

Teresa and Graham Eason have bought the former home of W.E. and Katherine Burdette in Logan Woods and hope to get moved in pretty soon. … W.E. and Kathryn will be moving to their new home on Burdette land when the house is finished. l

We had a little rain Wednesday night of this week, but from what I was hearing in the television forecast it wasn’t as much as I expected. I got out all my gadgets for coping with stormy weather, electric outages, etc., and stayed fully dressed until after midnight, but all I recorded in my rain gauge was .4 of an inch, and that’s what Norris Ware reports on Hill Street. Sonny Johnson in Tyrone got .46 of an inch and says it came in like a Lion and he hopes it goes out like a lamb. Sonny got 2.1 inches for February compared to 2.8 inches last year. For the two months of the new year he has recorded 8.6 inches. l

The 63rd annual Washington Area Junior Steer and Heifer Show was held Saturday at the McGill-Woodruff Agricultural Center and you can read all about it elsewhere in this week’s News-Reporter. Coming up Saturday, March 11, will be the Miss Wilkes County Pageant at 7 p.m. at the Pope Center. … The annual Kiwanis Talent Showcase will be held Saturday, March 17, at the Washington-Wilkes Elementary School.

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