2019-03-14 / Kitty Bits

Kitty Bits

March 14, 1989, was a lucky day

Sunday, March 17, is St. Patrick’s Day. Our family does have some Irish blood in our veins, as descendants of Samuel Wilson, who arrived in Charleston, S.C. from Belfast in 1767.

Our daughter, Molly, must have quite a bit of Samuel in her because she has an uncanny ability to spot four-leaf clovers. In fact, we have always been quite amazed by her gift. She finds them by the dozens when the rest of us struggle to discover even one in a patch of clover. In fact, our home probably has thousands of them pressed in books, and tucked away in dishes and boxes from over the course of many years. Finding a recipe in a cookbook invariably means a shower of pressed clovers will rain down as you open the pages.

We looked back at a column her late grandfather Smythe Newsome wrote about St. Patrick’s Day.

“One legend about four-leaf clovers is that Ireland was originally Paradise. When the fall came, the four-leaf clovers were reduced to three-leaf clovers or shamrocks, except for a choice few which represented hope that somehow Paradise might someday be restored.

“When a person, especially an Irish-type person, finds a four-leaf clover, it is a reminder of Paradise. If he is anywhere except in Ireland when he finds it, it is a reminder of his homeland as an earthly paradise, and how much luckier could he be?”

Our Molly was born just a few days shy of St. Patrick’s Day. March 14, 1989, was indeed a day when our family found the “luck o’ the Irish.” We wish Molly a very happy 30th birthday and many more years of finding four-leaf clovers. We just need to buy more cookbooks to hold them all.


Many of our old photos remain and a few folks stop by to look through them. Chan Drake spent some time recently going through the boxes. A few weeks later we ran into Hubert Lindsey. He said that Chan had found a photo of him. It was from a Rotary Club dinner when someone challenged Hubert to shove a lemon pie in the face of Michael Horgan, resulting in a donation to the club. Hubert was amused and happy to get the photo and to be reminded of the incident.

We are working on getting a few “new” boxes of old photos out. Check with us in the next week or so and they should be ready for viewing.


The cleanup of The Pope building continues as we get ready to move the business to The Rider House. We have some odd books that are free to anyone interested. They range from some old Tiger yearbooks (1977, 1982, and 2004) to a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica to novels and review copies we received (like An Outdoor Guide to Bartram’s Travels). The 1960 Cheiftain yearbook from West Georgia in Carrolton is still here for someone to take home. Most of these are in very good condition.

We ran up on two souvenir pins from the 1939 Baptist World Alliance when it was held in Atlanta. If there’s a pin collector out there reading this, you are welcome to stop by and add them to your collection.

There is a lot of slot wall and shelving material left from our closed electronics store, including panels, brackets, shelves, hangers, and standards. This is great for a workshop or for garage organization and storage. Stop by and make an offer.


We printed the Washington Area Junior Steer and Heifer Show and Sale program book for the 65th annual show that was held this past weekend. We’ve been doing it a long time, because while we were cleaning out we found the printing “job ticket” for the 31st annual show book from 1985. Back then the show was on April 1 and 2 (now it’s in March) at the Wilkes County Stockyard (that was before the Ag Center was built) and it was held on Monday and Tuesday (now it’s Saturday). Checkin was on Sunday afternoon, the heifer show was Monday afternoon, the banquet on Monday night, then the steer show on Tuesday morning, and the steer sale at 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. In 1985 there were 18 junior exhibitors from Wilkes County and 18 from Lincoln County. This year there were zero from Lincoln County. That may possibly be the first time that has ever happened. It’s interesting to look back and see how things have changed.


The Spring Festival and Tour of Homes is set for Saturday, April 6, and we will publish the special tour supplement that goes in The News-Reporter on April 4, and is also given to the tour-goers. If you are a business or organization wishing to purchase an ad in the supplement please contact us at 706-678-2636 and we can give you more information about that. We all need to be cleaning up our yards so that Washington shines for our visitors! It’s only a little over three weeks away.


Now as the Office Cat always used to say, please send some “live news” for this column so you’ll have something interesting to read.


Borrowing from the March 17, 1994 issue of The News-Reporter and “This week in local history” compiled by Irvin Cheney Jr. we find some interesting bits. The “years ago” have been updated and are in comparison to 2019.


A $50,000 stock company has been organized here for the purpose of building a cotton warehouse. We understand that it will be constructed on the vacant lot between Anthony and Garrett’s Mill and the residence of S.L. Brooks. C.H. Orr will be in charge of the operation.


Since the Mexicans have heard of Uncle Sam’s performance across the ocean they have decided to be good. What do you suppose that meant? KB


The United States has sent 250,000 tons of grain to starving people in the far east. 85 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK The Elberton and Eastern Railroad was sold at receiver’s sale in front of the courthouse in Washington last Tuesday for junk. The only bidder was the Georgia Railroad and associates, at an opening bid of $30,000. The road was first offered for bid with franchise, for the continuance of operation, but no bids were received on that basis. It will be torn up at an early date.


The National Bank in Elberton has opened and will operate as a new institution. It will take the place of the closed First National Bank of Elberton. Depositors in the old bank will be paid 55 cents on the dollar.


The cordial interest of many friends centers in the announcement of the marriage of Captain Egbert Hopkins, pilot, U.S. Army Air Force, to Miss Martha Jarrell of Atlanta.


Johnson Dry Cleaners and Washington Dry Cleaners join in announcing that due to the war they cannot purchase new hangers. They will be unable to deliver garments on hangers unless the customers return hangers with each order for dry cleaning service. Such a simple thing that we now take for granted. KB


Three British sailors, who were in Washington recently while their ship was docked in Charleston for repairs, assisted Mr. Owen Hoffman in his services while here. They were delightfully entertained Monday evening by Mr. and Mrs. W.F. Drinkard who gave them special southern dishes at a delicious dinner. 50 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK Bids on construction of a 47-bed nursing home here will be sought beginning April 15, according to J.H. Blackmon, chairman of the Wilkes County Hospital Authority. Total cost of the project will be $612,002, of which approximately one-half will come from a federal grant.


The sale of Band Booster decals netted nearly $2,000. The band’s booster club is seeking to raise a total of $10,000 to update the band’s instruments and uniforms. Remember that the band boosters are now trying to raise money for a new trailer. Donations are still needed. KB


Almar Rainwear, the nation’s largest manufacturer of vinyl and vinyl-fabric rain apparel, has opened a Chicago showroom, which will service the entire Midwest. The firm’s line is sold in over 10,000 retail outlets in all states.

And from that same issue we find this…


Jackie Harris, a senior at Washington Wilkes Comprehensive High School, has been awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the Horatio Alger Foundation. Jackie is the son of Mrs. Annie M. Harris and is a member of Rocky Mount Baptist Church. He plans to attend Emory University.

The scholarship was presented March 10 at the school by S. Truett Cathy, founder and chairman of Chick-Fil-A restaurant chain, who spoke to the student body and later at the Washington Rotary Club meeting.

In commenting on Jackie’s qualifications for receiving the award, Counselor Bobby Anderson said, “Jackie is that rare individual I have had the pleasure of working with every few years as a counselor. He has overcome extreme adversity to post a truly outstanding record in all areas of life. He excels in academics, athletics, band, clubs, leadership, church and community. He looks for challenges, develops a plan and conquers whatever he decides to pursue whether at school or in the community. He views obstacles as stepping stones to high achievement in all areas of his life. He is exceptional, motivated, focused, and caring.”


Make dying your Easter eggs a creative adventure this year. Instead of using commercial dyes, use dyes extracted from substances found in nature such as fruits, vegetables, spices, or flowers this year for a different approach. Beets, 1 bunch, sliced, for pink; blueberries, 2 cups, frozen, for blue-grey; carrot tops, 1 bunch, for light green; onion skins, 6 red or yellow, for maroon; red cabbage, 2 two cups shredded, for turquoise; and turmeric, 1 tablespoon, for bright yellow. DIRECTIONS: Place uncooked eggs in glass or stainless steel 2-quart saucepan. Add enough water to cover eggs at least one inch. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar and desired natural material. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Rinse with cold water and let air dry. Polish eggs with vegetable oil for a vibrant sheen.


Please email kittybits@news-reporter.com or kittybits@wilkespublishing.com with your contributions to the column. Or you can call 706- 678-2636 or stop by the office.

Return to top