Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

October 10, 2009

83 year old owes Souther Field

AMERICUS — Octogenarian reflects on life ties to Souther Field

Winston Churchill once said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

Frances Restagno, who will be 83 on her January 12 birthday, has seen a lot of change in her life - not just personally but politically and in the community in which she resides.

Frances Restagno, mother and wife of the late Rusty Restagno, “a most good looking Italian from Pennsylvania who could cook,” will tell you, she is not perfect yet, and nor is the world around her.

And she will tell you that she is not always a fan of change, but she knows that what Bruce Barton, orator, once said to be true, “When you are through changing you are through.”

Restagno is not ready to be through yet.

Sitting on the only pier connecting her river front property to her home, with a mess of cane fishing poles dangling in the water, Restagno admits to her heart being heavy over a number of issues in Sumter County, including her taxes and now most recently, the changing of the name of Souther Field Airport.

Shaking her head, Restagno, surrounded by a cool breeze from the flowing river, and a plethora of greenery -ranging from fruit trees to regular trees to trees with Spanish moss dangling from the branches and hanging baskets and plants - reflected for a moment on her life

It is a life that started in a little off shoot community close to Andersonville called Cutoff. “I was born in Americus City Hospital and my doctor was Dr. Hershel Smith. He is the grandfather, I think, of the judge we have, what is his name? Rucker Smith. Dr. Smith was such a good man.”

She and her brothers and sisters enjoyed a rural life that most children dream of - playing in the fields, running, jumping, and not worrying about the infestation of what city life brings. That is until her father died.

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