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Leila S. Case: Seasons are changing

It’s fall y’all. And with it comes October’s bright blue skies. The sun is shining again after multiple days of misty rain and drizzle – the weather was more like England, Holland or even San Francisco rather than southwest Georgia.
Gloomy days are not on my like list, but we tried to keep a song in our heart and look for sunshine in the shadowy places. Happiness was sharing a delicious meal with family and celebrating the approach of a new baby in the family. The bad weather put farmers behind in peanut harvesting, as this is a crucial time to dig the crop to ready for picking and processing. I knew nothing about agriculture and locally grown row crops, a Sumter County top industry, when we moved from Athens years ago. I couldn’t tell the difference in cotton, soybeans or peanut plants growing in the fields until the cotton bloomed. Tim Lawson, then Sumter County Extension agent, gave me a short course – enough knowledge that I could use in my job.
Thankfully, we didn’t have excessive flooding like the people in Columbia and Charleston, S.C. If you were here during the Flood of ’94 with a record 27 inches of rain falling over the two-day period of July 5 and 6, causing pond dams to burst, 15 deaths and the devastation that followed for weeks on end know what the people of South Carolina are going through now. They need our heartfelt prayers and help.
Fall is one of the busiest seasons of the year – cooler weather brings multiple activities, actually so many that you have to pick and choose.
Fall festivals, including the Junior Service League’s Cowpoke Carnival at the fairgrounds last weekend, was a huge success, drawing a big crowd of excited children to participate in the various activities. Proceeds from this annual community outreach project  go back into the community for worthy causes, according to Jessi Simmons, president. Renowned pianist David Osborne flew in from Las Vegas last weekend to honor former President Jimmy Carter on his 91st birthday at a piano concert at Maranatha Baptist Church fellowship hall. Osborne, a longtime friend and admirer of the Carters, pays tribute to the former president on the occasion of his birthday every year.
And the scarecrows are popping up all over Americus. Look for them because it’s fun to see these ingenious “creatures” and what imaginative minds have created in this fun community outreach program sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.
Broadway hits town, more specifically, the “Broadway Boys” will perform live on stage at the Rylander Theatre at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16  for the second in the Friends of the Rylander presenters’ season. Don’t miss the six exceptional entertainers as they sing and dance across the stage. Go online www.rylander.org or call the box office 229-931-0001 for reserved seats. Hey, it isn’t too late to join the Friends. I’ll see you there!
And don your most ghoulish garb and join the other goblins and ghosts for the Sumter Historic Trust’s annual Halloween party on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Lee Council House. A costume contest is on the agenda with prizes awarded. It will be hauntingly hilarious. Tickets are available at the Hooks Agency, Kinnebrew Co. and Minick Interiors.
Out and about: Whoa; what happened to our Bulldogs? And at a home game in Sanford Stadium in Athens. Don’t blame all on the miserable deluge of rain. A loss like Saturday’s 38-10 Alabama takedown of Georgia lingers, but as ugly as the scoreboard looked for Bulldogs fans, I have never seen a Dawg fan  leave the game early. Bulldog fans are a tough bunch and we’re certain the team will be ready to take on the University of Tennessee today in Knoxville.  Sitting between the hedges last Saturday among other disappointed fans were Dr. Lou and Candy Riccardi, and their family, Kara and Dr. Donnie McMickle and sons, Louis and Miles, of Macon, Haley and David Fowler of Denver, Colorado, Dr. Alex Riccardi and Brandon Horne of Americus; Sparky and Allene Reeves; Dr. Cecil O. and Carolyn Myers met their son Trey and wife Betsy Kingston Myers and grandson Owen Myers, 8 months, of Nashville, daughter Meredith Myers and Tyler Mazey of Atlanta and were joined by Betsy’s parents, Jack and Libby Kingston of Savannah, at a fun but damp pre-game tailgate; Faith Pinnell and daughter Samantha were there with Faith’s father and stepmother, Larry and Lynne Murkerson of Lafayette, and Sara and Dennis Carey of Cobb. While they were in Athens, Lee Pinnell and son Shaw were at Epworth-by-the-Sea at St. Simons Island with the children of First United Methodist Church for Kidz Quest; while local Bulldogs were crying in the rain, Kim and Charles Christmas were cheering in Gainesville, Florida, as their team, the University of Florida Gators, tromped Ole Miss 38-10. They were joined at the game by Charles’ cousin and daughter who drove eight hours from their home in the Florida Keys; Murph and Mary Ledbetter’s weekend guest was daughter  Laura Williams of Birmingham, who attended Jimmy Carter’s birthday concert in Plains; Aggie Crump has returned from an Adriatic cruise with her son, Fred and Gena Krenson of Atlanta, and her granddaughter, Morgan Krenson of New Jersey; Joyce Owsley is home from a North Dakota family reunion and the wedding of her great-niece; Phyllis Johansen is recovering nicely from heart surgery last summer – she tells me something I didn’t know, ‘cause I don’t keep up with pro-football. Please pardon my ignorance. Her son-in-law, Chan Gailey, former resident, football standout for the Americus High Panthers, University of Florida Gators, and a college and NFL coach,  came out of retirement to be the offensive coach for the New York Jets; celebrating back-to-back birthdays are our pretty granddaughters Caroline Leila Herndon and Lauren Shivers Vann, along with Kathy Ray of Auburn, Martha Wood and Shayna Arnett. The good citizens’ award this week goes to Americus pharmacists Faith and Lee Pinnell, his dad Jeryl Pinnell Sr. along with their staff at Clinic Drugs.

Leila S. Case lives in Americus.