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Leila Case: Boo — Happy Halloween; ‘nothing is forever’

Today, witches garbed in black stir the caldron of wicked brew to quench the thirst of the ghouls roaming through the dark of night. Boo: Happy Halloween, y’all.
Don’t you just love Halloween? I do. All Hallows’ Eve, the day preceding All Saints day, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints, martyrs and all the faithful departed.
On All Saints Day tomorrow, I will remember loved ones who aren’t with us anymore but once touched my life in countless ways – happy memories keep them alive and I feel their love today. Halloween is a Christianized celebration with possible pagan roots, and observed in a myriad of ways: folks disguised as ghosts or ghouls to wander the streets trick or treating, another centuries-old custom.
Neighborhoods will become “a sea” of wicked costumed characters, the majority children in the most unimaginable get-ups ever and most accompanied by parents, to trick or treat, none more so than on South Lee Street. The costumed parade is a sight to behold. A virtual traffic jam of folks on the sidewalks. I have no idea why the trick or treaters bypass us since we’re on the corner; nevertheless, we hang out with neighbors Sara and Frank Darden, and Tracy Hall to treat the tricksters from their front porches and enjoy a bowl of delicious chili. It’s always fun and the costumed crowds have been orderly and polite through the years. We hope for the same this year.
For everyone’s safety, Americus Police officers will be on patrol —  foot and vehicle. Enjoy Halloween and watch out for goblins, ghouls, ghosts and “haints.”
Meanwhile, my friend, the late Jack Moses, always said, “nothing is forever” when a major change blew his way. Nothing is status quo. And so it is that we say a fond farewell to the Rev. Rick Buechner, who has served us well as interim priest at Calvary Episcopal Americus for almost three years. Fr. Rick is a true man of God, devout Episcopalian, scholar, historian and the epitome of a gentleman with a delightful sense of humor.
Fr. Rick, a resident of Thomasville and former rector of Christ Church Episcopal for 25 years, says he will miss our parishioners as well as the citizens of Americus he  has come to know. When the Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia asked him to serve our parish, he had already retired, but he was the perfect man for what we needed – love and guidance. A scholar of the Bible and a music aficionado, his sermons, based on scripture, are brilliantly woven throughout with music and the cultural arts.
Fr. Rick won’t be completely idle – he plans to spend more time with his wife Cathy and their family in Thomasville and daughter, Caroline, in Florida. He will serve as supply priest in the Diocese and he will travel to Venice, Italy, in February where he will serve three months as chaplain-in-residence at St. George’s Anglican Church, a part of the Diocese of Europe, a small parish of English-speaking Anglicans located in a lovely, quiet part of Venice.
Out and About: Mark Barrett was in Orlando last weekend at the US Foods National Conference attended by 5,000 sales reps from across the country and while Mark was away, Beau Barrett took a break from graduate studies at Georgia Southern University to enjoy Sumter Historic Trust’s Halloween Costume party that was a huge success. The costume contest winners were: Tommy Hagins, best male attire; Tara Mitchell, best female regalia and best group award went to Rhett and Jessi Simmons and Kevin and Jenny Reeves for their circus theme get-ups; Nick Owns didn’t win a prize – but he was a clever Elf on the Shelf; elsewhere some folks journeyed to Atlanta for the Taylor Swift concert at the Georgia Dome, including my granddaughter Caroline Herndon and her Chi Omega “big sister,” also Anthony and Kendall Dragoin of Roman Oven fame, and children, Chandler and Parker, Drs. Patty and John Fennessy and daughter Reese, Lee Harris and daughter Laura Kate Harris, and Dr. Lezley Crawford and her daughter Kylie Ann. Meanwhile, Phil and Zona Buchen attended an event hosted by former Atlanta Braves standout Hank Aaron and his wife Billye, at the Ritz Carlton Atlanta, where Phil’s son, Rob Buchen, a Broadway actor, was among the entertainers; Leslie and Sean Roberts, of Brighton, England, were guests of Marshall and Carey Wooten at their country home near Ellaville. Carey has visited them several times, having known Leslie when she lived here during her teens and went to Camp Mikell in Toccoa. While in Americus they enjoyed catfish and Pabst Blue Ribbon at the Fish House, Sean’s favorites that are unavailable in England. Meanwhile, Joni Woolf visited daughter Tracy Schroeder and family in Rome, Georgia, and attended the popular Chiaha Festival, where her grandson James, an artist, displayed his work. Elsewhere, weekend guests of Melvin and Wilma Kinslow were Bobby and Jane Pinkston of Grayton Beach, Florida, and attended Mercer University’s Homecoming in Macon – the two guys were on university’s baseball team; and David Ewing and his wife June Ewing also attended Mercer’s homecoming. Carol Brown and Jeffie Wall enjoyed a recent jaunt to Highlands, and Andy Shivers celebrates his birthday today. Though most of Americus is in Jacksonville for the Georgia/Florida game today, we’ll watch the popular clash on television! Go Dawgs!

Leila S. Case lives in Americus.