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Leila S. Case: Recalling moment in the spotlight

Goodness, I’ve got a lot of things on my mind I want to share with you, but where to start?
So, I suppose I will begin with the first. A lot of water has gone over the dam since the day the phone rang and Mary Anne Thomas was on the line asking me to be in a play. If you were fortunate enough to know Mary Anne as many did, you may recall she was a persuasive lady who couldn’t be refused.
Mary Anne said that the Friends of Lake Blackshear Regional Library were planning a benefit fundraiser, a two-act play written by Nancy Peabody and that she was directing.
I whooped at her request. I had not been in a play since I was a second-grader in the now defunct Kirkwood Elementary School in Atlanta and cast as Mrs. Santa Claus in the Christmas play. I always thought the reason was because I “fit” the part; I was a roly-poly round butterball child.
Mary Anne said the play titled “Tower of Ecstasy” was an intriguing mystery set at the Windsor Hotel and that I would have a small speaking part. The catch though was the cast members only had three weeks to learn their lines before opening night. I started to decline, but on second thought, two creative minds like Mary Anne’s and Nancy’s equal success so I committed.
Rehearsals began; the cast clicked and the play was a huge success, receiving accolades and raising much needed funds to supplement the library’s budget. It was so successful, that the Friends decided to produce a play annually as a library benefit. Following my stage debut, I was in every production for many years except one, but returned to enjoy a long stage career at the library before taking a final bow. In one play I was even “murdered” before intermission and didn’t see the second act until the video was played at the “after party.”
Nancy Peabody was the playwright several more years; then Mandy Carter Flynn took over and now Kim Carter Fuller. She has turned out what should be another winner titled “Séance It Isn’t So” for the 27th annual library production. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, beginning with appetizers and varied beverages and a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. that includes home baked sweets, coffee and punch. Tickets are $20 for Friday and $5 for the Sunday performance and available at Lake Blackshear Regional Library, 307 E. Lamar St. Please join us. We’ll be in the audience and I can’t wait to see y’all.
Out and about: Calvary Episcopal Church’s Boar’s Head Feast last Saturday was the best ever: kudos to everyone who worked so hard on all the myriad details from organization to delicious fare and beautiful floral centerpieces; Fr. Reginal Gunn, former pastor at Calvary Episcopal, now of Tiger, Georgia, put in an unexpected guest appearance and was the overnight guest of Gatewood and Cindy Dudley. Have you noticed the big, fluffy blue bow on the door at the Kinnebrew Co.? It is to signify the birth of Coleman Childers, infant son of Jessica and Lance Childers of Leslie, who was born Jan. 6. Jessica is manager of Kinnebrew’s ladies department. It’s bird huntin’ time and Henry and Jerry Crisp are hosting friends at their country home, Cheokee Plantation in DeSoto for three days of hunting — so glad the weather is perfect — crisp and cool. Their guests are Maudie and Bill Huff of Columbus, Glenda and Griffin Bell of Highlands, N.C., and Barbara and Pat Holder of LaGrange. Meanwhile, Will and Mary Elizabeth Easterlin and their children, Mary Beth and William, visited her parents, Jim and Mary Bishop, at their home in Sea Island the week after Christmas; then New Year’s weekend they were in Ponte Vedra, Florida, and went to the Georgia-Penn State game in Jacksonville. Americus was well represented in Park City, Utah, just before Christmas. There for a family skiing vacation were Ed and JoAnn Pope, their son Jeff and his wife Carmen Pope, and children Margaret and Mary Frances, and son, Brad and his wife Melanie Pope, and children, Sara, George and Gibb, and the Pope’s niece, Shara Atkinson. All are of Atlanta. Their neighbors at the ski resort were Terry and Bobbie Duncan of Americus, their son, daughters and families: Terance and Katie Duncan and baby Tripp of Americus, daughter Tiffany and husband Scott Shipp and children, Chandler and Jake of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and daughter Prentiss and husband Larry Pearce and their daughter Rosemary of Newnan. The families enjoyed skiing and saw lots of snow. In fact, the Duncans were almost snowed in after 42 inches fell in 72 hours before they left and Terry said it was a harrowing experience getting off the mountain in blizzard-like conditions on their way to the airport. Elsewhere and soaking up the Caribbean sun were Jim and Betty Filbey and their daughter and son-in-law, Beth and Phillip Smith of Atlanta. They enjoyed cruising the blue waters, island ventures and dinner with the ship’s captain. Then it was westward ho for Nick Owens and James Edgemon who joined friends Ashley and Chris Pilat of Reno, Nevada. The foursome was in Denver a couple of days and attended a concert and then it was on to Breckenridge for skiing. The final night of their trip was spent at Beaver Creek, another resort where they relaxed and went sightseeing. Jackson, Nick’s dog, led the life of Riley while his master was away, sitting by the fire munching treats and being thoroughly spoiled by his sitters.

Leila S. Case lives in Americus.