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Leila S. Case: A bride’s childhood dream comes true

Let’s stand up and welcome the hundreds of visitors to Americus and Sumter County this week, who are participants in the Ride Home, an annual event that pays tribute to former U.S. prisoners of war and the families of those missing in action.
Put on your best smile, tie a fluffy yellow bow on your mail box or your front door and wave an American flag in their support.
There are a number of Ride Home events, all heart-warming, that are open to the public. Attend if possible, but if not, stand and salute and warmly welcome these men and women.
The Rylander Theatre’s double feature featuring Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder last Saturday night had the well-attended crowd laughing the entire time.
Heather Stanley, director of the Rylander, plans to bring more feature-length films to the historic theater that at one time was Americus’ premier movie house from the time it opened in 1921 until it closed in 1950. For October, she hopes to host a silent movie accompanied by the Moeller Theatre Organ, one of only such instruments in Georgia theatres; the other is the Mighty Mo at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.
Meanwhile, when Marty and Jimmy Fallon took their children, Jim, and Caroline (Shelley) on summer vacation as youngsters, they included visits to historical sites as an educational element. Marty says the family visited Jekyll Island on Georgia’s coast the year Caroline was five years old. She was enchanted with the island’s lovely setting, announcing to all Jekyll is where she wanted to be married one day.
Caroline never wavered on successive trips over the course of years, her mother says. Last spring, Caroline and Russell Garrison, of Niceville, Florida, visited Jekyll and he, too, fell in love with the island as well as the girl and the couple became engaged.
Caroline’s childhood dream came true on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 4. Caroline and Russell exchanged wedding vows on the lawn of Jekyll Island Club’s historic Crane House followed by cocktails on the lawn and dinner under the loggia. The bridesmaids’ breakfast and rehearsal dinner were part of the wedding festivities.
Marty says everything was perfect, including the weather, the bugs having been chased away by the winds of Hurricane Hermine.
Attending from Americus were Karen and Greg Austin, Michelle Andrews, Tripp Parker, Mary Ann and Mike Fenessy, Walt and Mary Wysochansky Fogelle of Destin, and Nancy Hayes her daughter, Mary Kate McClure. Another guest Joey Dunn stayed busy. He was wedding party hair stylist and directed the ceremony.
Elsewhere, Chet and Mary Ann Crowley had great fun and packed a lot in the five days they were in New Orleans, going especially to celebrate their 21st wedding anniversary. They were impressed with how well the city has recovered from Hurricane Katrina. But the highlight of their trip was meeting their newest great-grandson, Oran Michael Mullinax. Oran’s father, Justin Mullinax, is a career Coast Guardsman stationed in Biloxi. In New Orleans they spent four hours touring the National World War II Museum, formerly known as the D-Day Museum. Viewing the exhibits Mary Ann remembered the stories her father and uncles told about their experiences serving in the Navy and Coast Guard during World War II. They visited Preservation Hall and enjoyed spectacular jazz performed by the Preservation Hall Legacy Band conducted by Greg Stafford. And they dined at K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen owned by Paul Prudhomme, the first celebrity Cajun chef.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.