Americus awash in blue; snowflakes fall at Rylander Park

Published 9:32 am Monday, December 19, 2016

Americus is awash in blue.
Fluffy bows with long streamers, you know the type you use to give an important gift its final touch, beautify our town from one side to the other. They fly from lamp posts, replace Christmas bows on door wreaths, adorn iron gates, dot wooden fences and trees, and embellish the white columns of Victorian homes and mailboxes including ours that Malcolm Argo of the Welcome Center personally tied. It’s beautiful.
Back the Blue signs dot lawns both spacious and small.
Americus citizens have come out in force to support our law enforcement, the men and women in blue, and pay tribute to the fine young police officers slain in the line of duty last week.
As Patrick Kay, Main Street director, says, “Americus has a huge heart.” Yes, we do and always have and are united in our effort.
It is heartwarming.
Meanwhile, while blue bows fly, it’s snowing at Rylander Park. That’s right. Snowflakes fall on the ice skaters gliding gracefully –  well maybe not some – on the temporary ice rink. We ventured down the other afternoon to observe the action while the Rotarians volunteered there. Too much fun. Oh, when you want to warm your hands and take a break from ice skating enjoy a hot cup of coffee, hot tea or cocoa from Café Campesino. The ice rink is open through the rest of December.
We thought we were at Rockefeller Plaza in the heart of New York City instead of Americus’ downtown historic business district. Applause to the Chamber’s marketing team for acting on this unique idea. It certainly brings the holiday spirit to town and is a positive addition to the awesome renaissance that we’re experiencing.
It’s beginning to look like Christmas everywhere I go. The Windsor is all aglow with new LED lighting outlining its architectural features and looks like a Victoria gingerbread house all lit up against the night sky; the Municipal Building resembles a Christmas card – a gigantic wreath hangs over the double front doors and twinkles with tiny white lights; snowflakes glitter and shimmer from the lamp posts lining the downtown streets; a bright and shiny multi-colored Choo-Choo train hugs the wall of the Russell Thomas Jr. building, while the chaser lights on the Rylander Theatre’s marquee are the perfect icing on our gingerbread town.
Georgia Southwestern State University’s administration building has never looked prettier than it does this Christmas season; its architectural features twinkle with white lights and so does the former Rees Park School, now offices of the Chamber of Commerce at Rees Park.
Then that’s just the public buildings. Take a ride to Willett Way’s Winter Wonderland to visit Santa Claus and see an entire neighborhood decorated with colorful displays. It rivals Callaway Gardens.
The DAR members enjoyed a “Merry Little Christmas” at their recent meeting with a special treat. Julie Megginson, soloist, and Alwen Yeung, pianist, presented an awesome Christmas musical program. They are exceptional musicians.
It was a fond farewell for Duke and Brenda Jackson at the festive going-away party at the home of Shirley Litwhiler recently. The Jacksons have moved to Redmond, Washington, home of their son, Tristan, his wife Yuka, and two young sons. Hosting the gathering of the Jacksons’ friends, some they have known since moving here in 1970, other than Litwhiler were Henry and Nancy Peabody, Bill and Carlanda Dragoin, David and June Ewing, and Malcolm and Phyllis Argo.
Nick Owens and Marylynne Joiner were in a New York state of mind so they flew to the Big Apple and enjoyed an exciting “Christmas Vacation.” During the long weekend they visited several attractions: the Empire State Building, the Flat Iron District and building, the memorial at the World Trade Center site and toured the 9/11 Museum as well as Times Square. Another highlight was seeing the Broadway musical “The Jersey Boys.” But a visit to NYC wouldn’t be complete without venturing to Rockefeller Plaza to see the beautifully lit Christmas tree. And they even experienced the city’s first snowfall of the season and sampled a slice of famous NY cheesecake which Nick says was even better than they imagined.
And let’s give a big shout out to the elf men (son Mark and grandson John) who brought our Christmas tree and even decorated it. And a hearty thank you is extended to Blaise Hargrove and Michael Swain for their kind Christmas deed.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.