Laila Case: Plains, Americus, and Memphis in the spotlight

Published 4:42 pm Saturday, May 27, 2017

Americus is wearing a happy face; scrubbed and polished to a fare the well. Our city is spick and span to showcase its many attributes.
All of this is due to the efforts led by the City of Americus and scores of volunteers. Kudos to all involved in cleaning up our town – now it’s up to everyone from all age groups to keep Americus beautiful, shiny and bright.
The city-wide cleanup came at the perfect time because a myriad of out-of-town visitors were here for various events last weekend, including the Plains Presidential Auction hosted by Plains Better Hometown Program directed by Ruth Moon Sanders and Friends of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site directed by Kim Carter Fuller.
Ruth says the event was a tremendous success, however, it “took a village” working together to pull it all together.
For those who are unaware, the Plains Presidential Auction is an annual event that benefits the many worthwhile events and projects supported by the Better Hometown Program and Friends of Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.
Participants from as far away as California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio and as nearby as Americus and Albany joined President Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter for the many activities – delicious food prepared by Ellen and Preston Harris, beverages from Still Pond Plantation, musical entertainment by Jimmy Goddy, a silent auction featuring 51 items and live auction that offered 81 items.
Ruth reports results of the combined auctions was about $100,000. A twilight a tour for ten people at Jimmy Carter’s Boy Hood Home conducted by President Carter brought $14,000 that a Nevada gentleman won; and fishing at the Carter’ s home then lunch at “Miss Lillian’s” Pond House was garnered for $10,000 by a Georgia gent.
Ruth expressed appreciation to the many volunteers and supporters. Among them are Ruth Jones, Terri and Jeff Joiner, Sybil Carter,  Mark Minick, Paige Simmons, Janna Carter, Cameron Carter, C.L. and Sandra Walters,  Ellen and Preston Harris, Kathy and Al Williams, Marley and Jody Usrey, Mandy and Mike Flynn, Carter Flynn, Jem and Connie Morris, Mary Beth Bass, Joy Oliver, John Powell and staff at the American Peanut Sheller’s, Penny Smith, Janet and Johnny Porch, Kathy and Walt Young, and Carter Office staffers  Peggy Carson and Polly Martin.
Saturday evening Meredith Myers, daughter of Dr. Cecil and Carolyn Myers, and Tyler Mazey, son of Dr. Richard and Susan Mazey of Mobile, Alabama, were married at First United Methodist Church then celebrated at a delightful reception at the Lee Council House. The Council House was beautifully decorated with many floral arrangements created by the staff at Gatewood Flowers and Michael Jarvis, floral designer of Columbus while the buffet featured mouthwatering delicacies prepared by Cousins Catering.  The bride and groom’s cakes were delicious as well as beautiful, having been baked and decorated by Jennifer Stone of Smithville. Then guests danced the night away to the music of Matrimonious, the band engaged by Trey Myers of Nashville, brother of the bride and a groomsman, who is in the entertainment business. They band played here several years ago for a Sumter Historic Trust event. Michael Myers, brother of the bride and groomsman, says he will teach English and Drama at Schley County High School beginning in the fall. Among guests from afar were Neil Brown and daughter Rachel Brown of New York City. Meredith’s bridal gown, a stunning, understated, traditional wedding gown was designed by Neil’s wife, Amsale Aberra. Neil is CEO of Amsale, the bridal design company that he and his wife established and where Meredith worked when she was in Manhattan. Other out of town guests were Libby Morris Kingston of Savannah, and her daughters and sons: Betsy Kingston Myers of Nashville, Ann Kingston of Washington, D.C., both bridesmaids, John Kingston of Savannah, Jim Kingston, of Atlanta, and Dr. Myer’s sister Mary Ann Myers of Chattanooga. Of course, the Myers-Kingston grandchildren, Owen and Rivers Myers, who are age two and under kept everyone busy. The bridal couple will reside in Atlanta following their honeymoon in Jackson, Wyoming.
Elsewhere, mother-daughters Gaynor Cheokas and Brittany Martin of Atlanta, Sarah Darden and Kelly McCullough of Birmingham, celebrated Sarah’s birthday in Memphis, Tennessee, last week. “We loved everything,” said Gaynor. They had the VIP tour of Graceland, home of Elvis Presley, dinner at the Peabody Hotel and returned the following morning to watch the famous ducks march at 11 o’clock sharp. By chance they encountered Ellen and Bill Hanson, who were there for the annual Memphis in May barbecue cook-off.  Other highlights: a food tour of five downtown Memphis restaurants, barbecue at The One and Only, however, a trip to Memphis wouldn’t be complete without going to Beale Street and listening to the Blues. They were guests at the 432-room Guest House on the Graceland property that Gaynor says was booked solid, evidence that Elvis is still a huge attraction.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus