Leila Case: Surround sound comes to town

Published 6:55 am Sunday, July 23, 2017

The dog days of summer are upon us and it’s either raining or hot as blazes. If you’re hibernating in the air-conditioned comfort of your home, cooling off at the pool or working in an office setting, I encourage you to take a break and jump in the car, ride your bike or walk to Americus’ downtown historic business district — something special is happening.
Surround sound sets the tone. Listening to melodious tunes from new as well as old and familiar genres brings a friendly atmosphere to our city and certainly puts everyone is a good mood.
The wireless music is a project of the Americus Main Street program directed by Patrick Kay, who brought back the idea of installing such a system from the National Main Street Conference in Milwaukee last year.
The 10-unit system was developed by a Georgia vendor and is not as costly as the method that involves tearing up streets and sidewalks to install, all of which caught Kay’s attention. He presented the facts to the Main Street program’s board of directors and they liked it, too. Therefore, with some funding from One Sumter, it all happened.
Each of the 10 units comes with two speakers, explains Kay. These are mounted on lamp posts in front of the city’s municipal building on Lamar Street, two at the corner of Jackson and Lamar streets, others in the block between Jackson and Forsyth streets, and two on the corner of that intersection. By the way, Kay says Americus has the largest wireless music system in Georgia.
Although it was a year-long project, the results are pleasing. Besides the sound of music filling the air, all the downtown sidewalks have been pressure washed and are sparkling clean. Hopefully they will stay free of trash.
Isn’t Americus a grand place to live? It just keeps getting better ‘n better.
A heartfelt welcome is extended to Neal Weaver, Ph.D., the new president of Georgia Southwestern State University, and his wife Kristi, and their college- and high school-age sons, Austin, Blake and Brett and their pet dogs Jazz and Izzy. Weaver was appointed to the post by the Georgia Board of Regents July 1, moving here from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, where he was vice president of advancement and innovation. We look forward to meeting Weaver and his family.
Elsewhere Gaye and John Hayes and their children had an unforgettable vacation. Gaye’s two nieces each graduated and the Hayeses were there. Gaye attended Valerie Mock’s graduation ceremonies at the Wake Forest School of Law and then rushed to Connecticut to meet John and children Jackson, Sydney and Emma Kate for the graduation of another niece, Victoria, from the Coast Guard Academy, where President Donald Trump made his first graduation address since taking office. After the ceremonies, the Hayes family toured Boston, Providence, Rhode Island, and New York City enjoying historical tours and Broadway shows along the way.
First cousins Amelia Kinnebrew, 9, of Americus and Mary Kinnebrew, 11, of Columbus, are still talking about their first plane flight and their first visit to New York City with their grandparents Hulme and Janet Kinnebrew last weekend. While Hulme was buying new merchandise for The Kinnebrew Co. during the day, Janet guided the girls on a jam-packed tour that included carriage rides in Central Park, seeing breathtaking views of downtown Manhattan from the observation deck at Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Plaza, sweet treats at Dylan’s Candy Store, dining at the Star Dust Diner and attending the Broadway musical “School of Rock.” Amelia is the daughter of Easton and Stephanie Kinnebrew and Mary is the daughter of Neil and Becky Kinnebrew.
Elsewhere Virginia Brooks Lanier, 8, enjoyed flying the friendly blue skies for the first time last weekend, traveling with her mom, Sally Lanier, and aunt, Brooks Nettum, to Indianapolis, Indiana, to visit Brook’s son and wife, Lee and Stephanie Everett, going especially to attend a baby shower honoring Stephanie. Their first baby is due soon. During their visit, they went to many of Indianapolis’ downtown attractions, saying “hello” to all the animals at the Indianapolis Zoo and touring the Indy 500 Race Track Museum. A special treat was being the Everetts’ guests at their neighborhood’s annual block party in the historic district where they live.
Meanwhile, congratulations to Anthony and Kendall Dragoin who celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary this week and to bride and groom-elect Elizabeth Powell and Barnett Williams, who will marry July 29 in Highlands, N.C. Elizabeth is the daughter of Mike Powell and stepdaughter of Andrea Powell, both of Americus. Mark, Anne and Beau Barrett spent last weekend in Destin, Florida, visiting her sister and brother-in-law, Carla and David Satterfield, and Lori and Andy Shivers were in Navarro, Florida, cheering their granddaughter, Jeanna Kate Shivers who was playing in a softball tournament.

Leila S Case lives in Americus.