Leila Case: Southern hospitality; ‘dog days’ of summer; new baby

Published 3:38 pm Friday, August 4, 2017

The yellow school buses are rolling; a signal that summer is over and Anne, Jami and Lauren, the teachers in our family, are back in the classroom. How can that be? We’re in what I’ve always been told are the “dog days” of summer. I’m not sure the definition is in the dictionary – I didn’t look.
I always thought that the “dog days” occur in late July and August – the hottest time of the year – with showers almost daily. It fits the bill for our weather now.  Anyway, it’s hot and muggy and we are thankful for air conditioning and grateful to Parker’s for keeping it running.
So, I researched the “dog days” of summer on the Internet and one source reports it refers to the Dog Star, Sirius, and its position in the heavens, a period that could bring fever or even misfortune.
Fortunately, we have only joyous news.
The arrival of our new baby boy: Master Lachlan Herndon was born at 5:39 p.m Tuesday, July 25 to Zachary and Jessi Herndon at Piedmont Hospital, Atlanta, and weighed eight pounds, one ounce at birth. For those who aren’t aware, Zachary is my first-born grandson. When he was a baby I talked about him so much my friend and former colleague Dana Blair said she was “Zacharized.” Meanwhile, we can’t wait to meet Lachlan up close and personal so I can “Lachlanize” him, too. And I can’t wait ‘till he’s old enough to introduce him to a Varsity dog and onion rings. He’s sure to be under our Christmas tree this year.
So, what do the “dog days” of summer and new babies have to do with hospitality, especially the kind we extend to others, especially newcomers to Americus?
The production crew making the pilot film on restoring 402 College St. to be shown on Home and Garden TV (HGTV) later this year were entertained Sumter County-style by Henry and Jerry Crisp at Chokee Plantation, their country home in Lee County, last week.
Greg Quail, an EQTV executive and producer of the pilot film, says the hospitality townspeople have extended to them is awesome. Quail, an award-winning American and Australian television producer with offices in Los Angeles and Sydney, was among those that enjoyed an old-fashioned southern meal of barbecue and all the trimmings. They are Bobby Smith, of Robert Smith Construction Co., Columbus, “star of the show” and general contractor; Joel Rizor, EQTV executive producer, Brenton Metzler, the show runner, both of Los Angeles; Michelle Howe of Texas, design consultant; Americus businessman Chuck Smith; Rick and Genie Powell, owners of Sally Run, the production crew’s home away from home; Sumter Historic Trust President Jessi Simmons and her husband, Rhett Simmons; Hulme and Janet Kinnebrew; Charles Crisp; John and Whitney Crisp; Lucy Crisp Perry, and Ken Davidson.
Anne Isbell, Lake Blackshear Regional Library director, and president-elect of the Americus Kiwanis Club; Jane Hendrix, former library director, and Hope Henderson received a taste of French and English hospitality during their trip to Paris and London.
Despite all the recent terroristic threats in Europe, Anne says she never felt unsafe in anyway during the almost two weeks she was in Paris. She was a Georgia delegate representing the Americus Kiwanis Club at the Kiwanis International Convention the first week. She said security was prevalent at the convention but elsewhere she didn’t see an influx. One of the highlights for her was Bastille Day, France’s Independence Day celebration July 14 and the once in a lifetime experience to see the huge fireworks display out her hotel window that evening. “It was amazing,” she said.
Jane and Hope spent a week in England before joining Anne in Paris. The threesome rented what Anne describes as a lovely apartment overlooking the Places deVosges near the house where author Victor Hugo once lived and wrote “Les Miserables.” They visited many art galleries, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur Cathedral in the Montmartre district and a performance at Moulin Rouge. And they had the choice of dining at more than 20 restaurants within walking distance of their apartment.
And Mary Ann and Chet Crowley have had their daughter, Allyson Hajtu of Brooklyn, New York, visit them this week.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.