Leila Case: Sumter County is popping and rocking

Published 1:54 pm Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sumter County is absolutely popping in all directions with one activity after another — it’s so bustling you have to pick and choose because it’s absolutely not possible to get it all in and remain sane.
Although there is a huge exodus of local UGA Bulldog fans as well as Florida Gators in Jacksonville for the annual, and I must say always exciting, football clash today between the University of Georgia and University of Florida there are still many more that will remain here to enjoy our local activities.
Of course, I’m a Dawg fan and although I won’t be in the stadium in Jacksonville, I’ll be in front of the television watching the rightful kings of the SEC, the Bulldogs of Georgia including Americus’ own Tyler Clark, defensive tackle and latest football celebrity out of Americus High School, grab the SEC title away from the Gator Nation.
Hope I don’t have to eat my words come Sunday morning. Statistics have Georgia as a two-touchdown favorite heading into the game but being favored hasn’t always worked out well for the Bulldogs. If the Dawgs aren’t on top of their game, and the Gators are, an upset is possible.
Years ago, we didn’t miss being at the Gator Bowl for the “World’s Largest Cocktail Party.” I have been there through wins and losses, mostly wins, and in all sorts of weather ranging from torrents of rain, blazing hot sun, high winds and freezing cold. Perhaps the most exciting game ever was when the Dawgs won in the last few seconds. Another funny story I’ll have to relate some other time because it’s wordy.
Meanwhile, Calvary Episcopal’s art show and sale and related activities were a huge success last weekend. I certainly hope you had an opportunity to stop by and enjoy. Everything that was offered was outstanding. Quite a fete. A standing ovation is a must for event chairmen Mary Beth Rogers, Carey Wooten, Elise Miller and a coterie of volunteers. It takes a village.
Then Sumter Historic Society’s annual Halloween party was also a ghoulish hit. So many costumed characters showed up at the Council House you didn’t recognize their true identity. Huge congratulations to Nick Owens and Marylynne Joiner, party chairs, and the Trust’s board of directors for pulling off such a sensational and eerie event. By the way the historic house looked as ghoulish as the guests with outlandish decorations everywhere. I can’t imagine what the original owners would think.
Meanwhile in Plains last Saturday, the Miss Historic Southern Plains, Miss Presidential Pathways and Miss Southwest Georgia Pageant at Plains High School was an-over- the-top winner, too. Crystal and Mark Waddell are pageant executive directors and Everett Byrd of Americus is a board member.
Congratulations to top winners Miss Presidential Pathways Caroline Elizabeth Carroll of Americus; Miss Historic Southern Plains Sarah DeLoach of Claxton; Rosa Karina Campos of Buford was crowned Miss Southwest Georgia and the title of Miss Outstanding Teen went to Camy Bland of Glennville.
They will all compete in the annual Miss Georgia Scholarship Pageant in Columbus next June that promises to be a hectic week for these contestants as well as the Waddells and Byrd.
The approach to Halloween continued with the Kiwanis Pet Parade downtown, an annual event dating back to the ‘30s. Wow. This is the one of the not to be missed events in town. Such fun, and celebrating 75 years!
It was indeed eerie at the Rylander Theatre last night but that’s OK — the audience enjoyed it all. There was the screening of the classic 1922 silent film “Nosfuratu” with the live organ accompaniment by award winning organist Ron Carter of Marietta that was preceded by the comedy short, “Haunted Spooks,” featuring film star Harold Lloyd.
Incidentally, the Rylander was rocking earlier this week with one-act plays performed by countless students representing 13 regional public and independent schools followed by the kickoff of the 30th anniversary Summit of The Rosalynn Carter Institute of Caregiving, “A Journey with Rosalynn Carter,” a one-woman show starring Cathy Kaemmerlen Wednesday night. Among those in the audience were former first lady Rosalynn Carter and former President Jimmy Carter. The RCI Summit events continued on campus through last night and were attended by more than 350 people from across the country, the largest crowd ever to attend a RCI Summit.
Elsewhere, Sylvia Roland and lifelong friends, some since birth, recently gathered at Watercolor, Florida, for a week of reconnecting and catching up. Sylvia says the group, all from her hometown of Arkansas, were branded the “Naughty Nine” and grew up together and have shared their lives since graduating Paragould High School in 1980. Sounds like fun. And Ann and Bill Harris Sr. had a fun family vacation at Disney World with their sons and families: Bill Harris Jr., Lee Harris and daughter Laura Cate, of Americus, and David and Mallory Harris and children Margaret and Ed of Columbus.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.