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Leila S. Case: Celebrations are merry and bright

Santa’s helpers jumped in this week and like the energizer bunny they keep on going. A couple of the jolly elves paid us a visit and took charge. They kicked Grinch out of the way and got to work, so now it’s beginning to look like fairy dust and sugar canes around here but it’s still a work in progress.
We took time though to watch the University of Georgia Bulldogs square off against the Auburn Tigers for the big playoff  game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta last Saturday. We were front row center before the TV cheering our favorite team — the Bulldogs, of course, and now everything is coming up roses — The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and hopefully they’ll roll Alabama’s Crimson Tide flat.
Some of the UGA and Auburn fans from Americus there smelling the roses is Caroline Carroll, a member of the Georgette’s, UGA elite dance team. She will be on the sidelines with the dance troupe and with them in the Rose Bowl Parade that morning. How exciting for her. Among the fans in the stadium will be Dr. Lou and Candy Riccardi and daughter, Dr. Alex Riccardi.
In Atlanta last Saturday for the playoff game were Sparky and Allene Reeves, Rhett and Jessi Simmons, Brian and Catey Simmons, William Rambo, Jimmy and Morgan Whaley, Rusty Whaley, Taylor and Ashley Austin and the Riccardis, along with many others from Americus.
Meanwhile, former Americus resident Colleen Lipsey Sprayberry of Newnan, otherwise known as “Miss Pearl” for her online, 3-minute, unscripted sermonettes, kicked Magnolia Manor’s second annual “Linen, Lunch and Laughter” luncheon up a notch as keynote speaker.
Miss Pearl’s fount of hilarious one-liners kept luncheon guests roaring with laughter as she dropped pearls of wisdom gleaned over the years. In fact, she got so enthusiastic at one point she accidentally “kicked” one shoe off, causing it to become airborne, and fly across the room to land next to a guest. The incident, of course, was unintentional =,Colleen, who I’ve known since she was a pre-teen, as Miss Pearl, was a hit and the event a huge success, drawing more than 60 guests, members of varied organizations that competed in the holiday-themed table scape competition that were just fabulous. Sharon Brown and Lydia Romero announced the winners. Azalea Garden Club, first place, was awarded luncheon for 10 at the Manor’s Magnolia Room; Town and Country Garden Club of Leslie came in second and was awarded luncheon for eight while Santa’s Helpers (Ruth Jones) won third and lunch for six. They also received whimsical Christmas door hangers.
South Georgia Technical College Foundation’s annual Christmas buffet was just delightful and well attended by members from the community who were graciously welcomed by President John Watford and his wife Barbara who looked lovely in a midnight lace dress and silver accessories. Some glimpsed mixing and mingling were Beth Alston, Nichole Buchanan, Americus Police Chief Mark Scott and his wife Julie, Elena Carne and her husband Rene Vzcategui, Charlene Hayes, Ricky and Jane Arnold, Mike and Gaynor Cheokas, Bill and Charlene McGowan, the Rev. Bill and Sue DuPree, John and Alice Argo, Mike and SuAnn Bird, Dr. Jim and Nancy Herron, Arnold and Mara Durham, Marie Waitsman, Stick and Elise Miller, Shirley Greene, Russell and Andrea Thomas, George and Georgina Saratsiotis, Bill and Jan Bird, Don and Sybil Smith, and many more.
Then, Calvary Episcopal Church book club members celebrated its 10th anniversary with a festive three-course dinner party at the Windsor Hotel’s Rosemary and Thyme dining room Tuesday evening.
Abbie Dillard, chairman, welcomed everyone; Joni Woolf read a meaningful poem, and Carey Wooten returned thanks. Others attending were Allyson Drinnon, Annie Hughes, Cathie Morris, Diane Hall, Elise Miller, Elizabeth Kuipers, Erin Farr, Hayden Hooks and son George, two months, Jeanie Stanfield, Jerry Crisp, JoAnna Arnold, Julie Megginson, Laura Bauer, Linda Kidd, Mary Beth Rogers, Raye Holt, Sarah McLain, Sue Fitzgerald, Zona Buchan and yours truly.
Enjoying the magic of Christmas in New York City last weekend were Terri Joiner and daughter Sydney Joiner, going especially to celebrate Sydney’s 12th birthday. They were joined by former residents Judy Johnson and daughter, Anna Johnson, of Fayetteville, Arkansas. During their visit, they enjoyed a carriage ride through Central Park, went ice skating, took in the Saturday evening performance of the “Lion King,” strolled along Fifth Avenue and enjoyed delicious meals at well-known restaurants as well as tea at the Plaza Hotel.
Glimpsed around town this week were Ann Sheffield, who shared her recipe for Sen. Russell’s Sweet Potato soufflé; Louise Warren, Meredith Owen, Frank Lowery,  Heather Stanley, Marylynne Joiner, Kevin Kwashnak.
And say so long to Jem and Cathie Morris and son Candler, who are moving to Newnan. He was transferred by Georgia Power Co. and the family will be missed in our community.  John and Tiffany Dean are renovating a charming historic bungalow on Hancock Drive they plan to move into next spring.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.