Leila S. Case: ‘What’ll you have?’ A wide variety lands on my plate

Published 11:53 am Saturday, June 9, 2018

“What’ll you have?” That was the theme of the last week of the merry month of May for me. Most of what was dished my way was a delight and interesting. I’m thrilled it was varied.
So, let’s begin with an hour before twilight on May 25 — a swell celebration in honor of Dr. Gatewood Dudley on his 80th birthday and hosted by he and his wife Cindy at their charming country home, Tanyard Hill.
Dudley said it was the best birthday he’s ever had. And indeed, it was — everyone had a super time.
There was music, a delicious meal and beverages of your choice — a great mix for the Americus native and respected physician, who has served the community and beyond as a church leader as well as historic preservationist. He has been involved in countless worthy endeavors but most importantly his long and successful medical career.
A brief thunderstorm came up shortly after guests arrived for the alfresco party but that didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. With raindrops falling on their heads everyone scurried indoors until the rain ceased and the all-clear sounded. We opted to remain indoors though and enjoyed talking to long-time friends and meeting new ones.
The Dudleys’ grown children with the exception of Dr. Woody Dudley of Tampa, Florida, were there and include: Ainsworth Dudley of Atlanta, Sissy Dudley Ledbetter of Thomasville, Dr. Shannon Dudley McQueen, and husband, Dr. Chap McQueen and their three children, Sarah, Emma and Bobby McQueen of Mebane, N.C.
Those I enjoyed chatting with from out of town were Bill and Nancy Summerford Phelyn, Lisa Torbert, former resident Hamp Stephens, Don and Libby Hogan, Stella and Keith Brown, former residents Bill Capitan and Betty Hewitt, all of St. Simons Island, Charlie Crisp of Moultrie and daughter Jenny Crisp of Leesburg, and the Rev. Rick and Kathy Buechner of Thomasville. Others I chatted with are Dr. Jim Dudley, and the Dudleys’ grandchildren: Thomas Ledbetter, Tyler Ledbetter of Americus, and Steven Ledbetter of Macon, who played keyboard in the band, Larry and Abbie Dillard, Carey Wooten, Raye Holt, Joni Woolf, Shirley Litwhiler, Henry and Jerry Crisp, who were celebrating their sixth wedding anniversary, Charles Crisp, Lydia Rogers, Mary Beth Rogers, Russell and Andrea Thomas, John and Alice Argo, George Hooks, Ross and Charlotte Chambliss, Mike Saliba, Vivian Melton, Randy and Nancy Jones, Bill and Lucy Parsons of Dawson, Steve and Sara McLain, Lee and Karen Kinnamon, Dr. Henry and Jana Teaford, Betty Lee Scott, Meg Usry, Dr. Harvey and Jody Simpson, Dr. Jim and Nancy Herron and scores of others.
Then on Tuesday evening, the Americus Rotary Club and guests had a special treat — the Varsity’s mobile unit from Atlanta catered the annual “trip raffle” supper party. Originally scheduled poolside at the home of Rotary President Gaynor and husband Mike Cheokas, the location was changed to the Lake House at Georgia Southwestern State University due to the threat of more rain. And it was so much fun with music, yummy Varsity fare and fellowship. “What’ll you have?” I was asked when it came my turn to order. That’s easy. Fried onion rings, more onion rings, more onion rings and, of course, a chili-cheese dog. Assisting at the food table was our good friend Pearl Allen.
Those attending were: Russ Childers, Susan Ruckman, Kenny and Theresa Phillips, Cindy Pryor, Julie and Al Higgins, Jim and Vicki Covington, Brad and Mary Lafevers, Hank and Kimberly Hart, Thurston and Gail Clary, Angela and Rene Smith, Mark and Julie Scott, Barbara Singley, Steve and Jeannie Stanfield, Marion and Virginia Franklin, Steve and Vickie Vinson, Brandon and Lauren Vann, Kathryn and Brent Moore, Patrick Kay, Lou and Candy Riccardi, Jimmy and Morgan Whaley, Larry and Abbie Dillard, Don and Sybil Smith, Peter Banse, the Rev. Bill and Sue Dupree, Danny Adkins, Courtney Brown, Dr. Mike Busman, Fred Boyles, Norman Race, Susan Beger, and Darryl and Cara Hawkins, Nichole and Tim Kirksey.
Squeezed mid-week I performed my civic duty to serve the state and community. I encountered interesting people and heard more about the dark side of life but that’s another story. Afterwards I felt very patriotic and glad to be an American.
And this week began on a very bright note: the supper meeting of Calvary Episcopal’s book club and discussion of “Everyone Brave is Forgiven” by Chris Cleave that Abbie Dillard led. The book is a page-turner and beautifully written. It’s a must read.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.