Leila Sisson Case: ‘Murder’ on the SAM ‘express’ train takes center stage

Published 1:05 pm Saturday, September 1, 2018

Summer will soon change to fall, bringing cooler days and bye-bye to gnats. Are you ready for some football? I am cheering for the University of Georgia Bulldogs and another winning season. The majority of SEC teams have great teams this year, so beware of Georgia’s arch rivals: the University of Florida, Auburn, Alabama and the Yellow Jackets at Georgia Tech.

Today we plan to hunker down in our favorite chair in front of the TV and watch the Bulldogs kick off against Austin-Peavy at Sanford Stadium in Athens this afternoon. I’m sure a large contingent of local Dawg fans will be in the stands cheering for our team.

Smile and say hello and extend a hardy welcome to Charlotte Lundberg of Sweden and Katherine Ancinez of Colombia, South America, the Georgia Rotary Student Program scholars enrolled as freshmen at Georgia Southwestern State University for the 2018-2019 academic year. The two reside on campus but with host families when the university is not in session.

Americus Rotarians Rene and Angela Smith are Charlotte’s hosts, while Katherine’s host family is Matt and Kelsey Reed of the Albany Rotary Club.

This past weekend, they all attended the first in a series of GRSP conclaves at Young Harris in the north Georgia Mountains along with other GRSP students, 49 students altogether representing countries worldwide. Angela said the event was outstanding and the GSRP students are very bright and talented. On the final evening, the students entertained host families, the Rotary board of trustees and other Rotarians at a cabaret they choreographed.

We look forward to meeting Charlotte and Katherine on our ventures around town.

And did you know there was a murder on the SAM Shortline Excursion train last Saturday evening when the train was en route to Cordele? I’m shocked; however, it was all in fun and very similar to when I was the murder victim at a Friends of the Library farce years ago.

Thankfully, the mystery was solved during the evening. And all is well. The murder victim, Lee Kinnamon of Americus, SAM Authority chairman, (who played a despicable scoundrel named Benefield Martin) overcame his fatal wound and is back at Americus High School where he is an instructor, and others in the cast are back at work, too. The event, a fundraiser for the SAM Shortline Excursion train and the Cordele Railroad Museum, generated about $4,500 for each group. Passengers boarded at the Georgia State Veterans Park station and traveled to the Cordele RR Museum for a delicious dinner catered by Lake Blackshear Resort and Golf Club. Others in the cast were Ellen Harris, SAM Authority vice chairman; Kim Fuller, SAM Authority secretary and playwright; and Cameron Carter, the villain’s personal assistant and insanely jealous of his habit of flirting with other women. The guest appearance of Mo Rocca, an American humorist, journalist and actor and correspondent on the popular CBS-TV Sunday Morning show, upstaged them all and the evening was a huge success. I understand there’s another “murder-mystery” in the planning stages and the destination is downtown Americus. Can’t wait.

How would you like to have your daughter marry and then your son all within a four-month time span?

That’s exactly what Lynde and Emory Parker Jr. are experiencing and having fun with it all.  Their daughter Sara Cathryn Parker and her betrothed Michael Coffey of Dublin, whose wedding is Sept. 15, have been honored at a number of pre-nuptial parties over the past months. The most recent was a couple’s shower and buffet supper at Wolf Creek Plantation hosted by Hailey and Brian Roberts, Leila and Tim Jones, Brandon and Lauren Vann, Andy and Lori Shivers, Carl and Stacey Daniels, and Brittany and Corey Vinson. They were also honored at a barbecue at the home of Ben and Marcia Dupree, a Mexican fiesta in Dublin and an afternoon tea-shower at the home of Bill and Gay Sheppard hosted by friends of the bride at First Baptist Church.

The Parkers’ son Tripp Parker and Taylor Michelle Andrews will marry Jan. 26.

Kathy McCarty recently enjoyed a “girl’s weekend” with her sisters, daughters, and granddaughters at Tybee Island. Kathy was with Mitzie Dupree of Atlanta, Donna Maggio and Mitzie Ridgen of Punta Gorda, Florida, Cami Gharakhani, Kym McCarty, Kendall McCarty, and Audrey Jones, all of Savannah.


Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.