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Leila S. Case: Toast annoying visitor with peanut butter, warm Coke

As I write, an uninvited visitor is due today — Hurricane Michael. Because he’s unwanted and will probably arrive in the dark of night he won’t receive the usual fare — cold champagne and chicken, and, of course, strawberry shortcake.
So, we propose a toast to Hurricane Michael: peanut butter on white bread served with tall glasses of warm Coke.
Meanwhile, it seems like yesterday that Bill Harris Jr., co-founder of Café Campesino, asked that I meet with him and David Minich at the latter’s office at Habitat for Humanity International to tell me about his Guatemalan experience while on a HFHI Global Village trip.
And so, I did.
I listened attentively as Harris told the story, basically that Central and South American coffee farmers were not being paid a fair price for their product and how he proposed to help them. After more than an hour of taking countless notes and viewing photos, I had enough information to write a story for this newspaper.
Although it seems like yesterday it was actually spring 1997, and Harris took his idea of helping poor Central American coffee farmers get a fair price for the coffee beans they harvested and shared his plan with others. I’m sure you know the rest of the story and the founding of Café Campesino in 1998, Georgia’s first and only fair trade, organic coffee company that has nationwide sales, today. Café Campesino remains my coffee of choice and has since the day I had my first cup years ago.
Congratulations to Bill Harris Jr., his brother, Lee Harris, an early partner in the company, and Tripp Pomeroy, general manager, for building the wholesale and retail fair trade coffee business into a success. I enjoy visiting the retail coffee shop on West Lamar Street as often as possible and it is often.
Café Campesino celebrated a milestone anniversary last weekend and it was huge and wonderful, drawing people from near and far for the varied events that concluded with a huge celebration at the company’s roastery on Millard Fuller Boulevard last Saturday that featured a lively band, delicious food and tasty beverages.
Hats off — I remember when. Proud to call the Café Campesino folks my friends.
And the Junior Service League’s annual Cowpoke Carnival at the Sumter County Fairgrounds last Saturday was another winner, drawing hundreds of children, their parents, grandparents and supporters, says Angie Brunson, president. This is the league’s largest fundraiser, the proceeds returned to the community to fund the organizations seven service committees and other service related requests throughout the year.
Chip off the block. That exactly describes Anne Henley Walker, granddaughter of Carson and Mary Lynn Walker of Americus and daughter of Americus native Chris Walker now of Columbus. She is the great-niece of the late Ann Walker Sheffield, society editor of this newspaper for 50 years. Anne Henley is a junior at the University of Georgia majoring in journalism. She also has a lively blog and a writes public relations material for an Athens wedding planner. It’s apparent she inherited some of her great-aunt Ann’s writing skills.
Sumter County Federation of Garden Club members: Faye Frazier, Rebecca McNeill, Jeannie Stanfield, Janice Cliett, Elaine Henderson and Diane Sumner representing the Dogwood Garden Club and Phyllis Argo and Shirley Litwhiler of the Azalea Garden Club participated in the Standard Flower Show, a juried show, on opening day of the Georgia National Fair in Perry. And they walked away winners, bringing home ribbons. The show had a patriotic theme “Celebrating the Best – A Salute to the Armed Forces and First Responders.” Congratulations ladies for your creative skills and green thumbs.
And happy birthday to two granddaughters: Caroline Herndon and Lauren Vann.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.