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Leila Sisson Case: Art, lectures, celebrations bring blessings

It has been a week of jam packed, jelly tight with happenings” — full of interesting events almost from dawn to long after dark.
Among these was the monthly meeting of the Council of Safety, Daughters of the American Revolution, where members observed Veterans Day and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the war that was supposed to end all wars but we know didn’t happen.
John Edgemon Jr., (2nd Lt. ret.) U.S. Army, was featured speaker and his talk focused on personal experiences in Iraq during an extremely dangerous secret mission. Speaking candidly, his talk was fascinating and filled with emotions that ranged from tears to laughter.
John grew up in Americus, the son of John Edgemon Sr. and Sally Vestal Edgemon. An Eagle Scout from Americus Boy Scout Troop 21, a graduate of Southland Academy and Georgia Tech, John joined the Army in 2005, because he had dreamed of learning how to fly a helicopter since childhood. His desire became a reality. During his eight and a half years of military service, Edgemon was deployed for a year in Korea, a year in Iraq, and a year in Afghanistan where he flew an Apache helicopter on 11 secret missions. Perhaps the most famous is Operation Ginosa, which can be described as a revenge mission.
The former 2nd lieutenant gave vivid details of that mission and afterwards his team was hailed heroes for their bravery. The next time you see John thank him for his dedicated service to our country.
Then it was on to the annual meeting of Sumter Historic Trust, which was also outstanding and included three interesting mini-lectures regarding ongoing preservation projects presented by Lee Kinnamon, Sam Mahone ,and Brenda Tyson, and an election of officers and board of directors for 2019. I’m proud to be associated with the Trust. The local historic preservation organization was founded in 1972, and has accomplished countless worthy restoration/rehabilitation projects throughout the community over the years. Among the first was the mammoth renovation of the historic Lee Council House (circa 1902) on East Church Street, its headquarters, and The Carnegie on Jackson Street, repurposing the building from the public library to a place of business now owned by Leon Holloway.
There are many more achievements the organization has been involved in over the years but space is limited. If you’re not a member and would like to be please contact Meredith Owen at The Look Salon on Jackson Street downtown or any board member.
During the meeting Owen, current president, announced plans for the coming year that include more interesting lectures; a history camp for youth the week of June 6; tours in Andersonville and Plains and the annual spring party and auction complete with a band scheduled for March 2. Other officers and board members for the coming year inducted by Superior Court Judge Rucker Smith are: Kim Christmas, president-elect; Meg Usrey, recording secretary; Tara Mitchell, corresponding secretary; Kathleen Tucker, treasurer; Lee Kinnamon, archivist/historian; Chet Crowley, parliamentarian/publicity. Jessi Simmons is immediate past president. Board members are: Charles F. Crisp II, James Edgemon, Hope Henderson, Marylynne Joiner, Nick Owens, Faith Pinnell, John Stovall, Amanda Kutzler, Bunny Byrne, Brenda Tyson, Angie Flegel, and myself.
On top of all this, Calvary Episcopal Church’s 3rd annual Art Show — Calvary Cornucopia Creations — opened Thursday and continues from noon to 2 p.m. this afternoon and Sunday. The event again is outstanding and showcases the artwork of local and area artists on exhibit in the parish hall, 408 S. Lee St. And it is all for sale. The show seems to get better each year. I’m sure you’ll find the perfect piece for yourself or someone for Christmas. We’ll see you there.
Southland Academy’s fifth-grade students observed Patriots Day Thursday, the culmination of Why America is Free, a six-week course of study on America’s Colonial era in which the students learn by doing. On Patriots Day, students and teachers dress in Colonial attire to enjoy varied Colonial Day activities that concluded that evening at the antebellum home of Randy and Nancy Jones.
Americus downtown business district was lit up like a Christmas tree Thursday night for this year’s holiday open house at many of the stores, carolers roamed the streets, Santa heard everyone’s wish list, and many folks enjoyed the horse and buggy rides through town. It’s something we don’t miss.
Americus has so much to offer her citizens and we’re thankful and blessed to reside here.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.