Leila Case: Bopping about the county from celebration to celebration
Published 2:54 pm Saturday, March 23, 2019
Sumter County — from Plains to Leslie and Americus in between — was in the party mode last weekend with an influx of all sorts of celebrations drawing out-of-towners from as far away as New York and Nevada who enjoyed a big dose of southern hospitality served up with charm.
Thirteenth Colony Distillery observed the 10th anniversary of its founding in style at the Windsor Hotel last Saturday that included a delightful mix of the perfect ingredients to make it a fun and festive event from twilight ‘til past midnight.
As the more than 300 guests arrived, they were served signature beverages that spotlighted 13th Colony’s products — Bee Irish in tribute to St. Patrick, and Covey Rise a salute to the native quail — passed by waiters — while mixing and mingling and enjoying blue grass played by the Evergreen Family Band of Albany.
Guests then enjoyed an old-fashioned pig pickin’ barbecue supper accompanied by down-home favorites such as potato salad, mac and cheese, cole slaw and cornbread, prepared by Leon Holloway and his staff from Cousins’ Catering, presented in Rosemary & Thyme dining room. And it wouldn’t be a birthday party without a cake: an incredible confection created by Beautifully Baked by Bonne in Newnan, featuring a deer head with 10 points to represent the distillery’s anniversary, a pair of cowboy boots and a whiskey barrel topped with sugar whiskey bottles of spun sugar and an ashtray of chocolate cigars.
Afterward guests gathered in the lobby as 1,000 balloons were dropped at the stroke of 8 p.m. making the celebration even more festive. Company executives attending were CEO Alton Darby of Leesburg, President Kent Cost of Columbus, Vice President Lindsey Cotton of Columbus and Americus, distiller Graham Arthur, and company founder Dr. Gil Klemann of Augusta, and Elizabeth Warnock of Americus, general manager.
Lots of local faces such as Rene and Angela Smith, Carolyn Wright and Wade Halstead, Beth Alston, Gayle Alston, Evan and Amanda Kutzler, Nichole Buchanan, Shawn Cavender, Cameron Cumming, Jeff and Carol Kluball of Leesburg, Rucker Smith, Mark Minick, Marylynne Joiner, Tommy and Linda Hagins, Robert and Judy Brady, Donnie and Sylvia Roland, Jimmy and Morgan Whaley, Charles and Karen Christmas, Qaijuan Willis, among many others.
Then let’s drive to Plains, where President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter entertained Ambassador and Legacy Circle supporters of The Carter Center over the weekend. After an executive board meeting at the Center in Atlanta on Friday, the group of about 200 boarded buses for Americus Saturday morning and had lunch in Plains followed by a tour of the Jimmy Carter Historic Site including the Boyhood Home. They enjoyed dinner at the Community Center and were entertained afterward by Kim Carter Fuller who performed her one-woman show “Miss Lillian, My Grandmother.” And a panel question and answer session with the former president and Kim.
While in Leslie, the 31st annual Dogwood Antique Show and Sale sponsored by the Town and Country Garden Club, drew a big crowd from a wide area for the three-day event. We enjoyed browsing through the vendors’ wares and lunching on Kay’s chicken salad (our favorite) prepared by garden club members and joined by son, Mark Barrett, Alice Argo, and Jennifer Olsen.
And if that isn’t enough, the Americus Town Committee of the Georgia Society of the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America gathered at the lovely home of Karen Austin for a champagne luncheon to celebrate the 80th anniversary of its founding last Wednesday. The local town committee was formally organized on March 15, 1939, at the antebellum home of Mrs. Nathaniel Stewart (the present home of Jeannie Justice) on South Lee Street. There were six charter members and today the Americus Town committee has a membership of more than 60.
Meanwhile, Betty Bendemire is recovering from broken wrists; congratulations to Andy and Lori Shivers on their wedding anniversary; and to Everett Byrd who was recently named STAR teacher at Webster County High School; and say hello to Cathy Slaton who is visiting this weekend from her home in Mississippi, coming especially to attend the Miss SAR Pageant at Southland and is the guest of her daughter and family John and Tiffany Slaton Dean and Mary Catherine Dean, a pageant contestant.
Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.