Leila Case: The big yellow busses rumble once again

Published 10:56 am Monday, August 5, 2019

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It’s the first week of August and the big yellow school busses are already rumbling down the road, transporting students on weekdays as another academic year gets underway Monday.

For many years, school has begun in late summer and I understand the reasons, but to me summer isn’t over until after Labor Day and school opens the next day. That’s the way it was when for my generation as well as my children’s, but not now. Today’s students have so many more educational advantages than ever before. The teaching methods and the electronic technology available to them beginning as early as kindergarten are phenomenal. In fact, today’s kindergarteners are more tech savvy than some adults.

In my day, we didn’t really learn to read in earnest until first grade although we had a smattering of it in kindergarten, which I loved. However, my Aunt Louise, who I have written about before and lived across the street when I was growing up in Atlanta, taught me to read and write before I went to school. And as I look back on those days I must have been a haughty “know it all,” six-year-old first grader. When my first-grade teacher, Miss Young, who I thought was ancient but was probably no more than 25 or 30 at the most, asked the class to go to the black board to learn how to write their names, everyone hurried to do so. Except for me.

I remained in my chair at the table — we didn’t have individual desks then. When Miss Young noticed,  she encouraged me to join the other children who already had a new piece of white chalk in their hand and waited for her instructions in front of the big black board mounted on the wall. I told her it wasn’t necessary for me to learn to write my name because I already knew how. What a brat. But I didn’t think so I was just stating a fact.

“Then you can help me with the other children,” she said. And I did. However, today I don’t write well and still can’t write the letter “S” very good because I was absent the day they practiced it. So that proves I did not know everything. Just thought I did and I also thought I was grown. Well, so much to say about school back in the day.

Meanwhile, if you missed the world premiere of the full-length motion picture “Back Focus” at the historic Rylander Theatre last month you have another chance to see it on the big screen at 6 p.m. Aug. 17 at Jackson Hall on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University. I look forward to attending because we couldn’t make the premier.

“Back Focus” was conceived, written, directed, and filmed by Patrick Peacock of Americus, an independent film maker and founder of Acondo Films. This is Peacock’s first full-length motion picture and the premier attendees gave the production rave reviews.

Peacock told me the story idea came to him about 10 years ago. The movie took about a year to make from the time he developed the script, cast the parts, then shooting it on nights and weekends, and hours of editing. The film was shot in Americus and varied locations, including the Rylander Theatre, Pat’s Place, the Lee Council House, the former JJ’s Wings and Things, and the home of Charles and Kim Christmas.

Elsewhere, about 30 people gathered at the Windsor Hotel’s for a lesson on white wines last Saturday afternoon.

Buddy Smith, the hotel’s sommelier in charge of the wine program at the hotel’s dining room Rosemary and Thyme and Floyd’s bar, conducted the wine tasting they’ve dubbed Sommelier Saturday that featured six different dry white wines ranging from light to medium that are perfect for hot weather. These included Vinho Verde from Portugal, Assyrtiko from Greece, Abarino (a Spanish wine), Gruner Veltinier from Austria, Chen Blanc imported from South Africa, and Viognier from an Oregon winery. He discussed the various flavors and also the best food to pair with each wine.

Smith has been at the Windsor for six months, having moved here from Atlanta, where he was sommelier at various upscale restaurants. Sommelier Saturday, designed to educate people about wines and make them accessible to everyone and enjoy the beverage, will be offered monthly at the Windsor and the next one will feature three Pinot Noirs and three Cabernet Sauvignons. The date has yet to be decided but probably the end of the month.

Smile and say “hello” to the Rev. Richard Nelson and his wife Geri Nelson who have moved here this week from Isle of Hope, near Savannah. Nelson is the incoming priest-in-charge at Calvary Episcopal Church but is no stranger to the parish, having served as the interim priest there several years ago. We’re happy to have them back in our community. Welcome home. Incidentally, Geri is an ordained Episcopal deacon. They are residing in Calvary’s rectory on South Lee Street.


Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.