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Leila Case: Three cheers for the Constitution

Column topics swirled around in my head as I lay in bed Monday morning, not too eager to rise and shine. However, the thought of a large cup of my favorite blend of Café Campesino coffee was a strong incentive to get moving.

The question of what topic to choose continued to bother me throughout the busy day, but I finally settled on not one, but two, “timely topics” for today.

The Constitution of the United States and the University of the Georgia.

How could these two possibly be related? Well, for one thing, the university is the oldest land grant school of higher education in the country, having been founded in 1785. And the U.S. Constitution was created two years later on Sept. 17, 1787.

We observe Constitution Day on Sept. 17, an observance that continues through Sept. 23. All citizens, including naturalized, should reflect on the Constitution of the United States — the supreme law of our nation. The document defines the checks and balances of government — judiciary, executive, and legislative. How fortunate we are to live and work in this country and have the freedoms we enjoy every day.

The framers of the U.S. Constitution gave the country a fine legacy. Salute these forebears, especially the Georgia signers — William Few and Abraham Baldwin.

Lake Blackshear Regional Library has an excellent exhibit on the U.S. Constitution created by Beth Tanner, librarian, and Beth Usry. The exhibit is in the glass display case just inside the library’s main entrance on East Lamar Street and is presented by Council of Safety Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.

Elsewhere this week, Clint Bush, resident agent-in-charge, Albany Field Office of the U.S. Secret Service, presented an excellent program about this important agency, incorporating remarks about the U.S. Constitution in his talk at the recent DAR meeting. Bush and his parents and siblings lived here until he was eight; his father is Bill Bush, retired Secret Service agent, who was assigned at one time to the Carter detail in Plains.

My friend Vince Dooley, retired head football coach and athletic director at the University of Georgia, the state’s flagship university in Athens, was honored last Saturday at the official unveiling of “Dooley Field” at Sanford Stadium before Georgia kicked off versus Murray State. I am thrilled. We lived in Athens at the time Dooley was hired as head coach, and we met him and his fun-loving wife, Barbara Dooley, shortly after they moved into the house where they still reside. A friend, Gail Hutchins, who had already made friends with the couple, encouraged us to go welcome them to town. I clearly remember her saying, “Leila, please go meet the Dooleys. They don’t know many people.” So, we did. What a change now! Vince and Barbara Dooley are known worldwide. He is most deserving of this honor. Congrats, coach!

Present for the unveiling of “Dooley Field” and the game were many local Dawg fans including my son and daughter- in-law, Mark and Anne Barrett and my grandson, Beau Barrett of Macon. Also in the stadium were John and Beth Carroll, their son, Andrew Carroll, daughter Caroline Carroll and her fiancé, and their extended family from Vienna and Savannah. Also in the stadium were Dr. Lou and Candy Riccardi, their daughter Dr. Alex Riccardi and her fiancé, Wes Turner. Incidentally, as the Barretts were checking into their hotel after the game they encountered the storied Georgia running back Hershel Walker in the lobby and, of course, they went over and chatted, and even had their photo made with him. We have happy memories of watching Hershel play at many Georgia’s games at home and away.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.