She said “Yes” to his question

Published 5:27 pm Friday, January 10, 2020

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By:  Leila Case

Americus dance teacher Hannah Ricketts, owner of Fabulous Feet Dance Studio, received the surprise of her life New Year’s Eve.

Hannah and Nick Pitts, director of quality control at Reeves Construction, and friends, Lee and Karen Kinnamon and Brittany and Matt McKenzie, were walking to dinner at a downtown restaurant and as they turned the corner at Dudley and West Lamar streets and approaching the Rylander Theatre, Nick turned to Hannah, asking about the next attraction advertised on the theatre’s marquee.

To which she replied, “Will you marry me?”

‘Hey that’s my line,’ thought Nick who had carefully orchestrated the timing so that he and Hannah by then were under the theatre marquee where he went down on bended knee to ask Hannah to be his bride. Of course, she told Nick “yes” as Taylor and Ashley Austin emerged from the dark shadows to photograph the couple’s special moment.

Hannah was in for another surprise.

Instead of heading to the restaurant, Nick guided Hannah and the others across West Lamar to the darkened Fabulous Feet Studio, opened the front door, the lights flashed on and suddenly a large group of friends, including the couple’s parents, Bill and Helen Ricketts and Dewayne and Traci Pitts, were waiting to celebrate the newly engaged pair.

Hannah says the chain of events will be etched in her memory forever. When will the couple walk down the aisle?  A family wedding is planned for December 12 at the Lutheran Church in Plains.

Incidentally, the Rylander Theatre has played a significant part of Hannah’s life. She grew up dancing on the stage there and she now presents her student recitals.

Meanwhile like the three bears in the nursery rhyme of the same name, some like their soup hot, some it mild while others want theirs “just right.”

The same holds true to chili – such as Main Street’s First Friday Chili Crawl that despite rain that fluctuated from pouring to a drizzle resulted in a good turnout last weekend.

There were nine competitors at as many locations in the downtown business district, and their chili entries ranged from hot, mild and “just right.” And according to the judges, who will remain anonymous, the top winning entries were: Envelope please.

First place went to Bay Shore Porkers Barbecue Team for their brisket chili they presented at Toboggan Steve’s on West Lamar.

Second place went to 13th Colony Distilleries who partnered with the Americus Art Gallery. Chef Graham Arthur created a Mesquite smoked chili. Assisting the chef were Lori Arthur, Brian Sherrett, Sally Lanier and daughter, Virginia Lanier, Todd Lunneborg, and Brooks Nettum, Art Council’s president and vice president respectively.


Third place went to Angela Smith who stirred up her award winning Chilarious Chili presented from Threes Company Too on West Lamar. Joining Angela was her husband, Rene Smith.


Other Chili Crawl competitors were Clay Owen who prepared “Feisty Redhead Chili” at The Look Salon, where he was assisted by his wife Meredith Owen, and daughter Preslee Owen.

The Huss Foundation stirred up Brown Thrasher chili; Merle Norman Studio’s entry was G-Ma’s Chili, and The Kinnebrew Company’s Kinnebrew’s Kickin’ Chili prepared by Hank Hart was presented by the guys and girls at The Kinnebrew Co. They are Hulme Kinnebrew, Jody Wade, Savannah Marchbanks, Cameron Cruz, Hartley Goolsby, Zoe Epperson and Olivia Carter. Courtney Plunkett prepared Cowboy Chili for Called to Care, a non-profit organization, and Mane Street Salon served up their Grateful Red Gluten Free Chili.


Meanwhile, the fun continued for First Friday After Dark at the Americus Arts Center where Todd Lunneborg’s band, “Mrs. Park’s and the Wreck” partnered with Pretoria Fields to play dance music for a very enthusiastic crowd.


Among others seen at the Chili Crawl were Brent Cobb, Dave and Kathleen Tucker, Kim and Charles Christmas, Chelsea Collins and daughter Kynslee Collins, Karen Montano and her family, Anita Theiss, Kimberly Hart and children, Henry and Anna, and her mom, Laurene Guthas. And many, many more.