Through the Years

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Time passes quickly when you are having fun is a declaration I have always heard. I cannot confirm
that these stay-at-home days have been a lot of fun. Since stories have filled a big portion of my life,
recalling these tales fill times that could be lonely. As much as I enjoy reliving stories, I like to share with others. Instead of beginning with “Once Upon a Time”, now my opening is “Stop me if you have heard I this one.” Even if it has been heard before by listeners, I enhance and add details they haven’t heard. In this column I will be reviewing columns you have read, but I hope no one will stop reading at this point. I often quote one of my all-time favorite authors, the late Pat Conroy, who said, “A good story never grows old.” (Although writing mostly about Low country of S.C. he was born in GA).
Often, I am asked how long have I been writing columns for my beloved Forest Blade. From my files I learned that I have submitted stories of people, places and events “Around the Square” since 2017 and delighted to have the privilege.
Hope you will enjoy going through the years with me. Many have been tributes to friends who shared my childhood, adults who have been my role models, business folks, teachers, and all who still fill my heart with precious memories.
My forever friends, Annette McDaniel Evens. Frances Willis Powell, Ann Shepard Calef, Jewell
Perryman Claxton, and others have appeared in the column. Beautiful, talented and gracious Rita
Johnson and Ann Garrett should always be remembered. Athletic stars, Oscar Odom and Frank
Wimberly ‘s fame was reviewed.
Teachers were mentioned frequently: First grade teacher, Miss Scarboro taught me to read. Mrs. Nina Price made Georgia History come alive. Hixie G. Scott seemed to always be my teacher each year at SHS. (She never spoke her name without the “G”) Coach and Mrs. Schwabe taught me that your teacher can also be your friend. Peggy George Sammons gave me a love of language, literature and writing. Mrs. Edna Bailey told me, “You have a way with words.” and also gave me the needed skill of typing.
Mrs. Mae Vann, my high school Sunday school teacher helped form my faith, and demonstrated the

meaning of “Do Unto Others.” It was evident that classmate, Donnie Kea, was destined for higher things.
Many memories of special events and holidays---Christmas and the World War II injured doll--- Fourth of July Barbeques, new Easter clothes, the early Pine Tree Festivals and the WWII years.
Swainsboro had a brief stint with parking meters around the square. I don’t remember the small fee,
but most folks refused to pay and circled the square looking for a meter with time left. The meters did not fit the life style of our town. We liked to park on the square and spend time “people watching”. It was a relief when these were removed.
The Dixie was reviewed often, and also the romances that started by “sitting together at the Dixie” I
still await sitting inside the theatre once again.
Never forgotten are Melvie Stephens, Sheriff Peyton Youmans, my “Big Daddy”, Mr. El Flanders, Mrs. Rosenberg, Charlotte Roberts, Mrs. Alpha Flanders and of course, Sen. Rene’ Kemp.
My mouth waters at the memories of the taste and smell of a Lucille Lewis hamburger, inside a
Bazemore bakery bun, all-the-way with mustard, catchup, diced onions and wrapped in a paper napkin.
I hope my columns have given you thoughts of what it was like to “Walk around the square” and many names brought a pleasant memory. The square is still there and very attractive but no longer “The Courthouse Square”.
Write to Shirley at sptwiss@gmail.com.

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