Unforgettable Garfield


Garfield didn’t’ have a stop light but did have a caution light. If you blinked your eyes once, you were out of the city limits headed to Millen. But if you decided to get a bottled coke at Franklin Toole’s mercantile store or visit world famous Atkinson’s Pecan and Candy Factory, you would enjoy a huge helping of southern hospitality at its best. People sat on long, wrap-around front porches in winter and summer and news traveled quickly from one porch to the next. Once, two cotton gins and numerous businesses lined the main street in Garfield, but only a few businesses remained, included the Post Office and the Fire Station, which was on duty twenty-four hours a day. And the well-worn train tracks can still be seen today but the train no longer stops here. Only bitter-sweet memories remain of the tall, imposing school building that was known as Garfield’s Education Center, at its best. Mrs. Myrene instilled in writing and arithmetic in our six-year-old brains, but our education centered around mostly Bible reading and school prayer. It was an early morning ritual as we sat listening to the word of God while sitting in a semi-circle around Mrs. Myrene Johnson, our first-grade teacher, quoting from her favorite book, the Bible.