2018-08-08 / Editorials

My first glance at the past

Billy Fleming

“Therefore, in gratitude for 150 years of life in Early County ; imbued with the faith of the pioneer, the determination of the farmer, the fortitude of the soldier, the integrity of the businessman, the religious fervor of the God-fearing citizen, the hospitality of the home and the joy of everyday life; we thank God. These blessings have given strength to the way of life as it has been molded here.”

So concluded the narrative for Early County’s Sesquicentennial Celebration December 1968 — by Amelia Barksdale and Mary Grist Whitehead.

You could call them both “South Church Street” gang members, although I doubt either would have embraced the title. They were both neighbors who I learned to love dearly growing up.

By the time that narrative made it to the stage that day I was standing there sporting my first mustache. It was of the “handlebar” variety and won first place in the celebration’s Mustache Contest.

There is photo proof of me with my trophy in the News archives!

The mustache and celebration weren’t the only firsts. It was the first time I remember embracing my past. Memories of my friends, family, community.

It had only been a couple of years earlier that I couldn’t wait to get out of Blakely. Thankfully the Lord had other plans. Blakely and Early County helped shaped the lives of our family!

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