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November 15, 2012 Issue

Selfless service...
Candlelight memorial held for Carver principal
Items needed for relief effort
Art Guild fall show to open next week

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Selfless service...


Charles Lewis, former commander of the ROTC unit at Jefferson County High School, speaks to those gathered at the John Frank Raley American Legion Post 229 Veterans Day ceremony held Monday. During his presentation, Lewis asked veterans to call out the names of veterans they knew who have passed away and those who are currently serving in uniform. (Below) A group of Glascock County veterans place a wreath at the courthouse in honor of veterans during a historical society sponsored ceremony there Monday.

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Candlelight memorial held for Carver principal

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

The cries of a broken-hearted woman pierce a quiet night in Wadley as people gather to remember their beloved friend and colleague, Carver Elementary School’s Principal Dr. Shawn Maria Johnson.

To the woman whose heart is still breaking after her daughter’s death a few short days earlier, Dr. Johnson was and will always be her baby.


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To the many others who have come to the school around which Dr. Johnson’s life centered, there are tributes all around to the woman students called Mrs. Dr. Johnson.

A flag has been lowered to half-mast. Black bows have been tied around the columns at the school’s entrance. On the walls of a hallway are posters and letters, handmade by students saying good-bye to Mrs. Dr. Johnson.

A former student in the audience leans across to another and quietly admits Dr. Johnson was not a tough paddler; he knows from experience. When asked if he was ever bad, ever deserved to be paddled, he shakes his head for a moment and then begins to nod. Yes, he had deserved it.

“She was a tough lady,” he says. “When she meant business, she meant business.”

On the stage in the school’s cafeteria, friends of Dr. Johnson speak about the woman they knew and laughter sparks amidst the tears.

Quinton Cummings, a former CES student who is now a senior at Jefferson County High School, starts his remarks with a sharp, “Young man, excuse me, where are you going?” Students and former students laugh with recognition and Cummings says, “That was the Dr. Johnson I remember.”

He said he left Carver a confident student, driven to excel.

“I left Carver a whole lot less dependent on my mother and my brothers,” he said. He recalled another of Dr. Johnson’s common phrases.

“What is all that commotion in the hallway?” he said. There was a cap of hers that had the word, “Boss,” on it. But Cummings said it should have read, “Best Boss.”

The young man said, “Dr. Johnson was loved because she served.”

Vernon Hardy, a former principal at CES, said he remembers her first as a young woman coming to CES for a job interview.

“You may not believe this; but, she was shy,” Hardy said.

He said sometimes while she was a teacher at CES and Hardy was the principal, Dr. Johnson would tell him, “Mr. Hardy, I just don’t know what I’m going to do with some of them; but, I’m going to do.” He said if she ever appeared in jeans, there was a crease in them.

“She was very supportive of me,” Hardy said. “And you can’t put a value on that.” Hardy referred to her as very passionate about educating children.

He said he told her to think about going into the administrative side of education. When she became assistant principal at the school on his recommendation, he told her, “It’s going to be up to you to show that I didn’t make a mistake.”

At that point, Hardy began to cry. He paused in his remarks for a few moments and then said, “I can’t say enough about her. … I love her dearly.”

Dr. Molly Howard, the county’s superintendent, said, “It is my honor to count Shawn as my friend.”

Howard said she recalled Dr. Johnson speaking once about her own funeral and saying, “Don’t be talking over me, just let the music play.”

To the audience, Howard said, “You’re going to be OK; because, that’s the way Shawn would have it.”

Three students of the Carver Dance Team, dressed in white tuxedos, tap danced to a version of, “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel.”

Wadley City Coucilwoman Dorothy Strowbridge read a resolution and then said to Dr. Johnson’s family, “We embrace you today; because, we share in your sorrow.”




Items needed for relief effort

By Frank Easterlin
Apprentice

Wrens Baptist Church is participating in Operation Outreach, a relief project for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Youth Minister Ethan Lee is leading the project.

Multiple area churches are accepting donations for Operation Outreach. Lee said they aren’t asking for monetary donations but items for the victims.

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“We are taking three tractor-trailers, two from Augusta and one from Wrens,” said Lee.

Lee, his wife Kimberly, and others are riding with the trucks to deliver the items to the New York School of Urban Ministry.

Lee said a church member who owns a trucking company initiated the project.

“He wanted to do this,” Lee said, “He said ‘I’ll pay for trailers and gas if y’all will collect.’”

Lee did not disclose the man’s name because he wanted to remain in the background.

Wrens Baptist Church will be collecting, at the trailer in the parking lot, through Nov. 21, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Monday through Thursday, Wrens Baptist will be collecting from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; On Friday the church will collect from 8 a.m. to noon.

They are accepting they following items: shipping supplies, T100/T1,000 respirators, Shop Vacs and tools, extension cords, work gloves, flashlights, batteries, hand trucks, cleaning products, bleach, rubber gloves, trash bags, generators, winter outer wear, socks, undergarments, coats, peanut butter, bottled water, jelly, single serve crackers/snacks, non-perishable foods (canned goods), tuna, diapers and blankets.




Art Guild fall show to open next week

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

This week, the Arts Guild of Jefferson County will open its Fall Exhibit, which will run Nov. 14-24, at The Fire House Gallery in Louisville.

Arts Guild President Donna Borders said artists began to bring in artwork for the show over the weekend.

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“We will have a variety of art,” she said. “Photographs, woodwork, handmade knives, pottery, pieces by Lettie Mohammad and Marianne Miller will have some of her paintings. We will have some people from Sandersville who are also going to show. And Hugh Fleming will have a piece of woodwork.

“This really should be a good show. There are lots of different people showing. The show will be mainly Guild members showing from the area.”

The opening artist reception will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Fire House Gallery.

“We are very excited about this show,” Borders said. “We enjoy offering this to the public and hope everybody will come out and take a look.”

Artists will be on hand for the artist reception, and also the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. Borders said most pieces will be for sale.

“The fall show is mainly Guild members and it is held in just one place,” Borders explained of the difference between the Fall Show and Spring Exhibit. “The spring show is in at least three different venues and is much larger. We do accept people from farther away for the spring show; it is not just limited to Arts Guild members.”

The pieces at the show will be new pieces, with each artist being allowed to present at least four pieces.

“We always try to have everyone enter new pieces and not things they have entered before,” she said. “And we get great work.”

Borders expects between 30 to 35 artists to participate in the show, and expects between 75 to 80 pieces to be on display.

“It is always really good for people to come out and see our artists and let them know they enjoy seeing it,” Borders said of the artist reception. “We think it is good to have this art show so the community can see what wonderful artists we have in many different mediums.”

Exhibit hours will be Nov. 14-16 from noon to 6 p.m., Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the reception from 7 to 9 p.m., Nov. 18 from 1 to 4 p.m., Nov. 23 from noon to 6 p.m., and Nov. 24 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Those wishing to join the Arts Guild may do so by obtaining an application at Twisted Sisters. Membership to join is $35 per year.







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