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March 7, 2013 Issue

Father still knows best
Wadley man found dead
Seniors spend last day at center

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Father still knows best

Special Report

Remember the long-running television series Father Knows Best? The Schoolhouse Players is bringing a new stage version of the venerable show to its stage.

“And, our Father Knows Best is in 3-D – without glasses, stereophonic sound, and living color” quipped seasoned director Charles Lewis.


This year he takes on one of the largest casts of any play yet produced by the Players, 17 roles in all. It’s a great representation of the wealth of talent in this area. The cast members come from Swainsboro, Wrens, Bartow, Louisville, Wadley and Millen.

Heading the play’s cast are Jim and Jodi Jarvis of Swainsboro (Mr. and Mrs. Anderson), Jamie Burke of Wrens (Betty), Sam Walters of Louisville (Bud), and Karley Sanders of Wadley (Kathy).

The play’s plot is a story as relevant today as when it was written during the golden age of television, parents wanting to protect their children and, at the same time, wanting to trust them to make wise decisions.

For example, in the play, after reading a newspaper story about teenage elopement, Mr. Anderson realizes that he doesn’t know anything about this new teenage boy in town, the one on whom his older daughter has a big crush.

But, the way in which he goes about checking out the young man creates uproar in the family, endangers a major business relationship and even gets the local garden club involved in the turmoil. Everyone’s good intentions add to the problem, and the entanglements become funnier and funnier. Ultimately, Father discovers that, while he may “know best,” the young people know a little, too.

Father Knows Best is sponsored by The Book Worm in Louisville, a long-time supporter of The Schoolhouse Players. And, the gracious proprietor of The Book Worm, Margaret Newberry, is the troupe’s assistant director for this production.

Performances are March 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. and one Sunday matinee on March 17 at 3 p.m. Note that, by popular demand, curtain time for evening performances has been moved to 7 p.m.

For reservations, call (478) 364-3340 and leave a message. Adult tickets are $10 each; children under 12 are only $5. Groups of 12 or more may be discounted $1 per ticket with prepaid reservations.

Also, season tickets are available for just $30 for a total of four plays, which also include Treasure Island, Wedding Belles and Scrooge. Performances are in the Mancin Auditorium at the Bartow Community Center.

Wadley man found dead

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

Officers were called to the scene of the old Dollar Store on East Railroad Street in Wadley Monday morning after receiving a report someone was inside.

Arriving on the scene, an officer with the Wadley Police Department found the dead body of Wadley resident Johnny McGruder, 52.


“Somebody called the Wadley Police Department and reported that there was someone inside,” Wadley Police Chief Wesley Lewis said Tuesday. “Officer Marke responded and found him and notified dispatch that the person he found was deceased.”

The call came into Wadley PD at 8:49 a.m. on Monday, March 4.

“From different people that I talked to, some say the last time they saw him was Saturday evening,” Chief Lewis said. “They said he came by the station on Saturday evening. But some other people said they saw him on Sunday morning.”

McGruder’s body was taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab in Augusta by Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Fay McGahee.

Chief Lewis noted that the officer who arrived at the scene said that there did not appear to be any signs of foul play.

“The family was notified,” Chief Lewis said. “His brother actually came to the scene before the police department did because he had been looking for him. He has his mother and sisters who live in Wadley and Louisville.”

“His cause of death will be left up to the medical examiner,” Chief Lewis said, adding that it was unclear what caused McGruder’s death.

“They were going to do the autopsy today, and hopefully I will get a call this afternoon and they can give me some preliminary results,” Deputy Coroner McGahee said Tuesday. “It is hard to say, without speculation, what caused his death.”

McGahee said McGruder’s body will be released back to his family as soon as the medical examiner finishes the autopsy.

“He didn’t have any field medical history, so we have to determine the cause of death, and an autopsy is about the only way to do that,” McGahee said.

Seniors spend last day at center

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Senior citizens carried on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the senior center with appreciation and hope.

They have enjoyed the time they’ve spent at the center, the friends they have and the companionship.


Many expressed their hope the center will reopen and soon.

The county commissioners decided earlier in the month to close the center after a loss of funding.

One citizen at the center said she doesn’t see why the county is broke.

“All the taxes we pay,” she said. She said after the center closes, seniors will have nowhere to go.

“If my husband was still living, I wouldn’t worry about it. I’d have somebody to talk to. It’s not right,” she said of the closing.

“We should have someplace we can go,” she said.

Lizzie Lee Quarterman has been coming to the senior center for seven or eight years, she said, adding she is hoping the center will reopen.

The commissioners have said it is their hope to reopen if they can regain funding when this fiscal year ends in June.

Martha Harmon has been spending days at the senior center now for 25 years.

“I think it’s bad,” she said of the closing.

“I’ll miss it. I’m hoping we’ll be able to come again. I’ve been coming a long time. Seems like home,” she said.

Another citizen, Jean Cunningham, said she has been coming to the center since 1975. She said the activities at the center have included painting, drawing, doing puzzles, birthday parties and dancing.

Fannie Bell Houston said she has been coming to the center since it opened.

“I don’t feel good at all because I’m home by myself every day,” she said. “I hope and pray they do (reopen).”

Houston said she would love for it to be open again.

“I don’t have no place to go,” she said, adding she’ll be sitting at home alone.

Mildred Webb said she has been coming to the center for three years.

“I came after I retired,” she said. “I hate it closing ‘cause I don’t have nothing else to do. I hope they do (reopen).”

Ethel Anderson has been coming to the center for two months.

“I’m sorry to hear it’s closing,” she said. “I have to find somewhere else to go.”

Cleo Lewis said she is sorry about the closing.

“It’s one place we can come and just enjoy ourselves,” she said.

Marian Miller has been coming for one month.

She said she was very sad to see the center closing.

“It’s such a wonderful place for seniors to come,” she said. “They just came in one day and say it’s closing next week. How can you do that? There should be a way to keep this open. So now there’s really nowhere to go.”

Miller said she was born in the area but moved to New York after high school. She said she spent 48 years there and loved it.

“To come back and see so many things closed,” she said. “It’s too nice a place to waste. This is really an outreach.”

Corine Brown, another senior citizen at the center at closing, has been coming about five years. She said she hopes the center will be open again.

“I feel right bad about it,” she said. “I don’t have nowhere to go. I won’t know what to do with myself.”

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Last modified: March 7, 2013