Presented by the Laurens County Historical Society, Dublin, Georgia. For questions and information, please contact Scott B. Thompson, Sr. at dublinhistory@yahoo.com.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

THE SEVEN DAYS BATTLES





Six battles between the Union and Confederate armies to the east of Richmond, Virginia, cost both sides 36,000 casualties out of nearly 200,000 combatants. It was an early, ominous sign that this war was not only going to be long, but more deadly than its instigators ever imagined. Union General George McLellan and his staff launched an early massive strike along the Virginia Peninsula, hoping to capture the Confederate capital and bring about a quick and necessarily deadly end to the Civil War. Newly appointed Confederate commander, Gen. Robert E. Lee, struck back viciously, sparing no ammunition or lives to protect the vital political center of the Confederacy a century and a half ago this week.

Lee's army crossed the Chickahominy River in the mid afternoon on the June 26, 1862. Two companies from Laurens County, who carried the banner of "The Blackshear Guards, 14th Georgia, and "The Laurens Volunteers", 49th Georgia, both in Anderson's brigade, Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill's division. Powell's division crossed Meadow's Bridge over Brook Run to join with Branch's advance on Mechanicsville. Field's brigade led the way with Anderson's behind him.

When Lee reached Mechanicsville, he split his army in three directions. Richard Anderson's (Left)  Brigade led Hill's march along the Old Church Road toward Beaverdam Creek. Within a few hundred yards of Mechanicsville, Hill's division came under the fire of Federal artillery. Anderson's Brigade took the extreme Confederate left near the head of Beaverdam Creek above Mechanicsville, Virginia. Their mission was to march through one mile of dense woods to capture the Federal artillery. Anderson moved up to the west rim of the valley of the creek opposite Gen. Reynolds' Federal division.

Lee and Hill were waiting on Stonewall Jackson. The iconic Jackson was supposed to have marched down from the north and attack and turn the Federal right. Hill could wait no longer. Shortly after arriving at the creek, Hill's order for a late afternoon attack came. Col. E.L. Thomas led the 35th Georgia in the initial attack on the Federal right. Col. R.W. Folsom got up from his sick bed to lead the 14th Georgia in support of Thomas. When the attack first began, Anderson's men had woods and thickets to cover their advance. Those in the open fields were pounded with sweeping artillery fire. Once they came down the steep banks toward the waist-deep, fifteen to twenty foot wide creek, they were in full view of Federal riflemen. Every assault was repulsed by the Federal forces. Only the 35th Georgia were able to cross the creek. Under heavy fire they were forced to retire at the end of the fighting.

Lt. Hardy Smith, (left)  then leading the company after the wounding of Capt. Thomas M. Yopp at Seven Pines, led the Blackshear Guards as they charged Union positions. Elkinia Faulk and William L. Jones were killed on the field. Amos L. Moore suffered a severe wound to the head and died nine days later. George Jenkins, Daniel G. Pope, and Emory Smith were wounded during the brutal fighting. Lt. Smith was shot in the right arm. His wound was so severe that his arm was later amputated. Although the Laurens Volunteers were not as heavily engaged, Thomas J. Parsons John C. Bracewell and Benjamin F. Dixon were wounded in the fighting at Mechanicsville.






 


Col. A.J. Lane, commanding the 49th Georgia, received a severe wound in the arm during the fighting. Brigade commander Gen. Joseph Anderson, who was wounded in the fighting, was succeeded by Gen. Edward L. Thomas. Union General Porter remembered the moans of the dying and wounded penetrating the night following the battle. The Confederates lost one-fifth of their men, while the Union losses were relatively light. Even though the Federals claimed victory, McLellan moved his men to the southeast in an effort to better his position.

"The Rebels came on, from the woods, out of the swamps, down the roads, along the entire front, with shriek and yell," a Pennsylvania soldier recalled.

The Guards and Volunteers continued their march the next morning along Old Church Road turning toward New Cold Harbor. The armies squared off a mile to the southeast of Gaines' Mill. At 2 :00 on the afternoon of the 27th, A.P. Hill's Division, the largest in the army, made the first attack on the Union center and left. J.T. Faulk and John R. McDaniel of the Guards were wounded.

When Anderson's brigade formed a line, three quarters of a mile long at the edge of the woods, the Federals commenced a brisk attack. A deep ravine separated the Rebels from the Federal fire on the hill. Anderson halted his men under heavy fire before ordering a double-quick charge followed by a third charge. The embattled Confederates found that crossing the ravine was impractical and fell back and held their original position.

After Anderson's brigade made three unsuccessful charges, everybody kept wondering "Where is Jackson?" After two hours of battle, the uncoordinated Confederate attack fell apart. The Confederates attacked again and pushed the Federals back. The 14th spent the next day resting along Powhite Creek south of Gaines Mill. On the 29th, Hill and Longstreet marched west toward Richmond before turning back toward the Federals on the Darbytown Road and moving in the direction of Malvern Hill on the James River.

Hill and Longstreet attacked the Federals at Frayser's Farm near Glendale on the 30th. At the beginning of the battle, Anderson's brigade was left in the extreme rear. After the battle raged for hours, A.P. Hill was forced to use Anderson's Brigade, the last of the army's reserves. At sunset, Anderson marched his men along Long Bridge Road with orders to cheer and make as much noise as possible. The 14th Ga. and 3rd La. took the left with the 35th, 45th, and 49th Ga. regiments making up the right wing. Confederate President Jefferson Davis came out from his headquarters and galloped along the column. A chorus of cheers rang out.

Anderson marched a half mile toward the Federals lying on the left of the road. Orders were given to withhold musket fire until the division joined with the Confederate front. As the division moved to within 200 feet of the Federals, cries rang out "For God's sake, don't fire on us, we are friends!" Anderson ordered a bayonet charge. The approaching forces yelled "Fire!" giving Anderson no doubt that they were the enemy. Gen. Anderson was again wounded and E.L. Thomas assumed command of the Brigade. Within a few minutes the fighting ceased. The battle was a draw. McLellan pulled back to a more strategic position at Malvern Hill. Only John W. Cross of the Laurens Volunteers was wounded in the fighting of the last battle.

The climax of the Seven Days Battles came on July 1, 1862 with a Confederate attack on Malvern Hill. Hill and Longstreet remained at Frayser's Farm and did not participate in the action. Thomas's Brigade was positioned at the fork in the road behind the main Confederate force. Anderson's Division suffered 364 casualties during the Battles of the Seven Days. Lee's men suffered more casualties during the campaign, but managed to push McLellan away from Richmond.

After the Battles of the Seven Days, Hill's Light Division was assigned to the Corps of Gen. Stonewall Jackson. Jackson led Lee's move northward. Jackson arrived at Cedar Mountain on August 9, 1862, where the killing resumed and accelerated.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DR. WILLIE BOMAR


Show Me the Money!


Willie Bomar was dying. She got the cancer. She wanted her $65.78, and she wanted it, "now!"

Willie Melmoth Bomar was born in 1894 to Dr. Elisha Pinckney "Pink" Bomar and his wife, Ella Tallulah Lane. Dr. Pinckney removed himself and his family to Tattnall County before the turn of the 20th Century. Dr. Pinckney was active in his community, serving a term on the school board and once placing himself as a candidate for the Georgia Senate.

Willie and her older sister Ethel grew up in a somewhat happy home. All of that ended in 1918, when their father found himself embroiled in a difficulty in Lyons with A.S. Mosely and his sons, G.G. Mosely and Howell Mosley.

The elder Mosely fired his shotgun twice and his pistol three times at the 52-year-old physician, who turned and walked away from his aggressors. Just as the doctor was walking away, dozens of bystanders witnessed the Mosely boys firing shots directly into a lung of Dr. Bomar, resulting in his swift death. The murder case against the Moselys was transferred to Jefferson County Superior Court in Louisville, Georgia, where it resulted in a hung jury.

Life for the Bomar women had to go on. Ethel taught music and Willie, a graduate of Georgia Normal and Industrial School, taught domestic service in the local school in Lyons.

Eventually, Willie wanted to do more with her life. So she moved to New York, where she obtained her doctorate in Philosophy from the prestigious Columbia University.

In 1931, Dr. Bomar published her first book, An Introduction to Homemaking and It's Relation on the Community. A second book, The Education of Homemakers for the Community was also published in 1931. In all, Willie Bomar authored four books, including a 1937 book, which she entitled I Went to Church in New York.

It was just near the end of World War II when Willie Bomar began to notice something different about her body. Then came the devastating news. It was cancer and it was in her throat and her chest. Two surgeries followed and so did regular visits to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

It was in the autumn of 1948 when Dr. Bomar was asked by Wheeler County to teach on an emergency basis

The issue first arose at the end of the first term in 1949. The retirement board allowed Bomar to keep her contributions to the retirement fund. Then after a secret meeting, one which Bomar was not allowed to appear, the board reversed its position and took her $65.38 away.

Dr. Bomar kept her 10:30, Memorial Day appointment with J.L. Yaden, director of the retirement system of Georgia. Yaden maintained that since the $65.78 had already been deducted from her check, any refund was out of the question unless she resigned her position with the Wheeler County school system. That would mean that she would lose the excessively pitiful, but normal monthly salary of $198.00, which included a $33.00 supplement for teaching home economics. Remember, this was a teacher who held two masters degrees (in science and arts) as well as a doctorate degree in philosophy.

"I'll take mine now," Dr. Bomar, her voice weakened from the paralyzing effects of her throat cancer, told Yaden. She reiterated that the state deducted her portion of her retirement benefits out of her "puny" salary without consulting her. And, to make things worse she would have to wait to die to collect it.

"It's a preposterous thing they are trying to do to me. They want me to wait until I'm dead with old age to collect it. Well, I've got cancer. I need the money for treatment. And, cancer won't wait," cried Willie.



It was Bomar's position that since she had been hired by the Wheeler County school board as an emergency teacher, she was exempt from paying any retirement contributions.

Yaden called Superintendent T.C. Fulford, who reluctantly agreed to terminate the contract of the esteemed professor. That's when Willie Bomar had to make snap decisions.

"I am resigning under protest, but that is all I can do," she lamented.

Delayed and denied at every turn, Dr. Bomar decided that only a drastic tactic would work. The vibrant home economics teacher vowed to stay in Yaden's fourth-floor office until she achieved her modest demand or die right there in the office from the cancer which she knew was rapidly killing her.

Yaden walked out, leaving the dark-haired, matronly school teacher, dressed in her best blue dress sitting there in anger and disbelief, as she shouted, "I protest! I protest!"

A comfortable sofa in the ladies lounge would be her home until Yaden and his board surrendered or she died on the spot, whichever came first.

Not all people defended Willie Bomar's stance. The editor of the Dallas Morning News called her demand for benefits "shameful under the guise of liberalism and social progress."

Others, were more than sympathetic. Custodian C.C. Lord, himself laboring at the lower end of the pay scale, brought Ms. Bomar hot cups of coffee and sandwiches during the night. Encouraging newspaper reporters furnished Coca Cola and Hershey bars to aid the embattled teacher in her fight for right.

After 53 hours of waiting and most likely a call to or from Governor Herman Talmadge, a native of adjoining Telfair County and a politician who championed the cause of the common man, Yaden approached Dr. Bomar and informed her that the board had agreed to her demand.

A swarm of newspaper reporters and photographers barged their way into Yaden's office. With cameras flashing, Bomar triumphantly smiled as Yaden signed her highly coveted check.

"I won! I got my money! It was worth it," Bomar exclaimed.




"I won," said Yaden, who felt that negative feedback from unfavorable nation wide coverage of the impasse was not worth maintaining the state's rigid and unpopular stance.

Straining to get her words out, Willie Bomar was still thinking about teaching again, probably outside of the state somewhere. Writing or editing was also a possibility. Willie bought a train ticket and headed for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota

"I want to pay instead of saying I am too poor. I've been teaching school in Georgia," Dr. Bomar proclaimed.

Upon her arrival at the Mayo, Willie offered herself as an experimental patient at the University of Illinois for betatron cancer treatment. She told the press, "the situation appears to be out of control."

In the end, Willie Bomar was right. She died in 1950. Willie never wanted to accept charity and wanted to pay her own debts. Her perseverance paid off when the mighty State of Georgia backed down and showed the money to this little ol' school teacher from Glenwood, Georgia.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

RAMBLING THROUGH NORTHVIEW




They call this place Northview. They have been calling it Northview for now on 111 years. Some wanted to give it romantic names like " Necropolis," "Mistletoe Bower" or "Weeping Willow." Still others wanted to call it "Sawyer Place" for Jonathan Sawyer the founder of the City of Dublin some century before, while others wanted to dub it "Orrville" or "Orr Field" in honor of E.R. Orr, chairman of the city council committee on cemeteries. It is place where the members of the Dublin Rotary Club, took the suggestion of Mary Barbee and with the generous contributions from members of our community, put a facelift to the cemetery where our friends and loved ones rest in eternal peace.

It is a warm - no hot - quiet Sunday morning. Puffy cumulus clouds race to the west, spinning off a tropical storm approaching from the east. The perfume of the so, so sweet magnolias permeates the air. Mockingbirds engage in aerial combat. Off in the distance, the mourning dove coos her melancholy dirge of death.

Over there is a six-trunk, non-native spruce tree. It is draped with a coat of Spanish Moss, a relative of the pineapple plant, you know.

This is where it all began in 1902. On a sad, sad April day, the six-month-0ld, infant body of Joseph Dewitt Carter (left) was laid to eternal rest on the crest of this hill, now shaded by the ancient oaks planted here nearly a century ago.

"How much of light, how much of you is buried with this darling boy?" That's what his grieving parents implored.

Down the hill, yellow dandelion flowers volunteer over the grave of Sgt. Oliver W. Wester, 4th AAAF Fighter Group, who was killed on July 14, 1943.

Here lies 2nd Lt. Rrobert Andrew Beall. Beall was there in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania leading his Gibson Guards of Wright's Brigade toward "The Angle" on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg. It was toward the end of the second day of the epic battle when Beall and his brigade were "Masters of the Field" as they were the first and only Confederate brigade to break the Union lines at the High Water Mark of the Confederacy. When the Georgia boys in butternut failed to get support on their flanks, they were surrounded by reserve Federal units. More men were lost to death and capture on their retreat than on the arduous advance to the stone-walled salient. Lt. Beall was wounded, captured and taken to prison at Point Lookout, Maryland. After an early release, Lt. Beall stood with the last shattered remnants of his company at Appomattox Court House when the killing finally and mercifully came to an end.

And then there are the dough boys of World War I. Sgt. Syl P. Hodges, who immediately enlisted in the Signal Corps, 4th Division upon the declaration of war and who had just been transferred to the front when he was accidentally killed in a rest billet.

Corporal Clarence D. Fordham, joined Co. C of the 151st Machine Gun Battalion, just after graduating high school. Fordham went to Mexico with the boys from Georgia in 1916 and was one of the Yanks who went over there in 1918 with the Rainbow Division. Fordham was wounded on July 25, 1918 and lingered for six days before he died. He was only 17 years old.

"Nobly he fell while fighting for liberty. Eternal rest grant him oh Lord. And let perpetual light shine on him," is how this hero's granite epitaph reads.

Descendants of Leonard and Ellen Braddy still place flags by the graves of sons, Cary and Braddy. The Braddys lost two of their sons in World War II. Lt. Cary H. Braddy died on April 21, 1945 somewhere in the not so sunny, South Pacific. Sgt. Palmer fell on the frozen fields of Belgium some 14 weeks earlier. No parents should suffer like that.

Just another pace or two away lies the mortal remains of Judge Felton Perry - his given name as he was not a jurist - who died on the frozen fields of Europe on the 9th day of January, 1945.

Confederate and American flags adorn the grave of Capt. Hardy B. Smith almost as if they were never raised against each other.

There are Hatfields and McCoys here too, although there has nary a feud between these Laurens County clans.


Mausoleum

Right in the middle of the cemetery is the Mausoleum. It took about two years and $30,000.00 to build this distinguished ossuary of concrete and marble. First National Bank President Frank Corker, the man who built Dublin's skyscraper, led the effort to construct the masonry mansion for up to two hundred souls. It is the immortal home of families like the Pages, Garretts, Phillips, Robinsons, Adams, Powels, Brantleys, and more, the people who made their fortunes when cotton was king and railroads carried us from town to town and wondrous places around the country.

Boo!

Advance units of the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts have already canvassed the area, marking the grave of all of those who have served our nation and our fallen heroes.

Twenty years after his death, the citizens of Dublin dedicated a ledger to the memory of Mayor Lucien Quincy Stubbs, who made many improvements to the city he so dearly loved. Stubbs would have gladly surrendered these posthumous accolades to resurrect the lives of his beloved Clara, John, and Ella who died all too young.


Ella Stubbs



John M. Stubbs, Jr.

Grieving parents, Lucien and Lula, placed concrete angels, now spattered with pale green lichens. John prays to the heavens, one of his broken wings loving placed back on it pedestal. Lula, her tiny, dainty fingers crumbling, spreads flowers of joy and good cheer.

Here lie sinners, saints, quarterbacks, and poker players. Passing through this graveyard you will finds Kings, Princes, Knights, Lords, loads of lovely ladies and way too many little princesses.

There is at least one Diamond buried here, but don't go digging up Mrs. Mary Claire just yet.

For those of you who are superstitious, there are Boneys, Slaughters, Hooks, Roaches, Tingles, Webbs, Vines, Leaches, Chivers, Clouds and Stranges. And for those who really are afraid of being here, the Adams family lies over there. There are even Graves in some of these graves. And, if you walk over in Section C, Row 17, you will find Mr. and Mrs. Coffin (Shubert and Lollie.) Cross my heart and hope to join these folks, I am not lying!

Green and blue funeral home tents keep the scarce rains from washing away the recent tears of grieving loved ones dropped on the yellow sandy loam.

Back in the early days, infants were indiscriminately snatched away from excited parents. Emma Dora Arnau's final crib is adorned with a mourning dove lying beside a short stump signifying a life cut all to short in 1902. An unnamed, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Lord died at the age of one day in 1904. His parents paid quite handsomely for a stone cutter to carve an image of their most beloved little boy. Another, unadorned stone simply says "Tommy."

Dozens and dozens of unmarked slabs, their occupant's identities unknown to all but God, still confound ancestor seeking visitors.

Kinchen Walker, a soldier of the South and a devout Methodist, was a good man. He helped to rid the city of demon rum, or so he thought.

J.W. Holland sleeps as a brilliant red cardinal glides over his eternal bed.

I think I'll stop now. The cool shade isn't so cool anymore. It's time to take a break, drink some sweet tea and rest until next week when my ramble through Northview continues.

_________________________________________________


THE RAMBLE THROUGH NORTHVIEW CONTINUES.


I'm back and ready to resume my journey through the eternal homes of people we once knew and loved.

Over here among the members of the Felder family, is the grave of Thomas Brailsford Felder, Jr., a political nova, drawn into the black hole of the not so heavenly world of politics. He had all the promise of success in the world, but it was relationships with the evil ones of the Warren Harding administration who seduced him to the Gates of Hades. Look there, one end of his slab seems to be rising out of the ground. It's election time and ol' Tom Felder must be rising up for one more political fight. You can't keep a good man down.

Dr. Charles Hicks' marker is draped with a cloth. Maybe it is supposed to symbolize mosquito netting. You see it was Dr. Hicks who figured out why the skeeters of Buckeye brought us so much malaria. The pioneering physician discovered that the healthier folks in Dublin drew their water from deep underground aquifers, while the sickly people up in the hills of Buckeye got their drinking water from shallow wells where the stinging critters picked up the once deadly parasites.

Major T. D. Smith, the grand master of barbeque, assembles his comrades in Gray, some sixty strong. Not a single "Billy Yank" lies here, at least not one who will proclaim it.

One arm is missing from the angel who watch over the graves of W.J. Hightower and his family. The newer angels around this place still have their arms and wings. The ravaging devil of time hasn't figured out a way to clip them off yet.

Mr. Mockingbird, my constant and faithful tour guide, returns - dancing from stone to stone. He leads me to a Georgia Bulldog, complete with his red sweater and telling all of us that this man loved them Dawgs.

Rainbows of summer flowers, some natural and some plastic, decorate the rolling landscape. It doesn't take Miss Swallowtail long to figure out the difference.

I see the graves of teachers, plumbers and fighter aces. Faithful friends, beloved daddies, and Woodmen of the World are here too. There are Elks and Mooses, but not the antlered kind. Over there are orphans, unsurpassed mothers, and memories.

People who knew Mr. Cy Dozier knew that he was a Christian from the cradle to the
grave. His epitaph reminds us of that wonderful trait.

Many of us ate her delicious home style food, but how many of you know that the lady they called "Ma," was in fact Fannie Bell Keen Hawkins. Over here is "Bud" Barron, one of those flyboys, who flew more air miles than almost any other pilot in World War II.

Slumbering here is the infant son of Dr. and Mrs. E.B. Claxton. Even the John Hopkins taught medical skills of his physician father couldn't save his momentary life.

Duos and trios of American Arborvitae spiral skyward. They tell the good people where to catch the up escalator.

April 1944 wasn't a good month for the Bidgood family. Robert Bidgood, the handsome, beloved son of Grover and Henrietta Bidgood, went missing over New Guinea. There was no Happy New Year in the Zetterower family in the cold European winter of 1945 either. Frank Zetterower, Jr. earned a Silver Star by giving his life to save the life of a fellow soldier in the village of Gambsheim, France.
















In those days, sometimes it took years to bring home the bodies of the boys who fought in that brutal, terrible war. When Frank's remains came home, his father, Frank, Sr., chose to join his namesake. They buried them side by side on that sad, sad Sunday.

Other young boys, who fought the war started by men, gave the last true measure of devotion in the service of our country. Their mothers cried. Their strong fathers crumbled under weight of agony and despair. Willie T. Holmes was killed in Okinawa. The blood of recent school boys, Randall Robertson and James B. Hutchinson, stained the white -grained sands and rocky, igneous hills of Iwo Jima. And, there are army officers like Lt. Peter Fred Larsen was killed by his own men - a villainous trick of his captors who hauled him and others around in the crammed, filthy holds of cargo ships which fell in the sights of American fighter pilots. By my feet lies Wex Jordan, the "Fiddling Fullback," a football star and an All-American boy, faces the heavens, where he lost his life in a training accident in the skies off San Diego.

A single simplistic column marks the graves of a decade of the members of the Baum and Dreyer families. Sons and daughters of Israel, public service was their fundamental creed. Louisa Kohn Baum was there on that seemingly happy, mid-April evening, when John Wilkes Booth put a gun to the head of Abraham Lincoln and nearly finished killing off a badly wounded nation.

It is all together fitting and proper that George and Patricia Tanner lie in wait next to Alice Patterson over in the edge the woods by the frilly pink mimosas. They wait for the Birdman, Tommy Patterson, who's watching and waiting for that one more angelic winged creature to carry him home to the Green Acres neighborhood where they lived as neighbors and loved life on the banks of the Hunger and Hardship Creek. Son Hunter Patterson has just come back with precious artifacts from the swampy creek, where he discovered and thrilled in the natural beauty of our world.

There are broken markers, broken hearts and broken dreams. Ancient cedars spread their short, scaly needles casting shadows of death and despair, while a duo of mourning doves dart and dash among the oaks and myrtles. Brown thrashers, wrens and sparrows scan the surface for a seed or tasty insect for Sunday brunch.

Elllison Pritchett lies here. Way back during the days of the Great Depression, he built an airplane for the world's richest man, but had to keep on building planes to pay his bills.

I see the grave of little Jimmy Rogers, a sweet child of his parents love whom God called home to the bright mansions above. Just below Mary's little lamb, the stone mason carved the day he flew home with the angels, September 24, 1901 - a date which predates the city's purchase of the original 25-acre cemetery from Celestia Smith by three months and two days.

Cemeteries to some are terrifying places. Others are superstitious when they come here. "Don't step on the graves," they say. Some hold their breath as they motor by, just to keep the spirits from taking it away. Others, like me, see cemeteries as wonderlands, wonderlands of beauty, family, heritage, sacrifice, service, and most of all, love.

Besides, in my position as President of the Laurens County Historical Society, it is my solemn duty to know where all the bodies are buried.

Before I go, I think I will walk over to the far left side of the cemetery right along the tree line near the back. I recommend that the next time you go to this place that you follow my footsteps.

There is the place where young Gavin plays. Gavin had to leave us all to soon. In his gravel box, you find more than a platoon of angelic cherubs to protect him from the evil ways of the world which surround him. Gavin has red race cars and many neat toys to play with. On the round stones, he reads the words "faith, hope and love," three attributes which could save the world if we all used them, and constantly, in our daily lives.

Back in October, Gavin had Jack-O-Lanterns to fill with Halloween candy. In April, the Easter Bunny left a trio of Spiderman eggs in a Spiderman pail. At one end of the box there is a short cross to remind him that Jesus is there by his side. He knows his loving family is always there for they always bring him new toys to play with.

Gavin plays from the early dawn until the last glow of evening twilight. And, when the Sun goes down, his family put out some solar powered lights, just so he won't be alone in the dark. No child was ever loved more.

Friday, June 01, 2012

EBB FLOYD:, The Great Gastronome


Ebb Floyd wasn't exactly a big, fat man. Few people in his day were fat. But ol' Ebb could eat. There was no one around who could eat more and eat faster than this ravenous tenant farmer from the heart of Georgia. This short, stout, and merry gastronome had a sweet tooth for his favorite foods sweet potato custard pies and sugar cane.

It was just before Thanksgiving back in 1888 when Ebb Floyd found himself at a log-r0lling contest. After the competition was over, the participants set down for a tasty supper. To finish off the grand meal, fifteen custard pies were set out. Everyone knew that the sweet potato desserts were among Floyd's favorites. So, one man dared Floyd to eat half of them.

The pie afficionado accepted the challenge, vowing to swallow at least ten of the orange pies. Floyd encircled himself with ten succulent sweet potato pie plates and commenced to move in a clockwise direction. One down, then two, then three, four and five. Ebb kept on stuffing them down. Six down, seven, eight gone, nine and then ten pies gulped. The crowd roared!

The last five were put in front of him. Three were devoured in short order. That's when the agony began. The last two eventually found their way to the bottom of the big eater's belly. Ebb Floyd received no award that evening, other than winning the bet and winning it big, not to mention stuffing his belly full of his favorite food.

A few weeks later, Ebb accepted another good opportunity to stuff himself. Not to be outdone, Ebb set his sights on a Thanksgiving feast. After downing a stomach- stuffing dinner of Thanksgiving turkey, dressing and the traditional fixings, Floyd ventured over to a neighbor's house for a cane eating contest. Ebb knew that he was not going to be able to move at all after the end of the gorging, so he planned on finding a soft spot and collapsing onto it.

Word of Ebb's ravenous eating skills brought out a large audience to see just how much sugar cane, the master feaster Ebb Floyd, could eat at one sitting. As a less than satisfying appetizer, the gobbling glutton consumed fourteen stalks of sugar cane. Then for supper, Ebb nearly got his fill consuming an old fashioned Thanksgiving supper, complete with possums saturated with thick gravy and complimented with dozens of sugary yams.

To make things interesting, the host announced a cane-eating contest and invited all comers to sit down and chew as many stalks as they could. To make things more interesting, a school teacher spoke up and suggested that the contest be one of speed more than endurance. And, to make it more interesting, the teacher proffered a wager that Ebb Floyd could not chew three stalks in under ten minutes. Ebb, a ceaseless gourmand, readily accepted the bet.

The teacher, attempting to hedge his bet a little, picked up three nice-sized stalks, laid them out in front of Ebb, pulled out his watch, and announced it was time to begin. Ebb took only five minutes to chew, chomp and gnaw two stalks into mush. Already feeling the pains of his previous meals that day, Ebb picked up his pace. The third and final stalk succumbed in a mere two minutes.

Then, that's where the fun began. Gamblers conceived of more and more interesting wagers to test Ebb Floyd's inherent ability to eat well more than the average man. With the debate as to Floyd's ability to rapidly chew sugar cane settled, an observer offered to wager, two to one, that the exceptional eater could not swallow a quart of sugar cane juice without taking a breath. Ebb grabbed the jug and chugged it's contents down in less than sixty seconds. To prove his point and double his winnings, Ebb guzzled an extra pint of the nearly pure sugar liquid just for good measure.

Still there were those who believed ol' Ebb could drink still more. A smaller sugar cane mill was brought in. Twenty stalks were run through the hand cranked mill, generating three more gallons of juice. He guzzled it all down. To top off the day of frequent feasts, Ebb Floyd vowed that he would take the twenty smashed stalks and eat all of them before retiring to bed. Another wild roar went up in the room. Vowing not to even show an effects of his daily dessert, Ebb sat down next to his last few morsels of the day. Howling doubters couldn't leave without satisfying their belief that no one man could eat that much in a single day.

Ebb opened his mouth and began to chew. One stalk of cane after another was slowly and methodically stripped of it sheath and leaves. The pile of remnants began to grow as the pile of the remaining stalks diminished at the average rate of one every three and one half minutes. Finally, the astonishing eating exhibition was over.

Ebb Floyd was hailed as the hero of Twiggs, much in the same category of generals, governors, and politicians who have hailed from the nucleus of the Peach State. Those who once doubted Floyd's superior eating ability sent out the word far and wide, that Ebb Floyd could out eat any man in the country, no matter what the food may be.

After his few fleeting moments of fame, Ebb Floyd never appeared in the headlines of newspapers around the country as he did in those days of that November when he was one of the world's greatest gastronomes.