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An Internet-only news site devoted to issues regarding Warrenton, Ga., and its environs.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The gloating begins now

I couldn't help but notice that every single one of the "Pigskin Prognosticators" in last week's edition of The Clipper predicted that Boston College would beat my alma mater Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl today.

Final score: 16-14, Vanderbilt.

Read more about it here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Remembering Mrs. Martha Jane Wilhoit, typing teacher extraordinaire

I had a lot of teachers when I was in school -- heck, I went to three different schools (long story), and when you go to three different schools, you have a lot of teachers.

I had some really great ones. And I had some others who made me think, "Uh, do you know that what you just told us is actually wrong?"

But I only had one teacher back in The Day whom I can honestly say put the fear of God into me when I walked into her classroom. And she's the one I'm recalling fondly in this note tonight.

Mrs. Martha Jane Wilhoit taught me -- and probably about two or three generations of other kids -- how to type. I'm so saddened to report that she passed on on Monday at the age of 78. (The Augusta Chronicle has her obituary online here.)

Mrs. Wilhoit was the toughest teacher I ever had. When you walked in her classroom, she meant business, from the first bell to the last. No low-down hangin' around allowed.

You didn't talk to your friends in her class. You didn't pass notes in her class. You didn't goof off or stare out the window in her class. You didn't doodle on your notepad. You typed.

You typed as soon as you sat down -- well, right after you removed the plastic dust cover from your aging IBM Selectric. And you typed until the bell rang. And you typed. That was all you did. You typed.

This wasn't class. It was typing boot camp.

And when she got finished with you, you knew how to type. Period.

I can still hear her now, instructing my class in the late 1980s to remove our paper from beneath our paper bail rollers (now that everyone uses computers instead of typewriters, do kids today ever have to mess with a paper bail roller? Do they even know what one is?).

I vaguely recall that she posted the best students' work on a bulletin board near her classroom door -- I wasn't the greatest typist in the world, and I don't think I ever made it to the bulletin board. But I passed, and now I make a living sitting in front of a computer 8/10/12 hours a day, doing what Mrs. Wilhoit taught me to do.

I'll always be grateful to her for that. I bet a lot of other folks out there will be, too.

Some quick updates from Warrenton

I've just returned from a Christmastime visit to 30828, so here are some quick updates:

+ Yes, Warrenton is still there.
+ I was sad to see that Mouse's House of Pizza on Main Street closed. I'd had some takeout pizza there once, and it was pretty good. I'm always sad to see any business venture on Main Street close, because Warrenton needs as many business ventures as it can get right now.
+ The marquee from the front of the Knox Theater has been removed as part of the beginning of a renovation effort. It looked like some repairs had been made to the ground-level exterior.
+ The old train depot has been moved to the lot next door to the theater and renovated into a building that my grandmother said is going to be either a museum or a new office for the local Chamber. (More details as I get them.) I thought it looked really nice.
+ Copies of The Augusta Chronicle are getting harder and harder to come by in Warrenton. I sense the newspaper is probably reducing the number of counties in which it circulates as a cost-saving measure. Special thanks to Ms. Becky Wheeler for giving me her copy one day when I couldn't find one for sale anywhere.
+  Speaking of newspapers, the lead story in The Clipper last week was that someone was injured in an auto accident in Camak.
+ Has there been some kind of major redoing of the grounds at First Baptist Church? It sure looks different to me than what I remembered. Weren't there a lot more plants and trees there before? Or am I mis-remembering?
+ Fire ants are everywhere this year. Not sure why.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Controversial First Baptist pastor resigns

The still-fairly-new pastor of the First Baptist Church of Warrenton -- who is under federal indictment on tax evasion charges -- has stepped down. The Rev. Otis Ray Hope left the pulpit last week, Billy Hobbs reported in the McDuffie Mirror.

The WakeUpFBCWarrenton blog offered this short post:
It is over.  This church is wounded.  Please pray for it’s healing.
(We'll repeat my previous disclosure on this topic: This was the church my family attended when I was a child, where my parents were married and where funeral services were held for both my mom and my grandfather. The five folks out there who read this blog already know that, but I'm repeating that as a matter of principle. I think it's always best to disclose potential conflicts of interest.) 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

First Baptist pastor indicted on tax evasion charges

I had been meaning to post here that I had heard some rumblings about controversy within the ranks at First Baptist of Warrenton regarding the new minister, the Rev. Otis Ray Hope -- but before I could post anything here, I saw via WJBF's Web site that he had been indicted on federal tax evasion charges stemming from his work at his old church. (Honest disclosure: My late grandfather was a member of First Baptist and was the maintenance man for a time [and, I believe, was once a deacon], and my parents were married there by the Rev. Hightower.)

Addendum to original post: Boy, I am late with the news on this issue, a Google search reveals. Check out the WakeupFBCWarrenton blog started by Steve Giddens, who was going to First Baptist before I was even born (and who used to work with my granddad at Jebco).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

We need more Wee Wisdom

Somewhere, in some filing cabinet in the offices of the Warren County Board of Education, I can only assume there is some piece of paper that marks me as what I am.

My name is Jennifer Peebles. And technically, I'm a high school dropout.

But that doesn't mean I'm an uneducated person. I am actually a highly educated, cultured and learned person.

That's because I am a graduate of Wee Wisdom Kindergarten.

And I have the proof to back it up.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cross-posting: The rise, and mostly fall, of Blundale, Ga.

This is just a quick note to say that I've written a post about my father's hometown in Emanuel County -- it's on my non-Warrenton blog. You can see it at this link if you're interested.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Back from a quick trip to Warrenton

I made a very quick trip to Warrenton for the July 4 weekend and can report that things seemed pretty quiet. Mimi and I watched the fireworks on TV on Friday night, and on Saturday I went to Emanuel County to visit my father's relatives at their annual Independence Day gathering. Some observations:
  • Gurley's put up a big sign on the Wrens Road saying, "GURLEY'S IGA - HOME OF THE CHEAPEST ICE IN TOWN." So, as I drove by the store, I slowed down to see just how cheap this incredibly cheap ice would be. The cost? $1 per bag. Just like everywhere else in America. What gives?
  • The Clipper had a front-page story about a man who received second-degree burns after his wife poured scalding hot water on him while he was lying in bed, after observing that if she couldn't have him, no one else could.
  • I never noticed before that there's a YIELD sign where the Wrens Road crosses the Martin-Marietta rail spur. A "yield" sign. Not a stop sign. A "yield" sign. As though it's somehow optional for you to stop for the train.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Where'd I-20 go?

If you're in my generation, you can't remember a time when there was no Interstate 20 running through Warren County. So it was strange to see the map I came across in my grandmother's attic -- an old Union 76 road map of Georgia. Looks funny to me. The date on it is 1970.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Trying, and failing, to catch up

Sorry I've been out of touch for a while, faithful readers. My desktop PC's been in the shop, and its entire hard drive had to be wiped clean -- no telling what I've lost. (Don't ever use Norton GoBack. That's my lesson.)

Meanwhile, yesterday, May 26, would have been the 85th birthday of my granddad, James Langford Sr. of Warrenton. I think about him every day.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Warrenton's Jamie Ellis appears on 'Good Morning America'

Jamie Ellis, who grew up about three houses around the corner from me in Warrenton and is the brother of my dear friend Amanda Ellis Wilkerson, was on Good Morning America's March 13 broadcast with 15,000 bees. He's a bee expert at the University of Florida, and he helped GMA weatherman Sam Champion with the show's bee-themed Fear Factor-like segment called "I Dare You." In terms of national television exposure, this officially trumps my own appearance on Jeopardy a few years ago (I'm glad -- my 15 minutes of fame were ready to run out anyhow). There's a picture and a short write up at this link on the UF Web site.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Greene County making news, will switch to single-gender schools

Greene County, where my mother's parents grew up, plans to change its school system to single-gender schools, the AJC says.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Remembering the big snow of '73

It was 35 years ago next month -- Feb. 9-10, 1973 -- that more than a foot of snow fell on Warrenton. I've tracked down the pictures my family took during the storm and uploaded them to a public album on Google's Picasa system. Follow this link to check them all out, and feel free to comment here on the blog or shoot me an e-mail at jpintn@gmail.com if you feel like it. Here's one just to get you started, a picture of my grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Langford, in the snow in their yard on South Gibson Street. (And you can read more about the big snow of '73 at this link.)
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Friday, January 25, 2008

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Long live the Dodge Dart

The New York Times' story this morning about a lady in California who has a 1969 Dodge Dart made me smile. My grandfather in Warrenton, known to many Warrenton Watch readers as "Mr. James" Langford, had a blue one that he drove through much of the 1980s. On the trunk lid he stenciled the phrase "I am not a dirty old man, just a sexy senior citizen." He died 13 years ago this last Christmas, but I still think about him every day.