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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.