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A millionaire, a mini-vacation and a miracle

Willie Kendrick is a man with his priorities in line.

Standing in his living room last Thursday night, McDuffie County's newest millionaire had a clear vision of what he'd do with the money.

Up first, was a Saturn L200 for his wife. Then, cushions for the pews at his beloved Cody Grove Baptist Church in Warrenton.

And there's always family to care for.

Especially Mama. Beureanor is 82 years old and blind now, and that was weighing on the soldier son's mind last Thursday night.

"Man, I just wish I could show her," he said. "I still don't think she believes me."

But Sgt. 1st Class Kendrick had the check (and a photocopy of the winning ticket) to prove it.

He also brought back one memento from his million-dollar trip to Atlanta: a $65 parking ticket, complete with a boot on his car.

But that was OK. After Thursday morning, he could afford it.

McDuffie County Superintendent of Schools Mark Petersen hit a lottery of a different kind last week.

He was almost giddy as he announced that the school system had come to terms with legendary baseball coach Terry Holder. (I was waiting for him to break out the dance. Thankfully, he didn't.)

I must admit, the coaching ranks look pretty good for the next school year: Thomson has one of the best high school football coaches ever and one of the best high school baseball coaches ever. Impressive, to say the least.

I spent part of Saturday in McCormick, S.C., chasing a little white ball along the banks of Clarks Hill.

It was great to store the cell phone away in the glove compartment and take a few hours away from the rest of the world.

With all the talk of developing activities around the lake, local leaders could take some pointers from Hickory Knob State Park. It's hard to beat an inexpensive round of golf played on a course that's in great condition where the service is tremendous.

I'm still on cloud nine after a technical victory Sunday afternoon. Now, when it comes to building anything or fixing anything, I'm lost.

So after one of the belts on my riding lawnmower broke, I thought I was in trouble - and facing the prospect of having to kill myself with a push mower one strip at a time.

But I bought a replacement belt and vowed to replace it myself.

And it worked - with no blood and only a few off-color words spilled.

(Of course, the reward for my stellar exhibition of technical lawnmower knowledge was getting to cut grass between raindrops Sunday afternoon, so I'm not sure I should celebrate too much.)

Oh, as a side note, if anyone hears me talking about fertilizing my yard ever again, break one of my belts please.

I've now discovered the only thing worse than constantly falling pine cones is ever-growing grass, fueled by ever-falling rain.

But, hey, at least my lawnmower works now.



Web posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005











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