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A Hunt and a hero

Next time I plan an event, I'm calling Epp Wilson to borrow a little of the weather that blessed the Belle Meade Hunt last weekend.

The 2006 edition was my fourth in a row - and the third that I've actually spent time on a Tally-Ho wagon taking in some of the most beautiful country in the world. The wagons - for the uninitiated - follow the riders and hounds across the various fields and trails. There's always good food, cold beverages and wonderful fellowship.

This year, Miriam joined me in the Anthony's Auto Sales wagon - her first Belle Meade Hunt experience. Once we got the basics down - no, we probably won't see a real fox, nor will they really catch and kill one - she loved the experience. She's already looking forward to next year.

And, admittedly, so am I. It's hard for me to think of a better way to spend an autumn Saturday afternoon.

Aside from the Belle Meade Hunt, the first week of November also marks another one of my favorite autumn traditions: discount Halloween candy. The Smiths gave out bag after bag of candy on the big night - with a little help from Hannah and Avery Lewis, which meant there wasn't a lot left over for me. (Other than the bags Janet and Lynn had brought to work, but that's "office candy" and doesn't really count, now does it?)

So when my wife returned from a trip to a "national discount retailer" with bags full of leftover candy bars, somewhere the Hallelujah Chorus rang from the heavens.

Of course, my wife's intentions were for us to take the candy to our respective offices and share the wealth. I see it another way: Since she still refuses to let me cut on the heater in the house, I've got to do something to bulk up for the winter.

Meanwhile, a Cherokee County woman is my hero.

I don't know her name: It's the policy of most media to not identify the victims of sexual assaults, so she'll remain anonymous.

But the 38-year-old woman's story appeared earlier this week in editions of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. And what a story it is.

It started Sunday when a man - a spurned high school acquaintance - showed up at her home with a shotgun and a heart full of bad intentions. He attacked her. Raped her. Beat her.

Then he threatened to turn his attention to the woman's six-year-old daughter.

So the woman fought him, battling him with a butcher knife. In the end, her attacker - Gerald A. Lee - lay dead in the front yard, just like the piece of trash he was.

Late Monday, the woman lay in an Atlanta hospital, recovering from her wounds and the ensuing surgeries to repair the damage. But she also occupied another spot - a mention in the prayers of every heart her story touched.

Web posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006

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