A column of kudos this week, just in time for Christmas...
First, I grew up with Jill Candler -- her mom and my mom were best friends. Jill has since gotten married to Hal Russell and moved to Thomasville, Ga.
Specifically, she moved to the Old Boston Community in Thomasville -- an area her husband's family has deep roots in.
In fact, Russell's Dairy and the home of Sen. and Mrs. Henry P. Russell are a couple of the famous remnants of the once-thriving community, according to the Fall 2004 edition of Thomasville Magazine. Jill and Hal's home is built around the Senator's old log cabin. It's the only original "Old Boston" structure left, according to the article.
Jill's quoted in the article and their home is featured throughout.
It's still a thrill to see folks I know get their names in print, event if it's not in The Mirror first.
Up next is another old friend of mine. Tommy Johnson grew up a couple of houses from me, and I have always considered him one of my true friends, even though we saw each other less and less after his family moved to the country.
I remember when he was spotlighted in the newspaper for his basketball dedication -- a story spotlighting the hours on end he'd practice in the family's driveway.
When we started The Mirror, Tommy was one of the first people to write a column for us, welcoming us to town and saying how it thrilled him to watch a dream come true for me.
I was impressed by the eloquence of the column -- Tommy has turned into quite the writer. And now he has an award to back it up.
The International Library of Poetry has selected a piece Tommy penned called "Death From a Cup" to be included in Eternal Portraits, a hardbound edition slated for publication in 2005.
Somewhere, there's a joke about Tommy and poetry there. But I think I'll just let that one lie.
Thirdly, a huge pat on the back should go to the organizers of the Christmas Tree lighting, Festival off Main and Storybook Christmas parade.
What a wonderful weekend they put together. If that didn't put you in the Christmas spirit, give up. There's a Who-ville somewhere missing their Grinch.
And finally, much kudos must go to the local residents and business owners who have taken their time to brighten our community with their Christmas decorations. (And for those of you who have not decorated, what are you waiting for? Three weeks and counting before the big day!)
I used to think places around Augusta cleaned up for one week a year -- just in time for the Masters in April.
Now, I know better. There are few places more beautiful at Christmas.
And there's nowhere I'd rather call home.