Marshville happenings will be grist for my column

Mar. 05, 2013 @ 05:02 PM

Somewhere around the age of three score and ten, we senior citizens realize life is indeed winding down.  Our children are now middle-aged and our focus has shifted to our posterity - grandchildren and maybe even great grandchildren. Retirement is a long-established reality.  Stretching out before us are those less ambitious days.  Arthritis, the sometimes not-so-gentle reminder of age, has become a daily companion. Then out of the blue, a plea appears in the local newspaper for writers; can it be a new “career” is beckoning?  Hope is reborn for one senior.  Perhaps life will take off in a new direction with more zest than ever expected!  So in this spirit, I am undertaking to write a folksy, newsy column on everyday life in Marshville in these my winding-down days.

I am certainly no stranger to Marshville. Why I was born on White Store Road in a less- than- imposing cabin, so my roots are there.  Many happy hours have been spent in Disciple Bible with that master teacher Dr. Tom Steagald and some church folk at the United Methodist church.  My step son, Kelly and his family lived there many years and I spent more happy hours in my granddaughter’s kindergarten classroom at the elementary school.  Vividly I remember the students reciting this pledge in the morning:

 I have come to school today to learn and I will learn.  I will behave in such a way that I will be proud of myself and others will also be proud of me.  I will have a wonderful day.

What an amazing bit of psychology to plant in those young minds each and every morning!   Principal Tom Childers changed to the “Marshville Maxims” when he came two years ago.  Look for those next week. 

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The Hall of History in the school, spearheaded by the Principal Childers, is a must-see!  An amazing photographic display of area history - school buildings dated back to 1892, principals and others associated with it over the years, graduating classes, teachers of the year, historic events, Main Street, postmen, and much more.  What time and effort was expended bringing this hall to life!  Then there is the Carolyn Park memorial wall with photos from her teaching days at Marshville.  One photo depicts Dr. Ed Davis bestowing the Teacher of the Year award in 2006.  Losing her battle with cancer, she died the following year.

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Some of the Forest Hills Class of 2012 are college students.  Trey Rey is at Wingate living on campus.  Rheanna Hardis is studying at Stanley Community.  Andrew Cornelius chose the mountains; he is at Western Carolina.  Russell Smith attends Clemson.  Amelia Coley chose NC State.  Denisha Tillman is living in Salisbury attending Livingstone College.  Of course some are working.  Parents, we would love to include news of your college and working students, so please be in touch.

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On Sunday February 24th the local museum and cultural arts center hosted a Black History program.   Dressed in period costume, Kitty Wilson Evans shared the story of slavery in the US and her life on the large Bratton cotton plantation in Brattonsville, SC in a wonderfully dramatic performance.   Unfortunately only 15 or so were in attendance; space was limited, so not many more could have been accommodated. According to Ned Beachum, it was indeed a wonderful performance that everyone should see.  It couldn’t have been better!  Margaret and Johnny Pigg agreed.

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 Afterwards Miss Kitty shared one of her favorite memories of the 28 years she has been associated with the reenactment/education program at Brattonsville.  When the movie “The Patriot” was being filmed on the plantation 1999-2000, she became friends with Heath Ledger.  Happily she remembered his constant concern for her well being and comfort.   Since she was such a petite woman, Heath wanted to make sure she was well fed and taken care of.  At night Mel Gibson appeared she remembered.  She enjoyed both actors, but as you can imagine, Heath was her favorite.  Miss Kitty’s passion is making sure Afro Americans know and appreciate their history and she is willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.  This passion has taken her to places all over the world. To learn more about her, visit her blog at http://thekittywilsonevansstory.blogspot.com

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The museum, of course, features displays of the town’s two well-known entertainers – Randy Travis and Regina Lee.  I was commenting Sunday about some of Randy’s recent indiscretions and the museum guide quickly responded with “artists are an unusual species, so we have to appreciate their work and make allowances for their often bizarre lifestyles” or something to that effect.  In essence, the watchword is “enjoy their work and leave their private lives alone.”  Sound a bit like the political scene as well, doesn’t it?

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Regina Lee Griffin was eager to complete high school early and head for Nashville, so she landed in my eleventh grade English class in summer school at the Career Center.  To my amazement, she was a dedicated student and did good work in spite of the fact that she was performing some evenings at the Palomino Club in Charlotte.  She never appeared tired or disinterested in class. In our phone interview she remembered studying the book of Esther from the Bible and the uproar it created with the administration. English was a favorite subject of hers.  She is currently living in a suburb of Nashville, Mt. Juliet.  More on her next week.

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My beloved 8th grade teacher was Mrs. Kitty Perkins of Marshville.  I recall her husband Oscar ran the local dry cleaners.  Through the years I have often thought of her and yearned to know more about her life.  Since I began gathering news for this column, I have discovered her only child, a daughter, lives in Marshville.  I can hardly wait to spend some time with her!  What a find!

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For us senior citizens, the Council on Aging offers timely monthly programs on health matters presented by local professionals.  Autumn Care is the only site offering a prepared meal. Recently it has begun varying its lunch menu.  No more chicken and dumplings for a while.  A big thank you to Linda Smosky and her staff for their fine work on our behalf and to Autumn Care for hosting our programs and feeding us inexpensively.

If you have some folksy news for me, please give me a call at 704.289.1545 or e-mail me @ ecpirate62@aol.com. Many thanks!