Madison County Opinion...

April 17, 2002


Column
By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
April 17, 2002

Frankly Speaking

Remember Confederate Memorial Day
April 26 is Confederate Memorial Day in Georgia and several other Southern states. In Georgia it is a state holiday. State offices and some businesses will be closed.
Celebration of the holiday in Madison County will include a memorial service by the Madison County Greys, Camp 1526, Sons of Confederate Veterans. The service is scheduled for 8:30 A.M. on the square in Danielsville. Plans include a prayer service, parade with reenactors and a wreath laying ceremony.
Numerous programs are scheduled for Athens, including a memorial service at Oconee Hills Cemetery where many noted Confederates, including Brigadier General T.R.R. Cobb’ are buried.
The original hand written Confederate Constitution will be on display at the University of Georgia library. It is made available to the public only one day each year, so if you wish to view this rare document, this is your chance.
As an introduction to the Confederate Constitution, this writer will present a program at the Madison County Library in Danielsville at 7 p.m. April 24. The program will include a history of the document, who wrote it, how it was saved from destruction and eventually delivered to the UGA library. I will also compare the Confederate and Union constitutions showing the differences. I look forward to meeting as many of you as can come.
Dr. Clyde Noble and the 37th Georgia Regimental Band will perform at First Presbyterian Church at 7:30 p.m. on Confederate Memorial Day and at 3 p.m. in Memorial Park, Athens on May 27. If you have never heard this authentic Confederate era band, you have missed a great show. They play original arrangements on original instruments, wearing authentic uniforms.
Over 400 Madison County men volunteered to fight for Southern Independence. Many of them never came home. They lie in battlefield grave yards where they fell. Some were lost, the whereabouts of their bodies unknown. Many others were severely injured and suffered for the remainder of their lives as a result of their noble effort to defend their homes and families.
These men are deserving of our memory and gratitude. They fought to defend our right to self government. Their failure does not deny the validity of their cause.
I urge you to join the families of Confederate soldiers and others to memorialize these hundreds of Madison Countians and thousands of Georgians who fought so valiantly in defense of the Confederacy. Whether you agree with their cause, the valor and bravery of these men deserves recognition.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net. His e-mail address is frankg@mcga.net.

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Guest Column
By Jana Adams
The Madison County Journal
April 17, 2002

The art of leave-taking
“Y’all come go with us...”
“We’d better stay on here. What’s your hurry?”
“Oh, we’d better head on...”
And so it goes, the art of leave-taking.
It’s among my memories of childhood Sunday evenings, when my father and grandfather would begin the ritual of saying goodbye — one I’m sure they’d heard in practice long before I was ever around.
There is an art to it, a certain tone, a cadence, a certain pacing...the winding down of a visit with the scraping back of chairs and the gradual procession out the door.
My role in this leave-taking was to pick up the heavy silver flashlight, the one with the cracked glass and ridged handle. I’d push up the sliding “on” switch, then lead the way, sort of, down the back porch steps and along the path beside the house, pointing out familiar rocks at our feet, fending off the fig bush.
Really, I just liked to hold the light tight to my palm, feeling its warmth and marveling as, against the bright beam, my hand became glowing and red — almost, almost, almost, I could see the bones. Almost. But I could see a lot of dirt and dust, usually.
My other part in the weekly ritual was the goodbye handshake. My grandfather would close his big hand around my small one as we neared the car. He never forgot.
“Bye, Jana,” in his kind voice. I can still hear it.
What I thought then was that we would be back next week, every week, forever, for our Sunday rituals.
Papa would wave us out the driveway of his Madison County home. There he stood, always wearing a hat — straw for warm weather, darker and heavier for cooler evenings — along with his work boots, overalls and maybe a denim jacket.
Those rituals have gone the way of time, but not too far away. They are still in my memories, those Sunday evenings, and I’m sure in those of my sister, my father, my mother.
It pleases me, and makes me a little sad at the same time, on a rare occasion to hear that nearly lost art of leave-taking still being practiced. When, in the midst of the rush and hurry most of us get caught up in, some people still have time to draw out a visit and linger on.
“Y’all take care...”
Jana Adams is features editor of The Jackson Herald and a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.

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