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Sherry Lewis
The Banks County News- September 29, 1999

Enjoys fall festivals
Boiled peanuts, caramel apples, hay rides and arts and crafts are just a few of the things that remind me of a fall festival. While I am a lover of the summertime, I must admit those first crisp mornings and that September sky have got me in the mood for fall.
Growing up, the closest thing I remember to a fall festival was the Halloween carnival at school. My friends and I would bob for apples, play games or walk for cakes we'd been eyeing all evening. While my mother would trek off to arts and crafts shows in the area, I was more interested in riding my bike and playing ball.
It was in the early 1980s, when I met my husband, Chris, and listened to the Lewis family talk about the Maysville festival. It was almost a year later when I had the opportunity to attend and I quickly figured out the novelty of that annual event. It's not just the food, nor the booths or the entertainment. It's a time for friends from near and far to come back together and fellowship. It reminds me of the Sunday School Celebration in Homer, though the festival is only 32 years old.
As the Maysville festival gets under way this weekend, I would bet one of the favorite events will be the parade on Saturday morning at 10. Children and adults alike will line the streets of Maysville, watching local ball teams, beauty queens, politicians and cowboys ride through town as they race to get their hands on the candy that is strewn down the street.
Fall celebrations seem to have caught on near and far. I haven't been able to pick up a paper lately without seeing another announcement for a festival. I guess I've gotten old enough that traveling through the North Georgia Mountains and strolling through the arts and crafts is my idea of a good time. Some of the festivals I hope to attend include the Georgia Mountain Fall Festival in Hiawassee Oct. 8-17. The festival is scheduled to have clogging, singing, arts and crafts, kiddy rides and an Old Time Fiddler's Convention on October 15 and 16.
The 28th annual Georgia Apple Festival is scheduled for Oct. 9-10 and Oct. 16-17 in Ellijay. The festival will include arts and crafts, food, live entertainment, a parade and an antique car show on Oct. 9th.
Also, the annual Gold Rush Days is scheduled for Oct. 16 and 17 in Dahlonega. I attended a summer festival there that was full of wonderful work by area artists.
Closer to home the Big Red Apple Festival is scheduled for Oct. 23-24 in the city park in Cornelia.
Walking around and enjoying the weather and scenery at the festivals is great therapy for me and I'd encourage every one to give it a try.
Sherry Lewis is news editor for The Banks County News.

The Banks County News- September 29, 1999

'BOE causes chaos'
Dear Editor:
Once again, the Banks County Board of Education, by continuously crossing over into areas that they have no business in, has caused another quality person to quit our school system. What more chaos must the BOE cause before the people of this county wake up and scream ENOUGH!
It was bad enough when we could never seem to have any sort of stability and continuity with the high school leadership, but now you people of the BOE have run off a servant of this community of almost 30 years. It is a travesty when the long-serving school superintendent, who found himself exhausted by butting heads with you people, finds no other alternative to the situation but to resign his post, a post that he served loyally and faithfully for almost two decades.
Just what are you people on the BOE hoping to accomplish by continuing to cause such a hostile environment that you have to run off some of our most talented people. Even the folks that you had a hand in hiring, you run off. It is amazing that we have had the same principal in the high school for two years in a row. With the BOE's track record, what person in their right mind would come to work for this school system?
You are causing some very talented people to not even consider coming to work for our school system because of your seeming inability to stay within your job descriptions. Are you people not going to be satisfied until you have a bunch of robots filling some of the most critical positions in our school system? What in the world gave you the impression that you know more about how best to run our school system than someone who has been working for this system for almost 30 years? Someone who had earned his post by coming up through the ranks of this system. No, he was not perfect, and he erred as all mortals do, but his loyalty and dedication were never in question.
This latest episode has only solidified my skepticism of the competency of the ability of the BOE to do its job. You people undermine the smooth running of our school system by the constant turnover of quality people, and the upheaval it is causing. The Banks County News had it right when it stated in its editorial that the BOE needs to stay within its purpose, and that is to make policy, not to directly involve itself in matters where it does not belong. Because of the constant meddling, the BOE is causing our school system to become a pariah in which no able person would want to work.
I feel for the current employees of our school system, and am amazed that they are able to continue to do such a good job in the face of all this adversity. Big kudos to y'all. As for the people of this county who have children in this system, take back control of your most important county entity before the BOE completely destroys it.
Michael Johns
Wilmonts District

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