Monday, April 26, 2010

Confederate Memorial Day - April 26

Original Flag of the Confederacy

Georgia proclaimed April 26, 2010, as 

The month of April of each year is hereby designated as Confederate History and Heritage Month and shall be set aside to honor, observe, and celebrate the Confederate States of America, its history, those who served in its armed forces and government, and all those millions of its citizens of various races and ethnic groups and religions who contributed in sundry and myriad ways to the cause which they held so dear from its founding on February 4, 1861, in Montgomery, Alabama, until the Confederate ship CSS Shenandoah sailed into Liverpool Harbor and surrendered to British authorities on November 6, 1865.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

1985 Rescue Vehicle Receives Donations

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April 24, 1985

Marcus Cox and Harold Cox donated first aid equipment for the fire rescue vehicle. Bill Barrett and Donnie Cammack accepted the gift.

Others that week: Dozens of secretaries, Dean's Taxidermy, time change, and track meet.

Friday, April 23, 2010

1980 Bo Gillis's Men's Softball Team

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April 23, 1980

Mr. Norman Gillis, Jr.'s team took first place in the Laurens County Recreational Softball Tournament and took second in the East Dublin Recreational Softball Tournament. Left to right: Barry McDonald, Wayne Morris, Donnie Cammack, Charles McDonald, Allen McDonald, Joe Moxley. Second row: Rhodus Hardy, Grady Cammack, Jesse Bass, Donnie Smith, Chad Outler. Not pictured: Dale Pace and Steve Warnock.

Sorry to spoil the fun by giving you the names. Just enjoy the moment when all the world was young.

Others that week: Nursing Home, TPS program, Willie Shivers string of fish with one 18-pound channel cat, THS Band at Disney World, a revival card, Superwalk prizes.

1975 Sidewalk Sale

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April 23, 1975

Yes, young people, Soperton had stores and merchants in 1975. When the weather was pretty in spring and fall, there were Sidewalk Sales. Since everybody enjoys guess, we want to ask you the name of the store, the owner's name, the location, and the people in the picture. A few faces are in plain view, but others can be figured out by the relationships. After a few days we will collect the comments and put them on the blog.

Others that week: The Board of Education and Tri-County RC&D launched a program to recover and prevent erosion at all three schools. (Thank you Mr. Gene Bowers.) THS Juniors and Seniors received recognition for academic achievement, the old fire truck, Stateboro Relays track & field, a family union at community house, trip to Six Flags, and a young twirler.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Memories of Vietnam

Photo by Larry Russell, RLO, Masher 15

 borrowed from his link at bottom

Written Saturday, April 7, 2007:

I've placed some more Vietnam photos at my Picasa space (Link: All of My Blog Photos). They are in the Vietnam 02 album, and the slides were processed July 1968. I gave away some of my slides, and threw away some that were technically bad. I believe that these with the tent damage were after the monsoon (tropical storm) hit. 

More disastrous looking were those I made the morning after Ho Chi Minh's birthday (May 19). The VC celebrated by firing mortars into our camp, and by luck one hit the ammo dump. 

My company had been in the process of relocating to the next hill. We had finished regular duties, ate supper, loaded on five-ton trucks and rode to our site right next to the perimeter fence. Each of us had our M-16 with one clip of ammo. All other firearms and ammunition were at the old area, adjoining the airstrip which was being widened. 

We had been filling sandbags, but had no cover above us and no bunkers. My camera was back in my tent. All though the night the explosions continued scattering howitzer shells and other debris all over the entire camp. Most spectacular were the three explosions of huge fuel tanks. The fireballs were like those of a nuclear explosion. The shock waves knocked down any raised body. Most of the time we were hugging the ground, hoping that the next debris wouldn't fall on us, and hoping that the VC would not try to cross our puny barbwire fence. 

I took plenty of photos after I retrieved my camera in the early morning. When I got them back from processing I passed them around for other troops to see, and one of the radio repairmen mailed them home to his mom in Venezuela, and I never got them back. We never knew how he happened to be fighting an American war. We also had a Chinese-American troop in our company.

Occasionally we received cigarettes and candy, which some of the photos show. The black guy helping sort out the goodies was our buddy Pritchard from Tampa, FL. He would say "I'm from the cigar city of the sunshine state." I wonder where he is now.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

1975 Bonus Shot

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April 16, 1975

The four finalists of the third annual Treutlen County Forestry Pageant. Let's see who will be the first commenter to identify the four ladies and the order they placed.

1985 The Biggest Fire

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April 17, 1985

One of the biggest fires in Soperton was this one of the Fowler Cotton Warehouse. It's one of 50 negatives of the fire, and this is the first time it has been published. It shows the seedhouse at the right, which is in 2010 the office of the concrete plant. A large crowd turned out to see it, most of the people standing on the railroad (pictures of them, too). Another big fire was the Soperton Guano plant.  In the old, olden days there was another cotton warehouse fire next to the creek, but there were no pictures made, and some men got into a bunch of trouble. If anyone knows the details, please post them as a comment.

Others that week: Baseball, subscription sellers, primary kids, Girl Scouts, Mulberry Bush store, Boosters pancake supper, STAR Student Tim Phillips and STAR Teacher Brenda Brown.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

1980 STARS Burns and Lee

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April 16, 1980

Bobby Burns was THS STAR Student and chose John Lee as STAR Teacher. L-R: Lee, THS Principal Gary Walden, State Supt. Charles McDaniel, and Burns.

Others that week: Mrs. Frank Mullen and Mrs. Jim Gillis, Sr. displayed the state first place award and scrapbook for the Soperton Garden Club's Welcome Center project. (Mrs. Mullen departed to live in Augusta that week, selling her home - The Fisher House - to James Windsor.) Baseball, FHA Banquet, work on the jail eaves, and lots of secretaries.

Friday, April 16, 2010

1975 Third Forestry Pageant

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April 16, 1975

The Treutlen County Forestry Pageant began in the old Primary Gymnasium, home of Soperton/Treutlen Panther basketball, and it was still being held in the gym in 1975. Notice the Track Team sign, the backboard, and the open stage area which was later closed in for Kindergarten classroom. Again, we need help identifying the high school contestants. This is just about half of the contestants, and the winner is not in this view. Can you name the winner?

Others that week: Governor George Busbee at Dr. McNair's Bird Supper, various school children photos, and lots of pageant pictures.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Some of my best friends are veterans


I'm an Army veteran of the Vietnam War. I was drafted. I didn't want to join. I did not want to go to Vietnam or any other battleground.

But I did go. It was a very valuable experience, but it wasn't much fun. If I had it to do all over? They still would have had to come and get me.

There were all kinds of people in the Army. Close friends, acquaintances, others that we couldn't stand. The causes of the war were hardly mentioned. The simple truth was that we were all in the same boat; we had a common enemy. The causes of the Vietnam War were debatable then, and they're debatable now. The Veteran's duty is to do and die.


Military men and women deserve our support. We can argue and discuss the causes, but we must be true to the people who fight the battles and wars.  They can be likened to the person who pulled the switch or injected the lethal dose in capital punishment. 


The governor of Virginia had good reason to not mention any causes of the War Between the States when he approved that April be a month to recognize Confederate heritage.  The American Confederate Soldier deserves honoring as much as the American Union Soldier.  

We can talk for days about all that went into American history leading up to the All American War. One issue was the un-tested right for a state to secede voluntarily just as it had joined voluntarily.  Another was the changing of conditions over a four score and seven year period. The north became more industrial, as the south became more agricultural. Blame a lot on Ely Whitney. Except for that blamed cotton gin, the south would have done away with slavery because it was unaffordable without cotton. 


Slavery is awful. It's abominable. Suppression of freedom is always wrong.

We are right to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his peaceful efforts in the transition of America in recognizing civil rights and justice for all. We are right to observe February as Black History Month.

But we also are right to celebrate and honor The Veteran, The American Veteran. We honor the blue, the gray, and all the colors worn by The American Veteran. 


I love Old Glory. But I wish the United States had a peace flag separate from the battle flag. Old Glory was a battle flag, and we still fly under all situations. 

I wish that there was an American battle flag, different from Old Glory, to add clarity about when we are at war. Raise it when the war begins and take it down when the war ends.

I can understand that the Sons of Confederate Veterans want to use the flag their ancestors fought under, and not the official Confederate States national flag.

But I also can understand the hatred and fear attached to our 
St. Andrews cross. 

To many of us the flag is a loved and honored part of our heritage. But we have seen that flag so abused by its use by Nazis and racists.

St. Andrews Cross - Scottish Flag


Paul taught in his first letter to the Corinthians that we should not use symbols that may cause a brother to offend. He taught  us to give up something for righteousness sake and to do so for the salvation of a brother. I believe that Paul would urge us to put our beloved battle flag into the historical museum and the history libraries and schools. I believe that Paul would ask us to give up a lot for the sake of The Kingdom. Paul is not here.

Search your heart. Ask Jesus what He would do. 


Spectator sports are more fun than history. Football rivalries are fun. Georgia vs Tech, Alabama vs Auburn. We poke fun, cheer, and sometimes cross the line. We love childish frivolity, but there is a time to set aside rivalries and get on with the world's business. We can never allow our fun turn to hatred or jealousy.

We may not like another person's belief, opinion, and attitude, but we must always be prepared to defend that right because we insist on such rights for ourselves.

We have lots of "room" for fun, work, study, appreciation. When Jesus says for us to love one another, part of it is appreciating each other and appreciating each other's differences.

I can understand the Governor of Virginia allowing the issue of slavery be included in the month's celebration. I believe it was a gesture to promote peace.


The SCV is not perfect and some say it is infiltrated with white supremacists and those who would do violence. Well respected members recognize the "scum" in the ranks. If we don't have people preserving history in writing, art, proclamation, and re-enactment, what will happen to history?

What will happen if the celebration of Black History goes away?

"You can't judge a book by looking at its cover." But when a cover gets smeared, defaced, crushed, and torn, and doesn't do its intended job anymore, wouldn't it be wise to save the book and glue a pretty new cover on it? The new cover might become more useful than the old.


I would ask the historians, lovers of history, and the media to search and proclaim the whole truth.  The study of slavery would include: the long record of slavery from the annals of recorded time; the history of slavery in the north and the south leading up to the American War; the history of slavery after the war in the north with its sweatshops and working children, in the south with the growing plantation system.  

The plantation system made slaves of black and white people, as it turned poor farmers into destitute share croppers.  The local government aided the system by selling a poor farmer's land. The banks foreclosed on property.  In some counties, the plantation owners, bankers, and county political leaders were one and the same. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer. 


Another war took young men and women, black and white, to places and responsibilities they never would have known otherwise. They accepted the burden, fought and some died. They brought home a new birth of freedom, a renewed right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. We call them the Great Generation. They were The American Veteran with all who stood by them and supported them.  May they always be celebrated as long as our nation stands.


We Americans are rich in diversity. Contributions by each individual have brought us to this point. The Great American War decided our future. As Lincoln said "we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure... those who here gave their lives that that nation might live... we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

More Confederate Soldiers died at Gettysburg, but Lincoln made no distinction. He spoke of The American Veteran, blue and gray.

The first national flag of the Confederate States of America
called "The Stars and Bars"

Heritage and history is about people. It should be celebrated, always with a concern for one another. 
Share our many varieties of American Culture.

William A. Ricks

Sunday, April 11, 2010

1985 Cynthia Hall's Action Photos

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April 10, 1985

Cynthia Hall was encouraged by her parents to be a newspaper volunteer to learn as much as she could about writing and photography. She had an outstanding sense of timing for sports action. She had already won a state award before handling the 85 baseball season. This is just one of her many exciting action pictures.

Others that week: Tammy Webb and Gregory Toler - state literary, Seaby Phillips, Morrison, Little People Day Care.

Friday, April 9, 2010

1980 TPS Flooded Basement

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April 9, 1980

Boys playing in the basement at Treutlen Primary School. The bathrooms flooded when it rained, requiring boards for a footbridge. The Board of Education received a grant of $1/4 million to move the restrooms to a separate new building and to create a new media center in the basement.

Others that week: Baseball, Dianne Cooper's 1st grade, Maurita Ricks's 2nd grade, hit and run at the courthouse, TES outstanding students, THS Hi-Y won state honors, planning for MOD Superwalk, Sandi Brinson and Ronda Sammons received 2nd place state literary honors, Nan Ellington with "her" big dogwood tree across the street from the Georgia Power building.

1975 Treutlen's Biggest District Scout Camporee

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April 9, 1975

Troop 56 held the largest Pine Forest District Camporee ever with hundreds attending at the Scout hut and camping grounds provided by Mr. Kennon Gillis near US 221 at GA 86. Over a hundred negatives of the event were saved, including several posed groups of individual troops.

Others that week: A big catfish, a big bass, Ossie Jackson's garden, fatal wreck at Kibbee, Track meet, Livestock Show, Susie Thomas' birthday, and Horse Show at Billie Higgs' Treutlen Riding Arena. (THS loaned individual photos of all 18 Forestry contestants.)

Again, we request that you help identify by comments.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1985 4-H Cotton Boll

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April 3, 1985
This group of 4-H'ers went to Statesboro for the Cotton Boll and Clothing competition. Can you name them? If so put it in a comment, preferably on the blog itself.

Others that week: TPS spring program, Headstart Easter egg hunt, Robby Ware- sophomore in Governor's Honors Program, Robert McClendon and Cecil Montgomery with the first public rattlesnake of the season, Troop 671 Girl Scouts, Jews for Jesus rep. with Christ in Passover program, baseball.

Monday, April 5, 2010

1980 THS Literary Winners

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April 2, 1980

Treutlen High Literary Team did well at Statesboro. Two first places and a good number of seconds and thirds. Please list names of the students you recognize as comments.

Others that week: Party for subscription sellers, Nursing Home, Baseball, Primary kids, TES 6th grade gifted, Rep. Pete Phillips with Jet Tony and Tim Cash. Cash is currently with DNR; no Google response on Tony.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

1975 Treutlen Forestry Contestants

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April 2, 1975

The third annual Treutlen Forestry Pageant was planned, and these are the senior contestants. For posterity, please help identify the ladies by leaving comments.

Others that week: First track meet of the year, Scouts tending the R.R. Ave roses, TPS program, KG kids visit local farms, Carmen Heath with her Yorkshire pigs, Beta Club sponsored egg hunt for Day Care Center, Baseball, Sidney Smith retirement, and Dale McDaniel with Soperton's mosquito sprayer.