Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Charles Dent, Formerly of Toomsboro, Passes

Charles Dent -MILLEDGEVILLE - Charles Dent, age 73, passed away Friday, April 15, 2011. Services will be held at 3P.M. Sunday, April 17 at the chapel of Moores Funeral Home. Burial will be private at Nunn-Wheeler Cemetery. -Mr. Dent was a native of Wilkinson County but made his home in Milledgeville. He was a brick mason, farmer and worked in the construction industry for many years. He also worked with Hodges Building Supply and managed the Plumbing and Electrical Department before working with Springhill Construction. -Survivors include his wife Agnes B. Dent of Milledgeville; three sons, Dennis Dent and David Dent (Vicki), all of Milledgeville and Derrick Dent (Melissa) of Rockmart; one brother Mack E. Dent of Irwinton; six sisters, Bobbie Nell Womack of McIntyre, Shirley A. Snider and Sybil Rozier, both of Milledgeville, Clara Dell Powell of Montrose, Marie Pickett of McIntyre and Lavern Symonds of Irwinton; three grandchildren, Chase Dent, Jesse Dent and Coltan Dent. -The family will receive friends Sunday from 2:00 until 3:00 P.M. at Moores Funeral Home. -Visit www.mooresfuneralhome.com to express tributes. -Moores Funeral Home & Crematory has charge of arrangements.

Virginia Jones Wilder, Formerly of Toomsboro, Passes

Virginia Jones Wilder, Formerly of Toomsboro, Passes.

Virginia Jones Wilder, 77, of Macon died Thursday. Funeral service will be Monday at 3:30 P.M. in the Chapel at Macon Memorial Park Funeral Home. The Family will greet friends Saturday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. at the funeral Home. The family requests that those who wish to make memorial contributions, make them to Pine Pointe Hospice, 6261 Peake Road, Macon, Georgia 31210. -Mrs. Wilder was the widow of Emory Clay Wilder. She was born and grew up in Toomsboro, but lived most of her life in Macon. She was the daughter of Gladys Reid Jones and Delmas P. Jones. She was a homemaker and a member of Georgia National Guard Women's Auxiliary. She was a former member of Forest Hills United Methodist Church and a current member of Cross Keys United Methodist Church. -Mrs. Wilder is survived by her sons, Shannon (Jan) Wilder and Michael Wilder both of Macon; Daughter, Jenna Fabry of Macon; Grandchildren, Ashley Wilder, Sean Wilder, Melissa (Aldo) Pecorilli , Christian Wilder, Hendly Wilder, Madison Fabry, and Mollie Fabry; Great-grandchildren, Elizabeth, Andrew, and Isabelle Pecorilli and Susan Wilder. -Visit www.maconmp.com to express tribues. -Macon Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery has charge of arrangements.

A Personal Note - Virginia was born and grew up with her family between Toomsoboro and Milledgeville. She attended Toomsboro High School where she played basketball and was in the 1950 graduation class. Her father, Mr. Delmas Jones, was one of the Toomsboro School bus drivers.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Another Photo - Courtesy of C. B. and Gussie Dominy

This boat is carrying a lot of Toomsboro folks, mostly from the Toomsboro School Class of 1951, so how many can you identify?

Click photo for enlargement

Photo - Courtesy of C. B. and Gussie Eubanks

Students and Teacher In Eighth Grade of Toomsboro School in 1947.

Click photo for enlargement

Clockwise from top left - Mrs. Wright (teacher), Abbot Allen, Marlene Lord, Billy Boone, C. B. Eubanks, Virginia Jones, Bobbie Rozar, Rebecca Weaver, Mary Ivey Dominy, Garvis Fordham, L. F. Horne, Julian Helton

Friday, July 23, 2010

Remembering Toomsboro

The following (in quotes) is taken from a recent E-mail message I received from Jim Boone, formerly of Toomsboro. Jim is the son of the late James and Lois Lord Boone. His father owned the hardware store at the location that later became the Swampland Opry, and his mother taught second grade at The Toomsboro School. Jim has a son who is a reporter for The Atlanta Journal and Constitution.

"I have many pleasant memories of growing up in Toomsboro. Working along side my father in his hardware store gave me the opportunity to get to know all the local characters and their stories. Of course, my father was a great story teller. All of his stories had some degree of truth and he embellished them to the full extent. I remember them all.

When I think back on Toomsboro, I remember the drug store ( Dr. & Mrs. Ware); tent shows that would come to town; Murray Hall’s store; Estelle’s Hotel; Stephensville swimming hole; Jerden Collin’s laugh; Ray Orr at the depot; Barber Brown’s famous “bowl cuts”; the “Gunsmoke” policeman; Mr. Hub Stephens, basketball games on red clay courts; Miss Willie Mae Hall and limited bathroom breaks; the list goes on and on."

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Mr. Arthur Montgomery's Rattlesnake Encounter

This story about Mr. Arthur Montgomery comes from his daughter Lillie and was relayed to me by Philip Lord.

Mr Arthur was living in Atlanta with Lillie - but was always longing to go back to the old home place in Wilkinson County to stay for a few days. Lillie finally gave in and drove him back to Wilkinson County to stay for awhile, and she would call every day to ask how things were going. One day he told her things were okay - except that he'd been bitten by a rattlesnake. Lillie almost had a heart attack and bombarded her father with questions: Who did he call - why hadn't he called her - and had he seen a doctor? When she finally paused, Mr. Arthur told her that he hadn't called anyone and that he was doing just fine. This really upset her and she was was just about ready to drive down to Wilkinson County when he informed her not to worry - that the snake had gotten the worse end of the deal. He went on to tell her that the snake had bitten his wooden leg and that the snake must have been pretty surprised - and just crawled away.

At that point, Lillie was beginning to believe that she had been taken in by one of her father's shenanigans, but he told her to calm down, assured her that he was OK, and that she could just come back to get him on the day they'd agreed to earlier. When she came down from Atlanta, sure enough, she found a hole in the leg of the pants her father had been wearing the day the snake had attacked him, and a little scar on the wooden leg was the balance of the evidence to support Mr. Arthur's story.

Mr. Arthur was a known jokester-prankster - and I leave it to the reader to decide for himself whether his snake encounter is truth or fiction.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Willie Olene (Bunny) Bailey

Click on either photo to see enlargement

A memorial service was held for Willie Olene (Bunny) Bailey on April 3 at The Ebenezer Baptist Church near Toomsboro, Ga. Bunny was born September 25, 1924, in Toomsboro and died April 1, 2010, in Washington County, Ga. Bunny was a very special person to all her family and to those who knew her.

The bottom photo shows three of Bunny's nieces, Marie, Jonnie and Mary with two family members. They are R - L: W. A. and Marie Bailey Massengale, Bubba and Trudy, (Marie's children) Jonnie Bailey Stamps, and Tony and Mary Bailey Budrys. The Ebenezer Church Cemetery is in the background.

The top photo shows a smiling Bunny with her brother, George Bailey Jr. in 1967. George could walk with a cane then, but in later years he was in a wheel chair - and Bunny took care of him until he died a few years ago.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Miss Willie Mae Hall - A Toomsboro Legend

The memory of Miss Willie Mae Hall evokes strong emotions from those who knew her, and especially those who were in her first-grade classroom. When I think of Miss Willie Mae, I'm reminded of what General George Patton retorted when somebody pointed out that his soldiers didn't like him; "I don't won't them to love me, I want them to fight for me". I think maybe Miss Willie Mae cared less that her students loved her than that they learned from her. I've heard many stories from her students, and one thing is apparent: many of her students were afraid, if not terrified, of her. Miss Willie May was iron-fisted in almost a literal sense. Some of us recall her grip upon our hands as she helped us form the letters of the alphabet on the blackboard. A grip so tight that she sometimes crushed the chalk in our hands. I can still envision the classic shapes she insisted we learn to reproduce for some letters of the alphabet - but learn to reproduce them, we did.

Most students can recall some specific instance in which their fear of Miss Willie Mae led to a bad experience for them. But like other legendary characters, time has softened our harsher memories of her and we remember her in a kinder way. And, of course, she gave her students a few good reasons to remember her kindly. She was the first to arrive at the school every morning, and during the winter months, she had the coal-fired stove in her classroom glowing with warmth by the time her first students arrived. During my first year in school, Miss Willie Mae took our class to her home where she treated us to home-made ice cream and cake. Then there was the first-grade graduation ceremony that Miss Willie Mae staged for every first-grade class. What six or seven-year old child could ever forget marching onto a stage dressed in a white gown to receive an authentic certificate of graduation from his/her first year in school?

Those who only knew Miss Willie Mae in her first grade classroom might wonder if she was different when she left that environment. I got to know Miss Willie May in a different setting, and I can report that she was a completely different person outside her first-grade classroom. The Intermediate Sunday School Class of the Toomsboro Methodist Church was led by Miss Nina Beck, a very nice lady. All of us in that class dreaded the day when we would be promoted to the Young Adults' Class, which was headed up by Miss Willie Mae. But when I finally moved up to the Young Adults' Class, I was pleasantly surprised that Miss Willie Mae ran the class in a democratic manner and treated all of us with dignity and respect.

Perhaps everyone who knew Miss Willie Mae has his own notion about why she worked so hard and seemed to throw herself into the task of teaching first graders their letters and numbers. Whatever her reasons, the Toomsboro community was (still is) fortunate to be the beneficiary of her dedication to her chosen career.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Woodrow Thompson - Long-Time Service Station Operator

Sue Spivey Lord sent me this early photo of the service station which was owned and operated for years by Woodrow Thompson and his wife. The station was located in Toomsboro on Ga. Hwy 57 near the blinking-light intersection. Woodrow, known affectionately to locals as Rodie (sp)and his wife, Margarite, lived in a house on 57 near the station, and one of them was nearly always at the station to serve customers. I remember the couple was good friends with my Uncle Reginald Freeman and his first wife, Sarah Weaver Freeman, back in the early 1950's.

Click on the photo to see an enlargement.