. . . just a
small town in South Georgia that grew the best
kids ever raised!!
Many thanks to those
Indians who responded to my recent email about
our Albany High Times.
I may not have made clear
... I will still send
out a monthly "News &
Clues"; but what we will lose when
the website no longer "publishes" will be the
nearly 500 pages of AHS history contained in the
Albany High Times.
Consider, in your spare time,
perusing some of the many pages of "memories"
collected over the years since 2002 in the
Albany High Times!
Below, enjoy the very first
communications from some of your Indian friends
and the memories that started it all!
Frankly, you can't make these
memories up!!!! Remember ... the very large Albany
High Tmes' website is FULL of precious memories!
Take advantage while you can! If you find
bad links or something askew, please let me know
Let's Join with other AHS 60's classes for the
"AHS Class of the 60's Birthday Bash"
*** Register separately to round out your
AHS Classes of the '60s Birthday Bash
April 22, 2017
you have attended any of the first 3, you
already know what a fun time we have and what a
great opportunity it is to reconnect with old
friends.If you haven’t
been to a Birthday Bash yet, what are you
waiting for?An invitation?OK….here’s the
invitation.If you graduated
from or attended Albany High School any time
during the 1960s, you’re invited.If you have ever
been married to someone who went to Albany High
during the 60s, you’re invited.If you “wish” you
had attended or been married to someone who
attended Albany High during the 60s, you’re
invited.Did I leave anyone
Please don’t miss this chance to re-live those
good times and great memories from days gone by.If you remember
dances in the gym on Friday nights after a
football game, the Junior-Senior Prom, and
partying the night away at the Old Shrine Club
out Lovers Lane Road then you definitely want to
come to this year’s Bash.Our theme is
“Shaggin’ on the Boulevard” (Jerry Hobbs would
have loved this) and we have an iconic band from
Raleigh, NC that will play that good old
Carolina Beach music til you can’t dance
anymore.I have been trying
to get The Band of OZ to leave
Myrtle Beach and venture down to south Georgia
for 3 years and we finally made it happen.I promise you
will enjoy them….check
them out on YouTube.
If you want more
information or have questions, please feel free
to contact me*
or by phone at(229) 420-8654
(H) or (229) 407-0385 (cell)
I hope to hear from you soon and see you
on April 22nd.
Don’t miss out……..it’s going to be
sooooooooo much fun!!!
~ Mike Patterson
*** Class of 1957 ***
May 12 - 13, 2017 (date change)
@ Merry Acres Inn
The Class of '57 Reunion
Committee will take place on the
weekend of May 12th and 13th,
2017, and the venue for both
nights will be Merry Acres.
We would like for our class
members to e-mail their e-mail
addresses as well as their
mailing addresses to us, and if
there are some who haven't quite
figured out the
computer/internet workings yet,
they could call either Mariellen
Merry Acres Motel has "blocked
out" some rooms for us which can
be accessed by calling them at
229.435.7721, and telling the
reservation clerk that they are
attending the "Class of '57
By providing this much advance
notice, it allows our classmates
to go ahead and put a 2nd or 3rd
mortgage on their home to pay
for the face lift, tummy tuck,
toupee and dental implants!
We haven't had a reunion since
our 50th in 2007, which by all
accounts was the best AHS
Reunion ever had. Ray Ragsdale
Stevens entertained us Friday
night at a grand piano with a
medley of his many songs, and
then on Saturday night we danced
to the music of a 16 piece
orchestra that he brought down
at his expense from Nashville.
Albany had never seen nor heard
a band like this one. They
played all the songs from our
era and sounded as good as if
not better than the original
We are planning a weekend to reminisce and update each other on our lives since high school.
Please plan to join us on May 19th & 20th, 2017
On Friday we will gather at the old Carnegie Library downtown. On Saturday, Paul and Debbie Wallace have again invited us to gather under the trees at their home. Watch for your invitation, they have been mailed. We had a grand time folding and stamping and solving problem of the world!!
Many thanks to
W. Walter Green,
Class of 1967,
for submitting a
Graduated Albany High School in 1933, where he was an outstanding athlete in basketball and also playing on the Albany Blues, a well regarded semi-pro basketball team
Served in the Navy during aboard the USS Panda and in 1944, fought in the battle of Leyte Gulf, near the Philippines, the largest naval battle of WWII.
Began his career driving a delivery truck for Albany Dairies.
Joined Kraft Foods in 1933, as an entry level salesman in Albany. During his 50+ year career with Kraft he lived in multiple locations as he rose through the executive ranks, eventually moving to Kraft’s HQ in Chicago where is served as Corporate Senior Vice President of Marketing, Advertising, and Sales Worldwide.
During his career he was an innovator of marketing strategies. This included sponsoring the Junior Miss Contest and the launching of the Kraft Music Hall on television where he worked with top performing artists including: Bing Crosby, Milton Berle, Perry Como, Andy Williams, John Davidson, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Dinah Shore, Woody Allen, Johnny Cash and others.
In 1968, he led Kraft to take the bold step of televising the Country Music Association Awards…the first time the CMA awards were on television. This new publicity helped expand the audience for country music resulting in a significant increase in recording sales. For many years Chester and his wife Doris, could be seen during the televised broadcast of the CMA Awards sitting among the front rows of the audience.
During his career he received numerous industry awards and served as the Chairman of both the Association of National Advertisers and the American Advertising Federation and served on the Advisory Board of the International Academy of Merchandising & Design.
Chester was married for 65 years to the former Doris Moore, (also an AHS Indian) until her death in 2005. They had two children, William Chester Green (deceased) and Susan Green Baten, a resident of Dallas, in addition to four grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
When Chester retired in 1980, he and Doris, moved from Chicago to Nashville where they continued to enjoy celebrity status among Nashville’s county music community. Thought his home are numerous awards and recognitions. Among these are a 1979 Proclamation from the County Music Association honoring Chester for his development the of CMA Awards Show, and a personal letter of thanks signed by many top county music artists including Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Eddy Arnold, Minnie Pearl, Roy Clark, Glenn Campbell and others.
When Chester celebrated his 100th birthday in 2015, he enjoyed a birthday celebration that included the singing of Happy Birthday by international country recording artist Ray Stevens, also of Albany.
Chester has had a long and successful life and career and continues to be a proud AHS Indian!
Our Indians Who Served!!!
includes those submitted in January and February
* Robert L. "Bobby" Marshall, Class of
* Thomas Colin Hopper, Class of 1964
* William Mark (Bill) Hall, Class of 1960
* Jim Richter, Class of 1957
* Bearl Gosa
(D), Class of 1961
* Norman Gosa,
Class of 1965 * Thomas (Tommy) Ronald
Coleman, Sr. (D), Class of 1951 * Benny W. Stearman,
Class of 1962 * Raymond E. Phillips,
Class of 1945
*** Chester Green (AHS '33) with nephew Walter Green (AHS '67) Many thanks to William Walter Green III, AHS Class of 1967, who was kind enough to submit the above picture and such interesting information regarding his uncle, Chester Green, AHS Class of 1933 ... our new "Oldest Indian"!
Walter graduated from UGA in 1971 and received his MBA in 1972. He is married to the former Tressa Cowart, AHS Class of 1968.Walter retired in 2015, after 40 years with JP Morgan and now resides in Chicago. He also serves on the planning committee for his 1967 50th Class Reunion!
Walter's dad was William Walter Green, Jr., brother of Chester Green. His dad was born in 1907, but his AHS class is unknown. He died in 1970 at the age of 62.
*** I saw the note that the oldest living Indian will be announced next month. I would doubt Judge Fred Bartlett is the oldest but I wanted to tell you he is alive and well here in Rabun County. He was one of our City Court Judges in Albany back when my husband and I were in High School. My husband had a couple of “encounters” with him for things like squealing tires in Shoney’s Parking Lot and too loud mufflers on a '69 Mustang!
His parents also owned the Black Cat which has been the topic of discussion on Vintage Albany many times. He is one of our customers and we dearly love having him visit our office. Judge Bartlett was born in 1929. Not sure what year he graduated but can certainly give him a call to find out.
P.S. Well Beverly, I talked to Judge Bartlett. I didn't realize he didn't graduate from AHS. He says he went to Albany Schools from 1-9th but then he was sent to Stanton Military School and that is where he graduated from. I knew he was best buddies with Lamar Clifton. I asked about the Black Cat and he confirmed that his parents owned it. In fact he says the name came from a black cat that was living under the building when his family bought it. ~ Carolyn McBurnett Parks AHS 71
RESPONSE: OH! I love that story, Carolyn!! I will tell you ... I started this website in 2002, and my motto "from the beginning" has been "ONCE AN AHS INDIAN, ALWAYS AN AHS INDIAN". If there is any way you could get the year he graduated (only 11 grades back then), I would like to add that to what I post about him! ~ Beverly
*** Buddy Pattison Found! ***
*** Great follow-up storm story for Tommy ('54) and Betty Holt ('56) Pattison! ALBANY GA
(WALB) A beloved family pet, lost after a retired Albany couple's home was smashed by trees during the January 2nd storm, was found this morning and his recovery is proving to be meaningful to more than his owner. It's a happy reunion. "I had almost given up today," said Tommy Pattison. But, a resident on North Doublegate over a mile as the crow flies from where Buddy went missing in the Quail Pines subdivision on January 10 and not far from the area where volunteers have been combing, called Thursday morning with the good news. "I wasn't sure if was him. He was so muddy, he looked terrible," said Pattison. "And he has lost some weight? Oh, a lot of weight. But, Debi says he looks normal now. Laughs."
Debi Hilley is Buddy's breeder and groomer. "He has always been a little chubby. I know it. This is what he is suppose to look like. He loves to eat what I eat," said Hilley. This piece of good news couldn't have come at a better time, after Sunday's tornado ripped through her hometown in Turner County. "Neighbors I grew up with don't have anything left. I have been crying all week, and this is, this is what we needed today. We needed a good day," said Hilley. A good day that is putting a some much needed hope in two people's hearts, both who have seen a lot of destruction this month.
"We needed a good day we needed a good day, yes we did. And it is a minor victory, but it is a major victory for Buddy and for Tommy. And for me," said Hilley. It will be some time before Tommy and Betty are back in their home.
***RESPONSES TO LAST MONTH'S ALBANY STORM EDITION***
*** Thank you! It is always exciting to receive a letter from home ... this one was bittersweet because of the devastation Albany has experienced this month. I especially appreciate the pics! I am so glad Betty Rehberg ('74) joined you for lunch. She has done much to keep us connected to our hometown. Blessings to you this year. ~ Anne Chestnut Rackley ('66)
*** So sad. Albany was a beautiful place to grow up. Thank you for sharing. Ruth Chambers Honick ('58)
*** Heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing ~ Eloise King Newton ('61)
*** Very moving video. Thank you so much for sharing. ~ Julian Whiting ('58)
*** Not sure but this seems to be the area I lived in which was south of Radium Springs in the Radium Golf Club subdivision. The house we lived in was torn down some time ago, and a new one built. ~ Jim Richter ('57)
***Thank you for sharing!! Sincerely,
~ Helen Leishman, Class of '83
*** I can't describe how much I appreciate your following the path of destruction with photos and dialogue. I am sure all the Indians appreciate it as much as I do.
Kay Lipsey Boynton ('55)
*** Thank you for the Albany info. I went to Albany yesterday (we live between Tallahassee and Havana, FL) to volunteer at Putney First Baptist Church and just cried riding through :(
*** Anita Phillips Davis ('66)
*** THANKS BEVERLY FOR THIS EDITION - I HAD CALLED OUR FAMILY MAID A FEW DAYS AGO & SHE DESCRIBED ALL THE PROBLEMS
IN ALBANY - SO SAD!!!!!!!!!! HERE IN ST. AUGUSTINE WE WERE WORRIED BUT IN OUR AREA WE WERE CERTAINLY BLESSED!!!!!!!!
~ Annelle Stem Griffin ('52)
*** We had absolutely no news from up here that Albany was severely damaged. My prayers & hope for a swift recovery for all of those who are affected. A special prayer for my very good friend Tommy ('54) & Betty Holt ('56) Pattison.
~ Peggy Jo Irwin Davis ‘54
*** I hope no one in Albany died. That is a terrible storm. Adel got hit hard too. We had 4 inches of snow today and lots of road are closed. Spring cannot come quick enough.
~ Margaret Vick Weimer- 51 class now living in Utah
*** Thank you for all you do for the AHS alumni. As you may know by now, the January 2 event was not a tornado but was investigated and determined to be straight line winds up to 95 mph by the National Weather Service. After seeing the results of the January 22 F3 tornado, the difference in the damage caused by the 2 events can be clearly seen. In the first, trees are for the most part all blown over in the same direction but in the 2nd, houses, cars, roofs, etc. are lifted and twisted off the ground in all directions. The loss of life from the tornado was 5 in Dougherty county but those along with deaths in other counties in Southwest GA brought the total deaths up to 20 according to the last news I heard.
Regardless of the categorization of the storms, the damage from both has been severe and Albany will be in recovery for a long time. The volunteer response has just been overwhelming. Just maybe it took a tornado to heal relations in Albany and show the world how a strong Christian community can come together and provide for all who are hurting no matter what their status is. WALB produced a wonderful video giving an overview of the recovery efforts. It is posted on their Facebook page and I shared it on mine but I can’t seem to get an active link to share it here.
I’m glad you got to come to Albany to see some of the damage.
There is so much misinformation floating around it is very hard I’m sure to sort it all out. However, all damage from wind, no matter what it is called, is covered by insurance and government assistance is available to all who qualify once the area is designated as a verified disaster with total damages exceeding $XXX no matter what caused it.
Albany & Dougherty County will get federal and state assistance for both events. If you look on the Dougherty County website, you will see that this has already been announced. I hope this helps clarify some information you may have received.
The volunteer response continues to be fantastic!
~ Patti B. Savelle
, Class of 1960
* * *
NOTE: If you have not seen this, take the time to watch. It is so moving ... especially for you who have "served" or are relatives of ones who have "served".
*** Thank you for providing the correct information concerning the history of the school. My father attended Albany High and I believe he graduated in the late 1930’s. He served in the US forces (Air) in WWII in England, where he eventually settled. We still have his Year Book (I think you call it?) and it provided me with a glimpse of High School life in America whilst growing up in England in the 1960’s!
His name is James Barnwell McLeod but I think he is down as Barnwell McLeod. I think he graduated in ’38 or ’39. He was part of the farmer’s club. He is now deceased but he was given a full military funeral as a vet. in the UK.
I visited AHS in my 20’s (just the exterior) but did not know my relatives showed me the older building (which of course would be correct for my father’s time), so I was confused when I went to Wiki and saw the present building. Then I searched further, found an image as per my picture and then somehow found you. My father married his English bride (my mother !) in Albany and then some years later moved to England
Thank you again. ~ Mary McLeod
NOTE: We would not have connections like the one above without the Albany High Times' website and search engines!!!
*** Glen Gosa, Class of 1960, sent this arm patch from his old AHS band uniform circa 1957.
*** Rena Lippitt graduated from AHS in 1946. She signed my husband's annual. She was on the annual staff. She married Billy Devine. He made our wills for us probably in the 60's before we moved to Jacksonville. She did illustrations for a cookbook about food served on plantations around Albany. I have a copy.
~ Betty Dunn Logan ('49)
NOTE: Hi Betty. I didn't get to this for the January issue because of the Albany Storms - but am adding Rena to Class of 1946In Memoriam and changing the "class" on her article in December 2015, today. Thanks so much for that info!
*** Cheers! Thanks again for the Albany High Times......Keep up the good work and keeping us informed about AHS & Albany. Have a wonderful 2017. ~ Richard Simpson, Class 1948
*** Could you please change my email address? The one I currently have will be deactivated. Thanks much! ~ Billie Strawder Corley ('69)
*** Yesterday (12/31/2016), in Cleveland, TN, I had the privilege of spending a few precious minutes with Billy Creech, his son Scott, and his daughter Kim.
Kim and Debbie had sat up with their dad all the night before and Debbie was asleep when I was there so I did not get to see her. If I had been there a day earlier, I could have talked to Bill but I’m just not sure if he knew I was there yesterday but still, I am so thankful for this time together.
I got a call from Scott this morning that Bill had passed earlier. For any who may not know, Bill has had a long battle with cancer. During this time, his wife Carol also came down with this dreaded disease and went down quickly. She passed away August, 2015, so Bill continued to fight his battle without his wife who had been by his side for almost 60 years. Both were members of the Class of 1959. Very few people living now have known Billy Creech as long as I have as we were in the first grade together at Broad Street School.
Please share this with any that you know of who were friends with Billy. At our age, if you have a sick friend, go to see them. Our time on this earth is ticking away. Otherwise, may you all have a blessed and joyful New Year! ~ H. Harold “Hilly” Carter ('59)
*** Thanks for letting me know about my classmate Jimmy Greene. I remember him well from our high school years. I was sad to hear of his passing. Best regards,
~ Phil Cook AHS '67
*** Such sad news about Lawson Vann ('55). He was a fine man!! ~ Harriet Ort Cornelius ('55)
~ I am very sad this morning. Lawson (Vann, '55) was a good friend to me and I was not a good friend to him and I am sad. He was my best friend in high school and if I hadn't left Georgia he would have been a close buddy. I neglected him and he did not hold it against me. I am so sorry. ~ Bill Wilson ('55)
~ I can see Lawson (Vann, '55) and his smile in my minds eye as if he was just here and walked away. He was one super good man and will truly be missed by all who ever knew him. I know that I, for one, will miss him. ~ Marion Hay ('55)
*** I just received this from my NC Synod office ... and it seems this lady (Carol Houston Makant) was a classmate of yours having graduated in 1955 from AHS. Thought you would want to know.
~ Don Poole ('56)
NOTE: Many thanks to Donald Poole for letting us know. If not for him taking time to send, we would still be unaware of our loss. ~ Beverly Smith Herrington ('55)
*** Can anyone help with this request?Not sure who I should send this to. I have not seen mention of my best INDIAN friend while growing up in Albany. More than a friend, a brother in our youth. Charles Ugene "Pete" Vann. I know that Pete passed away when I was living and working in Missouri. Please see that his name is added to deceased classmates year 1961/62?. thank you for all the work you do and all the contributions by the TRIBE.
~Benny Stearman ('62)
*** There was a
Pete Vann in my class of '61. Not sure if this is same person you were searching for or not.Thanks, Peggy VanZant Roberts, Class '61
*** I remember Pete from my childhood in Albany......I believe they lived on a circular street between 2nd & 3rd Avenue & west of Madison St.......and his class would be either '61 or '62.
~ Ernest Sutton ('61)
Pete Vann was Class of ‘61 ~ Tommy Kinney ('62)
My annual shows Pete Vann was in the Class of '61. I'm sure you've heard from lots of folks by now, but just thought I'd let you know.~Sara Joiner Eubanks, AHS Class of '61
*** Trying to come up with the class of Clem Rakel
- his sister was in the same class as my sister - (Grad. '46). If Clem was 8 yrs older than Cassie and she graduated 1946 - (11 grades at that time), that would place him in the Class of 1938 - give or take a year. I believe the Albany School system has a collection of "Annuals" - I don't know in which Library they may be "housed" but I remember donating my Uncle's Annual to their collection - (and it was from the 30's.) Don't know if this is helpful to you or not. Hope all is well with you and yours... Fondly, ~ Pat Dean ('48)
In Memoriam ...
Not where I breathe, but where I loved ... I
Mrs. Diane Long Tate
Aug 8, 1934 - May 22, 2015
Mrs. Tate started teaching at AHS in 1966 and
retired in 1994 and taught Chemistry.
*** Lawrence (Larry) Parr,
Class of 1962
*** Bearl O. Gosa, Class of
1961; brother of Glen Gosa, Class of 1960
*** Bill Banks, Class of
*** Ben Johnson, Class of
*** Elizabeth McKenney
Castleberry, Class unknown
*** Bill Banks Class of
*** Jimmy Lee “Gangreene”
Greene, Class of 1967
*** Clem Bernard Rakel,
Class of 1936; brother of Catherine Rakel Bowick,
Class of 1946
*** Deborah (Debbie) Allene
Fowler Hayes, Class of 1969
*** Grace Hughes King,
Class of 1955
Harris J. Cook, Class of 1955
Robert Cecil Strickland, Class of 1965
*** Ralph Edward Calhoun,
Class of 1947
*** G. Lawson Vann, Class
*** Carol Houston Makant,
Class of 1955; sister of Warner, AHS 1952 and
Beverly, AHS Class of 1953 Houston
*** Janice Ford Register,
Class of 1962
*** Teresa Dill
Mills, Class 1985
*** John Hogg, Class of
1966; brother of Margaret Jo Hogg, Class of 1957
*** Linda Richard
Wigelsworth Class 1962
*** Note: Thanks to all who send notices and/or
obituaries of AHS Indians inside or outside of
Albany. We may not otherwise be aware of our
Class email notices and/or obituaries are first
sent to the deceased's class, and if relatives
are Indians, to the classes of the spouse,
child, or parent(s), as soon as possible. Each
is then listed, in the Albany High Times'
"News & Clues", and also added the following
month to the
Albany High Times' "In Memoriam" webpage:
*** We saw a great show on
PBA at 7:30 p.m.you might enjoy!
Our Albany High School
Indian classmate of '57, Ray
(Ragsdale) Stevens has
a great show from
Nashville on Saturday nights
with a guest or two ...
tonight's favorite was,
"He Stopped Loving Her Today"
.... and a
Family"!! Can't wait
'til next Saturday!!!
*** Ray Stevens' "CabaRay
Nashville", PBA Saturday, 7:30
~ Tom ('56) and
Beverly Smith ('55) Herrington
Please, help save a lot of time for me by making
sure, on the emails you send, to
first and last name (also
Also your class year
Otherwise, it means I have to
stop working and look it up -
most Indians assume I have all
this information in my head ...
I DON'T. No way that
I know you by your email
address. Use my name below
as example .... please!
~ Beverly Smith Herrington ('55)
*** ALBANY INTERESTS ***
"Everything Rides on Hope Now"
Posted by Candace
Roberts in faith, life, opportunity,
Not long ago, Albany, Georgia was named the
4th poorest city in America. This survey was
based on average income or some such nonsense
that the world uses to label things. A label
like this is hard on a city that is already
struggling and often a cloud of despair can be
felt when driving through some of the poorer
areas. It's easy for those who have to look at
those who do not and think that the problem can
be solved by better education or harder working
people. Yet, the poor are often some of the
hardest workers out there. They take the jobs
that require long hours with little pay. They
work weekends. Sometimes they work more than one
job. And they remain poor. Poverty is a deeper
problem than most people think. It is an
anaconda weaving its way harmlessly through a
society until it is entirely wrapped around it
and starts to squeeze as hard as it can. And as
I drive the streets of this city sometimes, it
is literally palatable the spirit of poverty.
When one stops to look in the eyes of these
people in this city, one realizes that this is
less of a choice and more of a prison. And to
break out of prison, there must be some
Which brings me to Monday night. Honestly, it
was a night like any other. We had some
semblance of an idea that there might be some
bad weather throughout the evening, but we
weren't on high alert. Even the tornado watch
was ignored to some degree as it is a normal
occurrence down here in the South. It really
wasn't even until the tornado warning that any
of us at this house moved a muscle toward
preparation. Suddenly things began to knock up
against our house and we realized it was time to
take shelter in the only place in our
basementless house that we consider safe in a
small middle bathroom. So there we sat, 10 of us
in a small bathroom, waiting for the storm to
pass and the lights to come back on. We were
scared ... okay, some of us were terrified at
that point,¦but I really still thought it was
just a bad storm with some really high winds. It
wasn't until we ventured outside a few minutes
later that we realized that something worse than
a thunderstorm had occurred. Two of the trees on
our property had literally been pulled up by the
roots and thrown down across the street. These
were not small trees, they were large pines.
Within about 15 minutes, our neighbors were out
with flashlights in the streets, checking from
house to house to make sure everyone was okay.
The neighbor's house a few yards down the street
was covered in trees. They were standing outside
in shock as they took in the scene. A tree had
also fallen across all three of their vehicles.
It was destruction like I have rarely seen in my
life. Little did I know that this was just the
very tip of the damage iceberg.
As I said before, our trees had fallen into the
road and were blocking passage to this neighbor
who needed the help, but neighbors started
coming steadily to our street. We were still
under a tornado warning and it was still
raining, but these people parked their cars to
shine light on the roadblock and quickly worked
together to clear the path. They, then all moved
down the block to see what they could do for
others who might need help. No one called 911.
No one waited for the city to show up. No one
hunkered down in their own undamaged home.
Instead, they met needs.
The next day, we ventured out into the city and
realized that the damage was not just
widespread, but incredible. Thousands of large
trees had been pulled up by the roots and were
lying on houses and cars, businesses and power
lines. Century old oak trees had been demolished
some of them as if they had exploded. Major
portions of the city were powerless and major
thorough ways were blocked. It was a disaster
area by anyone's standards.
And yet, no one in this city sat back and waited
for someone to report all of this or for the
governor to officially declare it a disaster.
The first posts on social media to organize
volunteers were not from government or the city.
It was the Church that we heard from first. The
churches of Albany went to work around the city.
Crews of volunteers began gathering and
deploying out into the city. Groups of people
took up their chainsaws and began clearing trees
out of the roads and alleys. Students went from
house to house raking and sweeping and moving
tree limbs. Samaritans Purse and the Red Cross
rolled into the area quickly and set up command
posts. Businesses and restaurants began offering
free services and sustenance. Donation drop offs
were quickly organized. Church members began
canvassing areas and getting the word out about
where people could get help. Hotlines were set
up and shelters were organized. This wasn't done
by the local government or by the city;
although, of course, it was done with their
knowledge and support and alongside their own
services. This was done by the Church.
Today I drove down the street to deliver some
water to the command post that Samaritan's Purse
and Sherwood Baptist have set up in the city. I
passed church buses, church trailers, church
signs offering help, church people out clearing
trees.¦ I passed the Church in action. Not just
one denomination or group, but all of us working
together to bring Jesus to a hurting Albany by
meeting physical and tangible needs. I checked
my Facebook and read post after post of
resources being offered and needs being met. I
watched as people joyfully worked to unload
water onto pallets, fix hundreds of lunches, and
pray together for this community. Later tonight,
volunteers will man churches set up as shelters
... sacrificing their own sleep to make sure
everyone will stay warm and well fed.
One man from the Red Cross said that in all his
years of being deployed around the country to
help, he had never seen anything like the Church
in action in this area.
Another man posted on Facebook yesterday that a
local official was being interviewed by the
press recently and they asked him if they had
reached out to the local church for help in
restoring the city. His response was "We didn't
have to. They called us.¯ The numbers say this
city is poor. I have lived in many cities over
the course of my lifetime and have never
experienced such riches.
impressed with the info on the
obit of Bernice L.
Thomas in the December
"News and Clues". When I retired
to Manchester, GA in 2001, a
couple of years later I began to
write a column for the weekly
Manchester Star-Mercury paper.
you might be interested in a
column I wrote in late
~ Paul McCorvey, Class of
Five-and-Dime Stores Were Once Icons of a
My wife, Helen, and I were
driving to Florida last Sunday. It was a
beautiful day. I knew she was already planning
in her mind things she wanted to do for the
Christmas holidays – her favorite time of the
So I broke the silence and
broke into the appropriate Christmas song:
“It’s beginning to look a
lot like Christmas,
Everywhere you go,
Take a look at the
Glistening once again,
With candy canes and silver
At which point she
interrupted me and said, “That’s kind of dated,
isn’t it? I don’t think many people today know
what a five-and-ten is.”
I had to agree with her,
but that wasn’t always the case. I remember when
my hometown of Albany, Georgia had three
five-and-dime stores downtown. All were in the
100 block of North Jackson Street. On the east
side were W.T. Grant and Silver’s. On the west
side was the S.H Kress store.
Jim Sweeney, a freelance
writer in Alexandria, Virginia, has a story on
the Internet called “Remembering the House of
Kress.” Sweeney says that the age of the dime
store is almost over, with Woolworth’s
announcement last summer that it is closing its
remaining 400 stores. Grant’s was the first
store to leave the downtown Albany district,
opting to occupy a store in the new Midtown
Shopping Center. Woolworth’s was the last chain
to operate in Albany. I seem to remember there
being a Woolworth’s in Midtown and also in
another smaller center on North Slappey
Boulevard, one of the city’s main arteries.
Silver’s and Kress have
been demolished, along with most of the other
buildings downtown that existed until the 1980s.
But many of the S.H. Kress & Co. stores still
stand, Sweeney says. Many are still retail
outlets; others are now office buildings or
Kress was different than
the other chains because of its founder, Sam
Kress. Sam was an art lover and collector, and
his stores were works of art. Kress built its
own stores, unlike most of the other chains.
Each had an elaborate buff-colored faēade. The
stores were often praised for their
architectural excellence and attention to
detail, as Sweeney says. That is why he says
they stood head and shoulders above their
competition, even though they ranked 5th
or 6th among chains in their number
To my surprise, Sweeney
mentions that architectural historian
Bernice Thomas recently published a
book titled “America’s 5 & 10 Cent Stores: The
Kress Legacy.” Thomas, a graduate of Boston
University, is a fellow Albanian. Sweeney says
her book is thought to be the only in-depth look
at the history and design of a dime store chain.
The chain was started in
South Carolina in 1905 and operated at least 11
stores in the state at various times. The store
on King Street in Charleston, which is my wife’s
hometown, was opened in 1930 and was a Kress
gem. It was designed by Edward Siebert, who ran
Kress’ architectural division for many years. At
one point the chain hired some 100 architects
and draftsmen. The Kress in-house team gave its
stores a consistent interior and exterior design
other chains could not match. In her book,
Thomas writes that some of these stores, like
the one in Columbia, S.C., looked more like
elegant ballrooms than five-and-dime stores.
I can still picture the
Albany store in my mind, with its glamorous
terra cotta faēade. There were two entrance and
exit doors. The popular soda fountain was
located on the front as you entered the left
door. It served all kinds of sandwiches, lunch
plates, ice cream treats and much more. Farther
down the left side, women could buy patterns and
fabrics for making clothes. You could buy almost
anything in a Kress store.
My favorite part of the
store as a kid, other than the toy counter, was
at the front near the right door. That was where
the magnificent candy counter was located. Kress
sold a concoction called a “snowball.” It was
about the size of a jawbreaker. The outside was
a coating of white sugar and probably vanilla
flavoring. I don’t remember whether fruit, cream
filling or some type of nut was in the center.
All I remember is that it was the best-tasting
piece of candy this poor boy ever put in his
The decline of S.H. Kress &
Co. reflected the fall of downtown in many
American cities, large and small. The company
had faith in downtown growth even during the
Depression days, correctly guessing that better
economic times lay ahead.
I know that in Albany in
the 1940s through the 1960s, the Kress store was
a hub of activity and a great meeting place.
Genesco Inc. bought Kress in 1964 to use its
stores as outlets for Genesco clothing.
The five-and-dime stores
may no longer be a part of the telltale signs
that Christmas is approaching, but they (Kress,
in particular) remain an important part of my
growing up. They were beloved in our community.
*** YOU ASKED
have come across a
1933 and 1934
editions of The
Thronateeska, AHS yearbook.
has the name Julie Kalmon
in it, and she was a sophomore
that year. If anyone would like
to have them, I would be happy
to hand them over. No idea
why I even have them. I
graduated from Westover in '71.
~ Beverly Watson McGrath,
anyone have an
called and asked to be added to
Class of 1965
Unfortunately, he did not leave his
*** Please add me to the
list. Karen Ford Stephens, Class of '69.
*** Would you please add
my brother to those who served; he graduated
from AHS in 1945,
and served in the Navy from early 1946
till late 1947. Would
you also add his name to the list to receive the
Albany High Times. His name is Raymond E.
Phillips. Thank you ever
~ Brinson Phillips ('54)
Please add Arnold Geeslin
to our email list.
Arnold did not graduate from AHS, but is a
friend of many who did, and would like to keep
informed about Albany. He lives in Atlanta and
is still working as electrical consultant in the
Bubba Hughes ('61)
*** Dale Dingler
and asked to be added to the
Class of 1965
mailing list. He
schools in Albany from 1st to
part of his senior year - 1965.
*** If your class has a website or has been
replaced by a new website, please email your
AHS FaceBook Links
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* Albany High Class of 1961 (4)
* (1) Albany High School Classes of 1964-65
* (1) AHS-1965
* (1) Class of 64 and 65
* AHS Class of 1969
* Albany High School Class of 1970
* Albany GA. Kids' of the 70's....
* Albany High School Class of 1974 Albany, GA
* Albany High School Grads 1976-1983
* AHS/WHS Class of 1978