Up & Down Commerce St. – Aug. 7

Published 4:13 pm Monday, August 9, 2010

We were saddened to hear the news of Mr. Jacob Bedgood’s passing this past weekend.

We knew Mr. Bedgood when he was an employee of Rheem Manufacturing, a slim man with a deep rolling voice like afternoon thunder. He was always quick with a laugh. He entertained both young and old with stories about his vacations to Las Vegas and the high cost of coffee at the gambling casinos.

He was named for the Biblical Jacob just as his twin brother was named for the Biblical Esau. Esau departed this world before his brother.

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We’re sure the two are enjoying their reunion.

Thursday, the children went to school. Cars and trucks were everywhere around Greenville Elementary, (along with the city’s finest managing the traffic flow).

McDonald’s was also noticeably busier. Perhaps parents having a Mc-Latté to drown the sorrows of losing their babies.

Your lineup for school administrators is this: Greenville High, Brad Cook; Greenville Middle, Curtis Black; Greenville Elementary, Jai Hill; W.O. Parmer, Catherine Sawicki; Georgiana High, Joseph Dean; McKenzie School, Randy Williams. These are the people – good people – in charge of your children. We think you should get to know them.

We haven’t had a good chance to talk to Mr. Cook at GHS, but we’re certainly glad to have him.

Mr. Cook is also the nephew of Mickey Andrews, the former Florida State defensive guru who attended last Friday’s Back-To-School Bash.

Andrews related an interesting tale about country singer Kenny Chesney – who was performing a concert in Tallahassee – showing up at the FSU practice in full pads and wanting to workout with the team.

“I told him he was going to get hurt,” recalled Andrews. And Chesney did, he said.

Chesney’s nostalgic nod to high school football, “The Boys of Fall,” has arrived just in time on the country airwaves.

The Right Reverend Chette Williams, Auburn team chaplain, delivered an inspirational message to the hundreds of youth at the Bash. An Auburn player was also on hand: Anthony Morgan, who played his high school ball at nearby Brantley, joined the worship service.

Good food, good friends, and good fellowship. Is there anything better?

And now a shout out for our neighbors in Lowndes. The Okra Festival is nearing, scheduled for Aug. 28, 11 a.m. – until, in Burkville. We attended last year and have the T-shirt to prove it. The event features Blues by the legendary Sonny Boy King and arts and crafts galore. Pick up a few of the poster prints by noted pressman Amos Paul Kennedy of Gordo. They’ll make any wall in your study look interesting.

Sample the food. Gumbo, fish, barbecue, homemade ice cream, and don’t leave without a bag of fresh okra.

And be aware: a chicken sandwich in Burkville is not a run-of-the mill chicken sandwich. It’s a slab of sticky sweet barbecued chicken accompanied by two pieces of light bread. Right tasty.

Notes from Fort Dale Academy’s picture day: The Eagles have some talent to replace on both offense and defense, but incumbent quarterback Hunter Armstrong returns. That’s always a plus. Also, new starting tailback Manny Norrell will be a beast out the Eagles’ backfield. Head coach “Speed” promised a bit more I-formation this season, although the Gamble St. Gladiators (© Ralph Stacy) will continue to operate out of the spread formation. Field position is as important in high school as the pros or college and Eli Blackmon is back to handle punts (while also doubling as a wide receiver). Automatic kicker Sean McKeague has graduated though.

Look for our annual football publication on Aug. 25 for previews on the Eagles, Greenville, Georgiana and McKenzie.

This is the weekend to spend. Alabama’s Sales Tax Holiday is in full swing. Even if you don’t need school supplies, you’ll almost certainly find something you need.

Get out to Camellia City Summerfest today and help support the Tigers. There’s some good singing and music, and Congressman Bobby Bright is scheduled to be there at 9 a.m.

The Camellia City Idol competition is this afternoon.

All you crooners come out.