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Leila Case: It’s fall y’all and time for changes

Its fall y’all and there is a lot going on from football to people on the move.
Fall is one of my favorite seasons of the year that brings a change of time, the weather and the leaves although not so much here as in the mountains of North Georgia and beyond but we do have leaf change. The Chinese elm on the lawn of Lee and Faith Pinnell on South Lee Street is glorious, radiating varied shades of red to burgundy beginning the first week of November.
And then there are the pumpkins on doorsteps up and down the street and available in the markets but the most colorful and unusual are exhibited on the sidewalk in front of Soapy’s Barber Shop on West Lamar. The cutest permanent pumpkin collection is at the Maze — pick one out soon to take home or they’ll be gone. We’ve had ours for about four years. It lives in the attic 11 months out of the year snuggled between the boxes of fall and Christmas decorations, waiting in the wings for its annual appearance in October.
With fall also comes homecoming at area high schools: Americus-Sumter High, Schley County and Southland Academy with related activities from parades through downtown, bon fires, to crowning the homecoming queen, tapping her court during halftime at the Friday night football game and, of course, followed by the homecoming dance. What an exciting time for these young people — happy memories of high school are made that weekend.
Congratulations to Southland’s 2017 Homecoming Queen Sydney Hayes, and her court: seniors Kathleen Kinslow, Karson Duke and Olivia Perry; juniors Kara Hubbard and Sydney Payne; sophomores Leslie Anne Farr and Emma Griffin; and freshmen Maddie Crisp and Alli Dent. Cheers as well to Schley County High’s Homecoming Queen Kelsi Cannon and her court: seniors Lindsey Alford, Kelsi Cannon, Ginni DeVane, Kelsey Womack; juniors Cydney Smith and Jesse Westbury; sophomores Gracie Bush and Sydney Granados, and freshmen Preslee Owen and Ava Sellers.
For John Hayes, it was a bit of serendipity or perhaps déjà vu when he escorted his daughter, Sydney, on the field at Southland Friday evening. He walked with his sister, Allison Hayes Goolsby, Sydney’s aunt, on his arm when she was crowned 1990 Miss Americus High School Homecoming Queen at Finklea Robinson Field, stepping in for their father, Rudy Hayes who was out of town on business.
Sanford Stadium, home of the University of Georgia Bulldogs, was rockin’ Saturday night when the Dawgs met Mississippi State, according to Candy Riccardi, a huge Georgia fan who is just behind her husband, Dr. Lou Riccardi, who I dub the Dawgs’ greatest fan of all time. Candy says the upbeat tone was set immediately after the first offensive play and resulting touchdown. Cheering the Dawgs right along with the Riccardis was their daughter, Dr. Alex Riccardi; their granddaughter, Madison McMickle, a junior at UGA; Wes Turner of Atlanta; and Alice and Mike Perry of Americus. Others from Americus in the stadium were John Hayes, Jackson Hayes, Tracy Willis, Hayes Willis, Morgan and Jimmy Whaley, his uncle Rusty Whaley (former AHS football standout), Morgan’s parents Dean and Debra Basone of Woodstock, Mark Minnick, John and Beth Carroll (proud parents of Caroline Carroll, UGA Georgette, who performed at halftime with other members of the elite dance team), and former Americus resident Dwight (Bucky) Bliss, who was with his son Trey Bliss and daughter of Athens.
And Sue and George Hall of Americus were also in Athens last weekend. They went especially to visit their daughter Julianna Smoak and family to attend the 30th anniversary of WMSL 88.9 the Reach Radio, where Julianna was master of ceremonies along with Christian award winning songwriter/singer Brandon Heath.
Incidentally, Rhinehart University in Waleska has named 2010 alumnae Dr. Alex Riccardi of Americus as one of the top 10 graduates in the past 10 years. She is to be formally recognized during their homecoming and again next spring.
Other comings and goings include Jackie Merriman, who visited her daughter in Connecticut and attended “Hello Dolly” starring Bette Midler. Jackie, known as “Grandma” for her giving spirit, returned home and appeared at my back door bearing a gift — a salt grinder filled with pink salt.
And Shirley Litwhiler celebrated her birthday this week with long-time friends Duke and Brenda Jackson, of Redmond, Washington, in Chicago, where they dined gourmet and attended musical concerts.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.

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