Main Street promotes community spirit with annual supper

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 8, 2006

On a warm evening in early June, the back yard and garden of Peytie Hamilton Carmichael’s College Street home filled with people. Folks sipped on sweet iced tea and other cool drinks as they fanned their faces and chatted with friends. The sounds of blues music mingled with the &#8220putt-putt” of a vintage farm engine churning homemade ice cream. Children’s laughter rang through the humid southern air.

It was Main Street of Greenville’s Annual Summer Supper. The event was definitely geared to its theme, &#8220Celebration! Let's have a good time.”

Main Street Executive Director Nancy Idland served as emcee for the event and shared some of the reasons she believes the Camellia City has reason to celebrate in 2006.

Faces and places to celebrate

&#8220We're celebrating people like Linda Horn who met a writer from Southern Living who came to Greenville and wrote an article about usŠlet's all celebrate. We're celebrating Angela Killough - new owner of the Greenville Shoe ShopŠwelcome and let's all celebrate Angie's decision,” Idland told the crowd.

&#8220We're celebrating people like Bobbie Gamble who give and inspire to help make our community a better place - and did you know Freddie Daughtry now owns ‘Main Street' frontage? That's right, the lot by Badcock will now serves as an access for Daughtry Engineering, where 21 people are employedŠlet's celebrate!”

Idland also welcomed a new addition to Main Street businesses, &#8220a lovely new children's shop” located inside The Hair Shoppe downtown, Prissy Britches.

&#8220Kristi (Mayes) and Cheryl's (Gates) store is THE place to come and spoil yourself, with everything from a fabulous cut and color, a relaxing spa manicure or pedicure or give your tan a boost in the newest, hottest bed in town. Then step across the aisle and spoil all the kids in your life by letting Cheryl show you some of the latest summer fashions for boys and girls. She can outfit newborns to size 10 in girls and newborns to size 7 in boys. She also has unique baby gifts, children's books and classic wooden toys and puzzles,” Idland said.

Cute kids on parade

A fashion show featuring pint-sized models wearing clothing and accessories from both Prissy Britches and its downtown neighbor, The Pineapple, followed with plenty of &#8220oohs” and &#8220aahs” from the viewers as the cute youngsters paraded by.

Mary Avery Keen, age four, Mary Virginia Meadows, age 2, four-year-old Reese Ann Mount, Chris Gates, Hayden Mayes and Nate Richardson, all active three-year- old boys, all modeled outfits for play, church and photos, along with &#8220older” models Marion Lightfoot and twins Mary Sanford and Laura Sellers Perdue.

Civic leaders were also present at the supper, including Probate Judge Steve Norman and his wife, Robyn, Greenville Mayor Dexter McClendon and State Senator Wendell Mitchell and wife Rosalyn, a native of the Camellia City.

&#8220I appreciate the enthusiasm Nancy always shows for the projects in the works hereŠmy wife is always reminding me to remember Greenville and Butler County and their needs,” Mitchell said with a smile.

Idland also reminded those present to celebrate people like Sam Roberts and CorStone, which now has its corporate offices in the former Martin House downtown, and places such as Court Square Caf\u00E9, suppliers of the supper's tasty chicken fingers and WestPoint Stevens Home Store (&#8220you're dining on them right now - their fabric, that is”).

&#8220How many of you were at the Sweet Gum Bottom Blues Festival last year? Well, mark your calendars for October 14 NOW,” Idland exclaimed.

Honoring our own

The Main Street director praised the organization's tireless volunteers for their efforts to keep downtown active and growing.

&#8220We count on our volunteers for everything - sometimes it is nothing more than hauling ice - but someone has to do it. We would like to thank all our volunteers and this year especially recognize one volunteer who just happened to haul ice for us tonight - Ricky Cargile.”

As Idland presented Cargile with his Volunteer of the Year plaque, she spoke of how &#8220Ricky arrived bright and early for the Blues Festival and stayed all day,

very lateŠhe's there when you need him.”

The Great Greenville Main Street Award is given to those individuals or organizations that makes the most of existing properties, further revitalizing the downtown area.

&#8220Let's see what we can do with existing buildings - let's not tear down paradise to put up a parking lot - converting underused property into economically productive property helps boost the entire district,” Idland said.

The winners of the award this year were Carl and Brandon Sellers for their work renovating the former Greenville Ford building on E. Commerce Street.

&#8220I would say 85 percent of the work was done with local contractors, using local suppliers for the materialsŠwe had a lot of good local input,” Carl Sellers said.

The Greenville Jaycees were on hand to make the presentation of the John D. Murphy Memorial Citizen of the Year Award, given this year to Father Fred Lindstrom, rector of Saint Thomas Episcopal Church in Greenville, police chaplain and director of the city's transient ministry. Lindstrom was instrumental in the city's outreach to victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Past winner of the award, Jill Stallworth, a parishioner at Lindstrom's church, said Father Fred was the nominee that got her vote.

&#8220He's the greatest; I am so happy for him,” Stallworth said.

Annabel Markle of Greenville said, &#8220Father Fred is wherever he's needed. One day I saw him at the scene of an accident, wearing his clerical collar and his police vest and directing trafficŠhe is very visible in the community. I'm tickled he won.”

As the daylight faded and the fire flies took flight, the remaining guests indulged in bowls of rich vanilla cream and that last sip of sweet tea.

&#8220I thought it was a lovely nightŠsuch a nice group of folks who came,” Petie Cureton said as she strolled to her car.