So many stories to complete, so little time to write them

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 29, 2006

Have you ever heard that the one that goes: &uot;God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. At the rate things are going – I will never die.&uot;


There are so many stories I want to get to, and so many things I need to do at home – and lately, not enough time/energy to get around to them all.

I have been out of pocket quite a lot lately, so forgive me if you've tried to catch me and haven't.

Many of you have asked about my mother, with whom I’ve been hanging out in doctor’s offices quite a lot lately.

I feel things are looking up.

Her treatment for that tongue-twister, Polymyalgia Rheumatic (PMR) seems to be helping. Last Saturday morning, for the first time in a long, long time, she got up and her back was not hurting! Truly an answer to prayers.

(If her rheumatologist Dr. Fallahi had been around, I suspect he would have been in for a big Ova-style embrace.)

When Gov. Riley was nice enough to present me with an Alabama lapel pin for Mom after last Thursday’s luncheon, I was delighted to be able to pin it on her lapel at Dr. McGowin’s office.

Even finding out she has to have a colonoscopy next Friday wasn’t enough to dampen her spirits as she showed off her shiny new pin to our favorite surgeon.

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This week our annual magazine, &uot;Best Kept Secrets of the South,&uot; goes to press, with issues set to mail out at the end of the month.

We finished writing our stories and gathering art for the publication last weekend. Many thanks to all those who allowed us to visit their homes and businesses, to look through their vintage photos and beloved collections, and who took the time to share about the events, places and interests they are passionate about.

I have a story about one of the city’s newest events, the Sweet Gum Bottom Blues Festival. I attended the inaugural festival last year and had a marvelous time – great music, wonderful food, terrific kids’ activities – and we can send up some more prayers for a replay of that divine mid-October weather.

I want to see lots more people attend this year’s event – you won’t be sorry.

Another story looks back at one of Butler County’s oldest businesses, a long-time landmark, Halso’s Mill.

The mill is gone now, but many happy memories remain for Ronnie Miller, whose grandmother owned and operated the gristmill for many decades. I enjoyed hearing the stories and seeing the photos of Miss Alice in her rocking chair, and Earl Miller, Ronnie’s dad, feeding the corn into the hopper.

I most certainly enjoyed the sweet iced tea Frances Miller served me, not to mention the wonderful fresh tomatoes and squash that later traveled home with me.

(Wouldn’t some hot, buttered cornbread be good with a ‘mater’ slice?)

Another &uot;Miss&uot; Frances, Frances Frakes, to be precise, fed me a tasty late lunch, served in my favorite room to sit and chat a spell, the kitchen.

We talked about art and beauty and inspiration, and I got to see Miss Frances’ collection of religious icons she has created.

At 81, Miss Frances is not resting on her laurels; she is still taking classes and striving to learn and grow in her artwork.

You see the pleasure and enthusiasm she takes in her art as she shows examples of her work and points out an icon painted by her teacher, a master iconographer (&#8220Look at how precise all Phillip’s strokes are – mine would be all over the place&uot;).

Thanks to the Millers, Frances Frakes and Nancy Idland of Greenville Main Street for all their help on my part of the magazine.

Until next week, stay cool and don’t forget your sunscreen.

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at