Random thoughts, school bus safety and ready for Junior Miss

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

This is one of those weeks where a lot is on my mind, as the old brain darts this way and that.

School is well underway locally; I hope everyone is keeping an eye out for the youngsters on foot and for the big yellow school buses transporting them.

I rode such a bus for ten of the 12 years I went to school - two long, sometimes bumpy and over-heated hours a day.  (I am convinced my steadily eroding handwriting goes back to the days when I did my homework on the ride home.)

Thank goodness, other then a few unavoidable trips into the ditch on our dirt roads after a heavy rain (may I say, road conditions have greatly improved in the last 30 years) there was only one mishap.

Some inattentive driver on his way into work rear-ended our bus when we stopped to pick up a student.

It was a bit of unexpected excitement for us; thanks heavens, no one was hurt. And I am sure that driver learned a valuable lesson.

Just keep your eyes and ears open for our community's most precious asset.

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It's a lovely thing to see the young people you watched grow up and go away to college come back home to be a contributing part of the community. When I was teaching at Fort

Dale, I had the chance to teach all three of Mollie Pouncey and Jimmy Gardner's children, and two of Nancy and Tommy Leverette's three girls.

I was tickled to death to pick up one of Mama's prescriptions at the CVS drive-thru and see a familiar handwriting across the top: &#8220Hey Miss Ova! It's Sarah Ellen Leverette. I'm now a pharmacist at CVS!”

Sarah Ellen is actually Sarah Ellen Gardner these days; I remember well when she and Caleb sat next to each other in French class. I watched &#8220l'amour” bud before my eyes. Mama and I attended their lovely wedding a few years later. Now the &#8220kids” have returned to the Camellia

City, and may I say, &#8220Welcome back!”

Caleb's big brother Josh and his family are also back in this area. Josh is now a doctor of veterinary medicine, working with Dr. Watson, and father to an absolutely adorable little boy.

Little sister Abbie Gardner Ballew, a science teacher for the last few years at McKenzie School, is assisting with the county Junior

Miss program and putting her baton twirling skills to great use.

A former FDA and Troy

University twirler, Abbie was all smiles when she told me recently McKenzie now has two twirlers - &#8220for the first time in 20 years!”

Not only is Abbie their sponsor, she is also the sponsor of the junior and senior varsity twirlers at her alma mater, FDA.

She is a busy young woman, and accomplishes it all with a grin and that trademark Gardner sense of humor.

All the Gardner and Leverette children are a credit to parents who did their best to raise caring, bright, well-rounded young people.

My hat is off to you all!

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Speaking of Junior Miss, do not forget to mark your calendars for the Sept. 8 event, now to be held at the Greenville High School Auditorium (the Ritz has suffered some damage from a serious leak and won't be available).

All the high school seniors participating work hard in preparation for the county program, and they will much appreciate the moral and physical support of their teachers, administrators, friends and family.

Hope to see you there!


Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at angie.long@greenvilleadvocate. com. Read her previous columns at www.greenvilleadvocate.com