Willie Jones What Willie Jones remembers best is all the walking. Favorite hole at the Augusta National:Hole number 17 because it’s the most difficult. My Jack Nicklaus moment: We played with him one time; Brewer was getting some tips from him! I’ve also met: Clifford Roberts, Gary Player and Chi-Chi Rodriguez. Do you still play? I still can hit the ball; I can’t see where it’s going,but I can still hit it! As a boy, he’d walk from Sunset Homes housing development near 15th Street to a whole new world: the green fairways of Augusta’s golf courses. A caddy at the Cabbage Patch, then Oliver General, then the Augusta Country Club, he used to gaze over at Amen Corner and see all the people at the storied Augusta National and think, “I’ve got to try to get to that golf course.” And he did. Jones donned the white suit of an official Augusta National caddie when he was just 25 years old. Most days he’d sit with the other caddies at the caddy shop, waiting for his name to be called so he could sling a golf bag over his shoulder and head over to the clubhouse. But every April, it was a different story. One of Jones’s favorite memories is caddying for Masters champion Gay Brewer. While Jones didn’t caddy for him during his 1967 championship year, he did hold his bag in 1973, the year that Brewer...Read More
Author: Danielle Moores
Faces: Singing Valentines “We carry Kleenex with us,” says Lowell Dorn with a laugh. As a singer with the Garden City Chorus’s Singing Valentines, he’s seen his share of tears on Valentine’s Day when he and his fellow barbershop harmony performers travel across the CSRA to spread love and cheer. “They’re tears of joy certainly,” he adds. “That happens quite at bit.” This year marks the 26th year that the Garden City Chorus has offered its Singing Valentines barbershop quartet program, which delivers a long-stemmed rose, heartfelt card and two songs—typically “Heart of My Heart” and “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”—to your sweetheart on or around Valentine’s Day. Dorn and his other quartet members don their trademark tuxedos with red vests early in the morning and don’t quit singing until late in the evening, with a single quartet delivering as many as 33 individual “singing telegrams” in just one day. Four or five quartets cover the entire CSRA, including Aiken, and Dorn has seen his share of amusing reactions. Aside from tears, “It’s funny how some of the women say, ‘I’m going to kill him,’” says Dorn, before they tear up, call their coworkers to gather and listen, and snap a round of photos with the quartet. Ninety-eight percent of the deliveries are from husbands or boyfriends to their significant others, but for the few guys who get deliveries:...Read More
This past January, the Thomson Elementary School teacher was leading an assignment on New Year’s resolutions—and shared her own resolution with her third-grade class: to be more giving of herself. And even more than that she planned to donate an organ. When I’m not teaching school: I’m teaching everything—aerobics, spin and yoga—at the Y. One word that describes me: Compassion. My philosophy of life is: To be good to yourself, give to others and always treat people with respect. My New Year’s resolution this year: I don’t think I can top last year’s! I’m: Persistent! It’s hard to keep me down. The next day, one of her students brought in a card from her grandmother who was on dialysis and waiting for a kidney—and Candler’s resolution became a reality. Through her student’s grandmother ended up being matched with another donor, Candler was still determined to give someone the gift of life. This past summer, she became GRHealth’s first altruistic kidney donor, donating her kidney to 74-year-old Sharon Dole, a professor at Western Carolina University near Asheville, N.C. The two met for the first time the morning of surgery. “From that moment, if my family wasn’t in my room, they were in Candy’s,” Dole says. “We were just like one big family. Of course, now we’re connected for life.” “I felt like this was what God wanted me to do,” says Candler,...Read More
North Augusta author Christine Hurley Derisowrote her first story, “The Happy Family,” when she was just six years old (Fun fact: Her mother still has a copy.). Although she now has seven published books under her belt with books eight and nine set to come out later this year, she says that her writing process hasn’t changed that much since then. “When I visit school kids, I tell them really all I’ve ever needed was my imagination,” says Deriso. As a publications director at Georgia Regents University, she would spend her days writing and editing, then come home, light a scented candle and dream up novels and stories. And once Deriso had kids, she hit her stride. Much of her early work was adult novels, but when she was invited to volunteer in the classroom, she offered to read aloud—and wrote her own children’s stories as part of that. “By the end of that year, I had a ton of stories, and I sent off the whole batch to probably about 75 publishers and agents,” she says. One was accepted and Dreams To Grow On, a children’s picture book, was published in 2002. My greatest inspiration: My children. Best advice: My mother always told me to be true to myself. It sounds a little bit trite, but it encapsulates what has kept me going. Character in my books I’m most...Read More
Laura Cameron On January 30 of next year, Laura Cameron will blow out 100 candles on her birthday cake. But the centenarian hasn’t slowed down a bit—and neither have her fingers. By next year, Cameron will have played the piano for 93 years. She started with lessons as a child (meanwhile her brothers and sisters took up the saxophone, flute and oboe) and has fond memories of playing piano with the whole family on Sunday afternoons as well as playing for soldiers at the USO during World War II. After the war, she and her young family moved to Augusta for a job at the Veterans Administration and later she took a job at a facility known as the Savannah River Site, which was just being constructed—and where she would retire. But music was always in the background. While Cameron is best recognized today for her soft background music performed during the Sacred Heart Garden Festival and Sacred Heart’s 110th anniversary, her ties to Sacred Heart and Augusta’s Catholic community go back even further than that. As a high schooler, she was taught by Jesuit priests—one of whom later came to Augusta and invited Cameron to play during mass at Sacred Heart when it was still a practicing church. Cameron in fact ended up playing for all three major Catholic churches in Augusta at that time, which included St. Mary’s...Read More
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