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Don Kerns marking 50 years in towing

POSTED: February 10, 2009 11:51 p.m.
/For The Times

Dick Taber, left, is presented with the Melvin Jones Fellowship by Dick Smith, district governor of Lions Clubs in Georgia.

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There are orbiters in the space shuttle fleet that have fewer miles than some of the cars at our house.

I tend to drive cars until the wheels fall off. That actually happened to me in East Hall one morning.

Don Kerns and his wrecker crew have hauled about everything with wheels that I own. This year, Don is marking 50 years in the wrecker business. There aren’t many businesses these days that reach their golden anniversary, but Don has, and I join a lot of others in tipping my hat to him.

Don leaves most of the heavy lifting to the younger guys, but every now and then, he jumps in the wrecker and hauls one in.

Don is a good fellow, and I’m glad to call him a friend.

Behind every good man

You’ve heard the old adage, and I won’t bother to finish it. However, in Sunday’s paper, I wrote a story about the legendary John Melvin. I failed to mention his beautiful wife, Mary Lou.

Mary Lou is a native of Tifton and her late father, Tom Greer, was sheriff of Tift County for many years.

He was a fine man, and I was privileged to know him when I was living there many years back.

John and Mary Lou met at the University of Georgia and, sure enough, John fell in love with the sheriff’s daughter. They have two grown children, Meredith Melvin Weaver and Marshall Melvin.

How much is ‘handsome?’

Noted local attorney Sam Oliver asked me this week how much does it cost to get called "handsome" in my column. I saw Sam at John Melvin’s retirement party, and he was referring to my description of Abit Massey as handsome.

Kayanne, Abit’s lovely wife, considers him to be handsome and that was good enough for me.

I think Sam was hinting around that he wanted to be referred to as handsome. Sam has that shock of white hair and matching mustache. If he had on a pea coat and a nautical hat, he would look just like that guy on the box of fish sticks.

If you have the kind of looks that could get you onto frozen food packaging, certainly that would qualify as handsome. So there you have it.

The same is not true for Curtis Segars. John Melvin referred to him as a "football star" in the aforementioned article.

I’ve called everybody I know in Jefferson and none of them even acknowledge knowing the man. I told his son-in-law, Ben Mason, that the normal fee for being called a football star was $20, but I knew Curtis would never pay that.

So, I’ve lowered the fee to $10. If you see Curtis around town, tell him to put the money in my mailbox.

Taber honored by North Hall Lions

At 90, Richard "Dick" Taber is the oldest member of the North Hall Lions Club. He was recently honored at a meeting in Clermont as a Melvin Jones Fellow, one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a Lions Club member.

The award was presented to Taber by district Gov. Dick Smith of the Oconee Lions Club with assistance by former district Gov. David Sargent.

Harris Blackwood is community editor of The Times. His columns appear Wednesdays and Sundays. He can be reached at 770-718-3423.



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