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Blackwood: Honoring Gen. Livsey, Zac Brown Band

POSTED: April 14, 2009 11:23 p.m.
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Gen. William J. Livsey

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For anyone who has ever been a member of the corps of cadets at North Georgia College and State University, the drill field holds special significance.

For a member of the class of 1952, it was the launching pad for a military career that would take him to the highest levels of the U.S. Army and the rank of general, with four stars on his shoulders.

Gen. William J. Livsey is retired and lives in Fayetteville. This weekend, the college will name the drill field in honor of the only graduate to reach the four-star rank.

Livsey retired in 1987, after having serving as commander-in-chief of the United Nations Command, commander-in-chief of Combined Forces Command, commander of the United States forces in Korea, and as commanding general of the 8th U.S. Army.

His numerous military honors include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medals, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Army Staff Identification Badge and the Parachutist Badge.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has already named a portion of Ga. 314 in Fayette County in his honor. But from this weekend forward, the generations of cadets in the future will know the name of their highly decorated predecessor.

The ceremony will take place on the field Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and is part of the college’s annual parent-alumni weekend.

Not so loud, Dad

Sarah Grace Hopkins spent a little time in Las Vegas recently. She’s a little young to play the slots or tables.

But her daddy, John, was there with the Zac Brown Band to pick up an award from the Academy of Country Music.

On Saturday, the day before the awards ceremony, the band played for the crowd at the Fremont Street Experience.

Ralph and Joan Hopkins made the trip to serve as babysitters for Sarah Grace, while Dad was doing his thing with the band.

It’s not often that a child gets to tell a parent that their music is a bit loud. But Sarah Grace was fitted with a set of ear protectors to shield her young ears. From the picture, she seems to have found the perfect volume level.

Easter in Peru

A group of Hall County travelers woke up Easter Sunday near the ruins of Machu Picchu, in the Andes mountains of Peru.

The group, headed by Philip Wilheit, arrived at the site Saturday after a two-hour train ride and a half-hour bus ride through the Sacred Valley of Peru.

The ruins, rediscovered in 1911 by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham, are one of the most beautiful and enigmatic ancient sites in the world. Machu Picchu, meaning "Old Peak" in the Quechua language, was revered as a sacred place from a far earlier time.

The technology savvy Wilheit found his Blackberry worked fine at 9,600 feet and sent me a dispatch to tell me that his fellow travelers, the Hornors, the Hemmers, the Gays and the Coyles, were enjoying their journey, which will also include a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

"It rained all last night but it appears the sun will be breaking through the heavy fog/mist in the next hour," Wilheit said in an e-mail. "A sunrise service would have been a challenge this morning."

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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