Thursday, September 17, 2009

Softball Players Wear Pink for a Cause

We left Georgia in the rain this morning, and Gerald had rough driving off and on throughout the day as rain stopped and started. Sometimes it only sprinkled, and sometimes the downpour and fog in the mountains made visibility quite a strain. We are glad to be back at Woodsong, reviewing the mail, emails, and answering machine messages and happy the roofer completed the repair necessitated by the May dere

A final day in Georgia was extremely rewarding. Gerald and I drove up to Dahlonega, where the first gold rush in America occurred. We visited the beautiful 1836 courthouse built on the square there in the middle of Cherokee land after Georgia had given the land to whites through gold and land lotteries. The Dahlonega Gold Museum is now in this ancient courthouse building that was used by Lumpkin County until 1966 when a new courthouse was built. Even the locally manufactured bricks used for the building have flecks of gold clearly seen on the unpainted bricks leading to the attic. The friendly knowledgeable guides shared a great deal of local history as did the film we saw sitting on beautiful ancient metal chairs once used by the young military trainees at North Georgia College.

More amazing to me, however, was a framed letter on the wall written to local residents Daniel and Rachel Davis on January 1, 1838. It was written by their son Martin Davis, who was a supply officer on the Trail of Tears. Full of facts, the letter was written from Jonesboro, Illinois, my home town. As soon as I find out what detachment Martin Davis worked with, I will know which detachment suffered the blow-up of the Golconda steam ferry, something I have wanted to know. That explosion injured many and killed one white and one Cherokee, the letter explained.

After the very satisfying visit to Dahlonega despite the heavy rains throughout the day, we phoned Watkinsville to see Geri Ann’s game was cancelled. It had not rained there, and the game would go as scheduled at 5:55. (Evening games must start before six o’clock.) We got back to the high school park in plenty of time. Pink balloons were flying, and all the team were wearing their pink shirts as part of their benefit game to fight breast cancer. Many of the adults wore them also.

I’d already put in my donation on the admission table where a basket was waiting. The coach motioned us to the fence to whisper that Gerald might want to get his camera because our daughter-in-law Vickie was chosen to throw in the first pitch. Typically, Vickie had not told us she was being honored. She threw a great pitch and her youngest daughter Geri Ann was designated to catch it.

We had rejoiced with Vickie recently that she was through her last chemo and had been allowed to ring the bell in celebration at the hospital. She is an excellent poster girl for breast cancer because despite the March surgery and all the unpleasant treatment she has been through since then, she has not missed a beat in taking care of her daughters, her husband, her home, her dog, or her grandsons. She amazes us and fills us with pride at her upbeat attitude and calm confidence. She looks and acts great.

The rain had now arrived at Watkinsville, and the early sprinkles kept increasing until fans were seeking shelter, and I was grateful for the umbrella put up on my chair. Geri Ann was scheduled to pitch this game. Since it was with a regional team (conference team we call it in Illinois), everyone wanted the game to finish, but it had to go for five innings to be considered a complete.
We were soon far ahead and the coach was letting players have a chance to bat, who do not always get to do so. When it thundered in the fourth inning, we held out breath lest lightning call the game to a halt. We kept successfully batting and the rain became harder and harder. Finally the fifth inning arrived with the score 8-0 with the guest team batting last. Oconee High quickly shut the guests down, and Geri Ann was able to complete a perfect game.

We met up at the house to dry off and go to dinner at a local steakhouse before we visited for the final evening and retired to rest before our return trip to Woodsong this morning.

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