Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

Those who are gone will not be forgotten

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Don’t be dismayed by good-byes.

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– Richard Bach

This is a week, it seems, of farewells.

If Nick Brown departs the Augusta GreenJackets, as expected, I will be among many who will miss his candor and accessibility, and his kindness.

When I was looking for a “Think Pink” GreenJackets cap for a cousin recovering from cancer a few years ago, I dropped by his office near Lake Olmstead and asked Nick if they had any left.

“Just this one,” he said, reaching over to a shelf in his office and handing me his.

The gesture was appreciated and never forgotten.

I SHALL MISS Tommy Mercer, the former Columbia County commissioner who passed away Wednesday. You might not agree with Tommy, who was never shy about telling you what he thought, but it was hard to argue with a fellow whose white beard and cheerful smile reminded you of Santa.

The last time I saw that smile was at the Augusta Baseball Reunion dinner
on Milledge Road last month, and I’ll always remember it.

ALLAN MEATH’S OBITUARY showed up in some journalism publications this week. A newspaper executive in the San Francisco area, he had died at age 83. In the bottom of his obit was a list of the places he had worked in his career and it mentioned Augusta.

I looked it up and found out that he was not only advertising director of this newspaper 50 years ago, but apparently the successful chairman of the Augusta Christmas Parade.

That would make him like so many who have been a part of our town’s history. They aren’t here for long, but they contributed something to civic life before moving on.

AND THEN THERE’S the passing of legendary banjo player Earl Scruggs.

Forty years ago, I took a somewhat sophisticated date to see him play on a Wednesday night in Atlanta. Our previous dates, which featured Braves games, dull movies and ballet had not been much fun, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to listen to someone play the theme song from The Beverly Hillbillies.

The Earl Scruggs Revue was not what I expected. He even had long hair. And if ever the sound of a banjo could be sublime, his was. My sophisticated date was enthralled and so was I.

TODAY’S JOKE: Seth Benson, of Millen, Ga., shares this one.

A man went on a ski trip and was knocked unconscious by the chair lift. He called his insurance company from the hospital, but it refused to cover his injury.

“Why is the injury not covered?” he asked.

“You got hit in the head by a chair lift,” the insurance rep said. “That makes you an idiot and we consider that a pre-existing condition.”


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