Sunday, February 24, 2008
Special Folks. Special Town.
(Reynolds, GA) In 1969, Delano and Faye Amerson moved to Reynolds from Rex Georgia to manage the new Spilene pocketbook manufacturing plant that had opened in Reynolds. I was their one man welcoming committee. I must say I was not appointed by an official of the city. I was self appointed because they brought with them three children; two of which were very cute girls. As a 15 year old boy, these girls got my attention big time.
Debbie was the older of the two and was my age. Five minutes after meeting her I was in love. Or at least I thought I was. I spent an awful lot of time at their house. The problem was after only a few months into our romance, Debbie dumped me. And for the last 39 years I never let her forget it. And I never let her mom forget it. I think most every time I saw Debbie as an adult I would always give her a hug and say something about “here is the girl that dumped me,” or when I saw her mom I would say, “here is the mother of the girl who dumped me.” And we would laugh and move on.
In spite of our failed romance we all remained friends all these years.
I stopped by Saturday afternoon to visit the Amerson family in Reynolds. The occasion was not a good one. Faye Amerson died Friday morning after a courageous 12 year battle with cancer. They had asked me to speak at their mom’s memorial service that was held this afternoon. And trust me I was honored to be asked.
I hate to say this again, but there is something very special about being from a Reynolds, GA. The church was packed today with people who have had life-long relationships with each other. The kids who all grew up together in this close knit community are all adults now. Most live in other places. But they showed up today in droves to support Debbie, Delane and Darryl and their families. I’m telling you it was a sight to behold. And as I stood at the podium today I had chills running up my spine thinking about the power of the moment.
I couldn’t leave today without getting a picture of the two young girls who moved to Reynolds in 1969. Debbie is on my right. Delane is on my left. They were beautiful then and they are still beautiful today. And they have beautiful families.
The Amersons are struggling to cope with the death of their mom. But they had to be overwhelmed today with the love and support of all the people who love them and know them so well. When they moved to Reynolds 39 years ago, I’m sure they wondered what they were getting into. I have a feeling today they are very thankful their parents made that move.
Reynolds is a special town and I am very thankful I was fortunate enough to grow up there.
And I am also thankful I was able to be there today to join in the support for this special family. May God bless the memory of Faye Amerson and may He continue to comfort this incredible family.