Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Now You Know

I stopped by Wendy’s today at lunch on the way out of town to pick up a #1 for the road. I ended up dining in. When I run into friends I haven’t seen but maybe one or two times in the past 32 years I tend to hang around.

I’ve known Leon and Connie Collins for a long time. I went to high school with Leon. He graduated one year ahead of me and headed to the University of Georgia and ended up becoming a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. When I got to Athens the next year, Leon called me the first day I got there and invited me to dinner at the LXA house. I ended up pledging a couple of weeks later.

Leon met his future wife Connie while in school at UGA. They began dating and she ended up becoming a little sister in our fraternity.

Leon and Connie have not only been married for over 30 years but they are also business partners. They have been very successful in the real estate business in middle Georgia for many years.

Interestingly, Connie is not only Leon’s wife but she is the daughter of the late Hugh Carter of Plains, Ga. Hugh was former President Jimmy Carter’s first cousin and became famous in his own right during his cousin’s campaign and presidency. I was telling them that several years ago I was speaking in Plains at a function and President and Mrs. Carter were in the audience. I told them it was rather surreal to have the floor for 40 minutes with a former leader of the free world sitting 10 feet from me and listening to every word coming out of my mouth.

Leon laughed and told me he was Jimmy’s Sunday school teacher for a period of time. Not only was the former President in the audience but sometimes there would be 300 people from all over the country in the audience. Being a Baptist Sunday school teacher with historians, Rabbi’s, and national leaders from different religious backgrounds in the audience would tend to be intimidating. Connie said Leon studied for at least 10 hours a week preparing for that class.

Leon and Connie are great folks and are very well known in the middle Georgia area. But I have a feeling most folks have no idea of their claim to fame.

Now you know.

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