John Redding

John Redding, author of "Words from The Chamber."

As I sat down to write this, I was having thoughts of 50 years ago and hurricane Camille. I was a life guard at Falling River Country Club, and I remember going to open up the pool that morning.

WLLL 930 AM was the rock radio station of the times, and I had the radio tuned to it as usual. I knew that we had had a significant rainfall overnight but had no idea that anything had happened out of the ordinary. Bits and pieces were beginning to be communicated over the radio station, and as the morning progressed. I began to learn of the tragedy that had befallen our neighbors; some of the victims were relatives of people that I knew. As the aftermath unfolded, we all learned of the tremendous loss and of the extreme situation that had occurred.

That fall, I was a senior on the Appomattox High School football team. The most memorable game that season was against Nelson County. We had just lost a very disappointing performance against Rustburg and needed to rebound. Of all the games that year, we were the most emotionally psyched at opening kick-off for this one. It was a hard fought game tied 7-7 until the final play of the game in which Lindy White kicked a 40-yard field goal to beat us, a very unusual occurrence at the time. 

We were very disappointed at the loss. With time, I was doubly snookered by Mr. White as he won the heart of a girl in which I was also very interested. Both defeats stung at the time, but with age, I have rationalized that both worked out for the best. Nelson County needed the psychological boost of success on the football field and, well, our individual lives worked out well. Sometimes, looking back, we see wisdom in happenings that seem negative at the time.

On the Monday night news (Aug. 19) was a good-feeling story. One of the owners of Granny Bee’s Restaurant was saved from choking by Debbie Dudley. Ms. Dudley is also linked to other life saving activities. Kudos to Ms. Dudley for helping out when the situation arose. And, it was some rather nice exposure for Granny Bee’s as well.

The chamber is holding a 5K Hot Chocolate Run at Falling River Country Club on Nov. 16. Baines’s Books and Coffee will provide hot chocolate and pastries at the event. Participants will receive a long-sleeved competitive T-shirt, and the first 140 finishers will receive a ceramic mug from which to enjoy the hot chocolate. The chamber is actively seeking sponsors to appear in event signage and on T-shirts.

Coming up on Sept. 14, the Chamber is holding its second music event of the season. The music group Bo-Zac will perform at Courtland Festival Park at 6 p.m. Given the success of Bike Night on Aug. 3, we expect a large crowd. The Appomattox County Historical Society will offer food items. Plan to come out and enjoy the music, have dinner and enjoy the fellowship of the evening.

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