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Juneteenth and Bobby’s Day on the River are truly special

Something I look forward to each year in the month of June is the Juneteenth Community Festival the good folks at Goodsell Methodist Church host each year. There’s always a lot of smiling faces, people who tell me they like to read the paper, some pretty good entertainment on the stage, and of course, lots of great food.

Juneteenth is in its seventh year in Lanett and is a tradition I hope that continues for a long time to come. The Fredonia Heritage group had a booth there last year, and it’s always good to talk to people from Chambers County’s oldest community, going all the way back to 1832. I also enjoyed stopping by a booth from the Lanier High Historical Society and seeing some photos of the students that went back to the 1950s.

Another major event for me in the month of June is Bobby’s Day on the River. That’s coming up real soon on the banks of the Chattahoochee in Langdale. Billy Sides is gracious enough to host this fun day in a truly beautiful setting. To be a Valley person at heart, you’ve got to have times when you are down by the river. We are really fortunate to have some beautiful stretches of this famous river flowing right through our backyard. The river is something we need to experience in a kayak or canoe, to do some fishing or just go to Bobby’s Day on the River and enjoy some good fellowship with a great group of guys.

Bobby Elliott is one of the best people I’ve ever known. Along with Richard Perryman, Charles Hall, the late Bo Royal and the late Handley Davis, he founded the Backyard Brotherhood 15 years ago.

“I never knew it would grow into what it has become,” Elliott told me not long ago.

The Brotherhood meets on Tuesdays and has men from a good many of churches in the local area. They open their hearts to prayer for anyone in need. They pray for anyone with health issues, service men and women in harm’s way and for anyone struggling with personal problems.

There’s going to be some really good picking and singing down by the river this coming Tuesday. W.L. Gillenwaters, Leonard Thrower, Freeman Parker, Olin Gray will be there along with a really good guitar player from Birmingham and a gifted banjo player from Newnan.

Sid Lockhart and his crew are planning to cook fish for an estimated 60 people. That’s a good bit of growth from five guys taking about forming a prayer group in Bobby Elliott’s shop some 15 years ago.