Remembering Doris, Thelma and Jeanne

Published 10:35 am Friday, June 27, 2008

Doris McClure Scoggins was a lovely girl with long blonde hair when I went to Tryon School in the mid-40s. She finished High School before I did, so it was some years before she knew who I was, but we younger boys certainly knew who she was!
She was celebrated among the First Ladies of Polk County in a program for the Historical Association created and moderated by Anna Conner. Doris was our first female Register of Deeds, and held that job as long as she wanted it. Judy Pittman Arledge was our first female Clerk of Superior Court, Opal Pittman Sauve was our first female County Commissioner, and Susan Smith Leonard McHugh was our first female Superintendent of Polk County Schools. All Polk County natives, too.
When I went to see Doris to get a picture of Clarence for my column, I didnt realize that I should get one of her as well. Now I have to get one from her family. When I returned the photo of Clarence, she asked me to get the cover for her air conditioner from the shed and put it on the outside unit. Of course, I was happy to do that for her, and it was the last time I saw her. A still-beautiful lady.
I once joined them and some firemen for lunch at Wendys, and Clarence got a call and had to leave. One of the firemen told him to behave himself, and I piped up with hes so old, he has no choice, and Doris immediately quipped, Is that the voice of experience, Garland? Happy laughter all around. Guess that is how we got so old.
Thelma Fox, who also passed away recently, was already married to James Fox when he and I worked together at Tryon Builders Supply in 1947. I had just graduated from High School, with no romantic prospects, and my new young friend was already married and starting a family! I was impressed by his dedication to providing a good life for his family.
Fast forward some five decades and we meet again at a luncheon provided for Visually Impaired Persons (our VIPs) by the Columbus Lions Club, for Thelma had lost her vision by that time. She happily joined in the group singing and the craft activities led by the Social Services folks.
James and I had a fine reunion, with plenty of stories to swap about the White Elephant (old truck we used for small deliveries) and our fellow employees at the lumber yard. Of course I signed a copy of Amen Corner for him, and I think he is glad to be mentioned in my book.
And now we have learned that Jeanne Seaman has left us. Not willingly, I feel sure, for she did love life. I met her at a Christmas party, introduced by Skip himself, and I fell under her spell immediately. I was delighted by her engaging personality and obvious intellect (I am not afraid of smart women. I rather like them, as must be obvious to a host of them that I have had the good fortune to meet.)
I enjoyed seeing Jeanne other times at Goodwins Stitchin as she was one of our knitters. Jeanne generally knew pretty much what she wanted, and was happy to exchange pleasantries as she found yarns to her liking.
Fran used to fuss at her for swimming alone every day at her home, but that rolled off like water from a ducks back. Jeanne lived life pretty much on her own terms. Bully for her!
My appreciation for these ladies must not be measured by the relatively small amount of time I got to spend with them, but rather by their making our world a better place. Their devotion to family, friends and community is their legacy, a blessing to us all.

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