Remembering Bobbie Williams and my birthday

Published 8:00 am Thursday, April 14, 2022

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Bobbie Williams was a go-getter who never let any grass grow under her feet. Here at White Oak she was active in the Welcoming Committee. She was also active in the gyms, trying to keep herself in shape.


Bobbie always bowed to me as “the King” (her words)—I never asked her why, but I assume it was a recognition that we both were working to maintain ourselves physically in some kind of condition. She often sat or stood erect in the gym, not bent over as she usually appeared.

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Fran and our kids helped me celebrate my “90+2” birthday on April 7th. They tried to do my 90th in 2020, but Covid reared its ugly head and we had to cancel all plans. With restrictions lifted, they planned, not one, but THREE parties this year: one here at White Oak for residents, one in Asheville at the Holiday Inn East, and one at the Depot Event Room for residents of Our Area!


My Birthday card basket nearly overflowed with the good wishes of my fellow residents . . . every time we opened the door to our apartment, another card fell out! Had no idea that so many people actually cared. True, Fran put on a pretty substantial feed (“If you feed ‘em, they will come!”) with the help of our daughter Sharon and son-in-law Keith.


The White Oak party was very well attended; the Asheville one not so much. We enjoyed a more intimate gathering around tables with some really close, cherished friends.


I was invited to bring my books and gather with other local authors at the Polk County Historical Association Museum in the lower floor of the Feagan Building in Columbus. There were at least ten of us, and toward the close we began to trade copies of our books. That is one privilege of being a published author that I really enjoy: I can trade one of my books for one of theirs!


I have done this many times over the years . . . one shelf of my bookcase is now more than covered by the works of my friends. The subject matter is much more varied than my columns, as my friends have been there, done that, and wrote it down. Much of their work is humorous, some is tragic, but these treasured volumes are always interesting!


Aunt Mildred and I bought books all of our lives. She finally decided it was time to quit buying them, as her house was overflowing. Moratorium! She told all of us at one of our breakfast meetings that she had filled the last available cranny with books, and therefore would buy NO MORE . . . but she did!


When we did our final downsize to move into White Oak, we had the usual “estate sale.” But first, I gave a whole bookcase full of aviation books to the WNC Air Museum (no, I let our son take the ones he wanted first.) After the big sale, a good Lions friend took a pick-up load of books to the Friends of the Library. We still brought three bookcases to our apartment . . .


We still have one more party, last one, at the Depot Event Room on Saturday, the 16th. This has been one great birthday celebration for me, this my “90+2”!


Thanks to Fran, son Thomas and daughter Sharon, plus a host of friends who came together to make this birthday one for the books. Really; it will be published in my next book of these columns.      


Garland would like to hear from you at 828-859-7041 or email