TC SCENE by pengtt


            S E R V I N G C R I S P, D O O LY     & W I LCOX CO U N T I E S

JUNE 2010                                             MAGAZINE

                                                Tom Carden
                                                Festival Schedule
                                                Bush’s Wholesale
    from the editor:

                                                            C   O   N     T     R     I    B     U     T O   R   S

    By the time you read this, Cordele and Crisp County
    will be in the middle of the 61st annual Watermelon
                                                                               Established 2007
    Days Festival. This year’s theme is “Melon Mas-                             Volume 2 No. 3
                                                                      The Tri-CountyScene magazine
                                                                    is published every other month at
    Most of this edition of the Tri-County Scene is de-
                                                                           306 W. 13th Avenue,
    voted to the festival. We have tried to give you as                     Cordele, GA 31015
    much information as possible about this year’s
    events, but because of our lead time for getting the                         Published by
                                                                        the South Georgia Media Group
    magazine printed, all the photos are from last year.

                                                                              PUBLISHER & EDITOR
    The 2010 “This is your Life” honoree is long-time                               Peggy King
    agriculture teacher Tom Carden who now serves on
                                                                           CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
    the Crisp County Board of Education.
                                                                              & PHOTOGRAPHERS
                                                                               Chelsea Burnette
    His daughter shared some insights into her dad’s life                       Becky Crissman
    with the Dispatch, and those are included in a story                          Peggy King
    in this issue.
                                                                                 Derek Schaper
    Bush’s Wholesale Furniture on 9th Ave. E. in
    Cordele is this month’s Business Spotlight. We hope                     ADVERTISING DIRECTOR
    you will learn something about the business that                                Chris Mann

    you didn’t know, and that you will visit Candace
                                                                        CIRCULATION SALES MANAGER
    Bush Morey and her staff to see some of their new                           Princilla Walker
    and used merchandise.

    Be sure and check out the schedule of events for the
    Watermelon Days Festival and participate in as
    many activities as possible. A lot of work has gone                    For information on submitting
    into planning and preparing these events for your                           articles or advertising
    entertainment.                                                          in the Tri-County Scene call
                                                                                   (229) 273-2277.

    Enjoy all the festivities!!                                                Advertising: Contact
                                                                           Chris Mann at (229) 273-2277

                                                                          P. O. Box 1058, 306 W. 13th Ave.
                                                                                 Cordele, GA 31015
                                                                        (229) 273-2277; Fax (229) 273-7239

            Peggy King, Editor                                            Published every other month by
                                                                               the Cordele Dispatch

2                                                                                JUN 2010            TRI•COUNTY SCENE

                               MAIN FEATURE                            4
                                 Growing the sweet fruit of the vine

                               SCHEDULE                                5
                                 schedule for all watermelon events

                               FEATURE                                 6
                                 This is your life, Tom Carden

                               FEATURE                                 10
                                 Festival day fun for everyone

                               CONTEST                                 19
                                 Watermelon word hunt

                               BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT                      20
                                 Bush’s Wholesale Furniture

TRI•COUNTY SCENE   JUN 2010                                                 3
main feature

                                                                                                                 Ricky Jackson is pictured with his faithful companion,
                                                                                                                 Copper, at one of his watermelon fields in Crisp County.
                                                                                                                 photo by Becky Crissman

       sweet fruit
         of the vine

                  by Becky Crissman
              t is watermelon season again and if
              you are lucky enough to live in the
              “Watermelon Capital of the World”
              your mouth is already watering for a
              big taste of the juicy treat.
    When you get ready to taste that first succu-
lent bite, do you ever stop to wonder who is re-
sponsible for that pleasure to your tastebuds?
    Some 12-15 Crisp area farmers produce more
than 3,000 acres of melons each year. One of
those is Ricky Jackson.
    Farm life started very early for Jackson whose
father began farming sometime in the 1950’s.
Jackson followed right in his footsteps.
    “I was raised in the fields,” he said. “I did my
share of picking.”
    Today, Jackson continues to grow watermel-
ons with 300 to 400 acres each year devoted to
the top fruit raised in Cordele. All of Jackson’s
watermelons are grown in Crisp County, mostly
west of I-75.
    “We usually begin planting anywhere from the
middle of March to the middle of April,” he said.
“Then we start harvesting around June 10 on the
    Jackson said that during the harvest, he hires

migrant labor to come in and do the field work.
His melons are then brought to the packing shed
to be graded, sized, and checked for quality.               “You really gotta love what you do,” he said.
    There are a number of things that affect qual-       “and I do. I enjoy the challenge that comes with
ity. Jackson says he looks for ripeness, hollow          farming. You never have the same two years.
hearts, scarring and/or bruising, and burn on the        Everything changes and working around that
                                                         keeps you driving on.”
                                                                                                                 I enjoy the challenge
outside rind.
    “How do you select a good melon?” Jackson
has several tips.
                                                            One of the most common challenges any
                                                         farmer faces is the weather. It plays a big part in
                                                                                                               that comes with farming.
                                                         how often you water the crop. He says that if
    “You look for a duller finish in the breaking of
the rind,” he said. “If a melon is not so green in       there is not enough rainfall, then it is necessary       You never have the
color, it is ripe. You can also look at the belly of a   to water every five days or so.
watermelon; if the belly is yellow then it is a riper       This year, Jackson says, has been fairly pleas-         same two years.
melon. A white belly means that the melon is not         ant and the weather has not posed a problem for
ripe yet.”                                               his crops.
                                                            True love for the job comes in dealing with
                                                                                                               Everything changes and
    The melons that Jackson grows are shipped all
over the United States, but most predominantly
in the east to mid-western region. He says that
                                                         the hours Jackson must work. “Sometimes I am
                                                         on the job from sun-up to after midnight, espe-
                                                                                                                 working around that
                                                         cially during the harvesting season,” he said.
he ships wherever somebody will buy his product.
He says he truly loves what he does. He feels that       “There are also some long hours when I’m plant-        keeps you driving on.”
joy in one’s work is important to the success of         ing, but I love my work. I guess it’s just in my
that work.                                               blood.”

4                                                                                                               JUN 2010            TRI•COUNTY SCENE
Schedule of events
June 3 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony • 10 a.m.   June 19 Billy Williams Memorial Kiwanis Fish-   June 26 SAM Shortline Excursion Train
• Crisp Regional Park                      ing Rodeo • 7:30 a.m. • Cordele Fish Hatchery   June 26 Watermelon Festival Parade • 9 a.m.
June 4 Window Decorating Contest           June 19 Horseshoe Tournament • 9:30 a.m.        • Lineup at Southgate
June 5 Watermelon Queen Pageant • 7 p.m.   • Turner Park                                   June 26 Car & Truck Display • 9-2
• Crisp Co. Middle School                  June 22-26 Quilt Display • 10-5:30              • Crisp Regional Park
June 12 Watermelon Fun Run & Road Race     • Rags to Riches Boutique                       June 26 Antique Tractor & Equipment Dis-
• 7:30 a.m. • Impact Sports & Fitness      June 23 Watermelon Worship Service              play • 9-4 • Crisp Regional Park
June 14 Puppet Show • 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.     • 6:30 p.m. • Crisp County Middle School        June 26 Arts & Crafts • 10-5
• Cordele Community Clubhouse              June 23 Downtown Taste of Melon • 10 a.m.       • Crisp Regional Park
June 16 Watermelon Decorating Contest      • Community Clubhouse                           June 26 Entertainment • 10-5
• 10 a.m. • Flint River Pottery            June 24 4-H Dog Show • 10 a.m.                  • Crisp Regional Park
June 17 WALB Noon Show • 12 noon           • J. W. Mann Show Barn                          June 26 Watermelon Slice Give-Away
• Filnt River Pottery                      June 24 The Wedding Game • 6 p.m.               • 10-2 • Crisp Regional Park
June 17 “This is Your Life” • 7 p.m.       • Crisp Co. Middle School                       June 26 Jr. Watermelon Eating Contest
• Resort at Lake Blackshear                June 24 Watermelon Idol • 7 p.m.                • 11:15 a.m. • Crisp Regional Park
June 18 “How Sweet It Is” Photo Contest    • Crisp County Middle School                    June 26 Big Melon & Adult Seed Spitting
• 12 noon • Hurt & Associates              June 25 Watermelon Walk • 7:30 a.m.             Contest • 2 p.m. • Crisp Regional Park
June 18 Golf Tournament • 12 noon          • Perry G. Busbee Walking Track                 June 26 Watermelon Dance • 8-12
• Pine Hills Country Club                  June 25 Reading with the Queens • 10 a.m.       • Cordele Lions Park
June 18 Gospel Sing • 7 p.m.               • Cordele Carnegie Library                      July 4 Fireworks on the Flint • 9:30 p.m.
• Pleasant Grove Baptist Church            June 25-July 23 Photo Contest Exhibit           • Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park
                                           • Cordele Carnegie Library
TRI•COUNTY SCENE          JUN 2010                                                                                                   5

          This is your life, Tom Carden, and
          what a productive one it has been!
              Carden is this year’s honoree at the 61st an-
          nual Watermelon Days Festival. He will be
          roasted at a dinner party sponsored by the
          Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce this
          Thursday, June 17 at the Resort at Lake Blacks-
          hear. Former students will get their chance to tell
          all their favorite stories on their high school ag
              Carden taught agriculture courses and served
          as the Future Farmers of America sponsor in the
          Crisp County School System for 45 years, begin-
          ning at the former East Crisp School in 1955 and
          moving to Crisp County High when the schools
              Immediately after he retired in the mid-
          1990’s, he was elected to serve on the Board of
          Education, and this year he will complete his sec-
          ond six-year term. “We wanted him to retire,” his
          daughter Janann Dunnavant said, “but he wants
          to continue serving. In spite of his age, he has a
          very progressive attitude.”

6             JUN 2010         TRI•COUNTY SCENE
                                                            Cordele-Crisp Chamber President
                                                            Monica Simmons announced at a
                                                            Board of Education meeting that
                                                            Tom Carden would be this year’s
                                                            Watermelon Festival honoree.

   Dunnavant says her dad has embraced technology
and really enjoys the part he can have in improving the
schools through his membership on the Board.
   “He lives by the Golden Rule,” Dunnavant says, “and
he taught his children that way.”
Tom and Annelle Carden have three children, all of
whom continue to live in Crisp County. Besides Dunna-
vant, there’s one son Mark and another daughter, Kim-
   Ironically, Carden did his student teaching in his fu-
ture wife’s high school in Dawson while she was still a
student. He didn’t meet her, however, until she came to
Crisp County as a history teacher.
   They courted several years, then got married after he
was well into his 30’s. His daughter says everyone
thought he was going to be a bachelor, but he fooled

TRI•COUNTY SCENE                JUN 2010                                                      7

              The Cardens continue to live on      Carden’s biggest loves while he was
          the farm where he grew up near           teaching. As a matter of fact, he
          Hatley. He can sit on his back porch     was the only teacher in Georgia to
          and see the pasture where his herd       win consecutive first places in the
          of cattle graze. It also overlooks his   state FFA forestry competition.
          pond.                                        He also earned the National Ag
              This is where he often entertains    Teacher’s Award one year, and got
          former students, Dunnavant says.         to travel to Kansas City to claim it.
          He loves for the men he once                 Her dad continues to learn from
          taught to visit him and chat a while.    other people, especially some of
              Actually, he has surrounded          those former students who have
          himself with former students, Dun-       gone into various agricultural ca-
          navant says. Many of his doctors         reers, Dunnavant says.
          once sat in his classrooms and/or            He still enjoys gardening and
          participated in FFA activities.          caring for his cattle, chicken and
              Forestry competitions and the        free-ranging quarterhorses.
          annual steer and barrow show were                       • • •

8                                         JUN 2010        TRI•COUNTY SCENE

     Festival day fun for everyone
        The crowning glory of the Watermelon Days Festival
     each year is the annual outdoor extravaganza that be-
     gins with the 9 a.m. Watermelon Parade on Saturday,
     June 26.
        Groups from all over the community including
     churches, businesses, civic organizations, schools and
     clubs design floats that depict the theme for the year.
     For the 61st annual festival, the theme is “Melon Mas-
        Of course no parade would be complete without the
     Shriners who scoot along in their mini sports cars or
     their Hillbilly trucks. There are few people who do not
     recognize the old hillbilly truck with the fake wee-wee-
     ing canine on the back.
        Newly crowned Watermelon Days queens will also
     travel the parade route, smiling and waving to the
        Entrants for the parade line up at the Southgate
     Shopping Center Parking lot on 7th St. As hundreds of
     spectators line both sides of the street, the parade will
     make its way through downtown Cordele.
        Eager children hold onto empty bags in the hopes
     that they will be filled with candy before the horses
     mark the ending of the parade.
        Parade entrants progress to Crisp Regional Hospital
     Park at the intersection of 4th Ave. and 3rd St. where
     festival-goers will find all the excitement at the Water-
     melon Days Arts and Crafts Show.
        There is something for everyone at the park — lots
     of food, crafts, games and activities. For the mechani-
     cal enthusiast there are car and truck as well as an-
     tique tractor and equipment displays.
        A variety of entertainment takes the stage through-
     out the day and 4-H’ers will be giving away watermelon
        Other fun activities during the day include the wa-
     termelon eating, and everyone’s favorite, the seed spit-
     ting contests. Contestants of all ages compete to see
     just how far they can hurl a seed from their mouth.
        The day concludes with the Watermelon Dance at
     Cordele Lions Park from 8 p.m. to 12 midnight.

10                                                               JUN 2010   TRI•COUNTY SCENE
                              Watermelon Queen Pageant
                                  Perhaps the first highlight of each year’s water-
                              melon festival festivities is the crowning of the
                              watermelon queens. The festival would not be
                              complete without the royal court to reign over all
                              the activities.
                                 The pageant was held at 7 p.m. on Saturday,
                              June 5 at the Crisp County Middle School Audito-
                              rium. Arlene Holmes served as pageant coordina-
                              tor and Watermelon Days Festival chairman.
                                  Kristin Card of Cordele, the 2009 Watermelon
                              Capital Queen, relinquished her crown to another
                              lucky young lady at the 2010 Watermelon Pag-
                              eant. Last year’s Little Miss Melon Abbigail
                              Howard of Shellman, Young Miss Melon Nichole
                              Bustamante of Perry and Jr. Miss Watermelon
                              Mandee Bloodworth of Pineview also gave their
                              crowns to new queens.
                                 The pageant was sponsored by the Cordele Li-
                              oness Club. This special edition had to be com-
                              pleted before the pageant, however, so this year’s
                              winners could not be included in this magazine
                                 Young ladies ages 4-21 compete each year for
                              one of the four coveted titles, depending on their
                                  Little girls ages 4-6 compete for Little Miss
                              Melon; 7-11 year olds vie for the Young Miss Melon
                              title and 12-16 year olds are eligible for the Jr. Miss
                              Watermelon title. The Watermelon Capital Queen
                              must be between the ages of 17 and 21.
                                  Contestants in the Watermelon Capital queen
                              pageant compete in casual wear, evening gown,
                              and they must answer an on-stage question.

TRI•COUNTY SCENE   JUN 2010                                                             11
     Watermelon Road Race
     & Watermelon Walk
        Impact Sports & Fitness once again encouraged local
     area folks to get fit with its Watermelon Road Race on June
        A second fitness event, somewhat less strenuous, will be
     the Watermelon Walk at the Perry G. Busbee Walking Track
     behind Crisp Regional Hospital on Friday, June 25.
        Runners of all ages were invited to participate in a one
     mile fun run and/or 5K and 12K races as part of the “Run &
     See Georgia Grand Prix” on the 12th. Anyone who has a pair
     of walking shoes can participate in the Watermelon Walk.
        In the running event, awards were presented to top finish-
     ers in 14 age groups as well as the overall male and female
     winner. A prize also went to the top male and female runners
     who live in Crisp County.
        The mile fun run was designed for children and adults of
     all ages. Many who had registered for the longer races com-
     pleted the fun run for a warmup.
     Both 5K and 12K courses wandered through the streets of
     Cordele on fairly flat terrain.
        All proceeds from this event will go toward a Moldova
     mission trip which is planned for June 21-30 when a group
     of 20 local area people will head to the Russian country.
     They will provide a camp for Moldovan youth while they are
        Moldova, a small country in the former Soviet Union, is
     the poorest country in Europe. It is also communist.
        The people there are very open to receiving the gospel of
     Jesus Christ, and the local group always enjoys its work in
        Melissa York, community relations director at Crisp Re-
     gional says walkers should arrive at the Perry G. Busbee
     Track by 7:30 a.m. They can walk as long as they like, and
     the person who walks the most laps will receive a prize.
        An award also will be given to the oldest participant who
     is willing to divulge his or her age, and a variety of door
     prizes will be given away.
        For this fun and relaxed form of exercise, the hospital’s di-
     etary department will provide some light refreshments.
        York encourages everyone to come out. This will be a
     good time to begin a walking regimen for people who don’t
     already have one.

     Puppet Show
        A puppet show is planned for Monday, June
     14 with two showings at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at
     the Community Clubhouse.
        Puppeteers from Penia Baptist Church will
     put on a special show which will send a gospel
     message to the children. Everyone is invited
     to attend and there is no admission fee.
        The puppet show is sponsored by Chris
     Greene at Misdemeanor Probation Services.
        For more information, interested persons
     should contact Billie Crane at 229-271-3900.

12                             JUN 2010          TRI•COUNTY SCENE
Window decorating                                      Watermelon decorating
   Many downtown and 16th Avenue businesses               Children, youth and adults are in-
will have their windows colorfully decorated for       vited to participate in the annual wa-
the Watermelon Days Festival.                          termelon decorating contest on June
   Judging for the window decorating contest is        16. Keep Crisp Beautiful and Flint River
planned for Tuesday, June 22 at 4 p.m. All entries     Pottery are sponsoring the event at
must be completed by 12 noon that day.                 the Pottery on 16th Ave.
   Arthur Jackson, who is chairing the contest,           Participants should have their deco-
said a $100 prize will be awarded to the first place   rated watermelons at Flint Pottery by
winner; $75 to second place and $50 to third           9:45 a.m. that day. The judging will
place.                                                 begin at 10 a.m.
   Windows can be painted, and/or window dis-             Catherine Mays with Keep Crisp
plays can be created either inside or outside. Dec-    Beautiful says the first place winner
orations must use the theme of the festival,           will receive a $15 cash prize; second
“Melon Masquerade.” Judging will be based on           place a $10 cash prize, and third place
creativity and color.                                  a $5 cash prize in four age categories.
  “Use lots of color,” Jackson urged.                     These categories include ages 5-7,
   All participating businesses should notify Jack-    8-12, 13-17 and adults. Awards will be
son immediately so they can be included in the         presented to the participants who
judging.                                               have the “most creative melon” and
                                                       the “most recycled melon.”
                                                          Because the watermelons will be on
                                                       display at Flint River Pottery for sev-
                                                       eral days, Ms. Mays says it’s important
                                                       that the fruit NOT to be punctured
                                                       when artists are decorating the mel-
                                                          Please call Catherine Mays at the
                                                       Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce
                                                       at 229-273-1668 for more information.

TRI•COUNTY SCENE                 JUN 2010                                                         13
     Quilts on display                                     Kiwanis Fishing Rodeo
        Rags to Riches Boutique will sponsor a quilt          For many years, the late Billy Williams had
     display at the 7th St. store from June 22-26.         charge of the Kiwanis Club kids’ fishing rodeo.
        Seamstresses who would like to display their       Now the event is named in his memory.
     quilts during the festival should call Paula Lowery      This year’s Billy Williams Memorial Kiwanis
     at Rags to Riches Boutique, 229-272-4038.             Fishing Rodeo will be held Saturday, June 19 at
        Visitors are welcome to drop by the store dur-     the Cordele Fish Hatchery. Kiwanian Rusty Slade
     ing regular business hours, 10-5:30 Tuesday           has charge of the event.
     through Friday and 10-4:30 on Saturday to see            Slade said youngsters who want to participate
     the handiwork of local area people.                   should sign in beginning at 7:30 a.m. A horn will
                                                           blow at 8 a.m., and everyone will start fishing at
                                                           the same time.
                                                              Another horn will blow at 10 a.m., and the fish-
     Gospel Sing                                           ing will stop.
                                                              Kids ages 4-12 will be eligible for prizes, but
        Pleasant Grove Baptist Church of Cordele is        anyone under age 16 can fish. “We want parents
     hosting this year’s gospel sing on June 18 at 7:30    and other adults to come so that they can help
     p.m.                                                  the children, particularly the younger ones, but we
        J.R. Timmons who is coordinating the event         ask that adults not fish themselves,” Slade said.
     says he lines up his groups a year in advance. This      Trophies and rod & reels will be awarded to the
     year the visiting groups will be The Happy Singers    three children who catch the three biggest fish.
     and Five for One.                                     Numerous door prizes will be given away to par-
        Timmons said there is no admission charge,         ticipants while all the fish are being weighed,
     but a love offering will be taken to help with the    Slade said.
     costs of the visiting groups.                            When the horn blows at 10 a.m., all the children
        For more information, call J.R. at 229-271-8096    will bring their largest fish to the weigh station.
     or the Chamber of Commerce at 229-273-1668.           Slade said the event usually attracts 115 to 130
                                                              Fishermen should bring their own fishing
                                                           equipment. Some bait will be provided, but it’s
                                                           also a good idea for each child to bring his own
                                                           bait, Slade says.
                                                              The fishing rodeo is always a lot of fun for the
                                                           children and adult volunteers.

14                                                             JUN 2010         TRI•COUNTY SCENE
 4-H dog show
    Crisp County 4-H Club is sponsoring its annual kids’ dog
 show on Thursday, June 24. All entrants should have their
 pets at the J. W. Mann Show Barn at 10 a.m.
    Every child who wants to participate must fill out an ap-
 plication at the Crisp County Extension Office and pay an
 $8 registration fee. The deadline for entry forms is Thurs-
 day, June 17.
    “It’s just for fun,” says Janie Wright, 4-H program assis-
 tant with the Crisp County Extension Service. Each child
 will receive a trophy for participation, she said, but 1st
 place winners in two categories will receive larger trophies.
    Participants must be 19 years of age and younger, but
 they do not have to be 4-H Club members.
    The dogs will be judged in two categories including best
 costume and best trick. Anyone with questions should call

TRI•COUNTY SCENE              JUN 2010                           15
 The Wedding Game
    Several local couples, who have been married
 0-5 years, will answer questions regarding their
 spouse in The Wedding Game which will be part of
 the Watermelon Days Festival.
    Patterned after the once popular “Newlywed”
 game on TV, the local game will be played Thurs-
 day, June 24 at 6 p.m. in the Crisp County Middle
 School Auditorium.
    This is just the second year that the Wedding
 Game has been added to the lineup of festival ac-
 tivities. Last year, the participating couples had
 been married 50+ years.
    Organizers decided to shake things up a bit by
 going in the opposite direction this year and se-
 lecting participants who have had only a few years
 to get to know one another.
    Husbands and wives will be questioned sepa-
 rately, then each one will have to try and guess
 how the other answered specific questions.
    Arlene Holmes said the winners will receive two
 rocking chairs from Farmers Furniture. Other par-
 ticipants will receive a free meal from L-Bo’s BBQ
 or another local restaurant.

16                                                    JUN 2010   TRI•COUNTY SCENE
Photo contest
   Hurt & Associates once again is coordinating
the photo contest during this year’s Watermelon
Days Festival.
   Amateur photographers of all ages can enter.
The deadline for entries is 12 noon Friday, June 18
at the office of Hurt & Associates on 13th Ave. W.
   For each photo, contestants must submit an of-
ficial entry as well as an entry fee of $5 per photo-
   A “Best of Show” cash award of $100 spon-
sored by Cook, Moore & Helms, CPA’s will be pre-
sented to one lucky photographer. First, second
and third place cash awards ($35, $25, $15) will
go to winners in each of four categories.
   The first category is “people” with prizes spon-
sored by Hurt & Associates Law Offices. “Animals,
pets, or wildlife” awards are sponsored by AgGeor-
gia Farm Credit, and the “scenic or plant life”
prizes are sponsored by Perlis Realty.
   The fourth category includes “Watermelon Fes-
tival” photos, and prizes are sponsored by Hurt
Motor Company Inc.
   Winning photos and
other photos se-
lected for dis-
play will be
exhibited Fri-
day, June 25
through Friday,
July 23 at the
Cordele Carnegie

TRI•COUNTY SCENE                JUN 2010                17
 ‘Watermelon Idol’
    In a twist fromprevious years, the Crisp Area Arts Alliance is present-
 ing “Watermelon Idol” rather than the traditional talent show during the
 annual Watermelon Days Festival.
   Anyone who wants to participate in the June 24 program will be re-
 quired to audition at the Arts Alliance headquarters at 701 E. 17th Ave.
 on June 17. All ages are invited to audition.
   Ten contestants wil be chosen for the actual event at Crisp County
 Middle School auditorium on Thursday, June 24.
   To sign up for the audition session, interested performers should call
 Sunny Lee at 273-6242 or e-mail her at

18                                                                            JUN 2010   TRI•COUNTY SCENE
             WORD HUNT

     Cordele’s Melon Masquerade
   How many words can you find in the phrase, “Cordele’s Melon Masquerade?”
   Arlene Holmes encourages everyone to participate in the 11th Annual Water-
melon Word Hunt. The participant who finds the most words will receive a $50
savings bond which will be awarded on Wednesday, June 23 during the “Down-
town Taste of Melon” TV show with Phil Streetman.
   WSST-TV will carry its cameras to the Community Clubhouse that day where
the Noon Show for Friday, June 25 will be filmed.
   Entry forms must be submitted by each participant to enter contest. Call Ar-
lene Holmes at 229-273-0885 to receive a form.
   Participants should mail or bring their word list (written or typed) to Arlene
Holmes, 291 Old Albany Rd., Cordele, Ga. 31015. Deadline to enter is Friday,
June 18.
   According to the rules, there should be no proper names or plurals in the list,
and words with multiple meanings should be used only once.
   The contest is sponsored by Holmes Construction Company as part of the
61st Watermelon Days Festival.

TRI•COUNTY SCENE                 JUN 2010                                            19
business spotlight

Furnish a complete home at
Bush’s Wholesale Furniture
by Peggy King

                             W              hether you’re in the market for
                                            new furniture or appliances, an-
                                            tique tools, slightly used appli-
                                            ances and furniture or a part for
                             an aging appliance, Bush’s Wholesale Furniture
                             is a good bet.
                                 For 30 years, Mack Bush and his daughter,
                             Candace have been in the furniture business.
                             With Bush pretty much retired, the store now is
                             operated by Candace who is married to Carl
                             Morey. From a corner in a grocery store on Hwy.
                             280 east of Cordele, the business has made sev-
                             eral moves on its way to its present location.
                                 Four years ago, Morey was able to secure the
                             large building at the corner of 9th Ave. and 3rd
                             St. in Cordele. It had formerly been a sewing fac-
                             tory, and now she has 96,000 square feet filled
                             with just about anything you can name.
                                 The building had been vacant for a number of
                             years before she bought it. There was no electric-
                             ity, and the huge structure had become a hang-
                             out for vagrants and drug addicts, Morey says.

20                               JUN 2010        TRI•COUNTY SCENE
“                              “
     We have a low impact on the
      environment as we recycle
         everything possible.

                                      “We did a lot of renovation to get         Bush’s offers a rental service that
                                   the building up to code.” Completely      has been quite popular, according to
                                   new wiring was installed so that the      Morey. Customers often have times
                                   business could have electricity. Morey    when they need additional refrigera-
                                   does not, however, try to heat and        tor or freezer space, especially if
                                   cool the facility.                        they’re planning a wedding or there is
                                      “We use fans in the summer and         a death in the family.
                                   small heaters in the winter.” Extreme         They can get those appliances for
                                   temperature fluctuations inside the       a day or as many days as they need
                                   building are rare, however, she says.     them.
                                   Bush’s is a certified “green” business,       Special events sometimes require
                                   Morey explains. “We have a low im-        extra chairs and/or tables and even
                                   pact on the environment as we recy-       beds. Morey also rents those on a
                                   cle everything possible.”                 daily basis. She has scaffolding and
                                      Oftentimes, people have appli-         specialty items such as king and
                                   ances that quit working. Rather than      queen chairs as well.
                                   getting them repaired, they will buy          Morey buys entertainment cen-
                                   new ones, Morey says. “They bring         ters, beds, TV’s and appliances from
                                   the old ones to us, we buy them and       motels in Florida, then refurbishes
                                   either repair them for resale to some-    and sells those. In the antique section
                                   one who’s happy with a used appli-        of the store, she has everything from
                                   ance or strip off the parts and sell      pinball machines to old farm tools.
                                   them.                                         She also helps people empty their
                                      “We take trade-ins on furniture.”      houses when they are moving or
                                   After buying the used pieces, Morey’s     cleaning out family homes following
                                   staff often refinishes the wood, then     the death of parents or other rela-
                                   resells the furniture.                    tives. Many of these items are sold at
                                                                             a flea market sale.

22                                                                   JUN 2010         TRI•COUNTY SCENE
    Looking for a way to furnish a home economi-
cally? Bush’s Wholesale Furniture is the place to
    Everyone on the staff is a salesperson, Morey
says, including her two year old daughter, Gemily
who loves to help out at her mama’s store. Morey
employs eight people who must be multi-tal-
    She has a repairman, she says, who’s been
working with appliances 30 years. “He can look
at an appliance and go find the part that will fix
    “We have a huge inventory of parts. If you
need a handle for an older stove or a crisper for a
refrigerator, we probably have it.”
    Buying and selling have been a big part of
Morey’s life since she was seven years old and
began working in that first store with her dad.
Although she has always lived in Lee County,
Crisp County is home to her as well.
    For a few years, she worked with an after-
school program in the Crisp County School Sys-
tem, but since the birth of her daughter, she’s
operated the family business full-time.
    Through the years, her customer base has
grown. She’s been able to increase the number of
brands she sells, and with the larger store, much
more of the inventory is visible.
    “We are a local business. We don’t have to call
a corporate office. We make all the decisions
here,” Morey stresses.
    Bush’s Wholesale Furniture is open Monday
through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Recently, Morey also has opened a gym in down-
town Cordele which she calls “Gemily’s” to
honor her daughter.

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