Tri•CountyScene 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 PLUS Tom Carden Festival Schedule Bush’s Wholesale Furniture from the editor: B C O N T R I B U T O R S By the time you read this, Cordele and Crisp County Tri•CountyScene 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 querade.” 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. LAYOUT 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 Tri•CountyScene 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 www.cordeledispatch.com 2 JUN 2010 TRI•COUNTY SCENE Contents Tri•CountyScene JUNE•2010 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 Growing Ricky Jackson is pictured with his faithful companion, Copper, at one of his watermelon fields in Crisp County. photo by Becky Crissman the sweet fruit of the vine I 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 average.” 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 feature 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 teacher. 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 consolidated. 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- mie. 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 them. TRI•COUNTY SCENE JUN 2010 7 feature 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 TRI•COUNTY SCENE JUN 2010 9 feature 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- querade.” 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 crowd. 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 slices. 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 publication. Young ladies ages 4-21 compete each year for one of the four coveted titles, depending on their ages. 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 12. 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 there. 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 Moldova. 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- ons. 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 children. 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 229-276-2612. 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- graph. 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 Library. 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 email@example.com. 18 JUN 2010 TRI•COUNTY SCENE WIN $50 Watermelon 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 TRI•COUNTY SCENE JUN 2010 21 “ “ 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 go. 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- ented. 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 it. “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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