U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder visits Macon

hgoodridge@macon.comFebruary 6, 2013 

It was pretty obvious to residents of the Gables at Wolf Creek retirement community in north Bibb County that their neighbor, Elvin Malone, had an important guest Wednesday.

The four large, black Chevy Suburbans sandwiched between two Georgia State Patrol vehicles parked in front of his house gave it away. All the dark-suited, earpiece-wearing men were another clue.

“I hope he’s OK,” one neighbor said.

Malone’s visitor was his brother-in-law, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

“I appreciate how much he cared about me by putting me on his schedule,” Malone said as the caravan drove off. “We chatted about how things are going. It was a social visit. No politics.”

Malone’s sister, Sharon Malone, is Holder’s wife.

Before visiting Elvin Malone’s house, Holder spent most of his morning at the U.S. Attorney’s office at the lower end of Mulberry Street in downtown Macon. Holder said he regularly makes such visits to those offices across the country.

The caravan of vehicles parked in front of the Gateway Plaza office building attracted several onlookers as Holder met with invited guests on the fourth floor.

Among them were Karla Redding-Andrews, daughter of legendary soul singer Otis Redding, and her mother, Zelma; and Chuck Leavell, former keyboardist with the Allman Brothers Band who now plays with the Rolling Stones.

“We were invited as community cheerleaders,” Redding-Andrews said after leaving the office. “I’ve never met him before. He’s nice.”

Leavell said he met Holder a few years ago while he was in Washington, D.C., giving testimony on two farm bills.

“He’s soft-spoken, down to earth,” he said.

Leavell gave Holder a copy of his book, “Growing a Better America: Smart, Strong and Sustainable.”

Zelma Redding said she was impressed with Holder. “He’s a great person. He had so much respect for my husband and my family,” she said.

Redding-Andrews gave Holder an Otis Redding cap bearing the word “RESPECT” on the front, a reference to one of her father’s greatest hits.

“He said he was going to wear it the next time he gives testimony before Congress,” she said, laughing.

After leaving Macon in the late afternoon, Holder was bound for Savannah, where he was scheduled to visit the U.S. Attorney’s office there. Thursday morning he is scheduled to speak on civil rights, voter rights and gun violence during a visit to Clark Atlanta University.

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