Living Columns & Blogs

Individuals and organizations make the season bright

On Monday, Dec. 11, fifth-graders from Burdell-Hunt Magnet School had lunch, catered by Nu-Way, as guests of the Museum of Arts and Sciences and of the Rotary Club of Macon for the annual Christmas tour of the trees on display at the museum and to sing some favorite seasonal songs. Burdell-Hunt students are participants in the Leader in Me program at their school, sponsored in part by the Rotary Club, and were wearing their polo shirts emblazoned with the traits of highly-effective students.

The genesis of the program was Stephen Covey’s book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” which can be nurtured at the elementary school level. These students learn life skills that can result in successful work habits in school and after graduation. Curtis Jones, Bibb County superintendent of schools and a member of the Rotary Club of Macon, was on hand to have lunch with the students and to celebrate their continued success with Leader in Me.

Parties with a purpose

For half a century, Betty and Hines Causey have hosted a party for friends and for favorite customers at their home and business, House of Hines, on Vineville Avenue. The festive evening, Dec. 3, closed with guests singing familiar Christmas songs around the piano, played by equally familiar pianist, Tom Ridgeway and by the host’s granddaughter, violinist Elizabeth Causey.

Guests bring gifts for the residents at the Methodist Home for Children and Youth in Macon; this year, the presents were piled under the tree waiting to be delivered just in time for Christmas. Allison Evans, CEO and president of the Methodist Home, thanked the guests for continuing to provide gifts to the boys and girls and to the young men and women who live at the home. According to Evans, the residents appreciate the efforts and the spirit of giving to make the holiday more meaningful when they are separated from their own families.

Jack Caldwell’s 33rd annual Southern Christmas Party at his College Street home was specifically for the benefit of children in the community that are newcomers to Macon or, for various reasons, may not have something for them under the tree on Christmas morning. On Sunday, Dec. 10, he invited children from First Baptist Church of Christ, where Caldwell is a member, to a dinner of Fincher’s Barbecue, sweet tea and cookies for dessert.

Caldwell makes sure all of his young guests have time for a visit with Santa Claus who gives each child a gift before disappearing until next year. Additionally, he asks all of his adult guests to bring gifts to donate to local charities that fill stockings for less fortunate children in Macon. The fun filled evening begins with patriotic songs and includes Christmas carols, led this year by Jonathan Alderman, Caldwell’s fellow church member.

Still time to shop for unique gifts

On First Friday, Kirk West autographed his latest book, “The Blues in Black and White,” at Gallery West on Third Street. Joining West for the book signing were Willie Perkins, author of “The Allman Brothers Band – Classic Memorabilia – 1969-1976,” and poet John Griffin who penned “After the Meltdown.” West’s new book has received national attention on the heels of his successful “Les Brers – Kirk West’s Photographic Journey with the Brothers.”

Shop for these books and for copies of photographs of your favorite artists at the gallery, some available in color, but more powerful in black and white. This is the ideal spot to check off those gifts for lovers of Southern Rock and for the memorabilia that tells the stories of the best loved artists.

While at the Museum of Arts and Sciences for the Burdell-Hunt event, visitors browsed through the gift shop where unique gifts are the norm. Beth Fisher, manager and buyer for the shop, selects items that you won’t see anywhere else in town, for all ages and for men and women.

The handmade jewelry rivals the baubles one might see on Fifth Avenue; the ceramics are glazed in colors, textures and patterns and are imaginative in design and the games and books would enchant the curious child. There are also woven scarves and other wearable art you will not see elsewhere. And, while you are there, you can check out the latest museum exhibits.

Katherine Walden is a freelance writer and interior designer in Macon. Contact her at 478-742-2224 or