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Gris & more

Random thoughts and assorted March madness as we adjust to saving some daylight. I’m always happy to stick an extra hour at the end of the day in the spring and summer. ...

Last Sunday’s snowfall was amazing. Even more incredible was the clump of snowman in our yard that managed to hang around until Friday, despite daytime temperatures in the 60s most of the week. ...

Here’s a neat story. I have written many times about Macon native Jo Anne Shirley and her mother, Christine Jones. I have followed their efforts to learn what happened to POW/MIA Maj. Bobby Jones, an Air Force flight surgeon from Macon. Bobby was in an F-4 that crashed on its way to deliver medical supplies on a noncombat mission in Vietnam on Nov. 28, 1972.

For years, he has been the only Macon serviceman still listed as missing in action from Vietnam and the only U.S. military physician still considered missing.

Jo Anne’s father, the late Marvin Jones, also was active in this cause until his death in 1994. Marvin Jones was a longtime educator and former assistant school superintendent in Bibb County.

In June 1986, entertainer Bob Hope performed for the Georgia Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. As Hope was leaving a reception before the show, Jo Anne presented him with an MIA bracelet with her brother’s name on it. Hope appeared on stage wearing the bracelet. The entire Jones’ family, sitting on the third row, was touched.

Later, Marvin wrote Hope a letter, thanking him for the gesture.

“It was such a small, simple thing for you to do, but it meant so much to us,” he wrote.

Jo Anne and her mother now live in Dalton. A friend recently told them about visiting the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla., where an exhibit of Bob Hope memorabilia is on display. (Hope was an avid golfer.) A section is devoted to his love of the military and veterans. Both Marvin’s letter and the MIA bracelet are featured in the display.

“We were amazed that he (Hope) thought enough of this to keep both,” said Jo Anne. ...

“Please Call Home: The Big House Years,” the long-awaited DVD on the Allman Brothers Band, will be available beginning Wednesday at www.hittinthenote.com. The 100-minute documentary, shot in high definition, chronicles the years (1970-73) when the famous Southern rock band lived in the 18-room, Tudor-style mansion on Vineville Avenue affectionately known as the “Big House.” The house now serves as a museum.

The film’s premiere is Sunday at the historic Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill, N.Y. It was produced locally by Elliott and Beth Dunwody of Bright Blue Sky Productions and The Big House Foundation. It was edited by Stephanie Shadden of Bright Blue Sky and directed by Kirk West, who has served as the Allman Brothers Band tour manager since 1989. He lived in The Big House with his wife, Kirsten, from 1993 to 2007.

The band is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and will begin its first of 15 sold-out shows at the Beacon Theatre tonight in New York City. ...

Last week’s column on retired ophthalmologist Walter Bell and his use of Fibonacci numbers to forecast the stock market and other financial markets generated quite a bit of interest. Walter said he continues to be astounded at how a sequence of numbers from an 13th-century Italian mathematician could have such uncanny accuracy today.

“Had the nation sold all stocks and mutual funds in late September at the first Fibonacci sell signal, we would be $1.5 trillion richer today,” he said. “Wow!”

Wow, indeed.

Now go out, try to smile and have a magnificent Monday!

Reach Gris at 744-4275 or gris@macon.com.

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