Opinion Columns & Blogs

These are a few of our prominent residents' favorite things

Last week’s, “The Capture of Daisy Podidae,” was sorta’ an April Fools column, although published on April 2. It got positive responses, so this week, I’m going with something else “light” and hope that most of you will like it.

I asked prominent Middle Georgians to tell me what kind of vehicle they drive (make, model, year and anything else they wanted to say) and then pick two from the following categories to make comments: favorite movie of all time, favorite dessert, favorite song, favorite politician of all time, favorite vacation spot, and favorite automobile of all time. Here they are in alphabetical order with their answers.

John C. Bittick: (Long-time Sheriff of Monroe County). “My personal vehicle is a black 1999 Ford F-350 diesel, 4 door, 4WD pickup which is very useful in our cattle operation. My favorite movie is ‘Lonesome Dove’…it speaks to the character of honesty of lawmen and in Gus, you see a man who is true to himself and treats everyone the same. And, my favorite politicians are Zell Miller and my dad...”

Mark Byrd: (Owner of the Houston Lake Country Club, developer, etc). “My car is a 2010 Ford Expedition with lots of room to ‘carry my stuff.’ My favorite song is ‘Statesboro Blues’ by the Allman Brothers and based on one of my favorite towns, Statesboro, Georgia. And, my favorite vacation place is Hilton Head Island, where I traveled to as a child, got engaged to my wife, Amy, in 1994, and where our family goes today.”

Sissi Gann: (Long-time clerk of the State Court of Houston County and one of Houston County’s most popular citizens). “I drive a 2008 Mini Cooper convertible. My all time favorite car was a Corvette Stingray, candy apple red, that my husband, Stanley, was driving when I met him. And, my favorite movie is ‘Gone with the Wind,’ which I saw in Atlanta at the Lowe’s Theatre.”

Susan Holmes: (Susan is a state representative from Monticello who is very effective and an indefatigable worker). “I drive a big, black old GMC SUV. My all-time favorite was a 1959 baby blue and white Ford Fairlane 500. When I was a senior in high school (1959), I put glass pack mufflers on it. I loved that low rumble. The ‘Godfather’ series was my favorite movie. And, my favorite politician of all time was Garland Byrd for whom I worked one summer when I was a UGA student. He would’ve made a great governor.”

Melvin Kruger: Owner of L.E. Schwartz & Son, a roofing company in Macon. Is there a better person in Middle Georgia? I doubt it. “I drive a 2012 Lexus. My favorite movie is ‘Casablanca’ (I saw it when I was in high school in the 1940s) and my favorite dessert is Nina’s lemon pie and this goes back to my high school days.”

Judge Katherine Lumsden: (Superior Court judge, Houston Judicial Court). “I drive a Chevrolet Traverse (‘a mom car’) which I love. It’s new to me in July after driving a Pontiac Torrent for 10 years (the most dependable car I ever owned). My hometown, New Smyrna Beach, is my favorite vacation spot. And, my favorite automobile of all time was a 1965 Pontiac GTO convertible which my dad had restored a few years ago and in which my girls demand a ride – ‘in Pappa’s vroom vroom car’.”

Tommy Stalnaker: (Houston County Commission chair). “I drive a 2013 Ford F-150 pickup truck, which gives great service and longevity. I started buying these trucks in the early 1980s. My favorite dessert is pecan pie – like my Grandmother Thompson made. And, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! And, my all-time favorite politicians are Sonny Watson, Larry Walker Jr. and Cullen Talton. Each epitomize statesmanship, and all have had great influences on my life. There are no better political leaders than W, W and T.”

Sheriff Cullen Talton: And, yes, I think Sheriff is part of his name! “My personal vehicle is a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado, pearl white in color and my all-time favorite was a red and white 1957 Dodge Coronet 2-door with push button transmission and fins on the back. My favorite dessert is Mrs. Cecil’s homemade Apple Dumplings with vanilla ice cream (I can make myself sick eating it). And my favorite vacation spot is Talton Farms in Bonaire with my family. To see our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren enjoying our place makes me very happy.”

Larry Walker, III: Larry is the state senator representing Bleckley, Laurens and Pulaski counties and part of Houston County. “My vehicle is a 2015 Ford F-150 pick-up truck. My favorite movie is ‘True Grit’ with John Wayne (the old one) and my favorite movie star is Jimmy Stewart.”

Got to stop. But this has been lots of fun for me, I hope you enjoyed it too.

Larry Walker is a practicing attorney in Perry. He served 32 years in the Georgia General Assembly and presently serves on the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. Email: lwalker@whgmlaw.com.

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