When I left here for Chattanooga a decade and a half plus ago, we didn’t have Chick-fil-A.
Of course, there have been other changes since then. There is stuff I never dreamed would call Hinesville and Liberty County home that is here now. Never thought we’d have a big, splashy movie star wedding right here among us, either, with Liberty County property owner Ben Affleck and his bride Jennifer Lopez re-tying the knot in front of friends and family at his Hampton Island home. Anybody remember the stir they caused back in 2003 one day at the Liberty County Courthouse when all the celeb mags and rags thought they were there getting a marriage license?
I still remember the small photo of the two of them, and the late Sheriff J. Don Martin, on his bookcase in his office from their courthouse visit. I was hoping some outlet would ask me if this was the biggest thing ever in Liberty County, to which I would have quickly said no. Our county has gone through and been an integral part of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War II, the Vietnam War and two wars in the Middle East. We’ve had four presidential visits, that I can recall quickly. Not bad for a little place tucked away in southeast Georgia.
Mr. Affleck has spent quite a bit of time as a Liberty County resident. It is a beautiful area, and it is one of the more remote and secluded locales along the Georgia coastline. While we did not attend the wedding — does anyone know where they were registered, anyway? Like they need another punch bowl — we hope the happy couple enjoys their time in our community whenever they are here.
About a year and a half ago I met Colson Baker, better known by his performing name, Machine Gun Kelly, and his girlfriend Megan Fox. He was in town to shoot a movie with Kevin Bacon, who pretty much stayed out of sight out of COVID-19 concerns. Mr. Baker and Ms. Fox were accommodating to the people, most of them younger, who wanted a picture for their Instagram, usually, or an autograph.
My impression is that was gracious of them to do that. He’s also quite tall, and thin. She’s … yeah, she really is that pretty.
It’s tough on high school officials. You can do very little right in the eyes of coaches and fans. There also are fewer and fewer officials, and the officials shortage is what led the Liberty County- Southeast Bulloch game to be moved from its Friday opening date to Thursday. Still, a mistake in Friday night’s Wayne County vs. Bradwell Institute game wasn’t costly. But it was, well, unnecessary. What should have been a third down for the Tigers was instead ruled to be a fourth down play, so when the pass on the next snap from scrimmage fell incomplete, the ball went back to the Yellow Jackets. No home cookin’ from the refs there.
Friday also marked the continuation of one of the most amazing streaks in high school sports. There likely is no repository for this kind of information, but Pat Edwards, whose dad, the late principal and schools superintendent Ed Edwards, was famous for never missing a Bradwell game, is now into his 53rd season of being in attendance for every Tigers football game — win, lose or draw.
Players during Friday night’s game reviewed footage from the first quarter and a half to make adjustments. A handful of Bradwell alums gathered and eventually got to trading old stories, and those got around to every one having a Sam Harris story — or two. Or more. He remains one of my favorite people of all time and someone I still look up to, even after his passing.
Our community also lost one of the finest gentlemen to grace its presence when W.L. Hall died recently. As a testament to how beloved and respected he was, the visitation was moved from the funeral home to his home church to accommodate the crowd. It still wasn’t big enough. The line of those to pay respects to the family stretched out the front door and almost into Main Street.
That alone speaks volumes to W.L.’s character.
God rest his soul.
Pat Donahue is editor and general manager of the Coastal Courier. Email him at email@example.com.