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Good Samaritan pedaling Christmas cheer
Treasures of Midway
Stanley Pope of Midway stands with bicycles he has repaired and plans to give back to the community. - photo by Photo by Matt Norsworth
This time of year is about being able to give, especially to those who don’t have.
The city of Midway is thankful to have Stanley Pope who is doing just that.
Pope is taking in bicycles — old, rusty, broken, or just unwanted — and bringing new life to them.
He repairs, oils, cleans and paints them and then gives them back to the community. Yes, gives.  
Pope has been a firefighter since the 1980s. He was the city of Midway fire chief in the early 1990s and had been working as a firefighter for the Georgia Forestry Department ever since.
Pope has lived his entire life in Midway, and grew up in the house next door to his current home.
He has traveled all over the country as a firefighter, especially in battling wildfires out West. But as he says, “Nothing is quite like home.”
He said he has never thought of leaving Midway because he just likes the people and the history too much.  
Pope rides everywhere, and not just in Midway. He has family in Glennville and Jesup, and rides his bike from Midway to either of those towns to see them. But most of the time, his wife meets him there and drives him home.
During the summer, he meets his wife on Jekyll Island for weekend getaways.  Yes, he rides his bicycle there.
Like his father, Pope self-retired at a fairly early age because, “My time is more valuable to me than material things.”  
Throughout his life, he has loved riding bicycles. This love led to the natural fascination with how bicycles work and being able to work on them as well. So, this seemed like an ideal retirement hobby.
In June, Stanley decided to put a sign in front of his house on Highway 84 for people to drop off bicycles. He was pretty shocked when people started bringing them by. Before long, he was working away outside his house in his bicycle workshop on all the old bicycles that were being dropped off.
Once repaired, the bicycles went back out in front of his house to await pickup. He said, “I can’t repair bicycles fast enough. Kids and parents will come and pick out a bicycle just as fast as I get them ready. With some of them, the paint hasn’t even dried yet.”
Pope loves giving back to his community through a hobby he has loved since he was a kid.
“I have been blessed by the Lord, and I just want to give back,” he said.
With Christmas coming soon, Pope needs more bicycles.
Anyone who has bicycles to donate is asked to take them to Pope at 12258 E. Oglethorpe Highway in Midway.
He will work on them, so someone else may be able to enjoy them.
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