Friday, July 29, 2016


     Former Dublin High School, coach, teacher, principal and superintendent Tom Stewart was honored on Friday with the dedication of a golf cart named in his honor.  The cart, one of two purchased through the efforts of his former students, Buddy Adams and Tom Proctor, was used in the 2016 Master Golf Tournament.  The carts will be used to ferry patients from the hospital to the parking lots.  One more cart will be dedicated soon. 

     Thomas Perry Stewart was born on February 21, 1923 in Camilla, Georgia. The son of the late Perry Stewart and Jo Camp, Mr. Stewart was preceded in death by his wife Peggy Smith Stewart.

     Mr. Stewart graduated from Valdosta High School and served his country during World War II as an aircraft mechanic with the Navy.

     Tom Stewart was a graduate of Stetson University with further degrees from Peabody College and the University of Georgia. 

     As Coach Stewart, he coached football in Quitman, where his team won the 1949 state championship. He was Georgia coach of the year in Bremen in 1952 and also coached in Dublin from 1953 to 1958.  His players contributed to Dublin’s first two state championships in 1959 and 1960. While he was not coaching, Stewart was one of the team’s biggest cheerleaders.

   Stewart was inducted into the Valdosta/Lowndes County Sports Hall of Fame and The Dublin Touchdown Club Hall of Fame. 

    You can always tell how someone knew him.  If you called him Coach Stewart, you were one of his players.  As a teacher, principal and superintendent you addressed him as Mr. Stewart.  And, well, if you were a friend, you called him Tom. 

     Mr. Stewart was principal of Dublin High School from 1958 until 1971, Assistant Superintendent 1971-1972 and Superintendent from 1972 until his retirement in June 1983. 

     Tom Stewart is the epitome of a member of the Greatest Generation. After returning home from the war he served his community in many, many ways.  It was what Mr.  Stewart and millions of men like him that made them the Greatest Generation.

     Mr. Stewart was a member of First Baptist Church for more than 60 years.  He served as a Deacon and Sunday School teacher. He loved his church, his family, all his many students from Dublin High School and the city of Dublin where he made his home and quietly served his community. A Life Member of the Kiwanis Club and a Hixon Fellow,  Mr. Stewart is the co-founder of the Bell-Stewart Scholarship Fund to encourage high school seniors to pursue education as their career choice. 

     Stewart served on the Laurens County Library Board, volunteered with Meals on Wheels, taught at the Chester prison and worked for the teachers and children of Georgia through the Professional Association of Georgia Educators. 

     In the early 50’s, he operated the city pool in Dublin and I believe, taught many children how to swim.  

     Mr. Stewart died on  April 29, 2015.

     Therefore, it is only fitting and proper that this cart be dedicated to Tom Stewart so that all who ride in it to remember his contributions to our county.



John Lack was a teenager of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s.  He loved music, rock and roll in particular.  As a maturing adult of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, John Lack was a smooth salesman and proponent of revolutionary cable television programming.  The brief sojourner in Dublin had an brainstorm. John Lack thought that it would be a popular idea to combine his love for music with his passion to sell television programming.  The result was Music plus TV equals MTV.

John Lack was born in 1944 into a wealthy New York family.  He graduated from Boston University and earned a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from the prestigious Medill School at Northwestern University.  His first job was with Group W Cable. Lack was sent to Dublin to learn all he could about the cable television business. That was in the days when cable television was in its infancy in Dublin and most of the rest of the country as well. Clearview Cable Company came to Dublin in 1965.  Before then, antennas could pick up only four stations, five if you were lucky. WMAZ of Macon, WRDW and WJBF of Augusta, along with WDCO (GPTV) out of Cochran were all that one could see.  The latter required a UHF antenna. If you were lucky and the clouds were just right,  you might be able to see the low frequency, high power signal from WSB out of Atlanta.

“That was in the days when we sold cable television subscriptions for five dollars and ninety-five cents a month, said Judge Johnny Warren.  “I got to keep the first month’s payment as my commission,” said Warren, who remembered Lack as a “slick salesman type.” John Lack married Susan Schildhouse, daughter of Sol Schildhouse, a Washington D.C. attorney, who while with the Federal Communications Commission, played an active role in the federal government’s regulation of the cable television industry.  Susan, during the couple’s brief stay in Dublin, worked with the Courier Herald as a headline writer.  Their stay in Dublin was so brief that the Lacks never made it into the phone book before their move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

John Lack had a natural talent for broadcast journalism. John, who  was described as generous, charismatic and boyishly enthusiastic, had his moments, though not very frequent, of temperamental moods.  His friends knew that he had an uncommon ability to sell anyone on anything in a slow, rhythm-like reeling manner.

Lack took a job in 1970 as an account representative with CBS radio in New York.  At the age of 32, Lack had climbed the corporate ladder to the position of General Manager of WCBS-AM radio, CBS’s top network affiliate. The broadcast networks, both television and radio, were at their zenith, but Lack knew that the future of television would lie in a different field, cable television.

In 1979, Lack did the unthinkable.  He left the king of the networks for a position with Warner Communications, which was in its second year of a new cable service called Qube, which was being test marketed with its unheard of 36 channels in Columbus, Ohio.   The new system included for the first time, pay per view television channels.  When American Express bought into the venture, the company was split into two divisions.  Lack was chosen to work under his idol from his CBS days, Jack Schneider, to develop cable satellite programming.  Schneider and Lack revamped old Warner programming ideas and launched the Nickelodeon and The Movie channels.

Lack loved rock and roll music.  He loved to sneak away from school to hear black groups such as the Coasters.  Michael Nesmith, who had gained superstardom as one of the Monkees, proposed an innovative idea to Lack.  Nesmith, who had been producing video clips of himself  lip synching his songs, worked with Lack in developing a series of these clips under the title of “Pop Clips.” When Nesmith stated that he thought the future of music videos was in video discs and Lack firmly believed that the music video would become an integral part of the future of cable television, the duo parted ways.

Music videos had been around for more than four decades, but their distribution was minimal. John Lack had a vision: that people, especially young people, would watch an all-music network. After all, there was an all-sports network and all-news network, which were garnering new viewers every day.

Lack pushed his idea to a somewhat doubtful executive at Warner, who finally relented and gave John the go ahead.  HBO and USA networks were already on the air with single programs of videos.  On August 1, 1981, John Lack appeared before a television camera and launched his dream, MTV, by uttering those immortal words, “ Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll.”  The first video shown on the new music channel was appropriately, ironically and purposely, “Video Killed the Radio Star.” MTV in its first two decades of existence has become an American institution with teen-agers and the “X” Generation,” more popular than John Lack could have ever dreamed.

Lack left Warner to found ESPN-2.  From 1992-1995, Lack served as  Executive VP of Marketing and Programming at ESPN. John went on to serve as CEO of Stream Telecom, Italy’s pay television network. In November of 2000, John Lack was appointed President and CEO of i3 Mobile, a leading provider of wireless communication services.  Once again, John Lack is there on the forefront of the future, beyond the land line based communication industry which he helped to become an integral part of our lives today, working to provide America and the World with new and improved forms of communication and entertainment for the future with companies such as Stream, ACTV and FireMedia Partners,

John Lack has come a long way from the days when a few thousand Dubliners had cable television with less than a dozen channels and weather information, which was viewed by a moving camera and which moved back and forth filming dials showing temperature, relative humidity, time, and rainfall. The story makes you stop and think: What  is that young man in our schools or in your work place going to be doing twenty years from now. Who knows?

Monday, July 25, 2016


The Cattlemen of Wheeler County

Long before the cries of "Head 'em up, Move 'em out" echoed across the plains of the southwest, cattle were raised along the coastal plain of the southeastern United States. While cattle had been in America for centuries, the first true cattlemen came to our country following the American Revolution. They were to Scotsmen and the Scotch-Irishmen who first settled in the Carolinas. The first generation of these cattlemen moved southward to the lower Oconee River Valley during the War of 1812. They were "America's First Cowboys" in a time when south Central Georgia was the southwestern United States. Today Wheeler County encompasses the extreme western portion of old Montgomery County which lies west of the Oconee River. Originally the lands were a part of Telfair and Laurens Counties until the formation of Emanuel County in 1812.

With first names like Angus, Archibald, Alexander, Duncan, and Malcom and last names like McMillan, McLeod, McRae, McQuaig, McArthur, Gillis, Peterson, Currie, and Clark, they came by the hundreds into Montgomery County, Georgia.

The Scots came looking good grazing lands, which they found in the regions of the Upper Wiregrass. Although the grass was not the best the Scots would persevere for many decades to come.

The Highland Scots continued to move into the area well into the 1830s.  Many of the families had made brief stays in Ireland before coming to this country.  Gaelic became a second language and was often used in church services. The Scots were known to be as honest and hard-working as they were obstinate and prejudiced. The were members of the Presbyterian faith. The central church was founded in 1851 just across the Oconee at Mt. Vernon. Some of the Scots converted to Methodism. They began meeting at Morrison's Hill, near Glenwood, in 1828.

Among the large farmers in mid 19th century Wheeler County were Archibald McMillan, Malcom Currie, Anqus McMillan, Duncan McCallum, Duncan Bohanon, William Haralson, George Browning, Gabriel McClement, Henry Wooten, James Chaney, and William Brantley. The 1850 Census recorded that the largest improved acreage farm was 200 acres. Larger tracts were used for grazing lands including those used by sheep. The '50 census indicates that 75% of the current day Wheeler County's slaves worked in the southern part of the county where the larger farms were located. No Scots were considered planters, because none had more than twenty slaves, the largest being the seven each owned by Roderick Gillis and Isabel McRae. When Georgia voted on secession from the Union in 1861, Montgomery County's citizens and representatives voted to remain in the Union, even after it was certain that Georgia would vote in favor of secession.

Among the more successful Scots who became public servants of early Wheeler County was John McRae. Judge McRae, son of a native Scotsman, served as a justice of the Inferior Court, State Senator - including the first three years of the Civil War -, State Representative, U.S. Marshall, a forty year term as chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, and as Postmaster of Alamo, which was created in 1889. The McRae family donated the land for the new town.

Christine McRae Brightto named the town for the immortal Catholic mission in Texas. She also named the streets for her seven daughters. Glenwood, which means a small valley in the woods, was established the same year on land given by Peter Galbraith.

Many Wheeler County communities carry Scottish names. John McCrae established a village of McVille along the western banks of the Little Ocmulgee River which separates Wheeler County from Telfair County. When the railroad company requested that the town change its name to avoid confusion with McRae, Scotland became the name of the community at the far southwestern edge of Wheeler County.

Other 19th century communities were McArthur, Bruce, and Little York.  Little York was established as Post Office on August 11, 1853. Duncan McRae was the first postmaster. He was followed by Alexander McMillan, Harlow Clark, Henry S. Clark, and John McRae. The post office was discontinued shortly after the end of the Civil War. The first two postmasters, McRae and McMillan, operated a general store in Little York. Through the generous donation by Mary Alice Brownson, the ledger books of the store are now available for inspection by historians and genealogists at the Dublin-Laurens Museum. These well preserved and invaluable books detail every purchase and payment during the mid 1850s.

Other business records in the museum include the McRae store at McVille. The books give the names of hundreds of individuals who lived in present day Wheeler County, northeastern Telfair County, and southern Laurens County.

The heritage of the Scots in Wheeler and Montgomery County still lives.  Many descendants of the original families still live in the lower Oconee River valley. Their heritage lives on in the names of their communities and churches.


Cochran Bros. Co.

For all of the last one hundred years,  the owners of the Cochran Bros. in Dublin have been serving their community with our groceries and living needs through their businesses.  Outside the store, the Cochran brothers have served their community, their church and beyond.  This is the story of one of Dublin’s centennial businesses and the people who have made it into a local institution.

B. F. Cochran, a former bookkeeper, railroad man and school teacher, came to Dublin and joined R.F. Deese to open a short lived, very primitive shelter store in 1892.

It all began for Cochran Bros. on the Ides of April in 1916, when Horace L. Smith and Guy V. Cochran  joined forces to form the Cochran-Smith Company.  Smith withdrew from the partnership in short order. Cochran, a former feed and seed company operator, turned to another Smith, Milo Smith, Sr. as his new partner.  Milo Smith remained with the firm until he decided to join a higher calling as a member of Uncle Sam’s army in World War I in December 1917.  Guy served in the army as well.

The secret to the success of the company came from the fact that B.F. Cochran was raised on a farm and raised all of his children on a farm.   As his family grew, his children married and had their own children, Cochran realized that no farm could be big enough to support such a large family.

Operating as B.F. Cochran & Sons, Guy Cochran (left)  invited his brother, M.E. Cochran, to join the firm.  The Cochrans welcomed Milo Smith home from the war and back into the company.  Smith, who would establish his own, highly successful wholesale company, remained until Feb. 1920, when B.F., Guy V., Carl and M.E. Cochran  established the current corporation, Cochran Bros Co., as a strictly wholesale grocery house.  M.E. Cochran sold his interest to open the Blue Ribbon Bakery.

Within ten years, the company grew from a line of less than a dozen products to more than four hundred grocery items.

B.F. Cochran and family.

Nearly out of business during the dark years of the Great Depression, the Cochrans persevered.    One of the secrets of the company’s success was the hiring of quality grocers, including J. Hughes Lord and F. Roy Orr, both of whom were successful grocers in their own right.

At the beginning of World War II, the company was led by President Guy Cochran, Secretary Carl Cochran (left) and Treasurer B.F. Cochran.  When the U.S. Labor Department established a forty-hour work week, some businesses feared serious financial repercussions.  Company president Guy V. Cochran led the way by leading the first business in Georgia to increase its work force.  Cochran Brothers added ten employees to the 17 existing workers before the new rule change. The company added a building supply division under the leadership of Guy V. Cochran, while Carl Cochran took over the management of the grocery division.

During the post war boom, small country grocery stores began to wane as a more mobile populace patronized larger city stores.  Faye Cochran’s husband, Ray Prosperi, and Betty Rose Cochran’s husband, Preston Joiner, joined the company. In the two decades which followed, the grocery and the building supply divisions split, reducing  the number of family members working in the main company.


            Guy V. Cochran’s son, Ben, (left) worked at the store from his earliest working days until the present, except for a short term when he served our country in the US Air Force.  Cochran, who is approaching his 60th year of active service to the company, returned home in 1958.

           “During my time with the company it has evolved from a small rural wholesale food distributor to a still small, but much more efficient, supplier of convenience foods, fried chicken, gasoline and diesel.”

Cochran considers himself fortunate to have lived in this time in history.  He points to the fact that he has had the opportunity to work with his grandfather, father, sons, son- in-law and especially the outstanding members of the Cochran Bros. team, the names of whom he cannot single out because the list would be too long.

In addition to those employees mentioned below, Ben Cochran points to  Earl Roach, Raymond Thomas, Emory Garner, Hazel Thigpen Syboda, Geraldine and Walter Haywood, Landrum  Bland and Ben’s wife, Pat, for keeping the company in business during the stressful times.   It is to these employees that Ben gives eternal thanks.

With the aid of Ben’s daughter Lee Cochran Ladson and her husband, Gus, the company opened its first Friendly Gus Store in Mt. Vernon, a second one in Vidalia and the company’s first store in Dublin at the corner of Highway 441 South and I-16. (Below)   Today the company continues to operate many stores in the East Central Georgia area.

“For a business to last for a century, it must have a constant stream of dedicated, talented people who are willing to cast their lot with that business,” said Cochran, who added, “Cochran Bros. has had such people.”

L-R: Ben Cochran, Guy Cochran, Gus Ladson, Ash Cochran and Wick Cochran 

Ben’s son, Guy Cochran, (left)  who worked as a child in the business in a variety of tasks recalled, “I remember all those summers as a kid working as a trucker’s helper, delivering groceries, feed, building supplies, etc. to country stores all over the Middle Georgia territory. Never in my wildest imagination did I think I would one day be running this business in the configuration that has evolved, nor celebrating our 100th anniversary.”

Cochran left the United States Army and moved back home with his wife Tina to join the family business, which was then being run by his father Ben and his brother-in-law, Gus Ladson. Brothers Ash and Wick joined the business, which was engaging in a wide variety of activities.  Cochran Bros., once five separate companies, are now one company with three divisions.

“The challenges of growing a family business are real and require a tremendous amount of soul searching when trying to balance the intricacies of business interests and family interests. If you are successful, most often you quickly outgrow the resources provided within your immediate family,” Guy maintains.

Not being able to name all of the cherished employees of Cochran Bros., Guy points to  Ira Edwards and Julius Taylor, as well as Skeet Fordham, the all time leader in sales at Cochran Bros. Guy can’t go without giving credit to Bo Payton, Larry Jackson, Sonny Warnock and Sean Claxton as well as his Savior, Jesus Christ.

Ash Cochran, known as “the working Cochran” in the company, is a firm believer in the power of God, He still holds to the principals of hard work he learned as a child.   “I am a man of few words, but a man of action. I embrace every day as the first and I always give thanks to the Lord for our business and God’s giving me the strength to do anything that comes my way,” proclaimed Ash.

For one hundred years, Cochran Bros. Company has been all about family, their family, their family of employees and serving your family.


Dublin Courier Herald, Jan. 21, 2003

To many kids of the 1960s, music was important.  It gave them a chance to express their feelings, their desires, and their frustrations.   Whether as musicians or as just listeners, music guided us through the happy times early in the decade and the turbulent years of the late Sixties. Some of us were content to go down to Ed Powel’s record store and pick up a 45-rpm record of our favorite artist and a popular tune.  Others joined the Dublin band to satisfy our desire to enjoy the wonderful sounds that only music can deliver.  Still others, the more talented musicians among us, formed their own bands, known collectively as garage bands, because they were usually banished to the family garage by their parents, who had failed to comprehend the quality of the  sounds emanating from their the son’s instruments.  Actually the parents of one local group were very supportive of their sons.

One such Dublin garage band was known as the Ancestors.  They were talented musicians.  By their own admission, they were somewhat zany, perhaps due in part to their early idolization of Moe, Larry, and Curly.  Tom Patterson, Edward Tanner, and Blair Tanner formed the Dublin chapter of the official Three Stooges Fan Club.  The trio collected Stooges memorabilia and emulated their idols. The boys watched television and listened to music together.  In an effort to escape the boredom of summer vacation, the boys decided to form a band in the summer of 1965.  Tom, the band’s drummer and a drummer in the school band, was the lead vocalist.   The Tanners played guitar.  The band chose their name by skimming through the dictionary.  The band had gone through a series of names, The Band, The Kitchen Sink, Peeping Tom and the Infiltrators, Big Padre and Fungus Chin, and initially, The Irish Surfers (an especially hideous name to Edward). The band was represented by the St. BEAT (Blair, Edward, Allen, Tom) Booking Agency.

The band composed many of their own songs, such as instrumental versions of “Sewer Rat,” “Instrumental Ballad of Rabbit Tooth,” and “Lumbago.”  The band
soon began playing popular songs of the day: “Gloria,” “The Land of A Thousand Dances,” and “Louie, Louie,” the standard song of any rock and roll band’s set list. The boys asked Jimmy McDonald to join the group as the lead vocalist.  After a few months, Tom and the Tanners decided to replace Jimmy with their friend Allen Tindol, who could sing and play the bass guitar.  As the band became more middle of the road in their tunes, they were asked to play at dances held in the American Legion Hall, the National Guard Armory, and the Shanty, a World War II Quonset hut converted into a teen center.   There were occasional gigs at birthday parties and churches.  I remember one such dance in the late 60s.  The social hall of First Methodist Church was filled with hundreds of teens dancing to the popular songs of the day.  It was the band’s last performance as high school students.

The band underwent a series of personnel changes in 1967 and 1968.  Allen (on guitar left) left the band to pursue his acting interests as a member of the Drama Club at Dublin High School.  He was replaced by keyboardist Lewis Smith, a fellow high school band member, whose main talent was playing the piano and organ in church (and very well, I might add).  Tom, Edward, and Blair convinced Lewis to wear a flower pot on his head, put on a Nehru jacket, and place flowers in his buzz cut hair.  The boys encouraged him to play songs such as “The Marine’s Hymn” and “Dixie,” as well as other songs which were not the usual tunes played by rock bands.  Being somewhat uneasy with the way the band was going, Lewis left the band.

When popular rock music turned to a harder beat, the band decided to use visual and audio aids in their performances to songs by the Beatles, the Who, and the
Doors.  Color wheels and strobe lights flashed while the band played.  The boys placed a bed sheet on the wall and projected home movies.  The videos were supplemented with the sounds and smells of cherry and smoke bombs.  In between songs, the band played tapes of less than well produced radio commercials.  Soon, audiences began to dwindle.

To bring the band back into the mainstream of Dublin teenagers, Allen was convinced to return to the band, if only temporarily.  Randy Stinson’s effervescent popularity garnered the band good gigs, in which each member could earn as much as thirty or forty bucks a night. Johnny Fountain replaced Allen as a vocalist and on bass.  Michael Harrell, whose sole interest appeared to be the music of Steppenwolf, joined the band as a keyboardist for a short time.   Before the end of the year, Allen Tindol returned to the band again.  He was joined by Johnny’s Fountain’s cousin, Bobby Fountain.  The song list changed again to cover versions of hits by the Rolling Stones, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, the Hollies, Wilson Picket, and Three Dog Night.  Among the favorite songs was the instrumental, “The Horse,” a popular high school band song, which is still played by bands today.

The band listed as their most memorable performance a weekend dance at the American Legion in 1970, which was highlighted by a perfect bass performance by Johnny Fountain, an exquisite rendition of the Beatle’s “It’s For You” by Johnny, Bobby, and Allen, riveting guitar playing by the Tanners, and Credence Clearwater like vocals by drummer Tom Patterson, who sung “Proud Mary” in Spanish.  Wayne Fatum joined the band from time to time displaying his talent for hamboning and whistling to “Dock of the Bay.”  The worst performance, well, it had to been the Christmas Dance at Wrightsville High School in 1968.  Edward, dressed in a Santa suit, agitated the students with chants of “Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh,” an unpopular stunt at the height of the Vietnam War.   Teachers chaperoning the event asked the band to turn off their strobe lights because it hurt their eyes. Students asked the band to stop showing their home movies because, “they came to dance and not to watch movies.”

By the end of the 1960s, the older members of the band had graduated from high school.  In August of 1973, the Tom, Allen, the Tanner brothers, and the Fountain cousins reunited for one final performance at Teen Town, a building formerly occupied by Churchwell’s on West Jackson Street. The event was attended by fifteen people at most.  Despite the fact the members decided they had played well together, it became the band’s final performance. Band founder Edward Tanner recalled that they were not beloved, nor did they try to be.  They did their own thing, and did it well. They liked to have fun, like the times they painted a peace symbol on the Tastee Freeze or slogans in the high school parking lot.   The boys got a big kick out of stuffing wet newspapers in the tail pipes of the certain teachers’ vehicles.

After the band disbanded, Edward, singing and playing guitar under the stage name of “Mr. Vegas,”  and Blair, then on keyboards,  formed another band, Cruis-o-matic.  The new band was an oldies band operating out of the Atlanta area.  In 1977, Cruis-o-matic opened for groups such as the Cars, the Ramones, and Cher. Before they disbanded at the end of the 80s, the band played an average of two hundred shows per year in the first half of the decade, sharing the stage with such acts as the B-52s, the Temptations, and George Thoroughgood.


The band members remain friends today (2003).  Tom is a journalist and curator lives in North Carolina. He is currently working on publishing his late brother Hunter’s novel.  Edward practices law in Atlanta, where his brother Blair works as a physical therapist. Allen is a physician who practices in Dublin.  Lewis Smith also lives in Atlanta, where he works as a computer specialist.  Bobby Fountain, the second physician in the group, practices medicine in Forsyth.  Johnny Fountain, the only remaining member of the group still playing in a band, lives in Dublin.  To learn more about the band, log on to their web site at   where you can view pictures of the band and listen to clips of their music, including clips of some of the music of the Dublin Fighting Irish Band. On the band’s former web site at, Randy Stinson is listed as an emergency contact for his daughter’s Girl Scout troop.

Dublin Courier Herald, April 2012 

Those graduates of Dublin High School of the late 60s and early 70s were taken back more than four decades in time at the Dublin Country Club last Saturday Night. Surviving members of local garage bands, The Dukes of York and The Ancestors, reunited in Dublin for the first time in more than forty years to play the same music which teenagers danced to in the 1960s in places like the old high school gym, the American Legion Hall, the Shanty, and the social hall of First United Methodist Church.   The evening was the culmination of the DHS Journey Class of the 1970s Journey Reunion.

The Dukes of York, 2012

Photo by Johnny W. Warren

          One of the founders of "The Dukes of York" was Dr. Van Haywood, (right on picture on left)  an Augusta dentist and father of Dave Haywood, guitarist of Lady Antebellum. Haywood joined with drummer Ricky Hayes, bass guitarist Jerry Pinholster and lead guitarist Charles Lee to form the band, "The Malibus of Ricky Hayes."

The band reorganized and added Steve Scarborough on keyboards and Mike Warren on drums. The band was a regular at dances at the National Guard and at after football game parties at the American Legion Post No. 17 on North Jefferson.  The "Dukes of York" were all talented musicians and most of the members played in Dublin's highly heralded, "Dixie Irish Band."

Reuniting for the evening were Van Haywood, Mike Warren and Jerry Scarborough, who were joined by Dr. Allen Tindol, who stood in for deceased members Charles Lee and Jerry Pinholster.

"What memories to reunite with the remaining members of the band," Dr. Haywood commented in remembering the days when the highly successful band played in venues around Georgia and Florida, opening for many popular singing groups of the day.

"It was great to make music with Steve and Mike after almost 45 years," Haywood said.

The magic of the moment hit Haywood with the band's first selection.  "It took me back in time when we started to play 'Hang On Sloopy,'" commented Haywood on Facebook.

Drummer Mike Warren saw the performance as a wonderful experience. "It was miraculous to see Van and Steve and to play on stage with them for the first time since 1969," said Warren, a writer and passionate politophile.

"The greatest achievement of mankind is the music we make," Warren commented. "And, I was lucky enough to be a part of it," he added.

"Van, Michael and I had great time playing for you guys but we were really rusty and had not met up until Saturday," commented  Dukes of York guitarist Steve Scarborough.  Scarborough, a design engineer for Confluence Watersports, thanked Edward Tanner and Cruis-O-Matic for helping them through a few tunes for old times sake.

           The Ancestors, highly talented members of the Dublin's vaunted Dixie Irish Marching Band, were formed  in the summer of 1965 by Green Acres neighbors Tom Patterson, Edward Tanner and Blair Tanner, who were joined in 1966 by Allen Tindol.  Allen, now a physician and professor at Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute,  left the band  and was replaced by singing bassist Johnny Fountain. Lewis Smith, a talented church organist, joined the band who brought an all new facet to the band's performances.

      The Ancestors added a new keyboardist, Mike Harrell, a fanatic fan of the group Steppenwolf. Allen, a former Dublin physician  rejoined the band for a third time, from 1969 until its demise in 1970, as a featured vocalist, along with Johnny Fountain's cousin, Bobby Fountain. The band played songs by Spirit, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Three Dog Night, The Hollies, Wilson Pickett, The Beatles, and Rolling Stones during this final era.

          Edward Tanner, an Atlanta attorney,  is still performing today with his group, Cruis-O-Matic, which he formed in the summer of 1977.  Edward's brother, Blair Tanner, joined Cruis-O-Matic on
keyboards for the evening.

The finale of the evening's festivities came when the Tanners, joined with Tom Patterson and Allen Tindol in the first local performance of the Ancestors since their last main one in 1970. Before their performance, Tom Patterson said, "We got together this afternoon in a house just like they used too back in the Sixties."

Allen Tindol

"The guys loved it," said Edward Tanner, who was deeply touched by how nice the crowd
was to the band.

           "I always just wanted to have fun," said Tanner in commenting about his music and how much fun it was to return to Dublin to play for some of his classmates.

         To Blair Tanner, a physical therapist,  the evening was "priceless."  "It was an even greater day than I expected." Tanner commented about playing in the same band as he played in at  the 1967 DHS Coronation dance.

"This probably ranks right up there with one of the best nights of my life!  The guys were amazing and we love them for bringing back us to our best times," commented event organizer Peggy Hood Pridgen.

"Legendary is the only word, I can think of," commented Beth Bussell Robinson of the DHS Class of 1971.

After the show as he was driving back to his North Carolina home, Tom Patterson, an accomplished drummer turned accomplished journalist and curator,  reflected back on the evening. "We followed each other pretty well and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it went, especially since I hadn't played a drum set in over ten years," Patterson concluded.

The evening of April 28 was not just another Saturday night. For many magic moments, it was a magic carpet ride back in time  to 1967 to the "Summer of Love" and to a time when music was the soundtrack of our lives.