George Smith: The last time I saw her ...
Jan 29, 2014 | 3145 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print

WEDNESDAY’S LIST . . . of beans ‘n greens ‘n other things:


I DON’T recall the first time I saw her.

It’s a good bet we were in elementary school and when she got on the bus, you noticed. She was pert and pretty and blonde and a pure delight to be around.

I do know the last time I saw her . . . Sunday afternoon at Chapel Hill Funeral Home for her going away. In her peace after years of health problems, she was still pert and pretty and blonde . . . and a delight in the memories of us who were blessed by her love.

In those years we rode that old yellow school bus and were classmates, she became a buddy, like another sister to me.

Her name was Jean Jones Martin, Ohatchee High, Class of ’52. She was at the end of 60-plus years with the only boy she ever loved, William Gray Martin.

He, too, was Class of ’52 and in the years of back then, the relationship between my blonde and his blonde was something else. In the years before time and kids and grandkids drifted us away a bit, the two were wedded at the hip. And I mean from elementary school on. The two, along with another classmate now gone, Joyce Cochran Howard, were always together . . . always.

The memories are precious.

In our high school years and beyond, we double-dated . . . me and my blonde, Willie and his blonde. I can think of no man who loved his wife any more than Willie, of no woman who loved her husband more than Jean.

Truth is, Jean was a four-letter word for love. I seriously doubt Jean Martin ever liked anyone . . . she loved. And that’s the truth.

For years after the double dating ended in marriage for us both, we remained close. We had babies, we had new jobs and old cars, we had bills on the edge of past due. But we found time to visit, to cook a hot dog, to just sit and talk and watch our babies grow into their teen years and beyond.

At one stretch, Willie and I rode together to night classes at Jacksonville State.

As I stood with Willie and looked at her for the last time Sunday, he said something that said a lot about her:

She left me with peace. She left me with peace.”

That’s an epitaph that says so very much . . .


QUOTABLE: “The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

-- Douglas MacArthur


BIRTHDAYS: Jan. 23 – Gene Smith; Jan. 28 – Brenda Thompson Owens, Rachel Holland Griffin, Patrick Doss, and Ricky Shaw; Feb. 1 – Thelma Pinkston, Ken Swader, Curtis Eaves, and Joe Duckett.


TOP TEEN: Meet Ethan Joe Curvin, a senior at Alexandria High School where his 4.0 GPA and 29 ACT puts him in the elite of the Class of ’14. An Advanced with Honors Diploma awaits in the spring.

Ethan is vice-president of his class, class SGA representative (2013), has been in the National Honor Society four years, the Principal’s Club three years and on the Math Team three years.

The young man is a pretty good athlete, too. He was All-County in baseball in 2013 and has been on the football team for three years.

“Ethan Curvin is a tremendous leader in our school,” says Kelli Johnson, school counselor. “We look forward to seeing what the future holds for him. Alexandria High School has been privileged to have such a dedicated student-athlete.”

Proud parents are Terry and Stephanie Curvin of Alexandria.

Let’s hear some cheering . . .


YOU NOW have just 18 days to NOT FORGET Feb. 14 . . . and don’t say I didn’t warn you.


George Smith may be reached at 256-239-5286 or e-mail:


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