George Smith: Caretakers carry a heavy load
WEDNESDAY’S LIST . . . of beans ‘n greens ‘n other things:
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ALZHEIMER’S is an insidious illness.

Over the past five years, I’ve been near the disease in a couple of relatives and a couple of friends.

A few facts I ran across online Tuesday:

1. Someone in America develops Alzheimer’s every 68 seconds. Think about that … every 68 seconds.

2. There are approximately 5.4 million people with Alzheimer’s in America.

3. There are approximately 15 million providing care, mostly at home and unpaid.

I’m no expert, but it seems to me that it is the caregivers who really hurt. The person with the disease is living in the world the mind says. The caretaker lives in the real world and bears a load, physically and emotionally.

Online, I ran across CAN, the Caregiver’s Action Network. If, at the moment, you are involved with the disease, take a look.

I tell you all of that because one very strong recommendation is to surround yourself with support.

There is no CAN group here (that I am aware of), but support can be found every Thursday afternoon at the RMC Physicians building, room 406. That’s when a group meets to discuss and support each other in dealing with the disease.

Kathleen Miller, a registered nurse who is currently teaching at Jacksonville State University, is the moderator.

The meetings, absolutely free, begin each Thursday at 4 p.m.

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OOPS: In talking with Hulon and Modena about the renewal of their marriage vows after 70 years wed, I got caught up in the writing. I told the story in the wrong tense.

The “second” marriage is this Saturday, not last. It will be held at First Baptist of Anniston at Ft. McClellan, the Rev. Buddy Nelson will officiate, and the ceremony gets under way along about 3 p.m.

My boo-boo aside, stories such as that of Hulon and Modena get to me a wee bit … you, too, I suspect.

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BIRTHDAYS: Feb. 1 – Donna Fowler, Thelma Pinkston, Ken Swader, Joe Duckett and Curtis Reaves; Feb. 2 – Mary Joe Myers; Feb. 3 – Feb.3 – Ben Howell, Rev. Zenus Windsor and Jerrod Brown; Feb. 4 – Phil Cornelison and Barbara Tankersley; Feb. 5 – Jim Lott and Candy Woodall; Feb. 7 – Vickie Cox; Feb. 8 – William Parker.

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TOP TEEN: On stage this morning is Morgan “Blakeli” Bolt, a senior at Pleasant Valley High School where her 3.97 GPA ranks first in her class.

She is president of the Beta Club, has been vice-president of SADD for three years, secretary of the FCCLA and Student Council. Blakeli is treasurer of the Key Club, editor of the school yearbook, on the math team and a member of the newspaper staff.

Along the way young Miss Bolt and has found time to cheer the PV athletes. In fact, she is captain of the cheerleading squad and an All-American Cheerleader for three years.

And there you have met Miss Pleasant Valley 2012.

“Blakeli is a well-rounded young lady,” says Mylane Wigley, student counselor. “She excels academically and in everything she does. Blakeli shows a tremendous amount of school spirit.”

Proud parents are Jason and Shaa’ Bolt of Jacksonville.

Some applause for one of our finest is in order.


George Smith can be reached at 256-239-5286 or email:

© 2013