Happy New Year
By Marshall McCart
*My recent column from "About Covington to Madison" Magazine
Hello everyone! It’s so good to be back with you once again. I hope you all are having a great new year so far. Last column, I ventured out of my comfort zone a bit and shared some of my fiction with you guys. Several of you commented as to how much you enjoyed it. That really means a lot to me and I appreciate it! As always, I'm grateful for you reading it and for your feedback. I'll be returning to my usual historical columns in the near future and am also planning on getting some more fiction out there as well; but, in the meantime, I'm going to switch things up one more time. This month I’d like to share a couple of really great things that are happening . They’re both really good stories involving really good people.
I went to high school with a really sweet girl by the name of Christie Byrd. Several of you probably know and remember Christie and her family from the North Oxford area. Christie went on to college and taught for several years at Palmer Stone in her hometown of Oxford . Christie’s last name is now Johnson as she married a fellow by the name of Brian Johnson and they now reside in Alabama. Brian and Christie are also the very proud parents of a beautiful little girl named
Hayden. These days, Christie is a self-described “full time wife and mommy.”
Her husband Brian seems like a heck of a guy…he’s also a very brave man. You see, Brian has Cystic Fibrosis. He was diagnosed when he was 7 years old and told he might not make it past high school. But now, 30 years later, Brian is a living testament to all things being possible. Some time back, Brian decided that he wanted to do more than just live his everyday life while managing his disease. He decided that he wanted to spread the word, give back, and help others who share his plight. So Brian and Christie founded CF Riders—an organization with the mission of spreading awareness and seeking a cure “one mile at a time.”
And here’s the kicker—Brian likes to ride…a Harley Davidson in particular. And starting on April 14th, Brian, on his bike, and with Christie and Hayden in tow in a vehicle behind him, will leave out from Birmingham, AL on a ten week journey including 40-plus stops from Texas to California and from New York to Florida including a couple of stops here in Georgia. They should pass through Covington sometime around the middle of June . It’s a great story, a great mission, and a great cause. Please visit their webpage at www.cfriders.org and look them up on facebook by searching CF Riders.
Many folks were pretty upset to see the Newborn Opry close down after a wonderful, multi-year run. It seemed pretty sad that after the Newborn Area Heritage Trust, with the help of some wonderful local generosity, had made some badly needed repairs to the old Newborn School House--the Opry would no longer be around to enjoy the fruits of those labors. But like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, the spirit of the Opry lives on.
Steve Biggers also hated to see the Opry go and wanted to do something about. Mr. Steve also happens to be my father-in-law and he’s as good as they come. His passions are faith, family, and music (and maybe a little bit of golf). So Mr. Steve has started up the Newborn Jubilee at the old School House and on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month you can head on down and get some of that good old-timey, country, bluegrass and gospel music that will make you dance and sing and feel the spirit! This past Saturday, January 15, I was proud to play a set with The Biggers Family Band, a country & gospel group that I play with from time to time with my wife and Mr. Steve and the rest of their wonderful family. I know I’ve mentioned them in a previous column but…what can I say? I just can’t help myself. They’re darn good people! In addition to hearing great music and having a wonderful time, supporting the Jubilee has two main benefits--you’re helping to support local music and you’re helping to maintain the historic Newborn School House. Visit the Newborn Jubilee’s webpage at: www.reverbnation.com/venue/newborndixiejubilee and visit the Newborn Area Heritage Trust at: www.newbornschoolhouse.org