Her work as the Georgia Youth Art Month Coordinator merited the recognition. I was so pleased, but not surprised. Her magic touch is seen throughout the school’s campus and on walls and desks and refrigerator doors all over Woodstock.
She embodies the creative spirit that defines Woodstock … the community and its neighborhoods, schools, churches, civic organizations and even the city government’s many departments. That spirit is contagious.
With each new endeavor comes a plethora of ideas. The collaborative meshing of non-profits such as GreenPrints and Preservation Woodstock, foundations such as SWIFT, merchants, and the art community make for one success story after another.
A key player is the multi-faceted city government with city leaders who, more and more, seem to have the best interests of the community at heart.
The Downtown Development Authority, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Main Street program, instead of being at odds, work together as members of their boards constantly consider options and make choices for the betterment of all concerned.
A few weeks ago Woodstock Main Street board was given an opportunity to host Georgia’s Main Street Institute, a training and learning program designed to introduce new Main Street leaders and participants from throughout the state.
The Institute will be held beginning today and continuing through Friday at The Chambers at City Center. The town is bustling with preparations, and the excitement is contagious as we are given an opportunity to show off our pretty town.
After attendees sit through such “interesting” presentations as “Bringing Economic Development to Your Main Street,” “Building Opportunity on Main Street,” Preserving Downtown,” and “Promoting Downtowns,” we hope they will want to eat and shop and browse. And we hope they will go home with pleasant memories and fresh ideas for their own towns.
As Downtown Development Authority director Billy Peppers likes to say, “Main Street Woodstock wants to create the best community in metro Atlanta.
We don’t want to be like any other towns, we want those towns yearning to be like us. We want more recreation, more business, more arts, a larger social scene, great events, and anything else that will make Woodstock the best.
Some of the stores are planning to stay open late for our guests, and many merchants and other groups are furnishing coupons or items for welcome bags. If the weatherman sees fit to continue with this most beautiful springtime, there will be a couple of walking tours for participants on Thursday afternoon.
Ideally, there would be a short shower just before dawn to wash away the pollen, then sparkling sunshine to enhance the sight of cherry blossoms and azaleas and dogwoods by afternoon.
Ah, a Main Street day. It’s the Woodstock Way. With any luck at all, the weather will still be nice on Saturday for the Greenprints StreetFest.
Town will be busy yet again as we show how Woodstock’s private organizations work with the public sector to host a downtown festival with booths, food, entertainment, and an atmosphere of fun and fellowship.
They say that Woodstock Elementary is providing a large banner with a welcome message and special notes from every student to place in the lobby at City Center for the Institute. Somehow I just know that Pam Morgan’s finger is in that pie.
And having spoken of Billy Peppers, it is most appropriate to mention here that Billy will turn the Big Three-O on Thursday, March 22.
He is going to be very busy with the Institute every minute of the day, but regardless of the day’s activities, at the end of the day the calendar will still show that he is now 30.
Guess I’ll have to begin to show a little more respect. I’ve come to think of him as a grandson; I have grandchildren older than Billy.
Perhaps we should start calling him William, or even Mr. Peppers, or Will. He takes pride in the fact that he shares his birth date with Dr. Will Dean. Old habits are hard to break, so I’ll still call him Billy.
I doubt he would answer to any other name. He has earned the respect of Woodstock’s citizens and we would like nothing better than to have a huge party for his birthday.
But in true Billy fashion, he will celebrate Woodstock’s beauty and hospitality rather than his birthday.
So altogether now, Happy Birthday, Billy.
Juanita Hughes is Woodstock’s official historian and former director of the Woodstock Public Library.