By Susanne Reynolds
THOMASVILLE — The fireworks may be over, but the Fourth of July and what it means is never far out of the minds of Pebble Hill Plantation administrators and staffers.
Wallace Goodman, the director, is always reminded of days gone by each Independence Day. He remembered when he used to sell fireworks in front of a department store in his hometown with his good friend, Buddy Brown.
“I think I used all of the money I earned to buy fireworks,” Goodman chuckeled.
On another memorable Fourth of July, he remembered giving people in a small town where he and his wife, Debbie, owned a newspaper something to smile about.
“The town was in desperate need of having something to do that was fun. The economy was horrible and many people were unemployed. We secured the money for fireworks and the firemen took over from there and shot off fireworks,” said Goodman. “For one evening on the Fourth of July, the people of that town had something to smile about.”
The director also expressed gratefulness for our freedoms and the sacrifices made by the armed forces to preserve them.
“As I am now a little older, the Fourth of July is a day mostly away from work, enjoyed with my wife. We will watch ‘A Capital Fourth’ on PBS and listen to the National Symphony Orchestra,” he said.
Whitney White, the Main House Museum manager, plans on relaxing and enjoying the holiday.
She said, “We usually cook out by grilling steaks and enjoying the evening. However, independence is about everything we enjoy today. We don’t need to take it for granted with the holiday.”
Docent Lori Curtis will be celebrating her holiday weekend at Pebble Hill. She will be guiding tours for the public to ensure they have a pleasant visit at the plantation.
“My personal meaning of independence is that we are fortunate to live here and with all the freedoms we are given,” she said.
Joe May, a docent who works in the art gallery, expressed similar views.
He said, “It’s a very important holiday to recognize the patriots who served and to honor them for it.”
Docent Brenton Smith has more than independence to celebrate on the Fourth of July. It is also his grandmother’s birthday.
“It’s a time to spend with my family. Family time is my favorite part of this holiday,” he said.
Smith is also a huge history fan and admirer of our founding fathers.
He said, “Knowing what these men faced is an incredible sense of bravery and the independence they provided for us. That’s the American spirit.”
Connie Bishop, an administrative assistant, concurred.
“It is about celebrating what happened many years ago and celebrating America’s birthday,” she said.
Pebble Hill will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon until 5 p.m. unday. The last house tour is at 3:45 p.m. each day.
For more information, call (229) 226-2344.
Reporter Susanne Reynolds can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1826.