Abilene News

Published 4:15 pm Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 5 – This is has been quite a newsworthy couple of weeks – from the royal wedding to the death of Osama Bin Laden.

And, there is a newsworthy event that is taking place right here in our community.

Many of our friends and neighbors attended the Worsham School which initially opened in 1927 as an all-white public school. But in 1959, the doors were closed during the struggle over segregation and integration. Most of the white students continued their education at private schools and academies.

The Worsham School sat derelict until 1963 when it re-opened under the Prince Edward County Free School system. The Worsham School was one of four County schools leased by the Prince Edward Free School system to provide free schooling for the African-American students of Prince Edward County. The Free Schools operated for one year, until the Prince Edward County Public School system re-opened in 1964 to all children regardless of race.

Eventually, the doors of Worsham School closed again and it sat derelict again. I love old buildings and I always thought it was such a shame to see this beautiful old brick school building falling into such a state of disrepair. And, then, some time ago, I noticed a flurry of activity going on around the school and a big sign out front announced “Rehab Builders.”

One day, I stopped in to inquire about what was going on and the workers told me the complex of buildings was being converted into luxury apartments. I have been watching with great interest as the restoration has progressed. On April 30, the landscapers were there planting a beautiful garden around the front entrance.

The complex is known as the Lofts at Worsham School and it is planned to open during this summer of 2011. What a wonderful way to re-purpose an old building and keep it alive in the community.

Friends And Neighbors

There was a lot of activity in the community over the Easter weekend:

Guests of Tom and Bonnie Garnett were their daughter Christy Curty, of Greenwich, CN; their son, Major Thomas Garnett and his family from Camp LeJeune, NC; and their son, Timmy and his wife, Lisa, and children from Arlington.

Mr. and Mrs. Chris Henry from Richmond and Justin Dodd from Alexandria visited their parents Ralph and Nancy Dodd.

Mrs. Catherine Garnett and her daughter, Suzanne Williams, spent the weekend with relatives in the Abington community.

Derek and Clint Thackston, both students at Virginia Tech, spent the holidays with their parents, Chris and Mitzi Thackston of Worsham.

On Sunday, Sharon Drinkard and sons, Heath and Braden, of Appomattox, visited her grandmother, Violet Thackston. As always, the visit was very enjoyable.

On Easter Sunday morning, Bethlehem Presbyterian Church was the scene of a lovely ceremony. The Rev. Dr. William Thompson officiated at the baptism of little Thomas Harwood Garnett, V, known as “Quin”. He, and his parents, Major Thomas Harwood Garnett, IV, and wife, reside in Camp LeJeune, NC.

On April 26, I attended the meeting of the Advisory Council at Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Plantation. I was happy to hear that plans are progressing for the Prince Edward cottage on the land donated by Reid Foster prior to his passing.

Madeline Slaydon enjoyed being with her family, the Kernodles, and attend church with them at the Methodist Church in Farmville, on May 1.

On May 3, the Cardinal Quilt Guild of Prince Edward County held their regular monthly at the Douglas Presbyterian Church. It was decided to hold a special meeting on Tuesday, June 7, to finish up a couple of projects.

The Abilene Homemakers Club will hold their next regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 17, at 1 p.m. at the Abilene Community Center. We will continue working on our raffle quilt. Visitors, guests and new members are always welcome.

Don't forget: On Saturday, May 21, at 7 p.m., the Abilene Homemakers Club and the Abilene Community Club will co-host a program featuring the Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Plantation Choir. Light refreshments will be served. Plan to attend and bring a neighbor.

May 21 is Armed Forces Day, a perfect opportunity to honor the red, white, and blue.

Sympathy is extended to Carol Carter whose sister passed away in Ohio after a long illness.

If you have any announcements or news that you would like to share, please contact me at 223-2271 or e-mail me kz5ro@kinex.net.