The Volunteers NEED Your Help, Please!!!

The Volunteers NEED Our Help!!


This is me, Phyllis Owens, writing and posting this.....the sentiments and words posted here are from me and me only. This is not to be construed as being the words, emotions or sentiments of the Pea River Historical and Genealogical Society or any of its members or volunteers....just me. Blame me, if you do not like what I am about to say.

This is a cemetery (John McGee Cemetery) north of New Brockton that Cindy and Bill Osborn, Georgia Fleming, Ellen Costigan, two other adults and one child went out and tackled over the weekend.

It is a shame and disgrace that cemeteries are left to overgrow like this.....

But even worse is when only six adults and a child will mount the task of cleaning it back to it's rightful condition.....

If the ancestors of Coffee County in this cemetery could speak right now, I am not sure what they would say.....

...but, I KNOW they would not be happy with this....

Volunteers are needed! Chainsaws are needed! Weedeaters are needed! Lawnmowers are needed (welllll...maybe these will be soon, hopefully)! Slingblades are needed! Chipper/shredders are needed! Hoes! Axes! Shovels! Long arm clippers! Repairmen for headstones!

There was no way to haul off the debris for no one had a vehicle to accomodate the brush, trees and other debris. If they just had a chipper/shredder, they could get it down to size to haul away, at least.

Can you or anyone you know help with these projects? Have tools? Have some teenagers or a husband/wife who have been bad this week and need punishing?!! Hard work could not hurt them at all. *smiles* But really!! Send or bring them on over to help!! Call Cindy at Society to see about the schedule.

I am sorry to come at you this way, but I gasped when I saw these photographs!

I am not from this county, but I am more than happy to throw in to help. Will you?!!

Click on pictures below for a larger view.

"Are you sure we are at the right spot?"
"Are you sure this is where a cemetery used to be?"
"It doesn't look like anything has ever been here but the woods!"

"Well, I'll be...."
"Hmmmm....there is some ground under there!"
"Is that a piece of a headstone?!"
"Just give me a sip of water...I'm not quitting yet."

"Wow! I can see a little sky out there now!!"
"Let's keep going!!"
"Just get me a little more water."

"Oh my!! This IS a cemetery!!"
"I would never have believed it without cutting through and seeing it!"

"Well, there are some of the trees and underbrush piled up over there."
"I wish we had a truck or a chipper/shredder to dispose of all of it."
"Okay...let's all head home now."
"We can do the back section next week."
"Thank God we did not get snake bit!!"

04/29/2005 Added Note: Since writing this, several different events have come into play in order to try to find help from others.

1) This webpage's existence was written about and discussed on the ALCOFFEE mailing list.(So I know of 221 people who know of this need of the PRHGS volunteers. And...there have been 121 people view this page as of today since I posted it three days ago.)

2) From that post, we have folks seeking volunteers and equipment to help.

3) Christine GRIMES Thacker is attempting to track down the folks from Georgia who helped repair about a dozen headstones for Dale County Genealogical Society.

4) There has been mention of someone (anyone) placing this cry for help on church and organization bulletin boards.

5) I have personally made a request for the donation of a chipper/shredder and/or weed eater from Lowe's of Enterprise. I visited Lowe's on Wednesday to make my request after taking a look-see around to make sure they sold chipper/shredders, but was told that the donation would have to be discussed with Shane Showalter (manager) and that he would have to get permission from higher up. While looking for the chipper/shredder, I was told that there is a chipper/shredder at Lowe's which was returned by a lady who could not get it to start. (God does work in mysterious ways!)

Soooo....I returned to Lowe's yesterday. I waited for two and a half hours standing near the customer service desk while Mr. Showalter conducted employment interviews. Finally, a young lady at the counter while on a phone asked me (again) who it was that I was there concerning. I told her (again) "the Pea River Historical and Genealogical Society". She then wanted to know my name, which I told her. She then asked me "what is it exactly that you wish to speak to him concerning." I told her again. After about five minutes, she told me that she had been told that the best they could offer would be a discount. This distressed me that I had stood for two and a half hours and was not even given the common courtesy to speak with the manager. I then told her that I knew there to be a returned chipper/shredder on the premises and that it would benefit the PRHGS and a worthy cause to have it donated to them, and that it would be good publicity for Lowe's to be shown in a local paper donating it...just good public relations all around. She got back on the phone and about five minutes later, Mr. Shane Showalter came to talk to me. I showed him the pictures above and told him of our problem. He seemed concerned and stated that he would contact me after he spoke with the person or persons who he needed to speak with above him. I will pray for this to work out. Also, IF Lowe's should donate the chipper/shredder, does anyone know anyone in the area who could look at and fix it to make it start, please?

6) Suggestion has been made to make contact with the local (older--high teens) Boy Scouts of America to see if they could help with a project

7) Suggestion has been made to make contact with the Ft. Rucker Warrant Officer Candidate class instructor to see if they need a project.

8) I called the Enterprise Ledger and spoke with Kim Lewis about doing a story on this others in the area will know that we need some help.

9) Lisa Franklin has placed a link to this website from her front page of Tracking Your Roots with an "order" for folks to get off their duff and help.

So as you can see, there is action underway to help the volunteers.... the future will disclose to us what grit the area folks have or do not have.

I challenge us to show that we are gungho, die-hard, run out there and help til it hurts folks in this neck of the woods. So come on out, if you are local, and let's get this done...before it starts getting too hot and the snakes start crawling.

Here are Georgia Fleming's photographs of the markers they uncovered at John McGee Cemetery after cutting and cleaning down to them:

If you can help, contact Cindy HUGHES Osborn at 334-393-2901, please.

Webmaster Email: Phyllis J. K. Owens

®Created by
Phyllis Jeannae Kwanja Owens
April 26th, 2005
Last Modified April 29th, 2005