First Posted: 8/11/2013 4:03:21 PM | Last Updated: 8/11/2013 4:04:04 PM
It takes a village to raise a child---Snellville Georgia was mine---Happy 90th Birthday Mother !
By Tom Livsey, OurTown National News Editor,
Though I was born in Chicago, IL., in 1962, and felt like 'Green Acres', once my family moved to Georgia, after the first few years we relocated to Gwinnett County, I knew from the start I had a city named Snellville, that I could call Mother.
Initially, I was enrolled in Centerville School, which was a very small place of education, about seven miles south of Snellvile. The small school went from 1-12 grades.
There were two grades in every one of the six rooms. Each room was about the size of your small bedroom, today. What was so amazing, was that the only separation between the two grades, was just a single isle.
Three months after the start of the school year, the school held its first PTA meeting. As my mom was chewing on a chocolate chip cookie, she then started to take a sip of orange juice, when my first/second grade teacher, Mrs. Anderson, said to my mom..."Tommy, is do such great work in the second grade". My mom almost choked on her cookie, because I was supposed to be in the first grade.
For some reason, my mom wanted me to graduate with my proper year's class. She wanted to keep me in the first grade. So, I was kept in the first grade. However, I kept doing second grade work at an A+ level.
I was so happy the following year, when Centerville School was dissolved, and I started my Snellville education at W.C. Britt Elementary School. I soared through my elementary school years.
To be sure, there were some racial obstacles that concerned the few minority students. But the truth of the matter was, that even back in Chicago, IL., I was the only minority student. I was always the smart one, too. Yet, I was received by all the students and all the teachers, as just a gifted child student. Mama Snellville, embraced me from that point on throughout my high school career. The Snell family opened their arms to me, and the rest of the Snellville families did the same.
Please understand, that there were several misconceptions, and many misunderstandings. Periodically there were some sensitive racial blunders. However, as I developed, and went from one grade to the next. The only thing that was constant, was that my coaches, my teachers, my friends, and my football teammates treated me no different. They all loved me like a Snellville son.
Look at the picture above. I am thankful that I was color blind. Because, I thought I was the only white player on the 1978 South Gwinnett Varsity Football Team. Come to find out, after getting my eyes checked, it was me who was the dark one....Wow !
You see, all along Mother Snellville treated us all the same. Even today, at 51, if you cut me, I simply bleed ,'Blue and Grey', the colors of South Gwinnett High School Comets...Go Comets!
Happy 90th Birthday Mother Snellville. WE all love you so much, because even today you always make us feel like WE ARE BACK HOME !
So I invite you all to come celebrate 90 years of this city's motherly love here in the heart of Snellville, at the Snellville City Hall, at 7:30 pm, when you can come and share some old times, some old stories, and meet with some of the mayors from the past, who helped nurture her young.
The Snellville Police Color Guard will present the flag and retired Snellville Police Officer McClure will lead the Mayor and Council in the pledge of the flag.
After the ceremonial matters, Mayor Kelly Kautz will recess the Council meeting and invite all of the citizens and special guest to the Community Room for birthday cake and a special slideshow presentation over the history of Snellville. All citizens are invited to attend.
Mayor Kautz, said “Snellville has changed a great deal in 90 years, but our citizens still have the hearts of a small town neighbor. As we celebrate our 90th anniversary, we are looking ahead at how we can continue to better our community and improve the service we provide to our citizens. In order to look ahead, however, we must learn from and respect our history.”
The City of Snellville City Charter was officially issued on August 20, 1923.
On August 24, 2013 the Mayor, Council and Snellville Tourism and Trade Association will partner to have a larger birthday celebration for the City during the Metro Jazz Concert on the Towne Green.
Mayor Kelly Kautz will introduce you to those who blazed the path that she is blazing for future generations, along with former city council members who can still pull some yarn about the struggles that they faced yesteryears. There will be Cake...So bring the family and neighbors !
For more information, please contact Snellville City Hall that is located at 2342 Oak Road, Snellville, GA 30078 ~ (770) 985-3500