2018-03-21 / Editorials

We were there!

Billy Fleming

Speaking of clichés, “if I had known I was going to live this long, I would’ve taken better care of myself” is one I hear with growing regularity!

I don’t think anybody was thinking about “next year” at the end of the day at that first festival we remember as the “Peanut Proud EXPO!”

But, I do think everyone headed home that day knowing something special had just happened!

The EXPO was the beginning of the healing for the peanut industry which was demonized for the actions of one rogue company and a small community which was badgered and belittled by national media with a salacious thirst for horrific headlines and stories.

It was difficult for the media to overstate the pain and suffering of the salmonella victims and their families. The peanut industry and the people in Blakely and Early County will always be reminded and keep them in their prayers ... knowing time can’t heal all pain.

I don’t remember if it was the next week or the next month, but Lea Jean Manry, understanding what had just happened, quickly had her volunteers reassembled for the “second annual” festival.

There was some angst over the festival’s future when she stepped aside about five years ago. However, here we are on the eve of the 10th annual Peanut Festival, still...

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