Skinner speaks to White Oak Golden K

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Winston Skinner, right, is greeted by Malcolm Jackson at the White Oak Golden K meeting at Sprayberry's on Highway 34.

Winston Skinner, an editor with The Newnan Times-Herald for more than 30 years, spoke to the White Oak Golden K Kiwanis Club at a recent weekly meeting. The meeting was held at Sprayberry’s on Highway 34. Skinner spoke about Moreland and about two of its famous authors, Lewis Grizzard and Erskine Caldwell. The original name in the 1840s for Moreland was Mt. Zion. Later, the name was changed to Puckett Station. In the early 1900s after the railroad came through, the city’s name was changed to Moreland to honor Dr. John Moreland, one of the railroad’s doctors.

Moreland has been a center of activity on Independence Day for more than 60 years. The annual July 4th barbecue is put on by members of First Baptist Church of Moreland, Moreland United Methodist Church and White Oak Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Skinner also told the group about the Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance. He serves as president of the organization, which was formed in 2011. The group's goal is preserving and showcasing the history of Moreland — and the literary legacies of the community's famous sons, Lewis Grizzard and Erskine Caldwell. The previously existing Erskine Caldwell Birthplace and Museum organization has been incorporated into MCAA. The cultural arts group is already welcoming visitors to Moreland on a regular schedule: Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and for special events.

MCAA is working with the town and with area entities to coordinate tourism at the Moreland Hometown Heritage Museum, previously known as the Old Mill Museum, and at the Erskine Caldwell Birthplace and Museum, which has the third largest collection of Caldwell memorabilia anywhere after Dartmouth University and the University of Georgia. MCAA has a growing collection of Lewis Grizzard memorabilia, including the holdings of the former Lewis Grizzard Memorial Museum.

Lewis Grizzard was one of the most popular and best-known Southern humorists. He never forgot Moreland, and Moreland has not forgotten him. Lewis worked at The Newnan Times-Herald for awhile early in his career. Later, Grizzard wrote humorous essays about the South that were syndicated in several hundred newspapers across the country. He was also the author of several books including “Elvis is Dead and I Don’t Feel Too Good Myself,” “If Love Were Oil, I’d Be a Quart Low” and “Don’t Bend Over in the Garden, Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes.” He died much too early at the age of 47 from complications from heart surgery. Erskine Caldwell was born Dec. 17, 1903, near Moreland. His father was the pastor at that time of White Oak Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. He later lived all across the South, and incorporated his knowledge of the region and the people in his books.

Erskine Caldwell wrote more than 50 books including "Tobacco Road," "God's Little Acre" and "Journeyman."

Skinner said that he met Caldwell and his wife, Virginia, in the early 1980’s when they were in Atlanta. Caldwell died in 1987. His wife has been, and remains, a friend to the Museum in Moreland honoring her husband.



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