Sunday, July 23, 2017

18th Annual Birthday Celebration of Lt.Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest

Pat and Butch Godwin again hosted Ole Bedford'd 196th Birthday Commemoration at their home, affectionately known as Fort Dixie on July 15th, 2017.  It was a hot day but a clear one with a nice breeze and the shade trees on their property provided a respite from the Alabama summer heat. A lemonade stand was set up as a watering hole and a table and picnic tables were set under the trees on which ice cold watermelons were enjoyed to stay hydrated and refreshed.  After a welcome by Pat and Butch Godwin, past-Alabama Division Commander Ronnie Simmons acted as emcee and dedicated the party to the memory of Bobby Holloway.  Dixie was sung followed by a cannon salute with three loud volleys.  Alan Harrelson was the feature music performer playing his banjo including another rendition of Dixie.  The keynote speaker was Dr. Brian Steel Wills, History Professor at Kennesaw State University.  He spoke on Forrest referencing his new biography, "The Confederacy's Greatest Cavalryman: Nathan Bedford Forrest".   The festivities included a drawing for a bronze bust of Forrest, doorprizes and an auction hosted by Bill Anthony who called the bids as a skilled auctioneer.  Of course everyone sang Happy Birthday to Forrest which was followed by another cannon salute.  The highlight is always the delicious catfish supper with fresh Alabama fried catfish fillets and sides cooked by many of the ladies helping with the birthday party.  Prattville Dragoons in attendance included 1st Lt. Grooms, 2nd Lt. George Jenks and his son Brent, Commander Waldo, and compatriots Karl Wade and Tyrone Crowley (with his wife Carrol).  Always an enjoyable time of great fun and fellowship in honor of one of the Confederacy's greatest General officers, a legend in grey.
Harold Grooms and Karl Wade

Some of the Crowd Including Tyrone and George Under the Awnings
Pat and Butch Godwin Introduce their Family

Dr. Brian Wills 

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