June 28, 2009 - The Lake City Reporter

By H. Morris Williams

The deep emotions felt at our recent Memorial Day observance prompted Lake Citian Sam Robinson to pen these personal remembrances.

"I write in memory of those who served and gave their all for the freedom we now enjoy during Memorial Day.

Recently my Mother, Betty Lamb Robinson, 85, shared with me some very sentimental memories of her youth. She was raised near Watermelon Park, and she was allowed to start courting at age 18.

She met many young eligible bachelor servicemen in those early days of WW II with the Lake City Naval Air Station being in full scale. The first of her two most notable suitors during those wartime days was Raymond Layfield of Ft White, a navigator on a B-17 Bomber. Raymond was killed over the skies of Germany.

The second promising suitor was Kennerson Wilson of Lake City, US Army infantry. He used to write her notes everyday from the foxholes and trenches of Europe. He too lost his life, in 1944.

In 1948, Mom met and married another man in uniform, Randall Robinson of the Florida Highway Patrol. They have been in love going on 62 years strong.

I'm sure there are other war stories of lost loved ones out there today but none is more meaningful for my brother and me than this one."


Here are some of the teachers who have announced their resignations from our school system for the purpose of retirement this year: Frank Albury, Beverly Anthony, Patricia Bielling, Carolyn Brown, Cheryl Cox, Susan Crocker, Sibyl King, Roger Lizotte, Mary Lyons, Carol Martin, Alvin Murphy, Doris Murphy, Deborah Odom, Randy Register, Teresa Register, Geraldine Robinson, Sara Singleton, Alex Stevens, Carol Stevens, Rita Stratton, Jo Ann Torrans, and Elizabeth Witt.

These fine educators have served our education community well and we wish them the best in their retirement years.


Last week I printed the names of the deceased members of CHS 1964 in whose honor the class had made a generous donation to Haven Hospice. However, I mistakenly stated that they were members of CHS 1984. I apologize to the members of both classes for this error.


*Pine Grove Baptist Church: "Sign broken. Get message inside."

*North Lake City Church of God: "God does not want weekend visitation. He wants full time custody."

*M & M Auto Sales: "If you have a job and are not wanted by the FBI, you ride."


Mickey Thompson Messer (CHS 1938), age 90, called last week to thank me for my column on her dad, Frank Thompson, Sr., gifted local sign painter of years ago.

Mickey, now a resident of Willow Brook, said, "Your column was so vivid it brought tears to my eyes. Every word you wrote about my Papa was exactly the way I remember him and we were very close. Thank you so much for helping people remember the great artist he was."

Mickey's memory is still very sharp. She clearly remembered that our families were once next-door neighbors and that she graduated from high school with my oldest brother, Howard.


The CHS Class of 1954 has scheduled their next class reunion for Friday and Saturday, August 14 and 15. For more information, email Pat Weeks Arnold at


Here are three Richardson High School historical flashbacks:

*1948: The RHS football coaching staff was Head Coach Richard Anders and assistant coaches John Burgess and Cornelius Tunsil. The 1956 coaching staff was Coach Anders and assistants John Burgess, Isadore Williams, Glynell Presley, and Taliaferro Combs.

*1995: Louisiana Governor John W. Edwards proclaimed November 5 as "RHS 1962 Day in Louisiana." At that time, Ben Jeffers (RHS 1962) was Governor Edwards' Chief of Staff so you know he had a lot to do with the honor bestowed on his classmates.

*1934: Richardson High School graduates became the first graduates in Columbia County to wear caps and gowns at their graduation exercises. Their principal was H.L. Roundtree.


John Penny's epitaph in the Winborne, England cemetery: "If cash thou art in want of any, Dig six feet deep and find a Penny". square

H. Morris Williams is a local historian and long-time Columbia County resident.