Bartow Jenkins provided
in schools and as mayor of Lawrenceville
By Norman Baggs
Forsyth County News, Cumming
Special to GwinnettForum.com
FEB. 7, 2003 - -The news that Bartow Jenkins had retired as mayor
of Lawrenceville immediately took me back more than 20 years to
small and cluttered offices deep in the recesses of the county school
system's administration building.
The Gwinnett school system in the early 1980s wasn't nearly the
behemoth it is today. For a young newspaper reporter handed the
assignment of covering a rapidly growing collection of schools that
already had more students than any town in which I had ever lived,
it was plenty big enough.
On a routine basis I would venture over to the central office,
sometimes just to engage in the sort of idle chit-chat that helps
those in the news business learn about their subject and the people
with whom they work. It didn't take long to find out where to go
when you just wanted to hang out.
After pausing to say hello to Dr. Alton Crews, or the ever vigilant
Grace Cain, I would ease on to the very back of the building, where
there usually was good conversation, pleasant fellowship and hearty
laughter to be found.
A handful of the school system's middle and upper management went
out of its way to make me welcome, folks like Brooks Coleman, Joe
Smith, Russ Everson, David Crews and Bartow Jenkins.
I quickly learned that if you timed things just right there was
a pretty good possibility of a lunch invitation, and it wasn't unheard
of for a car full of folks to head out to one of the schools with
the better cafeterias, or even down to Snellville for a restaurant
Over the course of the next 18 years, Bartow and I seemed to show
up at a lot of meals together, usually along with dozens, or perhaps
hundreds, of other folks - Gwinnett Municipal Association programs,
Chamber of Commerce galas, county government functions, awards banquets.
It always made sense to see him there, because he always was in
public life in one way or another.
And everybody knew Bartow. He is blessed with the perfect personality
for being in the public's eye. It served him well in a lifetime
that has included being a successful football coach, administrator,
school system athletic director, county commissioner and mayor of
Our paths crossed often in the course of his various public duties
and my changing responsibilities in the world of newspapers. Over
the years I developed a great deal of respect for how Bartow conducted
himself. Always quick with a laugh and a friendly smile, Bartow,
in whatever position he was serving, came across as being honest
and sincere, character traits sometimes rare among those in public
office. Seldom confrontational, he seemed to find ways to handle
hard decisions and difficult choices without unduly antagonizing
those with whom he might disagree.
The last 14 years of his long public career were spent as mayor
of Lawrenceville, and the job fit him perfectly. Together, Bartow,
City Clerk Bob Baroni and members of the city council brought the
town a long way during his administration, without abandoning the
city's heritage or the lifestyle preferred by its residents.
There's a term those of us native-born to the state don't hear
as frequently as we once did, but it applies well to Bartow Jenkins.
He is a "southern gentleman." Gwinnett is a better place
for his willingness to have served its people.
Enjoy your retirement, Mr. Mayor. Exit the stage of public life
knowing yours was a job well done.
you can remember old time "rolling stores"
that means you were familiar with the country
By Elliott Brack
editor and publisher
FEB. 7, 2003 -- If you remember a "Rolling Store," chances
are you were raised or spent a good deal of time in the country.
Oh, the joy of seeing a Rolling Store coming, kicking up dust on
a backcountry road! You knew it would stop at your house if you
gave it any encouragement. There was an excitement of knowing what
goodies awaited you.
Only problem was, back in those post-Depression days, money was
tight. People didn't have the dollars they do today, especially
working or living on a farm in the county
Yet there was a way. You could barter with the rolling store operator.
Many a housewife has used her chicken's egg production to swap for
a bag of sugar or flour. And if your garden was a good producer,
why that was another way you could "spend" at the Rolling
A Rolling Store was a truck or perhaps an old bus fitted with shelving.
We remember the driver opening the back of his vehicle, and us ogling
the many items on the shelves. Think of those days' general merchandise
stores, and that's what the Rolling Store stocked, in smaller quantities,
If the husband needed a new pair of overalls, why there they were
on the store. You hoped for the right size. Or if the lady of he
house needed more thread for her sewing machine, there it was.
As a child, we remember spending saved pennies and nickels on hard
candy from the Rolling Store. During the summers, we remember the
Rolling Store also had an iced soft drink box. Wow! Did those Cokes
or Red Rocks or Royal Crowns taste delicious dripping with coldness!
Another element of the Rolling Store was that it didn't come by
very often... perhaps once a week. That made its coming even larger,
and more thrilling!
Where the Rolling Store had as a home base, we have no idea. We
suspect many were the works of entrepreneurs, seeing an opportunity
to serve people living in the country, back when many people did
not have motorized transportation. And no doubt they charged high
prices. Yet there was no easy alternative, other than Sears and
Roebuck, and even Sears didn't mail you sugar and flour, though
of course, they would mail you chicks to raise, or materials to
build an entire house! The Rolling Store seem to have just what
you needed, when you needed it. It was early home delivery.
It was another era. In cities, there were greengrocers who went
through the neighborhoods in their pick-up trucks, hawking fresh
produce that they had bought at daylight at the Farmer's Market.
And in New York and other big cities, there were pushcarts, giving
people the same delights that Rolling Stores did in the country.
Yes, modern day kids have no inkling of how less mobile people
were in those days. The Rolling Stores, the produce trucks and the
pushcarts, served their own little worlds, and had loyal customers.
And their arrival always stirred everyone up. It is a nearly forgotten
era in America.
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2/7: Weapons of mass
2/7: Historical Society
gets Savannah speaker
Speaking at the February 17 meeting of the Gwinnett Historical
Society will be Dr. W. Todd Groce, the executive director of Georgia
Historical Society in Savannah. He holds three degrees from the
University of Tennessee and is the author of '"Mountain Rebels:
East Tennessee Confederates and the Civil War," published
in 1999 by the University of Tennessee Press. He frequently lectures
on the South and U.S. military history. He has made national television
appearances on the Discovery Channel and on CSPAN's Book TV.
His presentation is "Will the South Survive?", a humorous
yet serious look at what makes the South "Southern"
and whether those characteristics will survive in the 21st century.
The meeting is at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse on the Square
2/4: Special needs
for college program set
Cindy Thompson and Mary Root
Gwinnett PTA Council
For the 11th straight year, the Gwinnett County Council of PTAs
is presenting a program for college bound special needs students.
The program will be Monday, February 24, at the Gwinnett Justice
and Administration Center.
Co-sponsoring the event is the Gwinnett County Extension Service
and Gwinnett County Public Schools. . The event will be held on
Monday, February 24, 2003. A College Fair will be conducted from
5-6:30 p.m., with the program from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m.
The College Fair will host individual representatives from four-year,
two-year and technical colleges from across the state. These booths
are manned by people who work in the areas of student support
- disability services - at their schools.
The Program portion will begin at 6:30 p.m. A panel of students
from The University of Georgia will talk about what college life
is like for them, services that are available to them and techniques
on surviving college with their disability. A representative of
the College Boards will discuss information concerning administering
the SAT. Admissions representatives from several of the college
present will talk about filing for admission, services, etc. There
will be interpreters to sign for the hearing impaired.
OF THE DAY
Faster than a speeding
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has
a chance to get its pants on."
-- Sir Winston Churchill.
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