Books and beans

Americus went a long time without a bookstore. I'm happy to report that the town has one again, Bittersweet, a charming shop across from the Windsor Hotel that sells coffee, chocolate and books like "The Class of '65," assuring that the place will have a wonderful scent even if some of the prose has an off smell. When one of the owners, Elena Albamonte, heard that I was speaking at the Albany Civil Rights Institute, she asked me to stop by and do a signing. They even printed a poster with my mug (which everyone must be getting tired of by now) and put it up around town. Two of the people who came out were my former AJC colleagues Susan Stevenson and Larry Perrault (seen here), who moved to Americus to work with Habitat for Humanity. I also saw Lorena Barnum Sabbs, head of the Barnum Funeral Home, whose limousine carried Greg Wittkamper and the first black students at Americus High to classes in the fall of 1964. Lorena graduated from AHS a few years later and suffered all kinds of harassment herself. She said she had bought half a dozen copies of "Class" because people needed to know where we've come from. As we were talking, I looked at that name -- Bittersweet -- and thought: Yes, it is. Thank you, Elena and everyone else for another meaningful evening.