The Boomers: Reflecting, Sharing, Learning

Life in the Tate Family

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Tuesday, 24 July 2012 10:53

Jeff Tate was born, raised and still lives in this historic Barrow - Tate house on Dearing Street, Athens, GA.  The house, no longer covered in vines as in this 1909 photo, is full of Jeff's memories growing up in Athens when "it was a different time."

Jeff spins some amusing stories as he tells about being in "cahoots" with his nannies in the days of segregation. He describes a safer time when children could do "fabulous" things by themselves, like go to the movies and take music lessons without an adult to accompany them.

As a house-husband he also raised his children in this house, teaching them to read while watching Fellini movies with subtitles.

Stories of his father, the legendary Dean William Tate of the University of Georgia, describe the "frightening" days of threats to his father and family because of Dean Tate's determination to have the University of Georgia peacefully integrated.

On the lighter side he tells an amusing story of how Dean Tate helped Coach Wally Butts recruit for the football team in competition with Georgia Tech's coach Bobby Dodd.

FOLLOW THIS LINK to hear and enjoy the entire interview of Jeff Tate by Mary Kay Mitchell.




Terrell Jones: Vietnam Should Have Been a Quick Win

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Monday, 09 July 2012 09:54

Terrell Jones learned to fly an aircraft during his military training, and emphasized that it was his enjoyment of flying that kept him in the military before and during the Vietnam War.  He recalled how demanding it was flying a C-130 in and out of Vietnam from his station in the Philippines, but said he liked the demands and challenges as well as the close association with other military people.

CLICK HERE to watch Terrell's interview by Mary Kay Mitchell.  One question remains after all these years, he lamented.  "Why weren't we allowed to win?"  From Terrell's point of view the U. S. army had all the equipment and know how to make the war short and victorious, and he never understood why the military leaders at the time "wouldn't allow us to win."

After the war, Terrell had a career flying commercial international and domestic passenger aircraft.

The Boomers: Reflecting, Sharing, Learning is a program from the Athens Regional Library and Lyndon House Arts Center exploring new ways to offer life long learning to our community.  Generally Boomers suggest the programs, but the partners hope to serve the entire community.  Please contact Madeline Darnell This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 706-613-3650 ext. 343 if you are a Vietnam Vet who would like to share your story, or if you'd like to participate in our project in some other way.


Don Wildsmith, 3 Purple Hearts and 30 years of Service

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Monday, 25 June 2012 09:55

Even with 3 purple hearts and so many years of service, Don Wildsmith doesn't think of himself as a hero.  He says he was simply doing what needed to be done at the time. He served in Vietnam in the Army as a medic, performing medical evacuations in a helicopter, sometimes in peaceful circumstances and sometimes in combat. After Vietnam he served another 30 years in the Navy.

In the recording of Don's memories of Vietnam, he tells a few stories about his service, and one of a remarkable coincidence. A doctor who attended to one of his wounds in Vietnam, was also the doctor who delivered his daughter in Georgia a few years later.

May Kay Mitchell, who interviewed Don, called him a Renaissance Man because these days you'll find Don directing cultural affairs and occasionally performing on the stage in Winder, GA.

If you are a Vietnam Vet in the Athens area who would like to share a memory, please contact Madeline Darnell, 706-613-3650 ext. 343 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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