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Cemetery tour takes McDonough back in time

 

By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor 

  The third annual Spirits of McDonough Cemetery Tour is set for October 26 and 27 and according to organizer Judy Neal, tickets are selling steadily.

“We get several calls a day for tickets, so we’re very excited about this year’s event,” said Neal.

  For the past two year’s the tour has sold out, and Neal said the best way to guarantee a spot is to call in advance for a reservation.

Eddie Ausband stands in the McDonough city cemetery, at the site where he will portray Henry Jefferson Copeland in the upcoming Spirits of McDonough Cemetery Tour.

Photo by Alex Welch

  The tour takes place throughout the historical McDonough city cemetery and brings to life McDonough’s past through entertaining portrayals of some of the city’s longtime citizens. Groups up to 30 at a time will be guided to various stations in the cemetery to hear “personal’ accounts of past lives in McDonough from the time of the Civil War up to the early 1990s.

  According to Neal, the Spirits of McDonough Cemetery Tour is a fascinating look into the lives of past residents and the stories told are often those only known to the person’s inner-circle of friends and family.

  “It’s very entertaining and a way to recall history in an accurate and funny manner,” said Neal. “Of course, we hear stories about how someone helped to build a community, but it is the funny, personal stories that we love.”

  This year’s tour features one returning character as well as a cast of new characters, and many of the scripts have been penned by writers who have some connection to the “spirit.” Neal said the characters will be brought back to life through honest and often humorous stories.

  Kathy Reeves Hubert will return as Miss Nell Newman, a popular schoolteacher who once lived in the large, white house located on Jonesboro Rd., across the railroad tracks near the McDonough Square. She will be joined this year by her longtime driver, Otis Collins, being portrayed by Ron Aiken. Other spirits on the tour include Henry Jefferson (H. J.) Copeland portrayed by Eddie Ausband, and Annie Lemon Daniel Spencer portrayed by Jill Shedd. Virginia Hitchman will portray the spirit of Nannie Missie Turner, A. J. “Buddy” Welch, Jr. will portray Blanton Welch, and Chris Hale will portray his distant relative, Congressman James W. Wise.

  Fayetteville musicians Pat Murphy and Jim Rector will be playing for both days of the tour, treating guests to various period music on the guitar and banjo.

  The cemetery tour is being presented by McDonough Arts with the support and sponsorship of several local businesses.

  The Spirits of McDonough City Cemetery Tour will be held Saturday, October 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. and Sunday, October 27 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and under. Free parking is available at Richard Craig Park located at 125 S. Zack Hinton Parkway in McDonough. Call 404-660-3813 for tickets or visit www.mcdonougharts.net for more information.

 

 

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