Thursday, July 19, 2007

Journal of a Living Lady #303

Nancy White Kelly

Sometimes it is good that we don’t know what our children are experiencing until after the fact. Last week was like that for Buddy and me.

Our son Charlie, the science teacher, is serving as an interim youth minister between school terms. He and some friends recently chaperoned a group of high-school students who were attending a spiritual retreat in Daytona. They domiciled in a sixty-five year old condominium.

Following a morning Bible study time held on the ground floor, Charlie was the first to get on the elevator for the next scheduled session. A couple of young men got on after him. Then two more followed. Just as the door was beginning to shut, a large group of boys jovially leaped inside. Charlie was crowded to the back corner.

The young man closest to the door pressed the elevator button for the second floor. Charlie, the only adult in the group, said he thought he felt a little movement. Slightly claustrophobic, he waited and waited…and waited. A momentary flash of anxiety flowed over him as he and everyone else realized they were stuck. The elevator was not moving and the door would not open. This, he said, was not a happy time. Thankfully, his faith and adrenaline kicked in.

Ironically the emphasis for the week was on trusting God moment by moment. Charlie recognized this as an opportunity to demonstrate God’s grace for the present situation. He related that it wasn’t easy being stuffed like a tuna in a small elevator.

Taking charge of the fourteen young men, Charlie moved to the front of the elevator. His concern was that just a slight whiff of air was coming from a tiny fan near the top of the elevator. The electrical power fluctuated. Sometimes the inner door would open, but the outer door would not.

Charlie said the boys did all that he asked, but a couple of them started to panic as time went by. One young man in particular was struggling. Charlie knew that he had to get in more air. Hoisted by the boys, he removed the plastic paneling from the ceiling of the elevator which revealed florescent bulbs and a wood ceiling. He had to make the decision to puncture the roof even though it would destroy the elevator. It was the only choice if they were to survive for a long duration.

God came through with grace and manpower. The fire department arrived just before Charlie got in the first blow. He and the boys survived with a good story to tell their children and grandchildren…AND parents.

We asked Charlie what he learned from the experience. He grinned. “That the little sign giving weight limits for elevators is there for a purpose.”

Buddy and I don’t take God’s protection of Charlie and the high school boys for granted. We asked for safety before he left on the trip and we are grateful for answered prayer.

So life goes on. We senior Kellys are busy making preparation for the grand opening of the Ye Old Coin shop on August 4th. That is a Saturday and the time is from 10:00 until 4:00. We are looking forward to meeting and greeting readers, friends, and new acquaintances from the numismatic community. There will be punch and cake for all who drop by to wish us well. You are coming, aren’t you?

If you are a robber, you can stop reading now. Ye Old Coin Shop is located exactly one mile from Young Harris College. To get there, turn at the traffic light, go Highway 66 to Byers Creek Road. Turn left on Byers creek and go four-tenths of a mile to 6156 Southern Road. Look for the bright yellow building and flags. That’s us, right there in the curve. If you get lost, call us…706-994-7622/379-1488.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Journal of a Living Lady #302

Nancy White Kelly

Just when I thought life could not get more complicated for Buddy and me, it has. Add the position of chairman of the board to a new grandbaby, on-going cancer appointments, and the grand opening of Ye Old Coin Shop on August 4th.

I was elected Chairman of the Mountain Area Christian Academy which is located north of Blue Ridge and south of Blairsville, Ga. MACA has a beautiful new building complete with gym and cafeteria. The school is expecting 250 students next month in daycare through grade 12. Students travel from North Carolina and Tennessee as well. The website is

I previously served as MACA’S chair for a few months in the early days before the revenges of cancer treatment canceled most of my life. Vice-Chairman, Mike Kiernan, co-owner of PanelBuilt in Blairsville, has served two terms but must now step down according to the school by-laws. My cancer is currently stable and the board again elected me.

I could have said, “no,” due to my hectic schedule, but I believe in Christian education. This doesn’t mean I oppose public education. My son, and several good friends, teach in governmental schools. I did too until the early 70’s.

When the wife of the superintendent of education told me I could not teach the biblical view of creation along-side evolutionary theory in the textbooks, I knew I needed a different setting. I finished my public school contract and never looked back. Eventually I became principal of three Christian schools. The second one became a nationally recognized “Model School.” The last one, Mt. Zion Christian Academy, was the largest Christian school in Georgia at that time. I am proud of those schools and the staff that contributed to their success. I cannot think of a better legacy.

Did you know that Frank Sinatra, one of the great entertainers of the 20th century, was often referred to as Chairman of the Board? I never knew why and researched it. It seems Sinatra, also called Ol’ Blue Eyes, acquired the chairman moniker after buying Reprise Records in 1961. Quite a crooner, he left his mark as a showbiz icon.

John Smoltz, a Cy Young Winner in 1996, is also a Chairman of the Board. While better known for his legendary pitching for the Atlanta Braves, few people know that he began North Ridge Christian School in Alpharetta, Georgia. It wasn’t an easy task. He is quoted as saying, “Building a school takes an incredible amount of time. In one sense, I'd rather have another surgery on my arm than go through all this again." But, as a father of four, he believes the investment was worth the effort.

I can’t sing like Frank, but, like John, I can pitch… quality academics in a Christian environment.

It’s a wonderful life!